[MUD-Dev] Re: Recursive look

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Fri Oct 30 20:55:23 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

Darrin Hyrup wrote:
> I'd like to see a well-designed game world with no concept of gender.
> Unfortunately, the duality of masculine and feminine is part of our psyche
> on a  conceptual level, so even if you were to eliminate it from the game
> world, players would still apply gender-based roles to themselves and
> others because that is more comfortable to them.  It is not helped by the
> fact that most human languages are gender-biased, so trying to speak (or
> write) without gender reference is quite difficult.

I think that is quite right. Just take a closer look at the interaction with
Marian here on the list :). Besides, the whimsical no commitment flirty
talking that MUDs provide for is probably a very common entertainment
activity (or is that just me?). My first character ever was neuter (a
martian actually), but that didn't help much when I met a female player who
was fun talking to.  It can be a source of self reflection though: "oh no, I
need a gender change", which I actually did even though gender had no real
semantics, it was an unused attribute in that MUD.  I believe Habitat had a
gender changing machine (Haven't seen other commercial graphical worlds with
'em, but I haven't really looked either).

The only way to diminish the gender presence that I can think of, is to
actively encourage gender bending (not only role-play a female and say you
are male RL, but go all the way).  Thus making gender a non-physical
attribute.  Won't help much though, players will probably just assume a
gender which fits the interaction.  Humans seem to take a lot on "face
value"... :-/

(The basic problem is obvious though, interacting with _real_ players is
more fun than interacting with the game...  The more info you have on the
player, the more real she is.  ...Then you get to know all those details
that you would be quite happy not knowing about...)


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