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REVERB GAMERS 2012, #9: Have you ever played a character of the opposite sex. Why or why not? If yes, how did the other players react? (Courtesy of Atlas Games. Visit them at www.atlas-games.com)
Lots of times. As for “why,” it’s basically a matter of that gender fitting the character I want to play. Even if I’m not playing QAGS, I usually try to think of the WWPHITM? (Who Would Play Him/Her In The Movie) for my characters, and in a lot of cases that’s when the character starts to gel in my mind. For example, in the Star Wars game I recently started playing, I knew I’d be playing a Jedi, but didn’t want to play the “gee willikers” early Luke Skywalker type or the “super badass warrior” (ie, Jedi Luke). Then the idea of Emma Stone (specifically her character in Zombieland) as kind of a “trailer trash Jedi” hit me, so the character became female. I probably could have come up with a male version of the general character type, but once the idea took form, changing it around probably would have weakened it.
The people I usually game with react to cross-gender characters pretty much exactly the same way they would to a character who’s the same gender as the player. We’re more concerned with whether the character’s good than whether the character has the same junk as the person playing him or her. If somebody has a weird or negative reaction to a character of a different gender than the player, it’s probably a good indication that they’re not someone I’m going to enjoy gaming with.