Women of EverQuest
Darkpact Wrathful - 1 / 13 / 00
This is the first, of what I hope will be several, articles in which
I gathered research and statistical data before making my final opinions.
Research was gathered between the final week of 99, and the first few weeks
of 00. The bulk of this article will be a simple report of the questions
and what was returned to me. If you simply want to know the conclusion,
skip to the end, the Summary / Solution / Truth.
29, Some college
36, Some college and Technical School
Plays 6-8 hours a day, and has been online for over 7 years.
29-33 depending on her mood
Bachelors in Philosophy and Psychology, working towards Masters.
Old school gramer, GUI designer, programmer.
Girl from Faerie Fay
29, Bachelors in Secondary Education
26, Some college
29, High School
Works in the computer industry, gamer of 10+ years, online for the last
22, 1 year College
Works as a counselor
29, Bachelors in Psychology & Human Services, various IT courses
19, 2 years College pursuing a Bachelors in Bio-chemistry
47, PhD Social Psychologist
31, 1 year College
"My past occupations include artist, photographer, comedian, model,
waitress, wife, journalist, poet, editor, vice chair of a union, hotline
counselor, pet shop manager, veterinary assistant, farm hand, executive
assistant, and scuba diver (dive master). Currently I am learning how to
20, 2 years College
"I'm a transsexual... I've been on both sides of the fence and seen
the reactions from both sides towards the other... online and offline..."
31, Bachelors, Liberal Arts (close to Masters)
23, College junior
Background in acting since the age of 9.
25, 1.5 years College
Long time role player.
24, College senior
Psychology Major. Strong background in research and Sociology.
25, Bachelors in Computer Engineering
Programmer in the games industry for over 3 years.
25, Bachelors in Computer Engineering
Average age: 27
Which Servers Participated: Brell Serilis, Cazic-Thule, E'ci,
Fennin Ro, Innoruuk, Karan, Lanys T'vyl, Mithaniel Marr, Nameless, Povar,
Rodcet Nife, Solusek Ro, Tarrew Marr, Vallon Zek, Veeshan
Which Guilds Participated: Caer Sidi, Core Alliance, The Council,
The League of the Scroll, Northern Lights, Roughnecks, Soul Searchers, Spirit
of the Moon, Tribunal
Why did you choose to start a female life?
"Virtual experiences mirror real life...<g>"
"I like being a woman, we seem to have more complex lives."
"I had a "female" fellow adventurer & guild-mate of
one of my male characters ask to marry my male character on my primary server.
I didn't mind role-playing with her character and treating her like a lady...but
I couldn't take the extra step and actually agree to marry her. Not when
I couldn't be sure that the person behind the women on my screen was really
a women. My friends all thought that I was probably over-sensitive to the
issue...so they basically said, "Why are you having such a problem
with it? Isn't one of your best/favorite D&D characters a female? What's
the problem?". So...I created my female alter ego on Solusek Ro as
an experiment to see what the "deal" was."
"I created my first female character in UO, and this was a joke
at first. I created a character that would be able to tinker and create
bombs to kill people in UO. Doing this was much easier as a female character
because no one expected a female to drop a box loaded with a charge that
would kill 90% of the people that opened it.
It was fun, and extremely funny to me, which was the point. When EQ was
released, and I noticed the extreme amount of time it took to create a character
of a semi high level from the beta, I said to myself, (being a male and
all), would I rather look at 3D renderings of man all day, or a woman? Of
course, any male would rather look at a woman so I created a female character
"I have a profound appreciation for woman. I think they are superior
than men in a lot of ways. Also, mythologically speaking women tend to be
involved more deeply in the supernatural. They are usually oracles or seers
of sorts. I think they also tend to be given the short end of the stick
in many ways in real life...a powerful woman is given even more respect.
And yes, I do think they are attractive, but that is a secondary reason
as far as I am concerned."
"For several reasons. For her beauty, and because the idea I had
in mind for that character (a gentle healer) fit well for a woman. Also,
I like playing both male and female characters, as I can do things as one
that I cannot do as the other."
Do you have a male life, and if so why did you choose that?
Yes - 54%
Most who have one seem to have done it only briefly,
or as a joke or experiment for a few levels.
"I made one male character and only brought it to 2nd level. I find
that the Male character is not as able even in a virtual world to be emotionally
free. I mean, a male can not just walk up and hug someone without that person
thinking there's something wanted :) "
"Played a male once to see if there were differences in physical
stats. There were not. I've stuck with female character because I'm more
comfortable interacting in traditional female roles; healer, buffer, leader,
etc. Also, due to the fact that I'm often 10-15 years older than many players,
I find myself in the role of den-mother. Somehow, people can always tell
that my shamans and casters are actually being played by someone who would
rather help younger players than go kill stuff. I find that many "bigger"
characters will give me huge amounts of stuff for me to distribute to newer
characters because they trust me to give it out."
Yes - 66%
Have you noticed a difference in the way your treated as a woman body
or a mans? Did this form of treatment surprise you?
Yes - 90%
"Yes I have. I am treated with more respect by Men then by other
"Treatment surprise: No, because I really don't think it has that
much to do with the costume of my character. I actually find EverQuest to
be a fairy egalitarian universe. Because the great majority of "women"
are actually 14 year old boys, I don't think that the real females who choose
to play female characters are necessarily getting a good deal. I didn't
get taken seriously by a couple of high level players until they figured
out that not only was I a real female, but that I was really uncomfortable
with them giving me stuff for no reason.
I think you can tell the real women from the boys by seeing which one's
are begging for stuff. No real woman begs for anything. Ever. That I have
received lovely presents, absolutely! Have I ever asked for anything that
another character gave me? Not ever. The whole concept is repulsive. Ladies
"In my personal experiences, no- But people tend to treat newbies
all the same, and my male never got beyond level 4. However, put a naked
female wood elf on the docks in freeport, and 5 minutes later you'll be
walking away with a full set of banded and some nice cash. I DID have that
happen to a little wood elf ranger of mine.
Not really... seems like men will be men no matter where you are- It
DID kind of disturb one of my Tier'dal characters to hear some ogre claim
her as his and deliberately stand in front of the corner she was sitting
in so she couldn't move away. But that was an isolated incident.. Most of
the time, the guys are nice.. admiring and appreciative, but they don't
force their attentions.."
"I don't feel I have played the male character enough to provide
answer. However, I have shoulder surfed a male friend of mine who plays
male and female characters. His male characters generally level a bit slower
and he uses his female characters to twink the males. I have seen the
difference in the way he is treated as a male vs female character. If his
female character is in need of assistance, she is more likely to receive
than the male char. It makes me wonder how many attention- starved horny
men are out there jerking off to the bodies of the 1/2 naked wood elf females.
I understand completely why he plays the female characters - more beneficial
to the char development (easier to group, gifts, etc.). I do have to mention
that he (my friend) had to stop playing the female characters due to a
harassing male char for a while (until he got the point that was not what
"When I played a low level female character she got ignored about
as much as the low level male ones I played. My higher level character got
harassed a lot for buffs/heals/resses all the time, but not because it was
a she and not a he. Every once in a while I would get "/em pinches
****'s butt" or questions that were of a sexual nature. They were more
funny than offensive (to me). It seems that overall I've seen males and
females get treated equally, at least on my server.
No. I believe in equality between the genders. A lot of males that play
female chars really try to stay in character and stay "female".
It's rather unfortunate however, when they get marriage proposals and requests
for "picture exchange"."
"Only played a woman, but women are treated differently in EQ (and
real life)... They are treated both with more deference and preferential
attention as well as, at times, more forward behavior."
"I was not surprised by the thong whistles but I was surprised that
get more harassment. I was really surprised by the viciousness of the
attacks on males. I have seen it in real life but never to the extent I
have seen it in games. I am not sure if its the anonymity that makes it
worse or if this game attracts those type of ppl. I find it very disturbing
to see that kind of action anywhere."
"HELL YES... I am given items, babied, and treated well OR exactly
the opposite... Sometimes I get harassed... I've even been offered money
for sex in REAL life online... some guys have politely asked me on dates...
some just don't leave me alone... most, though... are polite...
No, actually... Since I used to be a guy in real life, I experienced
the same thing first hand... Men, in general, treat me much better since
I've had the sex change... sometimes, I meet a chauvinist... it's very true
to life... people just seem unabashed online..."
Yes - 100%
"Ummm....Hell yes! In EQ, being part of a good group is key to having
fun. That being said...I have found that 1) I have an easier time getting
accepted into groups as a female and 2) Female bodied players are more receptive
to grouping with other females. Groups with female players also are more
willing and seem to prefer female players in their group.
A third difference and key point to role-playing is: Everyone treats
a female character different ( making it easier to role-play ).
The guys treat me with 1 of 4 things:
1-Respect you more cause your a girl playing their game and they think it's
cool. As a girl I get better prices and more high level items. I have more
money and items at low level than any of my higher level male characters.
It's almost depressing. I'm not saying that my male characters don't get
any deals or free items...it just doesn't seem to happen nearly as much
as it happens with my female character.
2-Accept: Your there...in their party...they don't treat you any different
and they don't really warm to you either.
3-Ignore: This can be: Ignoring you're /tell to ask them if you can group
with them, Telling you they are just getting ready to quit for the night
and lying about it. When you are in some groups...the guys will ignore your
fight suggestions. The spell caster ( weakest melee character/party leader)
insists on doing all the warrior/grunt work by pulling the monsters. If
I was really a women...I think that I'd be pissed...but instead...I find
it very amusing. I especially find it amusing when their character gets
the crap beat out of them and almost dies before my female character can
pull the monster off of them. The smart guys will usually "allow"
me to pull for them after that happens. :-) The dumb ones...I just make
sure I know which way to run to safety and watch the carnage with the fascination
of watching a train wreck. If there are other female group members, I will
give them a private message to make sure they know which way to run when
things go bad.
4-Flirt and make suggestive comments. This is always followed by..."You're
really a girl...right?"
The women/female characters are for the most part supportive towards
you as a fellow female. It kinda runs the full spectrum here. I have a female
friend that will usually greet my like one of her girlfriends. She will
tell me about her boyfriend and always group with me when I'm online. Another
will group and role-play as fellow evil race female adventurer's...not sharing
nor asking for RL info. And others that will allow me to group...but don't
really role-play or act friendly. ( aloof )"
"Yes, I found its easier to ask for help when you are in a womans
body than if you are in a male body. People are more ready to give you those
extra buffs for free when they'd charge another player (male), a fee."
"Yes. Mostly in that if I'm fighting something, male characters
will gather around me in case I call for help. I suppose they assume women
can't handle the same monsters men can. Also, I think many male characters
are afraid to actually talk to the women... they just hang around in the
background, waiting to be noticed. The few times I've been grouped, I've
found that even after it becomes obvious that no one else in the party knows
what they're doing and I'm the only one issuing helpful instructions (like
"Role Call" or "how's everyone's mana?" - NOT barking
orders), no one seems to listen to me. Or only a few, and we form our own
group. But even then I'm not taken too seriously. (I got the comment, "you're
so cute" after I told a newbie how to do something.)"
"Sure. All you have to do as a woman is giggle & flirt a little,
and next thing you know, somebody's offering you a pair of werewolf gauntlets."
"Not really...only the extent to which some people go surprised me."
"Yes, in my experience, women are treated with much more kindness.
To a lesser extent when people know that it's a man playing the female character,
but even then, the character is treated more gently than a male character.
Not only gender, but appearance has an importance in this virtual world.
I have played male Gnome and Troll characters and they are very often teased
about their appearance (size, baldness, length of nose, butt scratching).
It's funny at first but it really gets on your nerves when *everyone* you
meet makes a comment about your bald spot. (for the record I am not touchy
about it because I am bald in RL, my hair is perfectly fine :-D)
However, much to my surprise, even "ugly" women are treated
better than men. In Grobb, for example, female characters (Trolls) are very
rare. So when a female character appears, even though she is really ugly
to the player's eyes (not the character's), all the guys make a big fuss
But normally, the fuss is not that great because there are a lot of women
out there in Norrath and most of them look great... So after a while people
get used to it.
No, it did not surprise me, it's pretty much the same in real life, from
my experience. To be frank, though, I like receiving attention like that,
so it is definitely a "plus" to playing a female character - but
by no means the only reason."
Do you find yourself getting more attention in tells / friends chatting
(as a woman)?
Yes - 75%
"Nope; don't think so. I've noticed that more female characters
will ask me to group than they will my husband's male character. But very
few males will ask me to group. I usually have to ask them, which means
I solo a lot."
"I enter Norrath and generally find myself chatting for the first
easily. Is frustrating sometimes, as I do like to talk, but is not my main
desire in the game (killing is much more fun). The only tells my male friend
gets in the game are from his RL friends."
"My boyfriend seems to think so. But they're not of a crude sexual
nature. Just a lot of friendly tells. It's the same with us in real life.
People seem to pay more attention to me rather than him."
"Yes, sometimes the number of tells I get from even casual acquaintances
No - 66%
How many different female perspectives do you have?
Meaning how many bodies, or appearances can that body have.
Average of 2-4 bodies or forms
Average of 2 bodies or forms
"Several, at least 2 on each server. 2 of them are master smiths,
and I notice people respond a lot more favorably to a female craftsman."
Have you noticed some bodies get more attention than others?
Yes - 82%
"Oh definitely my High Elf enchanter get more attention, then my
"Wood Elves seem to be REALLY popular. People always hit my half
elf up for money.. guess she looks gullible."
"Absolutely. It is very frustrating to die at times and know I've
got to run
Across a zone naked as a wood elf. I make a joke of it now to make light
of it and shout "naked wood elf druid running through zone, donations
accepted but not required". I have wondered many times why the female
characters appear so naked compared to their male counterparts. On the same
note, I've never seen a group of such "well-endowed" women in
my life. Almost every class (female) is equipped with one helluva set of
boobs. Get real Verant. I imagine these things would get in the way when
trying to fight."
"Yes. The Troll and Ogre women really get dissed like A LOT. I saw
one (probably an enchanter) one time and all the guys in my group were going
"ewwwwwww". Wood elves and scantily clad human women get the most
attention from guys. Like, "/em whistles at so and so appreciatively"
etc. I don't see the troll and ogre men getting dissed (except for their
size through doorways in times of trains)."
"LOL... oh yes... Wood elves probably get the most, followed by
bards and barbarian women... mostly due to the state of exposure we start
"I definitely see the difference in the way females are treated
Female wood elves get all sorts of attention. It's almost like they are
treated as a diminutive, sexy, helpless race. I know that is not the case
at all, but it seems to be a perception. I as an half-elf seem to be
treated as if I am strong, and capable. I am not sure if that is the way
come across or if it's perception. I have not had the opportunity to see
many high elf females or dark elf females, but I believe that I was struck
by the way the also got male attention more than I. I have to say that I
rather enamored by the gnome's and halflings. I know they can be terrors
battle but they just seem so cute and cuddly to me. I am as guilty as
anyone else when it comes to giving out hugs to a certain class though that
is as far it goes. *grin*"
No - 66%
"Hmmm.... Not really. Not from my experience, anyway. It's more
about men taking care of women because of their "feminine" aura,
being affectionate to them, then because of their appearance. I've seen
female halflings, dwarves and trolls receive some very good treatment in
Once my beautiful high elf was in a group of 6 people, 3 men, herself,
1 bearded dwarven female and 1 female Troll. They were all treated equally
Some bodies are more "commented on" then others, especially
wood elves, humans in chainmail bikinis, barbarians for their large chests...
But it does not really translate into these people getting more "buffs"
or "gifts" then the less attractive women, in my experience at
Have you ever been given preferential treatment?
Yes - 90%
"Sure I once was a allowed to loot webclaw for the WCS because I
asked the druid hunting him if I could have one."
"I do not feel that I have been given preferential treatment because
I play a female character, but my male counterparts feel that I have. I
am a very considerate, generous, and friendly person. I feel it is these
qualities and not my sex that have caused others to respond to me in like."
Girl from Faerie Fay
"I have received buffs, resurrections, gifts, help with mobs. Now,
granted, some of this may be due to my personality, but I am almost positive
if i played a male character I wouldn't have half of the things my female
wood elf has. I will find this out for certain when I start playing the
male more. My equipment (at level 27) is looking like that of a druid in
the forties - I couldn't begin to take on the mobs that drop the mithril
tunic, mithril bracers, runed circlet, charred guardian shield, yet I have
them all - and every single piece was a gift. Most were from men, the mith
tunic, from a female high level guildie."
"I don't believe so. At least not due to gender differences. Wait
there was one time where a guy asked me if I wanted to join because
someone in the group requested a female to be in the group because "they
look cute". I feel that I still have to beg for SoW the same as everyone
else despite my toon being female."
"ALLLLLLL the time... So many great items... lots of money... and
even get preferred in teams... even though other people do or are capable
of much more..."
Yes - 66%
"Yes...We had a bad pull and almost got killed. Me and the human
female zoned to safety...while sitting and regaining health and barbarian
male walked up and gave my dark elf female some buffs and a heal...and ignored
the human female sitting there. She was almost as hurt as my character and
she again remarked on how I seemed to get preferential treatment. Later...while
in the same group...a female ranger walked up and singled my character for
a gift of banded armor that I needed. Then 30-45 minutes later a high level
female druid walked up and gave the whole party a very powerful group buff...seeing
how we only had one male in the entire group...it seems like our group got
singled out for this treatment. None of my male characters have ever gotten
the buff that was cast on our party of mostly women characters."
"Sure. Lots of times people won't haggle over prices with a woman,
and a quick giggle will knock 50p off the price of a runed circlet."
"No. Males have been more friendly toward me, but not to the point
of total strangers giving me good items or someone healing me and not a
more wounded male character. I don't get more free SoW's or Clarities with
my female characters than with my males.
It's more about the "attitude" people have toward me when I
am a female. They are friendlier. Both male and female characters are, actually.
But that rarely translates into any "tangible" bonus like an item
or a buff.
However, please note that I am a "proud" player. I don't beg
for SoW's or other beneficial spells from strangers, nor for items. I imagine
that if I did, then the female characters would get stuff more easily than
Do you get suggested or flirted at?
Yes - 90%
"I do not usually get the emotes .. however people do flirt with
homemade Emotes which I find much more flattering and definitely original."
"Not very often. Mainly only when I am in the thong and running.
Then I have
heard cat calls like I was passing a construction site."
Yes - 85%
Are you suggestive / flirtatious?
Yes - 85%
"Yes. I am a very suggestive person and flirt a lot. This comes
back at me ten-fold. There are some people I have to avoid now, or who have
become inappropriate. I am always swift to nip those in the bud who cross
the boundaries I establish."
Yes - 57%
"I use /giggle a ton."
Do you find you are flirted with often? More often than you'd like?
Yes - 100%
"I find that flirtation is almost constant and it is very much a
part of the game. I do not mind the flirtation and find it to be enjoyable."
No - 57%
Has this flirting ever gone farther than you wished? Farther than
the person your flirting with wished? (Both in a "good" way)
Yes - 57%
The men in general stopped the flirting if it started
to cross the line towards something more.
Have you ever had 'cyber sex' with anyone?
No - 61%
No - 85%
Have you ever had 'cyber sex' with anyone after you told them you
were really of the opposite sex of your character?
Have you been harassed? Does it repeat? If so how often on an average
night are you harassed?
Yes - 67%
"I have never felt that I was being harassed, however there was
a second incident with the afore mentioned dark elf, in which I was surrounded
and taunted by him and several of his dark elf friends. The drooled on me
and bit me and laughed, taunting "look at the sweet little wood elf,
all alone!" The leader removed his helm and proceeded to grab me and
harshly kiss me. (This was all done with emotes.) If gang rape were a part
of EverQuest, I would have been a victim of it. It was a frightening enough
experience for me to run like hell to the nearest zone. As I was not pursued
farther, I never petitioned."
Girl from Faerie Fay
"Well, my one experience in this area is probably a bit unique.
I was medding recently and a gnome came up to me and humped my leg several
times. Then he took off. I never got to question him about it, I guess he
was just goofing around. I suppose this qualifies as harassment, but it
didn't really bother me so I just kept playing."
"Just twice- both times with my bard. I think the harassment (kill
stealing, training things onto where I was fighting, ect ect) was more because
I was wearing better armour than they were (level 22 bard in chain where
I have almost full bronze at level 7. *cough*) rather than a gender problem.
However, I DO seem to attract all the jerks that play this game. :p"
"Yes... yes... anywhere from 5-10 times a night since I put my pictures
on the 'EQ Player Photos' page... I've been told to go back to the kitchen
by one man... A few others repeatedly asked me for sex... and were willing
to PAY... gross... Others asked me out on dates, etc... asked for my phone
number... and more... blablabla..."
No - 57%
"When I asked a male character if I could join their group...I got
told that the group ( 2 male characters ) was getting ready to log and then
i see them still playing 2 hrs later. Don't think that is really harassment...more
I can even understand it. I've been grouped with female characters that
are almost dangerous in their lack of understanding for the game and how
to play their chosen class. Same with male characters...It just seems like
more of the female characters do not understand how to play their class
to full effectiveness. Playing a female character and trying to play her
as if she knows nothing/little about another players class...is very hard.
I'm under the impression that a female bodied character that displays too
much tactical and technical savvy will be viewed as not being a real female...but
as a guy pretending to be female. I had one moment that so far seems to
re-enforce my belief. While grouped with a few people that I've kind of
"grown" up with, one of the female character's asked what my real
life name was. And even worse...she asked on the group channel. I couldn't
really think of why she would want to know that...except that I was acting
as the group leader and I seemed to be doing a very competent job of both
managing the group and helping the group fight better by making "suggestions"
on what spells to cast or roles to play. Melee combat, party support &
caster roles suggestions. I ended up giving her a female name and trying
to act casual about giving it. I felt like if I had retreated to role-playing
the real life question...the group would've been given a reasonable doubt
as to my true sex and started treating me different. I've since asked the
player why they wanted to know my real name and told them that it upset
me and I hope that they don't put me on the spot again. Unfortunately, I
wasn't really able to get a satisfying answer as to why she wanted to know
my real name/sex. She claims she was just curious...no real reason given
for her being curious."
"I have been sexually harassed to the point that a character was
forced to give a verbal apology and he was also suspended for a week for
his lude behavior. (He was sending emotes like '"Name" looks up
"My" dress.' He would then "say" comments about how
hot I was. He was doing this while I was challenging him to duel and he
was KSing from the entire zone. I did everything I could to remain in character
until a GM showed up.
I have also been called a number of names that are completely inappropriate
by some very immature players. These instances are very rare though. Since
Beta I can count maybe 3 instances that were "negative." The rest
of my time I find men are very respectful and praise me to almost no ends.
I can do my job very effectively so I am sure it is not only due to the
fact that I am a woman but I am sure it has helped.
I have been given items and other aid that I think most people would
not do for a male character and even flirted with. Some days the flirtation
is fine, some days it gets out of hand. I'll have male characters try to
ask a lot of Real Life questions that I don't care to answer. You tend to
learn a lot of ways to keep it ambiguous without driving them away or without
letting them get too close."
If you were harassed and reported it / petitioned for help did you
receive it? If so how long did it take to get attention to correct the problem?
"Yes, it was taken care of immediately."
"No- the first incident happened outside of blackburrow where a
level 7 (I was 6) enchanter told me he would stop stealing my kills if I
would duel him. He repeatedly insulted me (or tried to at least.. I know
I'm a twink so calling me one isn't exactly an insult) and wouldn't go away.
So I petitioned for harassment. This guide shows up and treats the situation
VERY poorly- basically going on HIS side of the story (he said several times
in front of her that he'd share, changing his tune from earlier) and telling
me that I had to share the spawn, but that he could take what he wanted.
My guild has written to Verant since we have had other encounters with this
particular guide, and I believe that problem has been taken care of. Unfortunately,
there's not a whole lot the guides can do about harassment, unless they
sit there and actually watch it happen.. And there's no clear-cut lines
on WHAT constitutes harassment."
"The only time I truly got harassed (while grouped with another
female character) there were no GMs online. We contacted a high level (50th
level) player from a respectable guild and asked for their intervention.
By the time they got to the scene, the two guys that were harassing us had
"Actually, I did report the fact that I was told to go back to the
kitchen... the text was even sent in... I WAS NOT HELPED IN THE SLIGHTEST!"
What keeps you in your female body?
"I enjoy the flirtation. I enjoy the gallantry of the men. I enjoy
being able To be a flirtatious High Elf maiden :) "
"I don't really feel I am treated much differently as a female character.
I play with my husband just about every night and I don't find that our
experiences differ that much. I may get the occasional buff/sow that he
doesn't, but that's about it. I prefer to play a female simply because I
am female, and I've yet to have any experiences that would turn me off from
"Because as I mentioned earlier- I'm more comfortable in a female
body than I would be in a male. I don't feel like any of the harassment
I've encountered is gender biased; which is the only thing I can think of
that would send me permanently to a male body. That, and as I mentioned,
I am very vain. ;) The females just look so much better. ;)"
"I've been playing it for 27 levels(47 levels if you count my other
druid). I am comfortable with the body I have in-game. IMO the good outweighs
the bad (as far as grouping, having fun, gifts), although recently I'm finding
that I don't enjoy the game as much (because of all the chatting with male
friends). I would much rather be killing things."
"Why not? I am female after all. I enjoy being female. I don't role
play a male very well
I end up looking "gay" when I try
to play a male. I guess it's just culturally unacceptable for a guy to be
very friendly or something."
"Skin... just kidding... natural feelings, really... it's a path
I'm attuned to..."
"The better role-playing and the ease that I have finding good groups
to join. The attractiveness of my female body doesn't hurt either. :)
I'm sure you feel a range of emotions when playing in a female body.
Which do you feel most often?
*Surprise - I seem to run into a unique gender related issue every time
*Excitement - It's fun to do well in a group...get complimented on it
and express my "girlish" excitement with the game and combat.
The group seems to like it too. I will usually get a few laughs for my expressed
*Concern for others and the ability to express the concern. example:
When a male warrior in my group got mangled, I did the /comfort emote to
them and then told them how sad I was to seem them so hurt. They will usually
respond saying something like..."you're comfort has made my wounds
feel less already...thank you my lady". I will usually get a smile
or some sign of appreciation for doing that. It just seems natural for my
female character to act that way towards the wounded males in my party.
male character example: "Dude...yer fragged! Sit down and heal up some
before we take the next monster!", "Yeah...I know...that thing
f'ed me up good!"
*Some sexual attractiveness towards my female body. I find myself using
an external camera view to see what I look like more often. IOW, "Damn
I'm hot!" :)"
"First reason it gives me an opportunity to role play, and create
a character from the norm for me. Being an actor, this is a lot more fun
when I have a character or different persona I can jump right into that
is totally opposite from my everyday life."
"Its different than what I am use to. For me its about role playing
and having fun. A different set of expectations are set with female characters,
and I like to take advantage of that or play off it."
"Precisely, I don't want to be treated like I am in real life (not
that I am badly treated, on the contrary). But I want to play another life
in computer games. I would not enjoy playing a short, thin guys with glasses
in a fantasy game... I want to be a strong, devilishly handsome ranger,
a wizened old gnome, a massive fear-inspiring troll or a beautiful elven
I stick with my female body because she is the most pleasant to look
at of all my characters. I find her attractive (even though the polygon
count could be a bit higher :-) ). But it is also because she is the highest
level of all my characters, and as such she has the most friends, therefore
I want to be in contact with these people and they will feel neglected if
I play another character instead. My main character (the high elf woman)
has many more friends than my 6 other characters put together. Because she
is a Cleric, a very sociable class, because I play her as a very friendly
person and partly because, I guess, she is beautiful and looks like a "nice"
girl and people find that they can trust her easily."
I'm sure you feel a range of emotions when playing in a female body.
Which do you feel most often?
Women in general feel; Angry, Anxiety, Desired, Elated, Empowered, Fear,
Flattered, Friendship, Frustration, Happy, Helpless, Noticed, Nurturing,
Relief, and Sexy
"I feel that I am glad that I am a woman. I love the attention,
and I love to be beautiful, and powerful at the same time. I love knowing
that I can tempt a man even into wanting to know who I am out of character,
even though I would never do these things in real life."
Girl from Faerie Fay
"Boredom - Nothing to do, no one to group with, get killed too much,
druids and shamans and rangers I try to beg SoW from ignoring my tells,
etc. Followed closely by fun and excitement - actually fighting something.
The preconceived idea that males and females are treated SOOOO differently
is not necessarily representative of what actually goes on in game."
"Inner peace, because I feel "pure". Pride because of
my beauty, though I don't let it get to my head. Modesty, my character blushes
when people swear or make comments on someone's breasts or legs or whatever.
Joy at being so warmly regarded by many people because of my beauty, my
grace, my healing powers, because I have many friends, because I can make
new friends easily, because I play a lively character through speech and
Do you use this female form all the time, or in escape at certain
"I do find myself wanting to play my female form more than my male
forms. I haven't been able to decide if that is good or bad yet. :)"
"She is the character I play the most. When I feel like talking
and being merry, I will play her. When I am in a bad mood, I won't, because
she is a very "positive" character and I could not role-play her
properly if I am feeling down.
When I want attention (and for some reason I cannot get it in real life
at that time), I will talk to people out of character, to people who know
me, so in which body I do that does not matter."
Have you ever told anyone your true sex (if you were in a gender opposite
body)? And if so how did they react?
None seemed to inhabit their male bodies enough
to do so.
In general men report the few that have known were
real life friends, and those that usually asked directly. Some did not ever
reveal it because they were afraid of consequences.
Do you find in your female body people keep track of you for longer
periods of time?
Yes - 73%
"Ya... I even get people saying 'HEY! I was waiting for you to come
Yes - 83%
Are any of your bodies married?
No - 69%
No - 85%
Are you married in "real" life?
Yes / No - 50%
No - 71%
Is your virtual husband (or wife) the same as your "real"
No - 67%
Never seemed to apply.
Are your partners aware of each other?
No - 67%
Never seemed to apply.
What are their reactions to the partnership?
"People react different ways. I've had some people claim to have
fallen in love with me online- and since I met my husband on a text mud,
I can't say they didn't. Some are jealous of my real life husband, others
don't seem to care. My husband himself is pretty easy going about it- unless
he feels like I'm starting to get too involved, and then he usually steps
in and cools things off."
If you are unmarried in EQ, would you or would you not consider it,
No - 83%
No - 100%
"At this time...I will not consider it and I've even built up a
"goal" for her to be single all her life. She has no time for
a relationship that would tie her down. i.e....She's a professional with
no time for an online "family" life. Offline...I do not want to
feel like I've "mislead" another guy. Feelings and ego's are too
easily hurt by such difficult sex issues. The emotions can turn very ugly
and wound very deep...don't want that on my conscience. That and the whole
Do you believe that Verant and Sony should be more responsible in
giving 24 hour Guide and GM support to cover issues regarding to harassment
/ abuse and the possible threat of harassment / abuse?
Yes - 70%
"I just think there should be more overnight coverage as that is
when the 'bulk' of people are going to be on that might have harassment
"God yes. It seems to me that 'harassment' is a rather nebulous
issue- there's no guidelines for the players or the GMs/Guides on what constitutes
harassment (sexual harassment is pretty obvious, but the other forms are
less so) and how they are to deal with it. Many times someone will be harassing
you and there's no GMs online to help. So your playing enjoyment is lessened
by having to deal with an idiot that can't keep his paws to himself."
"Absolutely...anyone who's fun is getting ruined by another player
should have an immediate solution to the problem via Verant."
"ABSOLUTELY!!! There have been times that I have wanted to petition
because of something that has gotten out of hand and there were no GM's
on. It's ridiculous. There are some ppl that go to far and then there is
no help for
Yes - 57%
"I think that Verant makes enough money that they should be able
to hire even more people to be online to aid players and to role play events.
I know the Program as well as any average player and know that they work
hard but there is a great deal of inconsistency and lack of presence in
Do you feel / hope that in the future the treatment of women in online
worlds will change?
"No, I do not think it will change all that much :) ... Its still
an avenue For women to be 'Feminine' and men to be "Gallant and Heroes"
.. smile..both of those roles are ones that society now frowns on in RL.
I don't know about anyone else, but *I* appreciate a gallant man. Virtual
or RL .. because as we all know, even if your pretending, if you do it long
enough, it starts to affect RL."
"No- Because I know it won't. The treatment of females in online
communities is a reflection of how we are treated IRL, with the difference
that there is relative anonymity for everyone."
"Presently, I am satisfied with the treatment of women characters.
I will tell you of a recent experience, however. One day while camping a
spawn in a party of 4 males and 2 females, the males in the party shared
a sort of camaraderie consisting of joking and bonking and such. We, the
two females, were not included in the jokes. Did it bother me? No. It was
just something I found interesting."
"From my experience, since it mimics real life... I'd have to say
no... it adds realism to role play..."
"No question it has to as more and more women get online & online
populations more accurately reflect current populations."
Do you feel that the women's clothing is sexist?
Yes - 80%
"The clothing may be sexist, but it is kind of fun to dress up in
a manner in which I would not usually dress."
Yes - 71%
"Yes, but there are some men with the same issues, barbarians for
example. I feel bad for some of the races (*cough* wood elves) but some
of the races were well handled. I think the clothing issues in EQ need to
be overhauled completely. I think too many people look similar as it is.
I would like to see more options as time went on. It also helps to know
that the female bodies were created by a woman."
Would you rather see the clothing remodeled to be as the males, more
clothed than not when naked? Or just an equalization of sexism, that being
make the male naked models just that, more naked.
Yes - 92%
"No ;) I would like to have more clothing options however. I do
not find the clothing offensive at all. I think its fun! .. I would however
like the ability to strip completely "Naked" .. grin.. imagine
streaking through crushbone.. ROFL!"
"More naked guys. whoo hoo! heheheheh."
"I think it is more unbalanced race-wise, than sex-wise. For example,
male woodelves and barbarians, when "naked" show quite a stimulating
amount of skin, while male humans and half-elves are fully clothed."
Girl from Faerie Fay
"I would like more equalization, personally. Most male models, you
see a bit of chest, but that's it, and on the women, they wear thongs and
"Make the male naked models more naked, and more attractive looking.
Bigger muscles, cuter faces."
"Equalization... we women like looking as well."
"I think that it would only be fair that men are made to be as naked
as females. I also think that females are allowed clothing earlier to cover
themselves. In my case, I had to wait to get banded to cover my thong.
Leather would not cover me. But males on the other hand do not have to deal
with any embarrassment with losing their clothing. I have heard males
talking about running naked to go back to get their bodies. They have no
concept what it feels like to be naked in game."
Yes - 71%
"Probably more the latter - naked should mean underwear only, regardless
Would you prefer to have a choice of looks (more or less revealing
Yes - 100%
"If we had a choice of looks, there would be more diversity among
our looks. We would not look like cookie cut outs of each other, so sure
if it is that important to some people, give a choice."
"Yes, I would love to have a choice of looks that are more revealing!
Female characters should have the option of playing up their femininity
if they choose to play that way. My primary character is an Enchantress
and I am unable to play her the way I would like to since there are no "enchanting"
clothing options for her. I am stuck with the stock mage robe that everyone
else has which is very boring."
Yes - 75%
"Absolutely. What I'd prefer is that the regular clothing [as opposed
armor] we're wearing would show up on our characters; if I'm wearing cloth
pants, then sorry guys, my rear end isn't available anymore. :)"
Do you feel there was anything uncovered in this survey form you'd
like to discuss living as a Woman in EverQuest?
"Just what I call Gallant: A man that is sensitive, caring and emotional.
A Man that is a hero, protective of both physical and emotional aspects.
A man That gives and receives touches without hesitation. A man that can
speak his heart, even if couched in romantic rhyme.
.... sigh .... smile.. I am very lucky to know three of these type of
men ... smile.. and I have met more that seem this way as well through-out
the land of Norrath :) "
"I am so sorry....I just thought of something that you have probably
thought of, but might want to add if it fits anywhere in your article. It
seems to me that EQ appeals to males generally. Therefore, in the beginning
at least, females were something of an oddity....a flower to be protected.
Men and women can all benefit from some chivalry, you know. Therefore, the
men began treating us with an air of respect and it held. Just a jumbled
thought from a teacher who needs an EQ fix before facing school in the morning."
"Stalking situations..I'd like to find out how many other people
this happens to and how they deal with it...especially if the 'stalker'
is someone whom you really do like, just can't deal with their obsession..."
"In closing, I would like to say that if the purpose of this whole
affair was to chastise male players into giving female players more respect
and treating them less as objects of harassment, then you've already reached
your goal. In most cases, harassers go away if you do not give them a response.
If you do happen to flirt back and find yourself in deeper than you had
wished, well, you've only got yourself to blame. And even if you're hit
with a bantha dung-load of unwanted attention, you always have a choice
of what to do. Remember that you do not have to be around them, and that
you always have a choice in what you do."
"Recently I heard from a woman in EQ that was leaving her real husband
for her EQ husband...now that's interesting, don't you think?"
Summary / Solution / Truth
I find during the validation of my own arguments a few key things...
Women are given more buffs, heals, sows, items. They are given
them freely by people like me who enjoy their presence in EverQuest, even
if it may only be in appearance. I am confirmed in my thought that most
'real' women are the one's who don't ask, who don't expect such things to
Women are treated differently. They are treaded on the whole,
despite what I believed, with respect, kindness, compassion, and sometimes
'put on a pedestal'. They are allowed, even expected, to be softer, gentler,
more appreciative of the beauty in all things that are Norrath. They are
fashionable. Sometimes they flaunt their sexuality, sometimes not, but are
always responded to as they choose to be, and allow.
Grouping can be tough. It sadly seems that the fairer sex can
have a hard time grouping simply due to being female. This one surprised
Leveling speed differs. Although I did not ask this question I
do think this is true. (It didn't come up till too late in the survey to
be asked.) It seems that for whatever reason, when the average is defied,
women tend to level faster than men. I doubt this so much has to do with
the items, but more a cumulation of the help in passing, the buffs, the
surrounding people jumping to help, the care and attentiveness towards women
Race matters. I myself, prior to the survey / study, was one of
those who buffed, healed, gifted, etc., biasly. Because of this survey /
study that will not remain, I will treat all women equally, as I hope others
The stereotypes are here. Women are beautiful, sensitive, frail
creatures. In the status of their class they are also assigned to be powerful
melee classes, dangerous mixed classes, or cautious casters. Men are gallant,
or can be somewhat crude. Sexuality is rampant, but it seems that whatever
stereotype you project is the one you will be judged by.
Fantasy image can vary. There are those on both sides, as I, would like
more options to be more or less revealing. Personally one of my saddest
days was getting the blackened tunic and not seeing my handsome chest beneath.
Some of us Men would like to be seen as sex objects too ;>
During the course of my arguments, since the creation of the Page of
Wrath, I have grown a lot. Those who know / follow my history know, my opinions
and wrath remain the same. My goals are always; of furthering understanding,
allowing you to see more than just through your own eyes, hoping to increase
your understanding of yourself and others. What I find most interesting
is that during this article I have changed my own opinion, my own article
has opened my eyes to a few things.
My treatment of women, being flirtatious, giving buffs / heals, is as
I thought, quite common. My flirtatious advances, which I was unsure if
they were welcome or not, are always under control by the person I'm flirting
with. My preferential buffing / healing / etc, will remain no more. All
women should be treated equally, and I will now strive to do so.
Women are women, they choose these bodies for a reason, and deserve to
be put on that pedestal that is 'Woman'. It seems we are already doing so
for the most part, but treat them all right, and treat them all fairly.
Over 90% of the women turned in their final surveys within 1 day of receiving
the questions. Over 90% of the men turned in there surveys within the final
2 days before due time. (The total time allowed for the answering of questions
was approximately 1 week).
"I hope that I don't forget anyone... we had two women on the EverQuest
team -- Sabrina Fox and Rosie Cosgrove -- out of twenty-something people."
Milo D. Cooper - firstname.lastname@example.org
(Note, though Milo did not say, Rosie did the female modeling - meaning
yes a woman gave the women of EQ 'big boobs'. Surprising fact, eh? Personally
I like smaller better ;> )