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   PlanetDreamcast | Community | Mailbag | 2/24/01
    Community - Mailbag

2/24/01 - Gender Swapping With College Physics
- by Mr. Domino

Welcome to the PDC Mailbag. Every week we toss in a bunch of letters from our readers and do our best to dazzle you with wit and wisdom. Roughly, that translates to copying/pasting your emails and writing the first thing that comes to mind. But hey, you take what you can get. If you have something you want to contribute to the Mailbag, send it to this address!

From: shinobi (Alfonso)
Subject: Im just a guy whos just a girl in PSO

Man, that piece totally hit home. Havent had too many problems with being harrassed, but I have gotten guys to be REALLY nice to me. I dont try and misslead anyome, but if someone asks Ill just say "My lil' secret". I chose a girl cause

1: I like the stats on the Hunter Newman

2: I like anime and all the cool chars are girls

3: The girl chars look cool

Havent been harrassed to much, but I have gotten tons of people asking me if Im really a girl. I tell its my lil secret. I could tell them, but Im in character and I dont wanna ruin it. I just call them a pig and tell them I have a girlfriend, so either way theyre screwed. And I cant say I mind all the free stuff I get.

Anyways, if you need someone to play with Im usually on the Ariel servers.

shinobi

(aka Rei, lvl 21 hunter)

"My lil' secret" sounds very flirtatious in a disturbing way. :^) The Hunter Newman is a cute character and very powerful as well. I like how the females in PSO aren't the typical speedy weaklings I generally associate with female video game characters.

From: Richard Kooyer
Subject: Editorial on "Sex on the Pioneer"

To Whom This May Concern,
As many of the users know both on "Phantasy Star Online" and the PC Internet know that alter-ego characters exist all over the place. Going back to the early days of MUSHes such a complicated situation where "men date other 'men'" is something that causes wrinkles. Relationships that begin on-line and someone starts to get a little too attached can turn out HORRIBLY. If someone wanted to make it an RL (Real-Life) relationship and finds out after weeks of playing that the person is playing an alter-ego for some it is devastating.
I like reading stories about new people who fall into the same trap that many have fallen into before. "Re-inventing the electronic, romantic wheel" is what I called it in a paper I wrote a while ago.
Thanks for the Comedy,
Richard Kooyer

I don't think many/any long term commitments will evolve from PSO, especially since most of the players who act in such a manner are (I tend to think) adolescents. It's sure to be devastating if someone goes too far, but most of the guys in my experience aren't really looking for love so much as a girl to harass.

From: Brian Galligan
Subject: About Article of Phantasy Star Online Sex Generalization

I looked at those screenshots and noticed that each one of those screenshots involved one person, which means you made a article generlizing the whole male to female speculations with one male with the name of COOL_DOOD or something or other. Some people aren't rude jerks like that guy, like me, that is why i am writing this and saying that you shouldn't generalize the whole male to female scenerio with just contact of one person, try and find people more mature and more sensible names.

Brian Galligan

The name was somewhat of a joke, although there's a large number of l33t people on the PSO servers. We were in a rush to make those shots, and unfortunately the girl I created for the piece, Real Girl, is missing. I do not generalize that all guys behave in that manner (after all, I'm a guy, and I know I don't do that), but it does happen and frequently. The responses received are certainly testament to that.

From: anton alleyne
Subject: too much

That's just too funny, but I'm happy to her about it in advance I too have an affinity for using female characters in video games. Not because I want to be a girl but because I like there characteristics better (usually) then the cheesy pregenerated male characters. Since I've always been a console gamer I've never fathomed the thought of the trouble it would be to actually be a girl playing on the net!
Well it looks like I'll just stick to the generic character but who knows maybe I'll by another VMU and see what all the fuss is about!

From: John Dibello
Subject: Sex On the Pioneer

I haven't tried the online aspects of the Dreamcast yet, but I can certainly relate to the editorial. Awhile back while I was waiting for Diablo II to come out for the PC I re-loaded the original Diablo and created an Amazon for online play. Unlike the other males playing amazons I chose to give her a feminine name to be in character (I too actually enjoy ROLE playing). I only tried playing the game online twice (using male chracters) before I gave up in frustration at the inconsideration, player-killing, etc. I was astounded at the attention and special favors I got playing as a girl. Potions, gold, tons of items- you name it, I got it! Nobody ever asked me if I was really a guy in chick's clothing, and I never volunteered the information. There was only one guy that "hit" on me during a month of steady play, and you know what?- I was flattered! I think that the online PC community is perhaps a *little* more mature than the online console community- perhaps that's why you had to fight off advances from one-handed joystick jockeys while you were trying to actually play the game. Thank you for the excellent editorial. I never did figure out if I really acted like a girl or if it was just as you said: the name and face were enough. I've been thinking about asking my wife to play both a female and male character in a similar game while I do the same so we can finally figure this thing out!

From: Jeff Turkelson
Subject: girls in PSO

hey, im Jeff. Im a 5'7 skinny FOmarl in a blue dress. heh, my story is very different from yours. yeah, im a boy, and yes i have a female character. i havent had ANYONE hit on me ever. ive had 1 person ask if i was a real girl, but i said no and we went on with the mission. maybe i just dont know how to make a sexy girl in the creation screen that ppl would hit on,(i was tryin to make her a LITTLE bit appealing) or maybe my text is very manly. my name is dynami, which is greek for "force" or "power" (fits a force pretty well, id say). maybe thats why. its an unusual name. i usually play on Ship 16 block 9, so catch me there if you ever wanna play. havent had ppl harrassing me there.

BTW- who is that "cool_dood"? someone you made up for the pics, or someone you really played with? im guessing i was right the first time.

Who knows? I act no differently with my female characters than my male one. Usually, I don't even get a chance to act -- I'm generally quickly approached in the lobby. I guess it has to do wit hteh name -- mine is obviously a feminine name while yours sounds, well, like some health food store.

Yes, you were right the first time. We made characters for the pictures. Kinda like Dateline planting TNT in a truck I suppose given how dubious we were with the character names. :^)

From: Andrew Hamilton
Subject: Cake And Eat It

Hi,

Before I kick off ... a little background ... I'm a 29 year old professional guy with a fabulous fiancee who I love dearly and respect totally (by the way ... before you ask ... I met her in the real world, not online).

It's always difficult to comment in any inter-sex discussion as you inevitably open your self up to cries and 'misogonist' and 'sexist pig'.

But, surely this whole post is about wanting your cake and eat it ...

Free perks in the games due to your sex ... but don't treat me differently to a man ?

'I know how desparate many guys on-line are and how they'll prey upon the slightest hint of a female in their midst', surely it is they who are the prey when you manipulate them for your own personal gain ... using your sexuality to get what you want is as old as time.

As I said, I am a guy ... and at 29 have plenty of confidence when it comes to the opposite sex ... I doubt I was so sophisticated at 15.

A lot of these guys you comment on are adolscent kids going through their confusing teen year, descibing them as 'stalkers and suburban teen pimp wanna-bes' is about as far from the mark as can be ... they certainly aren't the predators that you describe them as.

They are fascinated by women ... I certainly was and still am.

A lot of the bad behavior you quote is typical of online gaming in general ... not of male / female inter-relations online ... there are always the bad apples.

This is a social situation involving interaction by all involved ... if a guy hits on you in a bar is this any different (this is how some relationships start).

To paint them as sad and desperate demeans them, these guys are young and inexperienced they certainly don't need a kicking at this fragile time in their life ... just as they are coming to terms with themselves and the world around them.

Keep in mind year for year that you (women in general) are far more mature than men ... try to be more understanding or our (male) shortcomings.

So to finish, cut the kids some slack ... sometimes someone being nice ... is just that ... ,

Thanks,

Andrew Hamilton (AKA Martin Q Blank).

No one is manipulating anyone. All I do is log on and use a female character. I don't tease. I don't flirt. It's not even necessary to turn some guys on. They just begin some weird kind of courtship and/or just sexually harass my character. I personally think you're giving them too much credit, especially having seen it first hand. While the gifts are nice, nearly everyone gives items to help people out. If someone needs a weapon, I'd pass one on. I know several Japanese players have done so as well. It's the giving out of gifts and expecting something in return which is deceitful.

From: Eugene A. Calame
Subject: Sex on the pioneer 2.

Y'know I don't really get too into the avatar thing but I have a Humar named Strufford. As you probably know a humar's classic look is bright orange jumpsuit and the haircut and face of a pissy caucasian youth. Well I figured I could fix that. I picked a face with a scar and a dead eye, I gave the dude the mohawk, made it blue, picked the black outfit and made my humar both very fat and very short.

I logged on at level 9 and was surprised that I was treated like a paraplegic mongoloid at a Country club coming out party. 1st I was avoided. Peopl actually told me to get away from them when I asked for tips in facing the dragon. I felt abit like a guy in an orange dress handingout leaflets about enlightenment to passing stangers in a bus terminal. I had a rather lame weapon for level nine...a +2 ice dagger. I got called everything from pussy to midget to short stuff and there were jokes about inbreeding too. I played it off. When I used my daggers I'd yell "Wackity wack!" to suggest that maybe I was trying to go for something silly rather than pathetic. Eventually a presumably high level racast offered to give me 50 meseta if I'd dance for him. I repsonded "LOL." One guy asked if I got my facial scar when back when my mama was "still drankin' " The humarl with him asked if I got my awful haircut back when my mama was "still drankin' ." I got used to all kinds of abuse that night . Apparently people were telling their friends to come over and have a look at the freak.

The next night a misguided racaseal came over to me and tried to "be my friend" which was in and of itself funny. Probably some guy who had a younger brother who gets picked on a lot or something. Anyway the green transformer lookin' "robo babe" ended up in a heavily censored argument about everybody giving me crap.

I gave up after three nights of this but it was weird. the Schoolyard mentality was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I met a Japansese guy who said "Nice costume." He suggested that I should start a sub-race of short mohawked dwarves in various colors who could terrorize everybody as some kind of mutant biker gang sans the bikes.

Strufford mostly plays offline these days. But he is a much sadder and wiser scarred blue-haired punk midget. He finally got a real sword though. No more sabres and daggers. Now he reaps the wildlife of the caves and forests like a man. He's not figured out how to get into the ruins yet. :)

Emery

That's interesting. Maybe PSO is really Sega's high school simulator?

From: Zero-nt-
Subject: Re: Sex On the pioneer

I totally agree with you on everything stated in the article... it is a real problem on PSO when you can't play just to play because too many sexually challenged kids get gitty seeing a polygonal image of thier would-be-fantasy-dream-mistress. In response to your last question however:

<<If someone gave you a rare item just for being a cute girl, what would you do? Would you refuse and reveal your true person or just keep it and continue to lead them on? >>

Thats a tough call... Thats like asking, do you publicly kill someone because they ate the wrong candybar, or cut thier had off in private~ Thier gunna be upset no matter which way you go~ that is assuming they find out your a RL™ guy after hiding it from them. In my opinion... I'll just leave it as roleplaying... I'm not gunna see the person in real life, I seriously doubt any of these guys would ask for my hand in <> marriage~ the worst possable senario would be if they asked for my # so they could call me.... but hell, thats what RL™ Girlfriends are for right? =X

I've had a couple of guys give me their number. As far as the gifts, I kinda base that on the subtext it was given to me at the time. If I think it's just someone being nice, I keep it. If someone's been harassing/hitting on me for some time and thinks a gift will win me over, I refuse it.

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