Alex Pham, a LA Times writer, uses in her article, “Boy, You Fight Like a Girl,” different experiences told by online gamers to display effectiveness of anonymity. Gender switching has become a rapidly increasing trend in the online gaming world. Pham states, “Often, players who gender-swap online are reluctant to talk about their reasons” (WRAC 158.) The few shared motives include: to explore sexuality, to break away from real world stereotypes, or to learn about the opposite sex. As a result, additional stereotypes occur in many cases. Women gamers fear losing respect if the gaming community finds a woman is controlling the male character. Men use women characters in order to move up in levels easier. The gender swap is known to create misconceptions in the virtual world. One issue that commonly surfaces is “cyber-sex.” Pham uses Mark Wight’s story. Wight, 28-year-old creator of a female gaming character, shared a story of a guy traveling across the virtual world’s continent to hunt with Wight’s female character. In the end, Wight discovered that the follower was more interested in cyber sex than actually helping out his character. He doesn’t play that female character anymore because of players who get the “wrong idea” because they think he is a woman in real life as well. The anonymity can be extremely deceiving. Kenn Gold told his story of a revenge plot he had experienced at an online wedding involving two characters in a certain game. “Once the vows were exchanged, the bride declared that she was actually a man and that the two had had cybersex, humiliating the groom in front of their virtual guests…because the groom had killed another of the player’s characters months earlier in the game” (WRAC 157.) Pham states that “what makes such behavior possible is the anonymous nature of the web.” Pham utilizes numerous examples of gender-switching online gamers. The examples embody the motives of the gender-switching gamer, the reactions of opposing gamers, and...
Cited: Alex Pham, “Boy, You Fight Like A Girl.” Los Angeles Times 17 May 2001, Reprinted in Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum 2nd Edition. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. 154-158.
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