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Girl Gamer: Playing a Female Super Hero in City of Heroes

by: Adele Caelia ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Adele Caelia delves into City of Heroes to discover what it's like to be a female superhero.

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    It's Not Shocking


    I usually don’t dig these types of articles. Seriously, we are way past the girl gamer fiasco. Girls game, it’s a fact, and while there may not be as many women as men, we are there in full force waiting to “PWN nOObs" with the rest of them. If you do happen to be shocked that women game, get over it, and join us in this century. That being said, I believe that there does seem to be more perks in City of Heroes than in other games for women.

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    The Female Advantage

    Although, I don’t necessarily believe that the perk is due to being a woman, but more so falls on the avatar itself. Female avatars have an advantage in City of Heroes, not female gamers. And let’s face it folks, we know that there are many men out there sporting a female toon. We’ve heard all the excuses before, “I like looking at a woman’s behind if I am going to play something all day" and the, “I just like the way the female characters look. They look better than the males". However, we all know the truth. These men just want phat loot.

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    It seems that regardless if the truth is known, many men will readily believe that a female character is in fact a woman. In City of Heroes the female customization seems to make the men go gaga even more. The tight revealing clothing, bulging breasts, and curvy hips make men lose their minds. I cannot get through a day of play in this game without being sent a private message complimenting me on my costume, and telling me how sexy it is. Sometimes I am just randomly given cash, or sent upgrades in the mail. I also noticed that females seem to win the costume contests more often than men. Interestingly enough, I noticed that I was often healed before a male group mate, even if his life was lower. When playing solo, people stopped to help me fight more so than they did my husband’s male character.

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    Gender Issues

    To prove my point, I also had my hubby create a female toon, and yes, he too earned the same perks. He also noticed that people are nicer to females, now I’m not sure if that factor is in City of Heroes only, however it is interesting. He is now considering playing a female character himself. Well he was, until someone asked him on a virtual date. However, this does bring a few questions to mind. Can a female player, or a supposed female player, get away with playing less than top of her game? Is there a slide factor on gaming ability depending on gender? This in itself could prove to be an interesting study.