Woman Like Me

Outline of Contents

1. Benefits of Playing as a Woman (current article)

2. Gender Performativity

3. Sexuality Performativity

4. Cis-temic Sexism & PVE vs. Non-Consensual PVP

5. Black Like Me — Woman Like Me: The Damsel in Distress & Ethnographic Research

Terms to Know

Prevalence of Gender Swapping

Chapter 1: Benefits of Playing as a Woman

  • Female avatars receive greater assistance (Boler, 2007).
  • Male players court attention from female avatars by offering us virtual gifts & favors (MacCallum-Stewart 2008)
  • In terms of sought-help being given or denied, “males are less likely to solicit help than females and, when help is sought, females are more likely to be helped than males” (Lehdonvirta et al., 2012, p. 32)
  • MPM are most likely to message MPW (me) & WPW (Lou et al., 2019).
  • Men will “try to give you things to hit on you” (Zhang et al., 2018)
  • MPW are more likely to ask for help than MPM (Lehdonvirta et al., 2012); MPM already know my girlfriends & I aren’t responding to their chat box requests for help.
  • We receive unsolicited interactions from males which enables us to utilize their assistance (assuming they aren’t too creepy) with an ongoing quest or challenge (Hussain & Griffith, 2008; Huh & Williams, 2010).
  • MacCullum-Stewart (2008): women avatars are treated more nicely, allowed to make more mistakes, & we’re much more likely than men to gain help from other players.
  • We are propositioned more than male avatars (Yee, 2008; Eklund, 2011). People ask us things like “where we are from” (Isaksson, 2012). I’ve also had a few men request that I send them nude pictures on snapchat (primarily in Grand Theft Auto 5 Online, though a couple in The Elder Scrolls Online; never on FFXIV).
  • Female avatars have higher chances to befriend others (Lou et al., 2013).
  • Women Like Women More Than Men Like Men
    - Consistent with research by Dr. Laurie Rubman et al. (2004), women gamers like talking to female avatars more than men gamers like talking to male avatars.
  • Women avatars are less likely to be targeted and attacked by other players (Hussain & Griffith, 2008; Huh & Williams, 2010).
  • Female avatars gain more profit from in-game item sales (Lou et al., 2013; Lou et al., 2019).
  • Men are more prosocial towards female avatars (Griffiths, Davies, & Chappell, 2004; Wang & Wang, 2008). For example:
    — “battle equipment and loot are often randomly gifted to female avatars with no social expectation for return services” (Elizabeth McMenomy, 2011, p. 54)
    — It is easier to make new friends & join guilds as a woman avatar** (especially if you’re a healer, white mage, or equivalent medical services role).***

Excerpts From Participants

  • Isaksson (2012): “Christina had also encountered this difference while playing together with her husband: “I’ve been in the same group, and they are kind of, they have higher demands on Magnus, while they are kinder to me, for some reason […] but I notice that they have a much harder vocabulary towards him, then they have had towards me when I was there.
  • Linderoth & Ohrn (2014) — Ruth, a female participant with a female avatar, discusses male avatar behavior: “They are trying to flirt with smileys and offer gold. Sometimes they give you a little extra when you trade with them. They are in general rather flirty
  • Sarah, a female participant with a female avatar: “I think that girls enter the role that guys expect them to be, with sex jokes. Guys look at me. They put themselves in that role. Actually, I’ve done it sometimes. Do not know why, it just turned out that way
  • Erik, a male subject with a male avatar, who is apparently jealous of us as women avatars: “If ten people in the Guild need help, and one is a girl, guess who gets help first? It’s always the girl, no doubt about it. Power leveling, money, and why not buy the girl a mount while you’re at it. Many get special treatment because they are girls. It’s ridiculous
  • “It is much more likely that you will receive help if you are a woman than if you are a man. …Frida says that because of this — her ability to ‘use’ men — she has a lot more respect for female gamers. You can make men help you, but when you ask a woman you expect a ‘no’” (Eklund, 2011, p. 332).

Realistic Sex-Linked Name (Not Gender Neutral; Avoid Immaturity)

Yes, I’m wearing a mask in these images. #WearAMask

Breast Size (B is best for performativity)

Race & Skin Color

GamerGirl Takes on the N Word


My Avatars

Elder Scrolls Online (ESO)

Final Fantasy 14 (FFXIV )

Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5)

One male after another lols

(Chapter 2 Teaser)

CyberGender Identity

Gender Identity & Expression: Pronouns Matter

6 of my 7 KO’d teammates commended me for finishing off the boss… solo. Someone was jealous.

Appendix of Chapter 1





I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.

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Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.

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