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The Daily Grind: Do you mask your gender when playing MMOs?


Last month, Polygon published an article about the invisible privileges some gamers enjoy without realizing it. The author, Jonathan McIntosh, included among those privileges the idea that men "probably never think about hiding [their] real-life gender online through [their] gamer-name, [their] avatar choice, or by muting voice-chat, out of fear of harassment resulting from [their] being male." Granted, he was specifically talking about gender; plenty of men online have every reason to hide aspects of their identities to avoid being harassed on the basis of their nationality or ethnicity or religion or handicap or sexual orientation or age, for example. But gender itself is generally pretty safe for straight male gamers compared to female gamers.

We've asked before whether you roll characters that match the gender you identify with in the real world, but today, we're expanding that question: Do you go out of your way to hide your gender when you're playing MMOs? Do you avoid voice-chat, lie about your name, or alter your avatar choice, as McIntosh suggests, to avoid the potential for harassment? Or are MMO players just more socially well-adjusted than the typical gamer such that this is less a problem for us?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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