The nerdlinger hub up at the Nottingham Trent University has revealed new findings in research based around – gulp – online gamers’ virtual gender swaps and sex roles.
They’ve discovered that up to 66% of RPG users actually pick characters or avatars in the opposite of sex to what they are, with 70% of women being the most likely to pick a male character, to “avoid unsolicited male approaches” according to lead researcher Zaheer Hussain. Just 54% of men admitted to choosing a female persona, but there’s no surprise there.
Hidden within the press release on these findings, which are to be published in the US journal CyberPyschology and Behaviour, is a little nugget claiming that men believe they are treated better as females in male-dominated games such as World Of Warcraft, and that it enables them to “flirt with male characters in order to gain perks within the game such as extra money or weapons”.
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