I've thought about writing this post from time to time before, not because I think it matters, or at least it really shouldn't matter, since it's my choice and at the root that's probably reason enough right there. This post by Erinys at the Harpy's Nest and this one over at Orcish Army Knife reminded me that this was a thing. And that got me thinking all over again about my own character roster. At 90 currently I have 11 characters. 10 of them are male. I'm not, though people mistake me for one from time to time in game and I generally don't bother correcting the assumption. I don't mind at all if people want to call me dude or bro. It doesn't change who I am behind the screen and I am comfortable in that. And besides, Seish is a dude and so is Tyl.
And that's reason one. My characters are characters. They aren't me. I should certainly hope I'm not as arrogant and racist and judgmental (yay paladin puns) as Seish. I doubt I'm quite as patient and kind as Laen. My cats don't love me as much as Tyl's love him and I am not as well-adjusted to whatever horrible things life might throw at me as Tai (I also don't drink nearly as much). I'm not saying they aren't part me, I'm the one who made them after all and I'm the person behind the screen when I'm playing them. I just tend to think of them as fictional characters with their own personalities and foibles more than pure representations of myself.
Reason two is a little closer to the core of the things in the posts I linked above. Paladins are my favorite class. Blood Elves are unabashedly my favorite race. But when I play a plate wearing warrior of the Light who is going to rush up and throw their shield in a dragon's face to make him mad I want to play a character that looks like they at least stand some chance of living through the resulting fury. And when my choice is between looking like this:
Reason three is along the same vein, with the attitudes I run into in game sometimes. Not always, not as often now, even. But well, I started MMOs back in Everquest and some people were pretty unabashedly creepy to female characters. My High Elf paladin never did get as far as my Dark Elf Warrior and Wood Elf Ranger partially for that reason. The worst and most infuriating Dungeon experience I have ever had in WoW happened because someone found out I was female, but that will be a post for another time. What it comes down to is... I'm also perfectly happy if the average person I run into just assumes I'm a guy and doesn't give me any kind of sexist crap because of it.
Reason four is the simplest of all. I just like them. I tend to have a preference for the look and animations of the male characters. Male blood elves are fun to look at! I wish there were as many male characters that were designed to be fun for women to look at as there are female characters designed for guys to ogle. But it's not always about being good looking. Male trolls have to be some of the most lovable things in Azeroth. That dance!
But in the end what it all really boils down to is that I play male characters because I like to and because I can. The female characters don't often look like the ones in my head. Tai's twin sister would exist in game if she could look more like a bad ass and less like a dainty flower. And since nowhere in the rules does it say I have to play my own gender... well I'll just be over here, happily watching Seish cut things up with a suitably giant sword.