Research I found on character creation

Not sure of right section - please move as desired.

Browsing reddit just now I came across the results of a survey of Final Fantasy 14 players on character creation. It references some other research and provides the results of the survey itself.

Posting here in case it is of use to writers with questions surrounding character creation in their current/future games.

The reddit post is at

The survey results are currently at


Wow! Only 54% of people played as their actual gender? I’ve known guys that played as girls and girls that played as guys but I didn’t realize it was THAT common :astonished: especially when you actually have the option. I mean my girlfriend will play games like Witcher and doesn’t complain about having to be a guy but when she has an option she picks a girl.


Yeah, it is an interesting result - especially given how many people will scoff at people not playing their gender in online gaming communities.

Do keep in mind the sample size is small and skewed to people in their 20’s


I wonder if the gender thing might vary a fair amount depending on the sort of game :thinking: like, if it’s a text-based game (a la CoG), especially if it’s second person, it might feel more like you’re immersing into the role rather than sorta watching what’s going on… but I’m just speculating here.

I think being gay might have an effect too :stuck_out_tongue: or at least it does for me. It means the gender that would represent me and the gender I would enjoy fantasizing about are one and the same. I could see a heterosexual person enjoying playing the gender they like, rather than the one they are. Plus, with so many visual novels where I’d have to play as female in order to romance someone male, it’s incredibly welcome and affirming not to have to. Since it’s an option that’s not around as much, I end up feeling a lot more defensive of it when it is present than I might otherwise do.


I tend to base my character’s gender on which gender sells the story better. My personal gender and preference go second to building an interesting narrative. Same goes for their personality, abilities, quirks, etc

If you looked at all the games I played, statistically it would lean toward female, but that’s an effect. Not a cause.


Pretty fascinating survey, but of course this is just one very specific genre. It makes me wonder what results would come up in single-player or non-fantastical games. But that’s a survey for another time. :kissing_smiling_eyes:

For me, I go female if possible, as I’ve always been curious about what going through a story as a girl would be like. I guess I still don’t have an answer really, other than a lingering fascination with it. I know that some games have characters behave differently towards you if your MC is a female. (Mount and Blade Warband comes to mind)

Of course, I won’t shy away from stories with a predetermined character in mind – sometimes it’s better to have a set main character with an intricate backstory than player characters with :cookie:-cutter stories, as some RPGs have a habit of doing. But I digress. So long as we all have fun with character creation, we’ll get our just deserts. :grinning:

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How do you determine which gender you feel would tell the better story for individual games? :thinking:

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I used to be able to equally enjoy a male or female protagonist, but as time goes by and I constantly come across an over-saturation of male protagonists in most games, I just can’t get into a game unless I can play as a girl. Or where gender doesn’t matter at all. (I.e - playing as some ferret creature, or robot, for example. Fun games.) I even have a “female-protagonist” criteria search on Steam that usually constrains searches by a lot. Alas.

I do have to wonder how much it would change depending on the game, though. Like while cc does matter for Final Fantasy XIV, it’s not so heavily focused on your character but rather the overall story. (Like many mmos.) A lot of the answers given in the survey also referred to creating their avatar based on how other [players] viewed their character, so that could be a factor. The parts about escapism and immersion were interesting too. Overall, cool stuff. Thanks for sharing!


I have never once made a main character my race (I wonder what people on this site think I am :thinking:) nor a female. Though if I make multiple characters when it’s not annoying to do so, I’ll typically switch between guys and girls, race depends. And of course they all look nothing like me. It doesn’t matter if they look good to others, though I appreciate compliments.

Oh and class restriction is a major turn off for any game for me, unless I can switch on the fly.

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tips hat

I don’t know why (exactly) but I find myself constantly playing games as a white female of sorts.


I feel similarly about games where I get to romance a guy as a guy :thinking: (especially that include more than a token option). Nonetheless, I’m far more willing to play something where I’d have to be female than something where I have to be a hetero guy… and since I think there should be more women protagonists out there, if it’s a game where romance isn’t a factor, that’s something I might get into more :thinking:

Is wraith a race?


Generally just what feeling I get when playing the demo. Sometimes I can tell by description.
A character bent on revenge? Sounds male to me
A character trying to scheme their way through courtly intrigue? Sounds female to me

Though seeing as how my personal statistic is leaning toward female majority, I probably have different narrative tastes than most writers.

It’s simpler with video games. It usually goes off of who the better voice actor is

It’s a species silly.

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Here is an interesting factoid:

In an online game, any gendered person is likely to assist a female character, and avoid male ones.

Well… they’re your characters so you play them however you want… but the way I see it you have a pretty narrow (if not outright stereotypical and equally sexist) view on character genders and roles. What makes you think a woman can’t be a spiteful warrior hell-bent on getting her revenge? Or a man an ambitious yet conniving courtesan of the court? I think gender should have nothing to do with one’s life goals nor dictate their traits and / or personality, but that’s just me…


I am a guy, but in most games where you can pick the gender I pick girl. The only time I don’t is when I consider the game’s character to be “me”. But Noble Six, Shepard, random thug in the warzone formerly known as Los Santos? All girls.

“As you can see, I have peeled away your petty facades and revealed you for what you truly are… fairly attractive 20-somethings. Huh. Kind of undermines the whole cold light of day thing I had planned, but good for you. Way to break down stereotypes.”

You know, another thing I hadn’t thought about… when I’ve roleplayed with other people rather than something just for me, I’ve generally split much more between playing male or female :thinking: but again, that’s a really different dynamic.

Hmm, well, putting this together with this…

I shall assist the ambitious courtesan guy and avoid the spiteful warrior woman. It sounds safest that way.

(And those both sound like exciting characters to me :grinning:)

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I realize in visual games as a straight male player I’m much more likely to create a female character than a male one, whilst I tend to create a male character for first play of a text game like here. Probably because in a visual game I’m more inclined to be using a character who is both attractive to me and also bad ass, whilst with a text based game I’m likely to be projecting myself more and so opt for a male character.

That said I tried to make a male Elf character somewhat looking like myself when I recently started Dragon Age: Inquisition, and a male Argonian character for my PS4 version of Skyrim (having played a female Argonian the first time). so it can vary. Not sure what I’ll end up going when I I finally get onto Fallout 4 and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Yeah, that’s exactly why I was wondering if me being gay might have an impact on my preferences here :stuck_out_tongue: thanks for the further data point confirming my suspicions.

And, I mean, even when I’m playing something with visual character creation, I generally go for making someone I’d find cute rather than representing me. (Though, I don’t have a lot of these… most often it’s me playing a friend’s game, so if we’re playing together I don’t usually want to be too bossy… the game I play the most with visual character creation is the sims, and I have a mix of sims…)

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