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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Game Narrative Summit: Why Would a Gamer Want to Be Of the Other Gender: Gender-Changing In Role-Playing Games

Meiqi Gao  (Senior User Experience Researcher, Netease)

Date: Monday, July 19

Time: 3:20pm - 3:50pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Game Narrative

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

In common RPG games, players can create male or female characters to represent themselves in the game world. As the game experience deepens, some players may also project many ideas from reality onto virtual characters. Therefore, some players want to change the gender of the game character.

Why do players have this idea? In the RPG game, male and female characters have exactly the same skills and weapon equipment system. After the gender is switched, the abilities of the characters will not change. So what are they considering beyond their ability?

The speakers hope to talk about the interesting findings in NetEase's traditional RPG games, and discuss with the audience what degree of freedom the virtual character's gender can achieve in the game world.


RPG players sometimes have the need to switch gender, which may be from a realistic or aesthetic point of view. Marriage is an important realistic motivation. Different character skins continue to attract players to do so from an aesthetic perspective.
In games with many social elements, we have also learned that players switch genders due to various unique experiences and emotions.
Adding a gender conversion function to the game can be more convenient for players, but this setting may also bring many complications. Developers need to think about the various systems of the game before adding the gender conversion function.

Intended Audience

Game developers interested in the ecology of traditional Chinese RPG games