I’ve mentioned previously that I didn’t really play RPGs before Dragon Age entered my life. A lot of female gamers cite the fact that you can choose to play as a female character as one of the attractions of the games (and BioWare games in general) but I didn’t realise how big a deal this was until much later.
When I fired up the game I got the option to play as a male or female character and unhesitatingly chose to play as a girl; I am a girl so I find it easier to role-play a girl – even one that’s quite different from me. I have since completed a few male warden playthroughs (sadly no Garrett Hawke as DA2 doesn’t have the replayability of DAO and I found his voice annoying) and discovered that I was able to take a more dispassionate view of them, which made some of the morally questionable choices easier. On reflection it’s probably a bit worrying that I never made any of the “evil” choices until I made my Jerk-Warden Alexander.
I think, over time, I’ve got better at viewing my characters objectively, and hopefully moved on from my ‘male PCs can make the evil choices’ playthrough, but I still prefer playing as a female character. I don’t object to playing games that only have a male PC – I’m a big fan of Geralt of Rivia – but if I can play as a girl, get to be the hero, and save the world, why wouldn’t I?