It is no secret that sometimes boys play as girls on MMORPGs. I myself have been guilty of growing a pair (of breasts) in World of Warcraft and City of Heroes. From my experience playing as a girl, even if your party members know your gender is actually male, results in certain fringe benefits. Better loot, answering questions and just being genuinely more friendly seems to be a bonus to being one of the female persuasion. This is not to say this is the only reason to change up the roles. At one time, I had a gamer friend who was biologically intersexed, and at a young age her parents decided to raise her male. As she got older she started to feel that she wasn't quite what her parents told her she should be. As a result role playing games and other environments like Second Life very appealing to her. She was able to virtually play out the gender role that she felt most comfortable in. All these reasons are harmless Software company Aurora (a subsidiary of Shanda Entertainment) however does not agree.
Aurora has began freezing accounts of male players who choose to create female characters. No word has been said as to whether or not they will be banning female players for playing male characters. So far, the total casualties has reached at least 17173 accounts. Players will be required to verify their gender via webcam. There has been no indication as to why the gender limitation has suddenly gone into effect, nor why they have decided to instate this policy.
Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) subsidiary Aurora Technology has frozen game accounts of male players who chose to play female in-game characters in its in-house developed MMORPG King of the World, reports 17173. Aurora stipulates that only female gamers can play female characters in the game, and it requires gamers who chose female characters to prove their biological sex with a webcam, according to the report.
Personally I doubt this policy will survive much longer. The potential backlash from their players is incredible, enforcing it is a huge invasion of privacy, and also singles out female characters for sexual deviants. The motivation is still uncertain, but the concept of GMs demanding girls send them pictures of themselves seems like a recipe for abuse. It is one step away from demanding they perform "adult acts" or else their account will be disabled. Big brother is watching.
Shanda's Aurora Bans Transsexuals [Pacific Epoch]