role play

Are Gay Video Gamers Predisposed to Becoming Everybody’s Bitch?

As a non-gamer I won’t even try to pretend I understand all the ins and outs (and lingo) of MMORPGs, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games. But apparently there’s a stereotype that gay gamers are always volunteer for passive roles in these games. Is it accurate?

Based on anecdotal and unscientific evidence, yes! Gay Nerds crunches some numbers for World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI, where players group themselves into various “guilds” in competition, and finds the gays often choose characters that fall into the realm of priests, healers, and buffers (!), whose job it is to help other players recover their life force. I’m not sure how they do this, but “buffer” makes me think of one thing only.

Not only that, but The Gays love choosing characters that’d be most apt to get some ass: “Interesting thing to note, that gay people had a large bias for the Blood Elf race [in Warcraft] when compared to the overall percentage worldwide. There’s also a slight bias towards Tauren. I believe that this is because Blood Elves is the prettiest/most human looking race and the Tauren is one of the most empathetic/kinder looking races (relatively at least compared to Orcs, Trolls and Undead). Does this mean gay people are more superficial than average or do we pick according to whom we can empathize better with?”

These things are not mutually exclusive, yah?

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  • RJ

    If your healing priest analogy is accurate and your comparison to WoW is being discussed, there are a number of reasons why blood elves and taurens are chosen over orcs/undead/trolls.

    The healing classes in WoW are priest, druid, shaman, and paladin. Popularity wise, priests and druids are more common for players who are interested in raw healing. You just don’t see as many shamans or paladins.

    That given, the only druid class for the Horde in WoW are Taurens. The priest classes (undead, blood elf, and troll) are a little different. The Blood Elf starting area (leveling 1-6 and, inevitably 6-20) is the easiest and prettiest starting area in the game. Also, the casting animation for male blood elves is considered to be prettier than the other race/gender combinations.

    But hey, I’m just a young, gaymer who plays a female, draenei holy priest (Alliance faction).

    You’re correct, though. Most gay players I’ve met tend to play supportive/healing roles.

  • VelocityBoy

    I really think its more of a question of the person and not sexuality. I know gay gamers who take more “aggressive” roles, other than healing, and I know str8 male gamers who enjoy being healers.

    The thing is, in these MMO games, you are not tied to just one character. I can heal on one character and then log off and into another character and decide to “tank” instead. You should talk to one of the many gay guilds you find in Warcraft, especially on Proudmoore.

  • RJ


    You’re correct. While my main is a holy priest, my alt is a frost mage. Still, outside of gay guilds that require players of all roles, especially if they’re a raiding guild, I’ve found that of all the gay players I’ve met, many have been primarily healers… or at least better healers :-D

  • DR

    Is it just the healing aspect, though? I’m not intimately familiar with WoW or FFXI, but as a tabletop gamer who is now on 4th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, I always liked the cleric and druid classes the best because of their versatility. Good spells, good combat, nice armor and weapon selection, and fun abilities.

    Sure, there’s something to be said for playing a tank, but swinging a sword gets tedious after a while, as does throwing around the same spells. The divine classes are usually the most versatile and require a pretty creative mind to play well. Heal a fellow during combat, hit something over the head with a mace the next round, and then call down a pillar of fire to smite my enemies the next round. Lots of fun!

  • Joey Y

    Actually, my own FFXI experience has led me to believe that gay players tend to go for magic-heavy jobs, and they are less inclined to fighter-style roles. Example: I have 10 top-level jobs, and all but 2 of them are expressly magic-skewed, and virtually all of my dozens of FFXI gay friends are mages. Only ONE is actually a healer, and one other has a thief and no mage jobs. Most are more balanced, such as summoners, black mages, blue mages, etc. Even one of my melee jobs is a dark knight, which has a large amount of magic duty as well. My unscientific conclusion is that mage jobs are more intricate, busier, and take more strategic work, which appeals to the gays more than punching and hacking mindlessly.

  • S Fraser

    According to the survey I must be an incredibly butch straight guy then. Death Knight DPS/tank. Admittedly I heal on a shaman occasionally, but I play Draenei males almost exclusively.

    Why? Cause they’re awesome and I like the characters, classes and playstyles. Not cause I’m a ‘mo.

  • TonyD

    I like my undead frost mage for massive damage and blood elf ret paladin for havoc, tanking, and self heals- I don’t have the patients to level a priest. =P

  • Soakman

    @TonyD, lol you said patients. That was punny.

    Also, they should take a look at the Guild Wars community. I don’t play WoW or FFXI, but in GW I also noticed that I heavily play caster classes.

    I used to love monk-ing (prot spells more than heal spells), but my all-time favorite profession is the Mesmer which shuts down other characters, interrupts their spells and skills, and forces them to hurt themselves with abilities like backfire, empathy, and clumsiness.

    They are great.

  • San Francisco Treat

    This is really interesting – I have no doubt the psychology runs deep on questions like this. I would love for someone to actually commission a study around these issues. I would hypothesize gaymers are more attracted to healing classes (if they really are) because the LGBT community as a group displays a higher degree of empathy than the bland community as a group. Obviously I’m not sure. Anyone have any theories about the affinity for magic-heavy classes?

  • rlsegura

    Interesting. I was a Priest in Wow and FFXI. I’m gayer than I thought. I did it for the need mostly. Everyone wants a healer.

  • Ben Rubinstein

    Yeah… female troll discipline priest here! I always go for healers.

  • Johnny

    @San Francisco Treat: Though it’s an interesting approach to call for empathy, I think it’s more of an acceptance issue. I don’t play WoW or FFXI, but on the games I do play, and assuming trends are similar between games, healers are most needed in groups rather than fighters, who can figure ways to solo out missions. Especially if the gaymer is young, whether closted or not, there’s this thrill of entering a world where like minded people are easily accessible to talk to and actually be wanted, or even more needed, where in the real world, not so much. Have I gone too deep? hahaha


    “choose characters that fall into the realm of priests” Guess its getting more and more difficult for catholic priests to find boys to diddle in the rectory, now are trolling thru cybergames…………..

  • Andrew B.

    I was a male Orc Warlock as a my main for WoW. I don’t know if you can read deep into class choice and sexuality.

  • Austin77

    I played a “hume” thief/ninja in FFXI and a human rogue in WoW. Melee DPS all the way; I didn’t even make an “alt” until the latest expansion, and even that was as a “kitty” druid (which is basically a furry rogue). So, guess that means I’m straight.

  • jimstoic

    My ex was a big Final Fantasy freak and he was not nice in there.

  • Sonic

    As a gay male:
    In wow, my main favourite classes to play are Druid, Rogue, Mage, Hunter, and Warlock, with the shaman, priest, pally, dk, and warrior coming in second.

    My druid is dual specced tank/caster/ I much prefer shadow priesting over healing, but do well when I heal with a healing class.

    I like tanking cuz I can take damage and making mobs angry.

    IN D&D Living forgotten realms, my two higher levels are strikers: one is an Assassin for melee and the other one is a warlock, however my build has a melee attack that I use quite often, especially when I am doing things to for tactical advantages.

    In city of heroes I have one defender (read support)that i love but that is because i can debuff the mobs enough to get in their melee range and blast way, and my other favourite toons are a ranged/melee dominator that locks down and goes into melee for max damage, and a scrapper is pretty much a buzzsaw in melee range

    Sooo I guess I am jsut all over the place. I play what appeals to me, and mainly how they can flow with my personality.

  • sam

    Not to be a downer but in all honesty, if this is true… I think it’s just because we’d rather play with a pretty character…


    Personally i prefer a hack and slash die die die approach, but unfortunately characters like that in games are usually the ugly ones.. big hulking masses or monsters or something…

    not the skinny hot chicks or the androgynous boys…

    Which is shallow of me but meh… if i’m going to play a fantasy world, dammit i wanna be pretty!

  • Wineheart

    I am part of Bane in EQ2, the gay guild that is among the top 10 for size in the game and the largest on our server. I haven’t noticed any skewing towards one kind of role. I play a dirge, which is a “buffer” class (though in EQ2 we call it “utility”), and an assassin, which brings the pain with knives. They are both half elves, though, because half elves are really hot.

  • ChrisH

    :D i am a proud gay blood elf mage

  • Hilarious

    I mainly play a Night Elf druid, my only 80, and she’s Balance. I was one of the original “gankers” and very aggressive. At one point most of the server wanted my head but they couldn’t ever find me unless I was killing them.

    Healing in WoW isn’t fun because of the community. In other games I have played healers and loved it. WoW just isn’t the type of game where healing is even rewarding, you basically get treated like trash. It’s more fun to go DPS and not get blamed for anything.

    I also can’t really stand Blood Elves or the Horde side in general, so there goes that theory. I might try a Goblin in the expansion. I mostly play Humans and Gnomes.

  • Argos

    I was a Ranger in FFXI for 2 years (very high damaging class), and a Shaman in WoW until I got tired of being forced to play healer, so I switched to a Mage. I’ve never cared for healing roles, nor have I ever really cared for tanking roles. I’m all about ripping my enemies apart.

    I don’t play MMORPG’s anymore, but if I did, and someone wanted to force me to play a healer or a tank because I’m a ‘fag’ and should just be happy they’re talking to me, I’d tell them to fuckoff and find a different guild. On another note, one of my straight friends that I played with for years LOVED playing healer roles, even though they’re definately the ones that get shit on whenever anything goes wrong (even if they weren’t responsible).

  • Twilight-Sage

    I play WoW and I’m a Undead female Warlock….while in the real world I’m a good looking gay male. I love playing the evil ugly bitch but, I do give stuff to other random players just to be nice.

  • JH

    I always thought that Tauren were popular because they’re big, muscle-bound and hairy, like bears. Blood Elves are definitely the twinkie homos of the World of Warcraft though. When they dance, they look like go-go boys.

    I play in one of the larger gay guilds in World of Warcraft and I can say for sure that we’re always lacking in healers and tanks when putting together pick-up groups, just like every other guild I’ve ever played with.

  • Dawson

    This study fails because it bases its emphasis on healers being a submissive non-aggressive role when nothing could be further from the truth. These games are all about healers. If you don’t have a good healer you don’t get anything accomplished in these games. Therefore, if you play the role of a healer you actually have more power than anyone else in the raid except the tank. That means you literally wield power over 17-18 people in that they require your presence to exist.

    Oh, and don’t read to much into the Tauren/Blood Elf thing since two of the best healer classes in the game (Druid/Paladin) can only be played by those races. Granted Blood Elf is the beautiful race.

  • Azlael

    I had to laugh because this brings back memories of having no less then sixteen priests and three to four druids in every Molten Core raid.

  • Klarth

    @Joey Y: THIS. You left out Red Mage, though. It’s my favorite job because (in theory) you don’t really have any glaring weaknesses due to hybridness. I like the idea of being able to solo, in case I can’t get along with anyone to party, and also, in principle, while I’m all about magic, I still want to be able to kick some butt when I need to. (The RDM isn’t so great at that last, especially compared to BLU, which was one of my peeves, but I still loved the job.)

    As for the article, I guess it makes sense. I never wanted to be a melee class character, and even the purely offensive caster jobs weren’t that fun to me. I made a point of not playing a pure healer job because I don’t think it fits my personality, but the hybrid job I chose turned out to involve a great deal of healing, buffing, and debuffing.

  • Aaron

    I played a rogue for three years, and now I play an Elemental shaman… Guess I’m a top?

  • Samwise

    I prefer DPS classes, especially Hunter (or Ranger in traditional D&D). My Night Elf Hunter is such an effin’ badass. Though I will admit that my first character was a Tauren Druid, and I have also played a Blood Elf Mage in the past, so this post made me laugh out loud.

  • Jimmy

    LOL This is totally me to a T. In every game I have played meaning MMORPG’s which includes Everquest, Everquest 2 Dungeons and Dragons Online, World of Warcraft, Rift, Star Trek Online and a few others I’m sure I’m leaving out I have always played a druid. In the Everquests I always played a half elf druid, in WoW I play a (can’t remember the actual name)Werewolf druid, in DDO an elven druid, and in Rift also an elven druid and in STO an engineer. I never really thought of it as being because I’m gay but this article made me laugh the whole way through saying “Yep that’s me” lol Thanks for writing this, it gave me a good laugh and insight into myself I had not thought of before.

    PS. My characters are always as hot as I can make them, may as well live the fantasy to it’s fullest right?! LOL

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