The unique complications of playing VR games as a trans person


#1

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#2

I’ve heard story after story from transwomen. I’m now a little interested in hearing what transmen have to say. I know they’re not as common, but they’re just as valid in their opinions after all.

Not to discount this in any way of course. I’ve played around with one friend’s oculus and I know that I benefit from my cis-male experience matching up with the 99% of bodies in VR games. I’m just curious what transmen have to say since their voices don’t seem to be so loud as the transwomen’s or the the cis-people’s.


#3

Come to think of it, it is a little odd that a lot of the women’s voices we hear in writing about games are the voices of transwomen.

Videogames have been a cultural refuge for “boys who don’t belong” for a while now, but haven’t been as socially strong a refuge of “girls who don’t belong.” I wonder if the category of “boys who don’t belong” included a lot of transwomen. It’d be interesting to find out what kinds of hobbies and activities “girls who don’t belong” wound up clustering around - you’d probably find a lot more transmen there.

It’s kind of interesting and frustrating how the gender divide in videogames is even reflected in those who transcend that gender divide.

Kind of wish I was a student again, I would paper the shit out of this. :slight_smile:


#4

I’ve often thought of VR as a way to experience things from the perspective of someone entirely different. In spite of being a cis guy though I’ve often wondered about how it must feel to be a trans person given, in most games, only two options–if that.


#5

The last VR game I tried was Dactyl Nightmare, which wasn’t exactly a great illusion of embodiment (the main sensation was getting wrapped up in cables as I tried to circle around).

I identify as nonbinary but have very little body dysphoria; nor do I have any particular sense of what my ideal body would be, just a curiosity of how it would be to have a body shaped and/or gendered differently from the one I’m stuck with. I have no idea what the experience would be like, but I look forward to trying it someday.


#6

From what I remember having read, some trans-people have had comparable experiences with photoshopping themselves to look opposite-gender - it can be a bit of a revelatory experience if what you see feels more right than your current physical form. I guess we have to wait some years before we can compare the stories from trans people who grew up with VR headsets, though.


#7

If this phenomenon can be triggered and controlled, could be the ultimate gateway to such experiences.

…could also have good use for telepresence, and for remote operation of vehicles. Why bother with user interface when you can become the vehicle?


#8

One person anecdote, but a friend of mine once explained to me that a way of “coping” with being trans for trans women was to adopt hypermasculinity; they were boys who don’t belong, in their minds, before they came to terms with being trans. She cited this as a reason for a lot of trans women joining the military. (Sorry I don’t have a proper citation, this was just idle chat over IRC years ago)


#9

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