As of a month ago, a Chinese MMO company has started banning accounts of male players that play female characters in their game. Only a few news sites outside of China have picked up on the ruling.
Aurora Technology, a subsidiary of MMO giant Shanda that publishes many MMOs in China, including AION, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and Company of Heroes Online, started requiring players of their MMO King of the World, to start proving their gender via webcam. The rule, which was first announced in late September, seems to apply only to male players playing female characters and not the reverse.
There was no further explanation of the ruling, although the headline on the Pacific Epoch site says it is an attempt to rein in transsexuals in games.
In a more recent take on men playing women in video games, the author makes some broad generalizations, including that men like watching their lithe female avatars from behind, or that "a man would want to play a female character is often evidence enough for many in the online community to label someone a homosexual."
Do you male readers play women in your MMOs? If so, why? Should companies regulate how you play their game as long as your play does not infringe on other players? Maybe that was the reason for the ruling, the chance of deception, although it obviously isn't made clear. Either way, the ruling seems a stretch, in this writers opinion, and one that seems destined to fall by the wayside, if it hasn't already.