Bonnie Ruberg has written an interesting post for Terra Nova on Virtual Transvestitism. She even discusses the less seen, and considered, women playing male characters.
Ruberg also considers when players are forced to assume another gender role in games:
But what happens when the altering isn’t done by the player? Virtual worlds, chat rooms, and forums all allow users to decide how they appear. In most console games though, character gender is predetermined. In order to play, gamers must fill the gendered skin presented to them. Men become the Samus Aran, blond bombshell. Women become Duke Nukem, a towering muffin of muscle. Is this tranvestitism? Or more to the point, how could it not be? Players have the ability to choose what they play, and they’re choosing to cross gender lines.
I look forward to her future posts on this topic. This is a topic that particularly interests me. It is sometimes assumed that I’m in drag–a man playing a female avatar–in online games. It is something I generally don’t try to correct because I don’t need to prove myself to people I meet in video games.