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. - Pacific Epoch.
What? Talk about discrimination!
Since there's no word on females being banned from playing male characters then this ban is extremely one-sided. Not only is it discriminatory against males but it also limits males in choosing their very own alter ego - something that I thought was a big attraction in the MMO world. Also, with the massive amount of MMO's on the market today (not forgetting one that's taken over most of the known world) isn't Shanda effectively laying a death sentence on one of their games?
However, Shanda does have a pretty legitimate case for employing such a ban. There have been a number of reported cases of males playing female characters and pretending to be a real-life female to other male players in order to get free stuff. Giving free stuff out to players you hardly know is pretty stupid in the first place and - unless you know them in real-life or have seen hard evidence - you should never determine a players true sex base on their in-game characters gender.
Of course there's a simple solution to this. When prompted to show evidence of your gender through a webcam you can simply get a female sibling/friend to go in front of the webcam for you. I'm also confused as to how Aurora Technology could possibly dedicate the resources to police such a service when these resources could be better spent on improving the game.
My advice? Considering I've never heard of the game until now coupled with this news I'd suggest playing another MMO.
(See my updated post where I question the legitimacy of this news)
Shanda's Aurora Bans Transsexuals - Pacific Epoch (Via Kotaku)