Massive, multi-player, online, role playing games are becoming increasingly popular among women. The most popular of these games include World of WarCraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, and Asherons Call. Choose your character, join a guild, kill, pillage, and loot.

As these games have become more popular among women, we have seen the emergence of what are traditionally considered female interaction styles and behaviors online. For example, Stacy explains that after a hard day of work, she unwinds by playing World of WarCraft. She goes on a killing spree and uses the loot to go on a virtual shopping spree – to buy a new outfit for her character. It is her little reward, and a great and inexpensive way to unwind.

And this is one of the reasons why role playing games, in contrast to traditional video games, are becoming popular among women. They offer opportunities for social interaction and community, an opportunity for caring and sharing, nurturing and nesting behaviors.

And this illustrates an important principle, people will extend real world interaction patterns to the virtual world. Thus, if you see it in the real world, you should expect to see a variation of it online.

Nevertheless, online environments also provide an opportunity for individuals to experiment with and to explore new interaction styles, such as violent or aggressive behavior. As a result, we should not be surprised to see that, in multi-player online video games, women are also taking on aggressive behavior patterns traditionally attributed to men.