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A Cross Player is a person in either real life or a show whose online avatar or video-game/RPG character is of the opposite sex.

This is obviously not the same as a real-life Cross Dresser, and also should be distinguished from Cross-Dressing Voices.

Named for crossplay, a subset of cosplay where one dresses as a character of the other sex.

A crossplayer usually isn't deceptive about their sex--many are quite up-front about their real life sex, and simply prefer avatars of the opposing sex for aesthetic reasons (the most oft-repeated defense of crossplay is "If I have to look at an ass all day, I'd prefer a nice one") or the sake of RP, or just to see the female armor models.

Whatever the reason, crossplayers are pretty common in modern MMORPGs, and very few people see it as a big deal. It's also worth noting that crossplayers aren't exclusively men playing women; occasionally women play as male characters, the biggest reason is to be treated as One of the Boys.

Contrast with the GIRL, when a cross player is actively pretending to be one of the other sex. See also There Are No Girls on the Internet, for the (mostly) discredited phenomenon of users assuming everyone online was male. Though if you wish to use voice chat (often required for high end contents), you cannot hide your sex, no problem for most of us at least.

The term is also sometimes used to describe someone who plays a character of the opposite sex in a Tabletop RPG.

Do Not Confuse With Cosplayer (although cosplayers themselves do usually use the term to describe someone cosplaying a character of the opposite sex).

Examples of Cross Player include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Lucky Star Konata comments on how she enjoys playing a male character in an MMORPG (Ragnarok Online or something very like it). The character is "married" to a female character whose player is a guy.
  • Tsukasa in .hack//sign. Not willingly either. Curiously, the voice-work of the series suggests that the game does come with voicefonts for adjusting one's voice.
  • Welcome to The NHK, where Satou winds up falling in love with a girl he meets online who actually turns out to be his next-door neighbor who wants to convince him that he can't trust women on the internet.
  • Pretty much the entire point of 1/2 Prince; after getting teased about getting everything for free because she's a girl, the protagonist decides to play a boy.
  • In the Chobits anime, Hideki encounters Yoshiyuki Kojima (AKA "Dragonfly") in a MMORPG long before meeting him in person. Although Kojima's avatar is modeled on his persocom Kotoko and he affects some feminine mannerisms, the fact that he does not disguise his voice makes his sex a dead giveaway.
    • Shinbo Also crossplays and his Avatar looks like his cram school teacher
  • In Gintama, Gintoki and Kagura each play a character of the opposite gender in a JRPG called Monkey Hunter. Justified in Gintoki's case because he is Genre Savvy enough to understand that people will be more eager to help a cute girl.


  • Runaways opens with Alex Wilder playing an MMORPG as several other people, playing as more famous Marvel characters (Captain America, Daredevil, Incredible Hulk, White Queen, and Invisible Woman). We don't learn this for a long time, but White Queen and Invisible Woman are both played by a guy and Daredevil is a woman. Oddly enough, when Alex reveals he's a teenager, none of the other people believe him.
    • The one playing the female heroes was a bit obvious, since he was upping the Stripperific-ness. Daredevil was more surprising.
  • In Empowered, at one point there's a girl cosplaying Phallik Spear, of all things.


  • In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, Gary plays the sorceress Luster. He's pretty much the antithesis of The Roleplayer, though, so during the Deep-Immersion Gaming segments Luster is alternately played by a woman and a crossdressing man depending on whether Gary has recently been reminded of his character's sex.


  • In Vivian Vande Velde's User Unfriendly, everyone in the main character's party is a real-life friend of his, but he doesn't know which person is behind which character. He seems to have it all figured out early on, but his assumption that the character's sex must match the player's turns out to be wrong.
  • In Half Prince, this is the main source of conflict. It's usually impossible to play as the opposite sex but the main character was the first to log in and was granted a wish for that. She wanted to be a guy.

Live Action TV

  • One of the best visual gags in How I Met Your Mother involves a scene showing WoW. Ted met Blah-Blah online while playing WoW and the scene cuts to two characters conversing. The hulking draenei vindicator saying "we should meet up sometime..." was the girl. Ted was the one playing the scantily-clad female human clothie.
  • In Community the gang plays Dungeons & Dragons and everyone hastily grabs the character sheets Abed had made. This leaves Annie stuck as a character named Hector the Well-Endowed, which Abed had intended for Troy.
  • Mac does this in CSI: NY 'Down The Rabbit Hole', where Mac investigated the death of a Second Life cosplayer by going into the game with a female avatar (with help from Adam creating it, since Mac was clueless.)

Video Games

  • .hack// has done this a few times.
    • Tsukasa in SIGN, although this isn't revealed until late in the series and the person in question doesn't believe it at first, having been afflicted with Laser-Guided Amnesia. The individual had serious gender identity issues thanks to a father who forced her to act like a boy.
    • The "Let's Meet Offline" extra attached to the tasogare no udewa densetsu anime has Hotaru as a Cross Player. This is definitely not the case in the manga and the rest of the franchise, and is one of the reasons that the udeden anime is the first major of the Series Franchise not considered canon. (There are others)
    • Sakubo of the GU games is a pair of fraternal twins playing the same(female) character. Except it turns out the girl died when they were born and the boy developed a Split Personality as a result of his loneliness and his mother's verbal abuse.
    • Gord and Saburou of Roots are also cross players though the latter ventures into GIRL territory due to their instance they are female. The former is female but plays a male character but it's not touched upon in the series proper.
  • In Left 4 Dead and its sequel, at least one person will be assigned Zoey/ Rochelle, most likely at random if they are joining a game in progress. A lady joining in has a 75% chance of falling under this trope.
    • It doesn't really count if you join in at random. Only if you actively pick the character each time does it fit under this trope.
  • An update to Eve Online has actually made it somewhat harder to ID crossplayers (but aided anyone who's a GIRL) thanks to the introduction of "voice fonts" for the in-game voice chat (TS, Vent, and other voice chat users are out of luck). Even if they don't really work, they should make it harder to tell if it's a guy using a female voice font, or a girl using a female voice font.

  Patchnotes: Voice fonts have now been added to EVE Voice. This new feature will allow you to alter your voice during chat to increase or lower pitch or to change from male to female voices. This is certainly not going to be abused in any way.

    • The Devs from Eve Online once published some statistics drawn from their account records indicating that both player sexes played characters of either sex equally on average, leading to roughly even character sex distribution. Since the playerbase is still predominately male, the chance that a male character is played by a guy is still quite a bit higher than a female character being played by a girl.
    • Second Life reccently added a similar feature.
  • Shiro in RE: Alistair.
  • In Vindictus the character classes are canonically single individuals, and so they're gender-locked. Anyone playing a DPSer will be a guy, and anyone playing a mage or tank will be a girl, (Lann, Evie and Fiona, respectively), regardless of real-life gender. Also, when the Archer and Mighty Glacier (Kai and Karok) are released, both of them will be guys.
  • The MMO Metal Assault has "gender-locked" characters in which differ in size and statistics. The female characters have higher SP, MP, and speed thresholds, while the males have higher HP and balanced stats. You do the math.
  • Gears of War 3 has medals for playing as females in the multiplayer, which give XP bonuses and are required for One Hundred Percent Completion.
  • In Fallout3 and Fallout: New Vegas, it's better to play as a girl because, while both sexes get a perk that gives increased damage and unique conversation choices towards the opposite sex, men make the bulk of the game's human enemies. In fact, the evil Talon Company have ONE female member, and all Enclave members are male, so good guys are much better being good...girls.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas this is less necessary as one can choose the perk to apply against the same sex.
      • Some players now did it on purpose when siding against Caesar's Legion.

Web Comics

  • In Megatokyo, all of Piro's videogame and MMORPG characters seem to be female. "Piroko" and "Pirogoeth" are notable examples who appear to have distinct personalities. Miho's character m0h (or Niho) also counts. There is an awkward moment early in the comic when Piro and Miho meet for the first time IRL, considering that Pirogoeth and m0h had a, well, intimate relationship in-game (though according to Piro, not that intimate). Due to game mechanics, this was not entirely by Piro and Miho's choice.
    • It may have been entirely by Miho's choice; it's implied that she and Largo were among the few players to discover and manipulate the hidden relationship values (although they did so in pretty much opposite ways).
      • Another reading is that Piro knew about the hidden values, and was even pretty adept at manipulating them, but Miho was better. Even so, that relationship wound up being m0h's downfall, whether or not Miho planned it to happen.
  • Tedd of El Goonish Shive uses a female chatroom avatar; unsurprising, considering his penchant for Gender Benders.
    • Dan's Author Avatar used to appear as a female anthro squirrel; he switched to male when Elliot was Genderbent.
  • Dave, one of the secondary characters in Real Life Comics, is at one point chided about his preference for playing female MMO characters. He responds that he would much rather spend an MMORPG's requisite hours looking at the back half of a female avatar than a male one.
  • a 2004 arc of Pv P had Francis Ottoman playing a catgirl character for many of the same reasons as Dave, above. Ironically, one of his co-workers started to hit on Francis's character before stopping himself, as he already knew it was a Gender Bender character.
  • Ian of Mac Hall and Three Panel Soul crossplays fairly often, most notably his World of Warcraft character Cherabim and (unwittingly) his Morrowind character Ren. Also Risu from City of Villains or APB. Matt's characters tend to be male, buuuuuuuut...
  • Both Jim and Annie in Darths and Droids provide examples of this trope, playing Padme and Anakin, respectively in the game versions of the 2nd and 3rd movies of Star Wars. Unsurprisingly, Hilarity Ensues quite often. Ben's little sister Sally tends to play male characters (she takes over whoever the GM needs her to for a given scene) and Pete plays R 2 D 2, whose "gender" is really a matter of pronouns.
  • In Goblins it is heavily implied that Drowbabe (and her Suspiciously Similar Substitute Yodette) is played by a guy.
    • If Minmax is to be believed, Forgath is played by a girl. He uses this as a justification for kissing him.
  • Tycho in Penny Arcade is famous for only playing as women in Role Playing Games.

Web Original

  • Prevalent in Survival of the Fittest, as in 'Applies to almost every single person on the board', prevalent. Almost everybody has characters of both sex. Some handlers are better known for their characters of the opposing sex than of their own, though not everybody can pull this effectively. It shows.
  • Valkyrie in The Guild plays at least two different female characters. Codex makes a half-assed attempt to make fun of him for it, though in her webcam she eventually asks herself why she's making a big out of it, probably as acknowledgement of how common a practice it is.
  • Several authors of the League of Intergalactic Cosmic Champions.
  • In The Gungan Council, many writers, notably those of Phylis, Relen, and Jessan, frequently write the opposite sex. It's more common for women on the site to write males, as well.
  • Equestria Chronicles naturally has this becuase, well, it's based off a girl's show and most of the players are guys.
  • Youtube Let's Player Naka Teleeli is known for playing female characters most of the time when he's given a choice in the games that he plays.
  • That Dude in the Suede outed Jewwario as this in a crossover review. Most likely as a joke.

Western Animation

  • Kyle is seen playing as a female human in the South Park episode "Make Love Not Warcraft".

Real Life

  • Just pick ANY MMORPG. Even much more if the game do not have Purely Aesthetic Gender since you will have to play as that sex for a particular class, but even if they do, it is still extremely common. In fact, in later games (such as World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online, etc), most players will assume the new person they meet is a male behind the PC unless you can convince them you are not (either via voice chat or otherwise).
    • It's common enough that MMORPG has been humorously Backronymed to "Many Men Online, Role-Playing Girls"
    • A common explanation is "If you're gonna spend hours watching someone's ass while they're running around, you might as well make it an ass you want to stare at for hours."
    • Another explanation is being the result of Alt-Itis. That is, a player starts with a character of their own gender, but eventually start new ones that they decide to try different combinations of character traits with, including gender.
    • A new trend in the genre is tying the player characters more closely to the storyline by having them be specific individuals with pre-written backgrounds and Canon personalities. Naturally, this locks their gender as well.
  • Quite common on Stargate: Aftermath. Most of us play multiple characters and a lot have characters of both sexes. Particularly glaring example is SG-6, a team of three men and one woman. All played by women.
  • According to Word of God, Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins, like his cartoon alter ego "Tycho" (see above), prefers to play female characters in Role Playing Games.
  • Also pretty common in single player RPGs where you create your own character. Many modding communities are built around catering to guys and increasingly girls who want to sexify up their Distaff Avatar.
  • Some games such as the Diablo series have a specifically-sexed sprite for each character. Want to zing fireballs around? You've got to play as a female Sorceress. Want to summon the dead to do your bidding? All necromancers are male, sorry. Diablo III, however, has moved away from this trend by allowing players to choose their gender for all classes.
  • Some appointed that on average, 40% of the players of either sex Crossplay.
  • One cosplayer, PikminLink, pulls off Link so well that she's even earned praise from Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
  • Nico Nico Douga musician Tissue-Hime often dresses up as Yuki the point where people actually refuse to believe that he's a guy, not a girl.