A Cross Player is a person in either real life or a show whose DigitalAvatar or [[SpecialSnowflakeSyndrome customized video-game character]] is of the opposite sex.

The name comes from "crossplay," a subset of {{cosplay}} where one dresses as a character of the other sex. It's also worth noting that crossplayers aren't exclusively men playing women; occasionally women play as male characters, one reason being to be treated as OneOfTheBoys, the other being that all the best characters are guys.

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 [[ThirdPersonSeductress aesthetic reasons]], like seeing the {{Impossibly Cool|Clothes}} female version of [[ChainmailBikini armor models]]. A common defense of crossplay is "If I have to look at an ass all day, I'd prefer a nice one" when a [[ThirdPersonShooter Third-Person]] camera is involved. Less frequently, it's for the sake of [[TheRoleplayer role-play]].

Whatever the reason, crossplayers are pretty common in modern {{MMORPG}}s, and very few people see it as a big deal. The term is sometimes used to describe someone who plays a character of the opposite sex in a TabletopRPG.

Contrast with the {{GIRL}}, when a cross player ''is'' actively pretending to be one of the other sex. See also ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet, for the (mostly) discredited phenomenon of users assuming everyone online was male.

Obviously not the same as a real-life CrossDresser, and also is different from CrossDressingVoices.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/LuckyStar'' Konata comments on how she enjoys playing a male character in an [=MMORPG=] (''VideoGame/RagnarokOnline'' or something very like it). The ''character'' is "married" to a [[{{GIRL}} female character whose player is a guy]].
* ''Franchise/DotHack''
** ''Anime/DotHackSign'' has [[spoiler:Tsukasa]], neither willingly nor knowingly. This isn't revealed until late in the series and the person in question doesn't believe it at first, having been afflicted with LaserGuidedAmnesia. The individual had serious gender identity issues thanks to [[spoiler:a father who [[WhyCouldntYouBeDifferent forced her to act like a boy]]]].
** The "Let's Meet Offline" extra attached to the ''Manga/DotHackLegendOfTheTwilight'' anime has [[spoiler: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 anime is the first major of the SeriesFranchise not considered canon.
** Gord and Saburou of ''[[Anime/DotHackRoots .hack//Roots]]'' are also cross players though the latter ventures into {{GIRL}} territory due to their insistence they are female. The former is female but plays a male character, though it's not touched upon in the series proper.
* ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'', where [[spoiler: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 ''Literature/HalfPrince''; after getting teased about getting everything for free because she's a girl, the protagonist decides to play [[{{Bishonen}} a boy.]]
* In the ''Manga/{{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 [[LarynxDissonance 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 ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'', Gintoki and Kagura each play a character of the opposite gender in an RPG called ''[[AffectionateParody Monkey]] [[VideoGame/MonsterHunter Hunter]]''. Justified in Gintoki's case because he is GenreSavvy enough to understand that people will be more eager to help a cute girl, and proves his point by trolling Shinpachi when he first meets up with him; his voice sounding perfectly feminine up until the truth comes out, at which point it reverts to being as masculine as usual.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'', Celty likes to keep a low profile by pretending she's a guy in online chatrooms. She's [[BadLiar so bad at this]] that other people don't even realize she's trying to.
* In the anime of ''Anime/PhantasyStarOnline2'', Rina Izumi plays a male CAST named SORO. Itsuki also inadvertently discovers that one party member he was playing with, who appears as a cat girl, is actually a male construction worker.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'', where all Cross Players are forcibly returned to their biological sexes when the plot kicks in. It gets explained [[AllThereInTheManual in the novels]] that it was done because of research indicating that too much time crossplaying in a Full Immersion Virtual Reality game can lead to psychological problems relating to mind and body dissonance. This restriction carries over to the majority of games created using The Seed; however, it also notes that because FIVR games determine gender from a user's brainwaves, {{Transgender}} players are likely to be read as their chosen gender instead of their birth sex.
* Played with in ''LightNovel/LogHorizon'' as well. Players' avatars were designed based off the face of the actual player, but from there could be modified. So the female character of a male player would look like a female version of them. Unlike SAO, when The Apocalypse hit, characters stayed the same, but spoke in the players' real voice. Thus one of the first things Akatsuki did was to find Shiroe and bum a form change potion off him so she could look like her real self.
** Later, it's discovered that dying causes Adventurers to slowly lose their memories when they respawn, which means any remaining Cross Players gradually start to forget their original gender.
** Even later when a crafting guild figures out a general purpose gender change potion, one of the cross-players mentioned that their [[TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody voices and mannerisms were starting to change to match their bodies]].
* Yun becomes one in ''LightNovel/OnlySenseOnline'' after the game system mistook his sex and generated a female avatar for him.
* Almost the point in the Web Manga and Anime ''Manga/RecoveryOfAnMMOJunkie'', as both of the main two characters are playing opposite genders in the game.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' opens with Alex Wilder playing an MMORPG as several other people, playing as more famous Marvel characters (Comicbook/CaptainAmerica, Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}, [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk the Hulk]], ComicBook/EmmaFrost, and [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Invisible Woman]]). [[ChekhovsGun We don't learn this for a long time,]] but Emma Frost 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.
* ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable: A tabletop rpg example. Gordo Sheckberry routinely plays female pixie fairies in his campaign which occasionally creeps the other players out. The eponymous Knights themselves were forced to play opposite gender characters as part of an experiment when Sara took over the game. They immediately abused their feminine wiles to rough up johns instead of engaging in the plot then turned themselves male as soon they got ahold of an artifact, all except Bob who got a little too attached to his character.
-->'''Dave:''' That was brutal!... Is there ''really'' a "SpontaneousHumanCombustion" table?\\
'''Sara''' ''(the GM):'' It had to be done. 'Bobarella' had to die.
* In ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'', Gina likes making avatars that are {{Hunk}}y male versions of herself. This often goes beyond video games.


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/TheGamersDorknessRising'', Gary plays the sorceress Luster. He's pretty much the antithesis of TheRoleplayer, though, so during the DeepImmersionGaming 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.


[[folder: Literature]]
* In Vivian Vande Velde's ''Literature/UserUnfriendly'', 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.
* A variation occurs in ''Literature/WarriorCats''. [=ShadowClan=] are defeated by [=ThunderClan=] in a major battle at the end of the novel ''Fading Echoes''. In the next novel, ''Night Whispers'', the [=ShadowClan=] cats decide to roleplay the battle and figure out tactics they can use to counter [=ThunderClan=] the next time they fight. Oakfur, a tomcat, is chosen to act as the [=ThunderClan=] she-cat Hazeltail for [=ShadowClan=]'s roleplay.
* In ''Literature/ReadyPlayerOne'', protagonist Wade has a best friend Aech, who is really a girl playing a guy, even though this isn't supposed to happen in the Oasis (the VR game they play).
* Bert is the only player in ''Literature/SpellsSwordsAndStealth'' that plays as a character of the opposite gender. The end result is a man described as being more likely to stuff SS&S players into trash cans than be one himself playing Wimberly, the pint sized gnomish gadgeteer.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* One of the best visual gags in ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' involves a scene showing [=WoW=]. [[spoiler: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 ''Series/{{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 ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' '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.)
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'': One episode had Howard's girlfriend break up with him after she finds out he had virtual sex with a female character online, who turns out to be [[UnsettlingGenderReveal the university's male janitor.]]

[[folder: Podcasts]]
* ''Podcast/DiceFunk'': Austin Yorski (male) plays Anne the halfling cleric (female).
* ''Podcast/TheTritoneGambit'': Rob and Steven (males) play Anya and Rosa (females) respectively.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has the "Reincarnation" spell, which can sometimes result in a sex change in addition to the usual species change (depending on the edition and GM), leading to this trope occurring at random; of course, it's perfectly possible for players to start their characters out as the opposite sex on purpose.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Sakubo of the ''VideoGame/DotHackGU'' games is a pair of fraternal twins playing the same(female) character.[[spoiler: Except it turns out the girl died when they were born and the boy developed a SplitPersonality as a result of his loneliness and his mother's verbal abuse.]]
* In ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' and [[VideoGame/Left4Dead2 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 (assuming character picks are at random).
* ''VideoGame/EveOnline'':
** An update 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. [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial This is certainly]] [[BlatantLies not going to be abused in any way]].
** The Devs 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.
** ''VideoGame/SecondLife'' added a similar feature.
* [[spoiler:Shiro]] in ''VisualNovel/REAlistair''.
* In ''VideoGame/{{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 [[RedMage mage]] or tank ''will'' be a girl, (Lann, Evie and Fiona, respectively), regardless of real-life gender. Also, when the archer and MightyGlacier (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.
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 3'' has medals for playing as females in the multiplayer, which give XP bonuses and are required for OneHundredPercentCompletion.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', some players do it on purpose when siding against Caesar's Legion due to their StayInTheKitchen mentality.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''. In the grand scheme, there's no difference between picking a male or a female character. However, female characters tend to be more popular than male ones (usually because of character design) so a lot of men do play as the female character. In ''Videogame/PokemonXAndY'', you have the option to announce to the world that you really are a guy or girl despite playing as a female or male character on your PSS (Player Search System) profile.
** In addition to ''X and Y'', females have a much larger selection of clothing to choose from, causing players who chose a male character to complain about how they're being treated unfairly in that department.
* Despite the player base being predominantly male, recent statistics showed that over 60% of the characters in ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2'' were female. While there are stat differences between male and female characters, it's extremely minor, meaning it's probably done mostly for the sake of visual appeal (especially considering how much freedom you have in designing your character's physical appearance).
** In the ScreenToStageAdaptation ''Phantasy Star Online 2 -ON STAGE-'', Alice's player is Akira, [[{{GIRL}} a burly man]]; while Kazu's player is Kaede, a housewife.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/{{Megatokyo}}'', all of Piro's videogame and MMORPG characters seem to be female. "Piroko" and "Pirogoeth" are notable examples who appear to have [[SecretIdentityIdentity 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 [[OutGambitted Miho was better]]. Even so, that relationship wound up being m0h's downfall, whether or not Miho planned it to happen.
*** Also, we later find out that Piro's claims that the in-game relationship wasn't ''that'' intimate were BlatantLies. [[MySecretPregnancy About as far from the truth as you can get, actually]]...that's one realistic game world.
* Tedd of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' uses a female chatroom avatar; unsurprising, considering his penchant for {{Gender Bender}}s.
** Dan's AuthorAvatar used to appear as a female anthro squirrel; he switched to male when Elliot was Genderbent.
* Dave, one of the secondary characters in ''Webcomic/RealLifeComics'', 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 [[ThirdPersonSeductress back half of a female avatar]] than a male one.
* a 2004 arc of ''Webcomic/PvP'' 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 GenderBender character.
* Ian of ''Webcomic/MacHall'' and ''Webcomic/ThreePanelSoul'' crossplays fairly often, most notably his ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' character Cherabim and (unwittingly) his [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]] character Ren. Also Risu from ''VideoGame/CityOfVillains'' or APB. Matt's characters tend to be male, ''[[http://machall.com/view.php?date=2006-08-28 buuuuuuuut...]]''
* Both [[CloudCuckoolander Jim]] and [[ActionGirl Annie]] in ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' provide examples of this trope, playing Padme and Anakin, respectively in the game versions of the 2nd and 3rd movies of ''Franchise/StarWars''. Unsurprisingly, HilarityEnsues 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 R2-D2, whose "gender" is really a matter of pronouns. (On which note, it's not actually clear whether Sally considers C-3PO to be male, although the other characters she's played certainly are.)
* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'':
** It is heavily implied that Drowbabe (and her SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Yodette) is played by [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/08192005/ 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 ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' is famous for only playing as women in {{Role Playing Game}}s.
* Marcus in ''Webcomic/ChainmailBikini'' starts out with a female elf cleric. After she [[DroppedABridgeOnHim gets a bridge dropped on her]] due to the party's trapmonkey screwing around, he switches to a nearly identical female elf bard. In [[http://shawntionary.com/chainmailbikini/?p=28 strip #6]] he tries to explain this predilection as "exploring gender roles within the context of a role-playing environment".
* ''Webcomic/{{Angels 2200}}'': Whiskey's [[http://www.angels2200.com/angels/2010/10/01/part-7-comic-39/ online avatar]] is male.
* ''Webcomic/LarpTrek'' has several, including O'Brien and Keiko (who decide it would be cute to play each other).
* In the modern-day timeline of ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace'', the characters meet in an online RPG where both Guinevere and Tristan (who's a girl in that timeline) play male characters.
* ''Webcomic/WhatHappensInCarpediem'': Chris is a guy IRL, and plays a cute female avatar.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Prevalent in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'', 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 ''WebVideo/TheGuild'' 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 deal out of it, probably as acknowledgement of how common a practice it is.
* Several authors of the ''Roleplay/LeagueOfIntergalacticCosmicChampions''.
* In ''Roleplay/TheGunganCouncil'', 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.
* ''Roleplay/EquestriaChronicles'' naturally has this because, well, it's based off a ''girl's'' show and most of the players are ''guys.''
* [=YouTube=] [[LetsPlay Let's Player]] LetsPlay/NakaTeleeli is known for playing female characters most of the time when he's given a choice in the games that he plays.
* WebVideo/ThatDudeInTheSuede outed [[WebVideo/YouCanPlayThis JewWario]] as this in a crossover review. Most likely as a joke.
* LetsPlay/MarioPartyTV: Steeler's signature character is Toadette, while Holms often plays as Peach or Birdo and Ky plays Daisy.
* In ''Series/{{Noob}}'', Omega Zell gave it a try to see if it would make getting into a PickUpGroup easier at some point. The possibility has also been used for quick gags, notably the male avatar to which Omega Zell has been gloating about hating woman turning out to have a female player or the female avatars to which [[CasanovaWannabe Valentin]] was speaking to turning out to be that of male players.
* Jack Pattillo of Creator/AchievementHunter often picks female character models, most notably in their ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' [[LetsPlay/AchievementHunterGrandTheftAutoSeries videos]]. His reasoning is that if he has to look at a character's backside all game, it may as well be one he wants to look at.
** Noted AH fan and fanfiction author KhaosOmega also prefers to play as female characters, but in his case it's more for the high heels since female characters are usually the only ones who can wear them in-game.
* Also on [=YouTube=], omegaevolution tends to play a female avatar when the game he's playing gives him the option.
* Arin of WebVideo/GameGrumps almost always picks a female character model if given the option, most notably in their playthroughs of ''VideoGame/PokemonFireRed'' and ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}''. During the [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Guild Grumps]] miniseries, Ross offered Arin the reward of allowing him to change his avatars gender to female if he reached level 94.
--> '''Arin:''' Man, I just wanna be a girl.
* Miriam Webster of LetsPlay/SomethingAwfulDungeonsAndDragons is played by the male [[LetsPlay/MediBot Medibot]]. It's never really brought up, and just considered normal.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Kyle is seen playing as a female human in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Make Love Not [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Warcraft]]".


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Just pick ANY MMORPG. Even much more if the game do not have PurelyAestheticGender 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 ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', ''VideoGame/WarhammerOnline'', 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 {{Altitis}}. 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 [[http://forum.gateworld.net/forumdisplay.php?f=49 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 WordOfGod, ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'''s Jerry Holkins, like his cartoon alter ego "Tycho" (see above), prefers to play female characters in {{Role Playing Game}}s.
* Also pretty common in single player [=RPG=]s where you create your own character. Many modding communities are built around catering to guys and increasingly girls who want to sexify up their [[DistaffCounterpart Distaff Avatar]].
* Any game with character creation modes for both genders falls into this, really. Shepard's gender in ''Franchise/MassEffect'', for example, is entirely the player's choice.
** Many ''Franchise/MassEffect'' fans have admitting the use a very simple method to determine whether to play a male or female Shepard by playing the opposite gender from the one they took on their last play-through. (Their Shepard's class is also determined by using a similar metric: they use the next one on the list from their last play-through.)
* Some games such as the ''VideoGame/{{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. ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'', however, has moved away from this trend by allowing players to choose their gender for all classes.
** Some Nexon-produced games, such as ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline'' and ''VideoGame/{{Vindictus}}'', are also genderlocked. DFO is starting to move away from this, however, with the Female Gunner and recently the Male Fighter, although each gender still has significantly different playstyles in most cases.
** ''Gold Slam'', a Korean- (and for a brief time, American-) produced tennis game had the same idea with only 5 tennis players with their own distinctive looks and biographies to choose from. Want to [[UnskilledButStrong stay at the baseline and hit the ball really hard?]] You'll have to be a male character. Want to be [[WeakButSkilled unpredictable and quick on your feet?]] It's a female character for you.
* Some appointed that on average, 40% of the players of either sex Crossplay.
* '''Gamemasters.''' In an interesting subversion-inversion-double standard, while a Player may have their motives questioned when playing a cross gender character, most don't even give it a second thought that a good gamemaster is expected to play realistic, believable, interesting and even entertaining characters of ANY gender.
* In ''WebVideo/GameGrumps'', as a RunningGag, Arin always picks a female character if given the choice.