Online crossdressing or seeing how the other half lives?

In this weeks reading " Who Am We" Turkle brings up the idea of not assuming your own gender online when role playing.
IN the beginning the RPG Dungeons and Dragons allowed players to become different creatures and/or people with different powers and abilities, often ones that surpassed their own( with the help of a twenty sided die). This desire to be something different transfered over into MUD's and MOOs when they were created. " The anonymity of MUD's gives people the chance to express multiple and often unexplored aspects of self, to play with their identity and try out new ones.". This is perfectly shown in men playing as female characters of any race or women playing men. The MUDs even give a chance for players to have netsex with either gender, regardless of the individuals own sexuality.

But using MUds as different genders also has some benifits. Zoe a 34 yer old woman who plays characters of both sexes says the being able to utilize both gave her the ability to speak up better in her marriage. And become sucsessfully "passing" is relitively easy ( creating a description) people can try on new identities with out having to stick with them. Very much like playing text based dress up.

I feel like people have been pretending to be someone elese for as long as the world has been turning. So MUD's and MOO's allow for these make believe games to be played online, not just in a room with other people.