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Video game writer: When are we going to get a gay protagonist who isn’t a one-off joke?

  • VP

    Well, Final Fantasy XIII did have Fang and Vanille, who were a lesbian couple. It was an ensemble piece, so they shared billing with four or five other characters, but they were still there and still unashamedly a couple.

    A gay character who stars as a lone hero or gets top billing in their own right hasn’t really been done before though.

    I’d like to see an alternative history RPG starring a young Leonardo da Vinci myself. That’d be good.

  • James

    What about Mass Effect and Dragon Age? Granetd in Mass Effect it took until the third game for the Male Shepherd to be able to romance a male character, but the options were there. And speaking generally, how important is a character’s sexuality to the plot of the game? Does the game need to give information of the character’s sexuality? If it does, then you need to make sure it is not a defining trait. In a sense they should a protagonist who is (for example) gay, not a gay protagonist.

    • Gruffling

      With exploits, Commander Shepard can be gay throughout the entire trilogy. BioWare even acknowledged these and wrote in extra dialogue in Mass Effect 3 for players who imported a modified save.

  • Patrick Winter

    Most of the Borderlands 2 characters were either gay or bisexual. Why this is even a discussion is stupid. If you have to force the issue into a game it will be received as just that. Forced.

    • Traveller_23

      That’s part of the problem. Even if a game studio wants to just happen to make a main character gay – for whatever reason, or even as supporting character, some people will always claim its ‘forced’ and being shoved down their throats.

      Some of the comments on gaming websites get really quite bad/homophobic.

      • Patrick Winter

        At the same time I don’t know why video games should become stages for people’s sexuality, straight or gay. It is getting way to deep into it. Video games are for escapist fun. The recent insertion of a gay theme into the Last of Us felt forced. It doesnt make the game any less great. Much of it may be because society is obsessed with this issue right now on both sides. Extreme folks on the right have hurt their case, as well as extreme voices on the left. it has become strictly a reactionary issue. No one is ever gonna like everyone, we are animals from birth. We need to be taught respect.

        • Traveller_23

          Agree that extreme voices on any side hurt rather than help the cause. But your line “Video games are for escapist fun.” is problematic.

          Video games actually explore all kinds of themes – this is not mutually exclusive to escapist. The Last of Us explores loneliness, survival instincts etc. And if all these themes can be explored from a gay perspective too surely, on top of a straight one? If anything it adds layers to the gameplay experience.

          What’s so inherently wrong to you about gay people that you think they shouldn’t be portrayed in games??

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