In response to "Straight and Narrow" from The Escapist Forum: I suspect they'll have trouble selling a game where the protagonist is openly gay, certainly if no option is given to play a straight character instead. That, I suspect, may be the main issue; the gaming industry is ultimately a business, and a game which forces its players to control a gay character (at least if their inclination has an effect on the game that's difficult to skim over) is unlikely to ever have anything more than niche appeal.

All that makes it a fairly simple economical calculation; it costs a lot to develop a game, and forcing the straight majority to play a gay character will make a huge dent in market demand. With societal views as they are now, it just won't be profitable to have an enforced gay protagonist.

That said, it always struck me in Mass Effect that the "Male!Shepard-walking-up-to-Kaidan" animation on board the Normandy could have quite easily fitted into a male-male romance thread. I'd have avoided it - partly because I'm straight and have no interest in playing a gay character, but mainly because I found Kaidan immensely annoying - but it could have been easily included.

It would be interesting to see some studies done - both in the highly religious areas like the US and in places like Europe where there is a... shall we say, more enlightened approach to homosexuality - to see just how much effect a gay protagonist would have on people's interest. A character identified as gay in a game where it had little or no effect on the gameplay? It wouldn't bother me. If it was just there as a gimmick, though, or if the game revolved around it... I'd have trouble with that, purely because I wouldn't derive any enjoyment from it.

- awmperry

My god, folks, seriously.

You want proof that having a not-heterosexual male as your main character works fine? Allow me to point you to Big Boss from MGS3. Who Kojima confirmed in the Japanese commentary of the game had a thing with Ocelot, who was gay.

Knowing that, do you love the character any less? Does it make him any less of a badass? He got the girl, but he also got the guy. Oh, and EVA had a crush on the Boss, much to the glee of myself and all the other girls who adored the Boss. The next game in the series will introduce her female lover.

MGS is one of the most popular, albeit polarizing, series in gaming. There is a ton of gay in those games. A fucking lot of it. Does that make you like the games less? Would you have even noticed if you weren't told so?

See, including homosexuality and bisexuality in games doesn't have to be ham-fisted. It can be subtle or purely incidental, and never a defining characteristic. Queers like me might instantly pick up on the hints and get that much more enjoyment from the games. Straights can continue to naively believe Raikov and Volgin weren't doing the nasty. Everyone wins.

- LadyZephyr

***

In response to "Too Gay for the U.S.A." from The Escapist Forum:

Serenegoose:
Simply accepting birdo as female, the 'censored US version' is infact more progressive than the article, which by its language, artificialises birdos gender, and asserts that it's 'really' male. That it's being applied to such a trivial, minor character is of no consequence, because it speaks of a larger prejudice only highlighted in this case, that should be confronted.

Thank you. At least someone noticed this. While I agree with the overall article's point, it's extremely offensive the way the writer continually brushes off Birdo as another example of homosexuality and sexual orientation. Repeatedly stating that Birdo's genetic sex needs to be acknowledged, as if they're hiding some part of herself. Sadly the writer manages to *completely* miss the point and blend together two ENTIRELY different issues into one. Sexual orientation and Gender Identity have nothing whatsoever to do with one another and to label them as such in simply outright insulting.

As stated before, the so-called "censored" edition of Mario in which it simply states Birdo as being a girl, is DRASTICALLY less offensive than anything this article has put forth.

Dryce:
Snip

Crossdressers and transsexuals are two entirely different things. Birdo, while genetically male, would most definitely be the female of the relationship and has no desire to be acknowledged otherwise.

-----------------------------------

This article and thread both speak volumes about the severe lack of genuine support for transsexuality, and the ignorance/prejudice among it's so-called "supporters."

- KelsieKatt

RELATED CONTENT
Comments on