222: Straight and Narrow

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The_ModeRazor:

Susan Arendt:

The_ModeRazor:

Susan Arendt:

heyheysg:

Susan Arendt:

The_ModeRazor:
Wait a sec, why would you want gay characters?

Um...you know, I can't tell...is that a serious question?

Does this mean every minority must be represented now? Asians, Atheists, Unicyclists, Geese Jugglers, Pirates, Ninjas, Sentient AI etc? Oh wait

So, you're ok with ignoring the opinions and feelings of everyone who isn't the majority?

Well, as long as they aren't being represented in a bad light, why would this be homophobia?
I just don't get it.

I didn't accuse you of being homophobic. To say you don't care about a group that doesn't include you isn't the same as saying you hate or fear them.

But again, I ask, are you ok with games ignoring the opinions and feelings of everyone who isn't part of the majority? Because that's what you're suggesting. You're absolutely right that it would be at best ungainly and at worst impossible to cater to literally every minority group out there, but does that mean the correct answer is to ignore them all? It's easier to go with the majority, so let's just do that, and if you don't happen to be part of the majority, then, gosh, I guess it just sucks to be you? Pretty unfair.

Not being cast in a good light is sometimes just as bad as being cast in a bad light. In other words, it doesn't really matter if you're not the villain if you also never get to be the hero.

Ok I guess.
But I think the way Lionhead pulled it off was just fine. (well except it wasn't because marriage in Fable means friggin nothin, but still)
I might be a homophobe for this, but I really can't see the reason behind making the gamer control a gay protagonist.

The player DOESN'T NEED TO be able to control a homosexual character, but he can choose to.

The problem is not whether we the heterosexual crowd are being favored by having heterosexual lead characters (I mean, Master Chief, Doom Guy, and The "Freeman" could be gay, it's never clearly specified whether or not MC would want to date Commander Keyes, Cortana or Johnson and we are not exactly being harassed about their sexual disposition during their/our adventures in the game right), however when you look at Mass Effect for example where Commander Sheppard can't get Aidan into bed if he is a male, or Ashley into bed if the commander is a she (oh lord, how I wanted to see Missus Sheppard and Ash in the same bed ;) ), you can obviously see where I'm going. Developers aren't exactly letting the homosexual crowds have full control over the experience a game like Mass Effect should give them. Not saying we are all playing Mass Effect to see Mr. Sheppard having a threesome with Ash and Liara, but hey, it's part of the romance aspect some love about the game. That could be applied to say, Jimmy who is openly gay, and would want to have Gordon Freeman focus all his attention on his love for Barney or ... that old guy they introduced in Episode 2 rather be a mute dood with a hot independent chick that would never SHUT THE HELL UP.

And another problem is how homosexuals are represented in games anyway, the flamboyant type like Bernie which I like a lot, although I wouldn't take a non-stereotype homosexual type character seriously because they would just be like us the hetoreosexual dood who have one fucking objective, save the fucking world from the fucking aliens who want to fucking fuck us the fucking humans. Right?

cainx10a:

The_ModeRazor:

Susan Arendt:

The_ModeRazor:

Susan Arendt:

heyheysg:

Susan Arendt:

The_ModeRazor:
Wait a sec, why would you want gay characters?

Um...you know, I can't tell...is that a serious question?

Does this mean every minority must be represented now? Asians, Atheists, Unicyclists, Geese Jugglers, Pirates, Ninjas, Sentient AI etc? Oh wait

So, you're ok with ignoring the opinions and feelings of everyone who isn't the majority?

Well, as long as they aren't being represented in a bad light, why would this be homophobia?
I just don't get it.

I didn't accuse you of being homophobic. To say you don't care about a group that doesn't include you isn't the same as saying you hate or fear them.

But again, I ask, are you ok with games ignoring the opinions and feelings of everyone who isn't part of the majority? Because that's what you're suggesting. You're absolutely right that it would be at best ungainly and at worst impossible to cater to literally every minority group out there, but does that mean the correct answer is to ignore them all? It's easier to go with the majority, so let's just do that, and if you don't happen to be part of the majority, then, gosh, I guess it just sucks to be you? Pretty unfair.

Not being cast in a good light is sometimes just as bad as being cast in a bad light. In other words, it doesn't really matter if you're not the villain if you also never get to be the hero.

Ok I guess.
But I think the way Lionhead pulled it off was just fine. (well except it wasn't because marriage in Fable means friggin nothin, but still)
I might be a homophobe for this, but I really can't see the reason behind making the gamer control a gay protagonist.

The player DOESN'T NEED TO be able to control a homosexual character, but he can choose to.

The problem is not whether we the heterosexual crowd are being favored by having heterosexual lead characters (I mean, Master Chief, Doom Guy, and The "Freeman" could be gay, it's never clearly specified whether or not MC would want to date Commander Keyes, Cortana or Johnson and we are not exactly being harassed about their sexual disposition during their/our adventures in the game right), however when you look at Mass Effect for example where Commander Sheppard can't get Aidan into bed if he is a male, or Ashley into bed if the commander is a she (oh lord, how I wanted to see Missus Sheppard and Ash in the same bed ;) ), you can obviously see where I'm going. Developers aren't exactly letting the homosexual crowds have full control over the experience a game like Mass Effect should give them. Not saying we are all playing Mass Effect to see Mr. Sheppard having a threesome with Ash and Liara, but hey, it's part of the romance aspect some love about the game. That could be applied to say, Jimmy who is openly gay, and would want to have Gordon Freeman focus all his attention on his love for Barney or ... that old guy they introduced in Episode 2 rather be a mute dood with a hot independent chick that would never SHUT THE HELL UP.

And another problem is how homosexuals are represented in games anyway, the flamboyant type like Bernie which I like a lot, although I wouldn't take a non-stereotype homosexual type character seriously because they would just be like us the hetoreosexual dood who have one fucking objective, save the fucking world from the fucking aliens who want to fucking fuck us the fucking humans. Right?

I guess that makes sense.
Sorta.

Make a game solely for homosexuals and you won't see me buying it. Make a game that has huge amounts of homosexuality in it and I won't buy it. That stuff may be for some people but it's not for me.

They can't even work out a way to have hetrosexual sexuality in games without starting a huge controversy. Seems to me that the discrimination flows pretty equally. Especially when most characters aren't given enough personality to really define thier sexuality.

the only way I can personally see this ever being sorted is to simply add character customisation to all games, and the option to romance both sexes if the game features romance. Perhaps during the character customisation section there is a sexuality toggle and the game switches the romance target as per your choice.

I wish they had that option in mass effect, I really wanted to romance Kaidan with a male Shepard and I'm straight.

squid5580:
They can't even work out a way to have hetrosexual sexuality in games without starting a huge controversy. Seems to me that the discrimination flows pretty equally. Especially when most characters aren't given enough personality to really define thier sexuality.

WTF? Are you insane? Heterosexuals are not discriminated against in games. Most particularly heterosexual males. The characters who aren't shown as having an overt sexuality are assumed by pretty much everyone except people who pause to think for a second that they are straight.

Visibility is a problem for gay people in general, as they have to assert that they are gay in order for it to be apparent, generally, and then they get accused of "throwing it in people's faces," by, apparently, asserting their own existence. It doesn't have to be huge, as noted in some games the characters are very subtly indicated.

I wish that Nico in GTAIV had been able to actually date one of the male options on the dating websites. Just one. The straight boys got like five.

All this saying 'gay hurts sales' is like saying 'black hurts sales' when the possibility of making a lead character non-white is introduced. It's crap and we can do better than that as a society. I think the straight-white-males out there can be big enough that not everything has to be all about them, all the time, right?

Dudeakoff:

insanelich:
What a dreadful vision of the future. "Diversity" trumping competence in the case of game developers; "diversity" trumping story in the case of game design.

If it helped make better games I'd be all for an eternal ban on gay protagonists. I play to have fun; not to be subjected to tirades about persecution and shoehorned "moral lessons".

Movies can be enjoyable whilst also containing 'moral lessons', why can't games? And that's not to say that all games have to contain startling social commentary, in the same way that movies like Zombieland are still being released and enjoyed.

District 9 is an excellent example of this with messages about Apartheid and Humanity's Inhumanity, but with aliens and kick ass rayguns

One hetro man
one gay man
one not to busty hetro woman

(and if the lesbians complain screw them because 3 characters are perfect)

I like the OPTION, simply because I will OPT out. If it's critical to a GREAT story, I probably wouldn't even be bothered by it, because well, it's not me. Of course, if done poorly in a bad story, well, it will get crap.

I have to agree with the previous person pointing out that if it's unfair for homosexuals not to be displayed often in video games then you have to say it's unfair for every other alternative sexuality and they would then need their own fair shake at the plot. Which honestly I don't see any of that happening anytime soon and while I am Bisexual, this doesn't bother me at all because I'm here to play a good game. If the game is really awesome then I really don't care that Master Chief isn't gay if I want him to be, or Niko doesn't have some kind of relationship option with Brucie. ( Come on... I mean just watch Brucie and tell me something isn't....)

If the game is focused around a love / relationship plot then yes in fact I support the option of m/m f/f but if the plot of the game doesn't revolve around these things then I don't see why it needs to be thrust into every ones face. Kill the space aliens, dictators, terrorists, mutant rats... and enjoy the game!

The_ModeRazor:

Ok I guess.
But I think the way Lionhead pulled it off was just fine. (well except it wasn't because marriage in Fable means friggin nothin, but still)
I might be a homophobe for this, but I really can't see the reason behind making the gamer control a gay protagonist.

You know what? I think I'm with you on this. Rarely do I play a game and think on the sexuality of my character. The Strip clubs and Prostitutes of GTA are simply bars and pedestrians to me. The women in Fable (I've not played the second one yet) are no different to any of the other NPC's. Ok, I married the woman in Bowerstone (some official chick I seem to remember), she screwed me over for a load of cash, then divorced me. Unless there's a serious reason to (a la GTA3, the health bonus from the first time), sexuality in games is an element of the game that just passes me by.

I've got to admit, whilst I'm not bothered about gay people as people, gay people as sexual entities make me uncomfortable. Take Half Life for example, and the relationship between Gordon and Alyx. There is never anything graphic, just the odd look or an indication of attraction between them. That washes over me, I barely notice it. If it was Grigori looking at me like that, I'd honestly be creeped out.

I guess... You know, this is the bit where I was going to summarise it all, take it to a neat little two line finishing remark, but I've got nothing. Well, that's not true, I've got "I guess I'd just be uncomfortable playing as a gay character", but being as I'll no-doubt get flamed as a homophobe anyway, there's no point in lighting the match for them as well.

Oh, and as a point of language... "Homophobia" - Homo "same" + "phobia" irrational fear. I have an irrational fear of enclosed spaces, there is no reason to fear them but I do. Dislike is not the same as fear.

I wouldn't mind being able to play a homosexual protagonist, that's for sure. I've very rarely come across any gay characters in games. At the very least, I'd love to see a gay main character (even if they aren't the protagonist), though I wouldn't want that to be the entire focus of the game. It'd just have to be another character trait.

I've got to admit, whilst I'm not bothered about gay people as people, gay people as sexual entities make me uncomfortable. Take Half Life for example, and the relationship between Gordon and Alyx. There is never anything graphic, just the odd look or an indication of attraction between them. That washes over me, I barely notice it. If it was Grigori looking at me like that, I'd honestly be creeped out.

That's because Grigori is creepy in the first place! XP

Oh, and as a point of language... "Homophobia" - Homo "same" + "phobia" irrational fear. I have an irrational fear of enclosed spaces, there is no reason to fear them but I do. Dislike is not the same as fear.

It's not the same as fear, but the thing is, that's the place "homophobia" has taken in our society. Despite the fact that if you break it down it means a fear, that is NOT how it's used; it's used to describe anti-gay sentiment. Hell, gay used to mean happy, and retarded meant mentally handicapped, but we don't always use those words the old way, now do we?

The_ModeRazor:

Ok I guess.
But I think the way Lionhead pulled it off was just fine. (well except it wasn't because marriage in Fable means friggin nothin, but still)
I might be a homophobe for this, but I really can't see the reason behind making the gamer control a gay protagonist.

Well, let's try it this way - can you see a reason why NOT to make a protagonist gay? Besides things like whether a game would sell, I mean.

Although sometimes a game's story requires the protagonist to be something specific (you're probably not ever going to play as a woman in a WWII game, for example), most of the time there's no compelling reason it needs to be anything in particular. Could be a guy, a girl, black, white, straight, gay, whatever. Take Dead Rising as an example (simply because I happened to just look at the poster for it above my desk.) All the main character really has to be is someone that could legitimately be a photojournalist, so probably not a kid. Other than that, it's wide open. And yet, it's a white guy. Now, there's nothing wrong with the hero being a white guy in and of itself - after all, why shouldn't it? - the problem is that it's so often a white guy. Variety would be great and variety includes minorities -- including homosexuals.

Just to let you know (and I do this on a frequent occassion), those who like to call you 'gay' or a 'fag' on Xbox live don't like it when you respond with a "Well, your dad wasn't complaining about it last night". It tends to leave them speechless.

If you're secure enough with your sexuality, you can make jokes like that.

But the worst is the ignorant 'no homo' shit that some people have adopted.

Cliff_m85:
Just to let you know (and I do this on a frequent occassion), those who like to call you 'gay' or a 'fag' on Xbox live don't like it when you respond with a "Well, your dad wasn't complaining about it last night". It tends to leave them speechless.

If you're secure enough with your sexuality, you can make jokes like that.

But the worst is the ignorant 'no homo' shit that some people have adopted.

I would love to hear someone say that on xbox live just so I can hear the dead silence that follows and I don't even think a comeback to that exists.

As for gays in games, let it be an option. I won't use it but some people will. Then again most of the games I play are of the RTS variety so there's not really a way for gays to be in one of those unless it designates your units by sexual preference.

Yukichin:
I wouldn't mind being able to play a homosexual protagonist, that's for sure. I've very rarely come across any gay characters in games. At the very least, I'd love to see a gay main character (even if they aren't the protagonist), though I wouldn't want that to be the entire focus of the game. It'd just have to be another character trait.

I've got to admit, whilst I'm not bothered about gay people as people, gay people as sexual entities make me uncomfortable. Take Half Life for example, and the relationship between Gordon and Alyx. There is never anything graphic, just the odd look or an indication of attraction between them. That washes over me, I barely notice it. If it was Grigori looking at me like that, I'd honestly be creeped out.

That's because Grigori is creepy in the first place! XP

Ok, someone less creepy then... I don't know, Barney?

Yukichin:

Oh, and as a point of language... "Homophobia" - Homo "same" + "phobia" irrational fear. I have an irrational fear of enclosed spaces, there is no reason to fear them but I do. Dislike is not the same as fear.

It's not the same as fear, but the thing is, that's the place "homophobia" has taken in our society. Despite the fact that if you break it down it means a fear, that is NOT how it's used; it's used to describe anti-gay sentiment. Hell, gay used to mean happy, and retarded meant mentally handicapped, but we don't always use those words the old way, now do we?

So if I call someone a Jew in a derogatory way, that's not racist? Just because something might be taken to mean one thing doesn't mean it loses it's original meaning.

I'm still waiting for the day where I can play a game with a female protagonist and go on a long and winding quest to rescue her kidnapped girlfriend.

high_castle:

The reason why it should be is that gay men and women play video games, and homosexuality is part of everyday life. I'm guessing your a straight male. Would you like to do nothing else but play as a gay character?

I have to say, I disagree with this approach. Basically, that's a demand for positive discrimination - which is still discrimination. I wouldn't say that just because gay people play games, there should be a requirement that there are gay characters in games - sure, if it it's in the character design then why not, but would you really want to see characters who are explicitly singled out as "look it's the gay-equal-inclusion" one?

It's slightly similar (don't take this analogy too far) to diversity policies in the workplace, and positive discrimination quotas - do you want the job because you're qualified, or would you rather know that you only got it because the company is below their gay:straight employee threshold?

Obviously there's nothing wrong with wanting to experience games that have characters in that you identify with, but is it so important that it has to be on a sexuality level? Are there not other characteristics in a hero character that people can draw comparison with before they get to their choice of partner?

Personally, I don't think the sexuality of videogame characters matters a great deal - being as they're games. I've never picked up a game thinking "great, time to get my heterosexual on and shoot some villains like only a straight man can" because that would be ridiculous, and yet that's the reductio ad absurdum opposite of demanding gay characters in games. I think forcing the issue would only serve to make things worse - the ideal situation would surely be where a main character turns to their love interest of choice/plot design, be they male or female, and nobody gives a hoot.

The_ModeRazor:
Wait a sec, why would you want gay characters?

Who knows, maybe gay people have special powers.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Zoey, Bill, Louis and Francis.

Which one(s) is gay, how do you know and why would it matter?

Whether they are gay or not, simply does not matter because they are just avatars. Their backstories are irrelevant to the game mechanics.

squid5580:
They can't even work out a way to have hetrosexual sexuality in games without starting a huge controversy. Seems to me that the discrimination flows pretty equally. Especially when most characters aren't given enough personality to really define thier sexuality.

Yes, lets just take a look at how they portrait female characters in most games, I don´t think they can even get males right.

JakobBloch:

All that being said I can't help looking forward to having your sandard dark, ruggedly handsome protagonist agree with his obligatory female sidekick when she comment on the butt of men in uniforms.

/Jakob

haha, that reminded me of this part in metal gear solid, where you had to find a woman disguised as a masked soldier by looking at their butts to see if their hips wiggled.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Final Thought for the day:

Zoey, Bill, Louis and Francis.

Which one(s) is gay, how do you know and why would it matter?

Francis definitely. no doubt in my mind. In the context of L4D, it doesn't matter at all.

The Escapist must be getting lazy. I saw a story a couple weeks ago about somehting like this, and I swear they just took the same article and replaced the words "Black" with "Gay"

I don't know if being a bisexual male gives me any special impartiality here, but why does everyone care who they're playing?

If you have the choice to, go on and play as a carbon copy of you. If not, learn to deal with it like the rest of us have. Racism and homophobia will only die once no one gives a damn.

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.

occamsnailfile:

squid5580:
They can't even work out a way to have hetrosexual sexuality in games without starting a huge controversy. Seems to me that the discrimination flows pretty equally. Especially when most characters aren't given enough personality to really define thier sexuality.

WTF? Are you insane? Heterosexuals are not discriminated against in games. Most particularly heterosexual males. The characters who aren't shown as having an overt sexuality are assumed by pretty much everyone except people who pause to think for a second that they are straight.

Visibility is a problem for gay people in general, as they have to assert that they are gay in order for it to be apparent, generally, and then they get accused of "throwing it in people's faces," by, apparently, asserting their own existence. It doesn't have to be huge, as noted in some games the characters are very subtly indicated.

I wish that Nico in GTAIV had been able to actually date one of the male options on the dating websites. Just one. The straight boys got like five.

All this saying 'gay hurts sales' is like saying 'black hurts sales' when the possibility of making a lead character non-white is introduced. It's crap and we can do better than that as a society. I think the straight-white-males out there can be big enough that not everything has to be all about them, all the time, right?

I didn't say hetrosexuals. I said hetrosexual sexuality. Did you forget the Mass Effect controversy? They completely glossed over the fact that you could have a semi lesbian relationship (the blue alien who has both organs or something but she looks like a girl) but focused on the fact that OMG THEY HAD S E X. So if that is the reaction of a hetrosexual relationship that was done in very good taste what chance is there of having a homosexual scene? Would you be happy with a character who announces "I'm gay" at the beginning of the game and that is it? How about some shoehorned in romance that means nothing because game writers can't write? Maybe you would be happier with a God of War style comic minigame that is just there for silliness?

Not only that what about you the player? Do you need them to tell you every little detail about your character? I remember back when I first started playing games we had to use this thing called imagination. White squares floating on the screen we imagined were grenades. A green rectangle was GI freakin Joe man. SO why do they have to tell you that your character is gay or straight? Is Mario straight because he is always rescuing the princess? Maybe Luigi is his life partner but Mario is in the princess rescuing business. Who is to say one dark night in the foxhole Marcus and Carmine didn't get a little closer than needed to "keep warm" and the only reason they went after his wife was for repopulation. Unless the character comes out with the stereotypical clothes and lisp no one really knows what most characters are. Everyone just assumes they are.

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.

So how many characters in games even display their sexuality? For all you know, Link could be gay. He never shows any romantic feelings for anyone in any game except Twilight Princess(and that's an entirely different Link), so how do you know he doesn't like men? How about Master Chief? His sexuality is never glanced at, he might have the hots for Johnson. Pun not intended. Does there have to be a gay sex scene for this issue to be considered "resolved" in a game? Does the character have to flamboyantly display his/her sexuality?

Edit: I agree with the post above mine, it sums up details I forgot to mention.

I'm sorry but this is just a bit ... silly! (Can't think of another word)

I do appreciate that it must suck a little to be a gay-gamer with all the online slang, which i understand. But the reason why we don't have gay protagonists is due to the fact that the majority of gamers are hetrosexual males: A designer must create a character that the majority can relate too...

Main characters being (usually) Either-

*Male, strong, funny, confident and successful.

OR

*Female, strong (Not looking it though...), confident and sexy.

The female protagonist would appeal to the majority for more sexual reasons and the male character for obvious idiol reasons. Now this 'rule' isnt always that precise but its usually something like that. If we made a gay protagonist it would be harder for hetrosexuals to relate too... especially if he is getting it on with another guy! - Saying that though a homosexual woman might actually appeal to the majority.

This is nothing about homophobia! Its just a question of appealing to the audience. - In the end... designers want to make money and the money is with the majority.

MikeOfThunder:

Main characters being (usually) Either-
*Male, strong, funny, confident and successful.
OR
*Female, strong (Not looking it though...), confident and sexy.

If male gamers have no qualms playing a straight woman who is attracted to guys, they shouldn't have problems playing a gay man who's attracted to guys. The player character is not an exact representation of the player and isn't meant to be. (Outside certain sandbow games that allow total character customization, I suppose.)

I'll admit there aren't a lot of Homosexual characters in games, but at the same time there isn't a lot of romance in games either. There is some but that is rarely the point of the game, and I don't want a romance subplot thrown into most of them, and I also don't need to know the characters sexual orientation if romance isn't going to be a factor.

Furthermore if you look at the action genre in general, that is including movies, it dominated by hetero males. Perhaps the demographic is larger for heterosexual males, makes sense to me, and it makes the characters more relatible.

I'm all for more gays in video games, if it makes sense. If the character is just going to be given 'gay traits' or a romance cutscene is shoehorned in, I don't want it. And that last bit goes for heterosexual charaters as well.

THe gay community has alot of people in high places, so I think they should group together ( do whatever they usually do when they group together whether that be drugs dancing to techno or mud wrestling) and make a new console called gay cube to play ther gay games then when anyone feels comfortable with wanting to tryout playing gay games with gay characters doing gay things they can buy a GAY CUBE :D i think its an awesome idea..

Also the thing with gay culture is it is rarely handled with any degree of subtlety. There are rare occasions where a character in some medium where he happens to be gay, and they don't make a big thing about it. I'm fine with that. But even within the culture itself, and i'm talking real life, its treated like the only thing that defines a gay person is that they are gay. I mean I've been to gay pride, and there is so much shirtless men, thongs, drag queens, buttless chaps, men in their underwear. Its like if I went to a hetro pride parade and saw women dressing like sluts, and men acting like macho douchebags I think the same thing. It doesn't treat the sexuality with any amount of respect, it comes across as attention seeking.

For homosexuality to work in art it has to be treated with respect for both hetrosexuals and homosexuals. The characters that are gay, but the relationships that spawn from that have to be real, have actual emotional depth, and not just flamboyant 'hey look I'm gay' characters.

squid5580:

occamsnailfile:

squid5580:
They can't even work out a way to have hetrosexual sexuality in games without starting a huge controversy. Seems to me that the discrimination flows pretty equally. Especially when most characters aren't given enough personality to really define thier sexuality.

WTF? Are you insane? Heterosexuals are not discriminated against in games. Most particularly heterosexual males. The characters who aren't shown as having an overt sexuality are assumed by pretty much everyone except people who pause to think for a second that they are straight.

Visibility is a problem for gay people in general, as they have to assert that they are gay in order for it to be apparent, generally, and then they get accused of "throwing it in people's faces," by, apparently, asserting their own existence. It doesn't have to be huge, as noted in some games the characters are very subtly indicated.

I wish that Nico in GTAIV had been able to actually date one of the male options on the dating websites. Just one. The straight boys got like five.

All this saying 'gay hurts sales' is like saying 'black hurts sales' when the possibility of making a lead character non-white is introduced. It's crap and we can do better than that as a society. I think the straight-white-males out there can be big enough that not everything has to be all about them, all the time, right?

I didn't say hetrosexuals. I said hetrosexual sexuality. Did you forget the Mass Effect controversy? They completely glossed over the fact that you could have a semi lesbian relationship (the blue alien who has both organs or something but she looks like a girl) but focused on the fact that OMG THEY HAD S E X. So if that is the reaction of a hetrosexual relationship that was done in very good taste what chance is there of having a homosexual scene? Would you be happy with a character who announces "I'm gay" at the beginning of the game and that is it? How about some shoehorned in romance that means nothing because game writers can't write? Maybe you would be happier with a God of War style comic minigame that is just there for silliness?

Not only that what about you the player? Do you need them to tell you every little detail about your character? I remember back when I first started playing games we had to use this thing called imagination. White squares floating on the screen we imagined were grenades. A green rectangle was GI freakin Joe man. SO why do they have to tell you that your character is gay or straight? Is Mario straight because he is always rescuing the princess? Maybe Luigi is his life partner but Mario is in the princess rescuing business. Who is to say one dark night in the foxhole Marcus and Carmine didn't get a little closer than needed to "keep warm" and the only reason they went after his wife was for repopulation. Unless the character comes out with the stereotypical clothes and lisp no one really knows what most characters are. Everyone just assumes they are.

Oh, great, one incident where straight sexuality draws a tiny bit of finger-wagging (versus the specific singling out that the lesbian 'scene' got on national television, rather than being "glossed over" as you try to claim) and clearly discrimination against heterosexual sexuality is equal to that experienced by gays. Good night.

I'd be content with any one of several of those options of representation--so long as it fit the game it was in. Why don't you use your "imagination" to envision a world where not all games are always about straight white males. I mean one of the reasons they have such a big demographic is that all the marketing is to them, all the games are written for them, and everybody else just has to take whatever scraps they can get--including female leads with enormous breasts "for the men" even if the game is supposed to attract female gamers, even though there are huge numbers of women who play now, even though there are a lot of very vocal gays, and even though of course not all gamers are white straight males.

They know they can just ignore everybody else because everybody else is used to having to pick up the leftovers, while the second you move the camera away from the "majority demographic", they set up a hue and cry about how gays should "just use their imagination."

Charley:

high_castle:

The reason why it should be is that gay men and women play video games, and homosexuality is part of everyday life. I'm guessing your a straight male. Would you like to do nothing else but play as a gay character?

the ideal situation would surely be where a main character turns to their love interest of choice/plot design, be they male or female, and nobody gives a hoot.

I agree with you there. And please don't mistake me. I don't think game designers should be forced or even pressured into creating gay characters. I would hope that gay characters would make it in because it's a part of everyday life and I see no reason for it to be excluded.

while not many gay project leads certainly doesnt help I think a bigger problem is just that if you have a gay char then you have to address sexuality and very few games are willing to do that since in the states really any discussion of sexuality it looked at with suspician and when you combine something that the loud religious crazies dont like they just yell louder about it

bobknowsall:

LTK_70:

Every minority that does not fit the white-male-heterosexual mold has had to claw and bite its way toward acceptance and representation, and gay gamers are no exception.

This bit sums up the whole article quite nicely. There's not very much in there that hasn't been said about a different minority too, is there? There has been plenty of discussion about the elitist culture of what people call 'hardcore games/gamers'. For a long time the majority of the gamer community consisted of white adolescent males. I happen to be (or rather, was) one of them. You're saying that the gaming community is maturing, and that's because video games are being made for a broader spectrum of people. We've got games now for everyone, but does that mean all games should be fit for everyone? Of course, we don't need any more of the horribly clichéd Hero-Man and Romance-Girl Adventures, but on the other hand, I don't see why homosexuality needs to be a bigger part of videogames.

I don't think the article suggests that homosexuality needs to be shoe-horned into every type of game (As a matter of fact, that'd be dreadful. Even heterosexuality isn't talked about in a lot of games), only the character-driven games that would also have straight relationships in them.

In response to the OP, I definitely think that there could more gay/bi characters in games, and I'd be perfectly happy with that as long as they weren't the contemptible stereotypes I've grown so tired of seeing.

Ok, seriously, I understand that we shouldn't be biased against gays. Fine. Great. Whatever. Why do I need them in all my games? Why is there such a big push?

Frankly, I don't care much for a characters orientation in a mario game. I would argue that when the "apparent" orientation of Birdo was hidden from the public in America, they did it because Mario is (or was perceived as) a childrens game . It wasn't so much for the homophobia of the idea, but rather that belief that any talk about sexuality with children is inappropriate. To a large degree, I agree. All that kids need to understand about sexuality is that some children ahve wee-wees, and others don't. Anything else is simply irrelevant in a child's world (my friends and I sure as hell had no idea what a "homosexual" was, nor would we have given a damn if you attempted to explain).

Now, I know that example was taken from another article. So to come back to this one, I simply want to say that, sure, it would be interesting to have homosexuals in video games as characters, but I don't understand why there needs to be an EFFORT to do so. First of all, in many games (like halo (not ODST) and Resistance), any mentioning of homosexuals would be out of place. Particularly in Resistance, which takes place in hyper-conservative America that's being undersiege by an alien invasion force. In my opinion, there aren't a lot of games on the market where it would be logical to put in a gay character. Other games (Left 4 Dead anyone?) make me wonder why they exclude such an obviously simple integration of the character. It wouldn't have to be forced. You could add a scene with a guy (or girl) morning his/her same sex lover.

Having said that, I'm sick of a lot of the media and entertainment industries shoving down our throats the idea that we MUST HAVE GAYS IN OUR SHOWS!!! I have nothing against having homosexuals in shows, but many of the shows that incorporate them do it as a PR stunt. I remember a BBC special (I think it was called Wormwood). It was supposed to be about aliens taking over children and invading the world. But half of the show was devoted to two "detectives" and their gay relationship. Why the FUCK do I care about two guys making love when the worlds about to end? I wouldn't care even if they were a guy and a girl. It distracted from the main story so much that I stopped watching. I was here to watch aliens, not a romance story.

Other shows do it right. House has a bisexual woman in it. Granted, she is in a heterosexual relationship at the moment, but they made her bisexual because it fit the character so well. It was interesting and entertaining. brilliant I'd say! It wasn't forced at all! It was natural for the show and character. I loved it.

I wish all sources of media would stop discriminating against homosexuals but would also stop trying to force homosexual characters in their mediums of entertainment where they don't naturally seem to fit. Just let developers make the stories they want to make, and don't bash them for either desiring to put in a well thought of gay character nor bash them for excluding them. The fact is, only 5-10% of the population is gay. logic would have it only 5-10% of characters should be gay, at the most. I don't expect nor necessarily want every game to have a gay character. Then again, I'd be very upset if the next installment of Super Smash Bros. took a great deal of time explaining to me that DK and Diddy Kong were actually lovers. I just don't give a damn. I wanna beat the shit outta Mr. Game & Watch!!!

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