222: Straight and Narrow

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5
 

Great article. Thanks for that.

TheRealCJ:
Most of the games that I play (Not on Live though, god no, I'm a legal adult who can venture outside without a fake ID) are either completely Ambiguous when it comes to couples, or completely ignore the problem toto.

I hear the word 'Cunt' thrown around a lot whenever I'm around at a mate's place on Xbox Live. Most of the people who throw around those words are often still... ahem, quite young... Young enough certainly to need reassurance of their own sexuality, if they've even developed it yet.

Using the word 'fag' has just about the same connotations these days as the word 'moron' or 'retard'; The word itself is more offensive than the meaning behind it, and it's only really used in a shallow, semi-offensive way (that is to say, using it because the word itself is offensive.

Yeah, I think it's much less than these people are really homophobic, it's more that they are a bunch of hateful pricks who can't stand ANYTHING that's different than themselves and suggests that they should mature and accept other people's differences.

Honestly, it's much less the meaning and more, how hatefully vulgar it sounds when screamed at people.

Think of about any of the harder swear words, they tend to sound quite harsh and kind of guttural. Fuck for example. There's about no way to utter that word and not make it sound harsh, even if you REALLY try.

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.

As a gay gamer, I would definitely like to see this. I think one of the best examples I've seen of a gay character in modern day media was Captain Jack Harkness from "Torch Wood" and "Doctor Who?". He's manly and brave and he's a real hero that I think most people wouldn't mind portraying. The character also happens to be gay/bi. I'd like to see a few characters like that in video games. Characters who are just people (or extraordinary people in the case of heroes) that happen to be gay but it's not their only defining quality.

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

Why wouldn't you want gay characters? Gay people are part of our world and part of human sexuality. Why would't you want to see that right along side all the hetrosexuality in games?

There are many character driven games where the main character has at least the possibility for a hetrosexual relationship. Why shouldn't there also be the possibility for a homosexual one?

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

Umm...I would pay untold amounts of money to play a game in which you got to be a gay, Asian, atheist, geese juggling, pirate, ninja, on a unicycle, who also happened to be a sentient AI android. That character sounds fucking awesome. Does he shoot eye lasers too?!?

Labyrinth:

The_root_of_all_evil:
*Snip*

Let's turn it the other way then. If there wasn't a single white heterosexual lead character, how would you feel? It's one thing to say "Well it just doesn't matter" and another thing entirely to experience the sense of being ignored in media. For example I'd quite like to play a female Alex Mercer-type character. I'd have LOADS of fun dancing around some quarantined city slicing people to pieces and generally being the biggest dick I could. Pity there's yet to be a game like that in a similar spirit.

A shout out to Vampires! The Masquerade: Bloodlines though. Doesn't matter the sex of your character, you can still sleep with Jeanette whenever you like.

No you're not necessarily racist, sexist or homophobic by benefit of being a white heterosexual male. Doesn't mean that the rest of us shouldn't have a slice of the market for our own representation, or be treated with due respect in the face of people who use "fag" like punctuation.

I'm not a girl but that character sounds awesome. I'd like to play her too.

similar.squirrel:
What would an 'openly gay' character be like, exactly?I have one or two openly gay friends, and I didn't find out about their orientation for months. It's just something one tends to overlook when talking to a person, because it really doesn't/shouldn't matter.

Sure, Bernie from GTA4 is gay. Very inclusive and so forth. But it's hardly an accurate representation of gay people in general, is it?Almost like a parody, I found..
I mean, they used the Euphoria engine to code and custom run for him..

Including same-sex relationship choices in RPGs is great. It adds verisimilitude, can let players who happen to be in the closet to come to terms with things and so forth, but having an openly gay protagonist would most likely end disastrously, unless the game itself was themed around a stereotypically 'gay' topic.

I've played lots of games where your love interested ends up killed or kidnaped at the beginning (and it's always been a love interest of the opposite sex). It's what the whole game ends up being about, you trying to save/avenge them.

Just a few times, I'd like to be able to have my male character go off and save the prince. I don't need it to be all the time. I enjoy experiencing all kinds of different characters, I'd like a little variety. I wouldn't mind having my heroine run off to save her princess either.

I don't think the sexuality has to be super overt, just little things.

On that note I think Army of Two might have been an example of a gay couple but I don't think they intended it that way lol

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?

You've given an example of a game where it doesn't really matter because there isn't much character development in the area of romantic relationships. No one in that game is fighting for their significant other if I remember correctly. They're just fighting to live.

There are however, many games in which sexual orientation does matter because it's part of the story. I know there are better examples but Painkiller springs to mind. The basics of the story if I can remember is that you and your girlfriend/wife die and she goes off to heaven and you have to slaughter your way through hell/purgatory to get to her. I get that the sexual orientation is a small part of that game but it would have helped me to connect to that character just a bit more if it had been his boyfriend/husband that had died and he was trying to get back to him.

I wouldn't need or want it to be in every game but it would be nice on occasion. If I remember, you said in another post that game character sexual orientation doesn't matter to you. If this is the case, I assume you'd play a character like I described if it was the kind of game you enjoyed and the game play was good.

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.

I think there is a big difference between sex and sexuality. There are lots of games where the main character has a sexual orientation but doesn't have sex. For instance the main character who is male might have a wife or girlfriend. This game includes sexuality (because the main character has a sexual orientation) but only contains sex if he has sex with her. I don't think gay people are saying they need to see lots of gay sex. Just some gay sexuality so they can feel a bit of a connection.

I know I would at least occasionally like to see a gay character (who isn't' a stereotype) have a same sex romantic interest and leave it there. I don't need to see them get busy or even see them kiss. Just knowing there is a character who has an orientation like mine would help me connect with them and I think might make them a little more interesting to the hetrosexual audience as well.

praus:

You've given an example of a game where it doesn't really matter because there isn't much character development in the area of romantic relationships. No one in that game is fighting for their significant other if I remember correctly. They're just fighting to live.

You haven't played the game properly then. Zoey and Louis have a hinted at relationship - as does Zoey/Bill as daughter/father.

but it would have helped me to connect to that character just a bit more if it had been his boyfriend/husband that had died and he was trying to get back to him.

I'm sorry, but no it wouldn't.

That trope is there for Princess rescue. It doesn't matter the gender of either class - it's not about "love", it's about "dependency". Or can I not get into rescuing my "sister" because I have only brothers?

I wouldn't need or want it to be in every game but it would be nice on occasion.

It'd be nice to have a properly voiced character from the Midlands - Or Wales - Or Spain...chance of it happening? Rather remote.

If I remember, you said in another post that game character sexual orientation doesn't matter to you. If this is the case, I assume you'd play a character like I described if it was the kind of game you enjoyed and the game play was good.

I've played gay characters, I've played straight characters. You know who was the only person who knew their sexuality? Me.

What you're asking for is a blank slate for you to pour your personal feelings into - tilted towards your personal leanings. That would not only be really difficult to capture every nuance, but would require an archetype for the artist, one for the voice actor and a background that was relevant to their history.

In other words, it'd take someone like you to write it - and someone like you to play it.

While you're casually saying that "It's alright for you because all characters are like you", pay careful attention to the level of prejudice you've just shown towards me. Given that most of the characters I'm forced to play are rough, tough space-marines that lose all their friends and cannot find love except with this special woman who they have a love-hate relationship with until the fourth planet where she....

Now...just because his pixel colour is FFFF, does that make him representative of my beliefs, sexuality, feelings or the like?

If Francis was gay, what would change about him? Apart from something that's never seen.

If Mario is gay, can he not still rescue the Princess?

Put it another way, name me a game where the game plot would have to change if the main character had a differing orientation to what they appear to have?

Susan Arendt:

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.

Wasn't there a game that came out where you got to play a female spy during WWII? I seem to remember that but can't remember the name. If there wasn't, then there totally should be. I'd play that if it was done well.

The_root_of_all_evil:

praus:

You've given an example of a game where it doesn't really matter because there isn't much character development in the area of romantic relationships. No one in that game is fighting for their significant other if I remember correctly. They're just fighting to live.

You haven't played the game properly then. Zoey and Louis have a hinted at relationship - as does Zoey/Bill as daughter/father.

but it would have helped me to connect to that character just a bit more if it had been his boyfriend/husband that had died and he was trying to get back to him.

I'm sorry, but no it wouldn't.

That trope is there for Princess rescue. It doesn't matter the gender of either class - it's not about "love", it's about "dependency". Or can I not get into rescuing my "sister" because I have only brothers?

I wouldn't need or want it to be in every game but it would be nice on occasion.

It'd be nice to have a properly voiced character from the Midlands - Or Wales - Or Spain...chance of it happening? Rather remote.

If I remember, you said in another post that game character sexual orientation doesn't matter to you. If this is the case, I assume you'd play a character like I described if it was the kind of game you enjoyed and the game play was good.

I've played gay characters, I've played straight characters. You know who was the only person who knew their sexuality? Me.

What you're asking for is a blank slate for you to pour your personal feelings into - tilted towards your personal leanings. That would not only be really difficult to capture every nuance, but would require an archetype for the artist, one for the voice actor and a background that was relevant to their history.

In other words, it'd take someone like you to write it - and someone like you to play it.

While you're casually saying that "It's alright for you because all characters are like you", pay careful attention to the level of prejudice you've just shown towards me. Given that most of the characters I'm forced to play are rough, tough space-marines that lose all their friends and cannot find love except with this special woman who they have a love-hate relationship with until the fourth planet where she....

Now...just because his pixel colour is FFFF, does that make him representative of my beliefs, sexuality, feelings or the like?

If Francis was gay, what would change about him? Apart from something that's never seen.

If Mario is gay, can he not still rescue the Princess?

Put it another way, name me a game where the game plot would have to change if the main character had a differing orientation to what they appear to have?

How about this way. Name me a good reason why there can't be a gay character as I have described.

praus:

How about this way. Name me a good reason why there can't be a gay character as I have described.

How do you know there hasn't been one?

{Cloud seducing Barrett in FF7 springs to mind)

I'd be more concerned why you're answering 5 quotes from over a year ago.

MikeOfThunder:
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.

Why can't a gay male character be "strong, funny, confident and successful."? I know many who are. Same goes for a gay female. I know many who are "strong (Not looking it though...), confident and sexy".

I've related to many straight characters, I admit it wasn't as easy but I did. So it can be done. I think straight guys can do the same and might even find a gay character has a bit more depth then they're used to (you have to work harder to develop the character and give it more depth when everything it's just a given).

The_root_of_all_evil:

praus:

How about this way. Name me a good reason why there can't be a gay character as I have described.

How do you know there hasn't been one?

{Cloud seducing Barrett in FF7 springs to mind)

I'd be more concerned why you're answering 5 quotes from over a year ago.

I didn't notice or care that it was from a year ago. This story just showed up on the front page of the Escapist so I assumed it was new.

I never really played FF games however it's nice to know they had a bit of variety in characters.

As for me making up a back story in my head about the character, I often do. However there are many games where the character's romantic back story, or currently unfolding story, is already set out or progressing in a predetermined way as you play. In that event I don't think I've seen a gay character's romantic story represented in a way other then as comedic relief.

Again if that kind of thing doesn't matter to you either way then I don't think there is anything left to discuss. If you don't mind having a gay character, then maybe you'll play the game I write some day if I write it well enough.

praus:

Susan Arendt:

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.

Wasn't there a game that came out where you got to play a female spy during WWII? I seem to remember that but can't remember the name. If there wasn't, then there totally should be. I'd play that if it was done well.

There was, called Velvet Assassin, based on a real spy. Sadly, the game was terrible.

Oh yeah that was the game. Never played it but I do recall hearing it sucked. That's a shame. Why was it bad if you remember?

praus:
Why can't a gay male character be "strong, funny, confident and successful."? I know many who are. Same goes for a gay female. I know many who are "strong (Not looking it though...), confident and sexy".

I've related to many straight characters, I admit it wasn't as easy but I did. So it can be done. I think straight guys can do the same and might even find a gay character has a bit more depth then they're used to (you have to work harder to develop the character and give it more depth when everything it's just a given).

Wow, old post. Had to catch up to speed on this one.

They can! Gay male/female characters can be all those things and more (they can be anything the designer wants them to be). But that isn't what i was saying. What i was saying is that most developers want the main character to be easily relatable. This is why so many protagonists are white, male, straight. Mainly because that is going to be their target audience.

You admit yourself that it was harder for you to relate to straight characters and many developers are not willing to take a risk that someone cant relate. Someone who creates a game wants to make money. Unfortunately many are willing to sacrifice character depth and even story to make a game that will hit a broader range of people.

I actually agree with you. If a game came out where in the beginning it was hard to relate to the main character but by the end you found you could, that would be far more rewarding as a player! Because the game has actually taught you something, seeing through the eyes of your character has changed your perception of that character. Unfortunately, many developers are just not willing to take the risk and many simply just try to hit the largest audience they can.

We're totally working backwards here. What we need is a game with a genuinely likable, interesting protagonist. That person would have a same-sex partner, but that trait should be fairly unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Their personality, their likability, and their usefulness in the game proper should be the focus.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here