The Accidental Lesbian

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The Accidental Lesbian

RPGs use different methods to avoid falling into the identity gap - that space between the developer's game world and the player's vision of it.

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is there a way to play Echo Bazaar without facebook or twitter? it sounds like a really interesting game but I dont use facebook or twitter and have no intention of getting either one

See, I'm a fan of the second and third options presented in this article. The only character info I like to fill in are the in-game choices I make. I like a story and I want a completed tale, not one I have to add to in order for it to be whole. That's why the Fable and Final Fantasy series' have always appealed to me: the completed (or mostly-completed) stories. Blank slates bore the hell out of me; that's one of the major reasons why I dislike most shooters not called GoldenEye 64.

Worgen:
is there a way to play Echo Bazaar without facebook or twitter? it sounds like a really interesting game but I dont use facebook or twitter and have no intention of getting either one

I signed up without it, are you on the splash screen or the main page?

Dirzzit:

Worgen:
is there a way to play Echo Bazaar without facebook or twitter? it sounds like a really interesting game but I dont use facebook or twitter and have no intention of getting either one

I signed up without it, are you on the splash screen or the main page?

I think the main page but Im not sure, its the page I go to even when I go there from google
http://echobazaar.failbettergames.com/Home/Index
none of the options let me sign up for it or anything

It's an interesting concept. I'd never really thought about it, because I tend to approach games from a what can they teach me aspect in terms of story, so it's more about games managing to trick the gameplay into revealing things to the player. Which I guess is why FFX works well, because most of the game is about their journey through a receded, problematic world and that's exactly what the gameplay is. In The Company of Myself (the flash platformer) is particularly good at it.

I can see the problem when the purpose of the game is to be the character, I love the approach of writing a game to adapt to a players decisions, it seems like it would solidify the character, as life seems to do, but that must be an enormous amount of work in terms of writing

Worgen:

Dirzzit:

Worgen:
is there a way to play Echo Bazaar without facebook or twitter? it sounds like a really interesting game but I dont use facebook or twitter and have no intention of getting either one

I signed up without it, are you on the splash screen or the main page?

I think the main page but Im not sure, its the page I go to even when I go there from google
http://echobazaar.failbettergames.com/Home/Index
none of the options let me sign up for it or anything

Dang, thats weird :/

Wish I could help.

Se she complained that the game maybe possibly made her a little bit almost like a lesbian. And what about the countless games that assume the player's character is either straight or asexual? I wouldn't see her complain then... *sigh* :/

Tis why I love Dragon Age, honestly, no assumptions, plenty of options. <3

Sweet article. I was never a fan of the "Final Fantasy" approach for reasons that I'll keep to myself, and I never came across the "Diablo" approach.

I find it weird that the player interpreted the text in that nature - maybe she just wants to visit the character for the sake of visiting?

the identity gap is what gives RPGs their power. It's the space players use to make the game about them, and that's how RPGs engage us so powerfully.

This is exactly my problem with the Final Fantasy method presented here, and with the series as a whole. Now, to be clear, I am not by any stretch saying they're bad games; they are, by and large, quite excellent. Nonetheless, I would argue that they aren't role-playing games; as said in the article, the player is merely along for the ride, watching a role rather than playing it. As Tidus says at the beginning of FFX, "This is my story". He's right. It's his story, not the player's. The player has nothing to do with it. To my mind, this defeats the point of a role-playing game, and interactive storytelling as a whole, because the player has no part in it; story-wise, the average Final Fantasy game is essentially a film that you have to push buttons to watch.

Now, I do think it's important that the game defines a certain amount about the player character in advance, otherwise the actual impact of the character itself is quite limited. In Oblivion, for example, the only thing you know about your character is that they were imprisoned; as a result, I never felt like my character was all that interesting or important, because they were nobody. It's a question of striking the right balance, which is why I think the second option presented in the article is the best one. In Baldur's Gate II, for instance, your character's backstory is already established so that they have a meaningful presence in the world, but how they interact with the world and the characters, and what happens to them as a result, is up to the player. In my opinion, that's the best way of making both the player and the player character feel like they matter.

SageRuffin:
I find it weird that the player interpreted the text in that nature - maybe she just wants to visit the character for the sake of visiting?

Nah, we all just want to get our freak on, apparently. In all fairness, I've read most of the text as opportunities to be a deviate, but usually in taking from those weaker than I, regardless of what strength or skill I'm applying.

...and what's wrong with a lesbian character? Or a lesbian woman?

A character doesn't define YOU. If that were the case, everyone who played shooters would be a gruff macho man with steroid abuse issues. As long as you are comfortable being YOU, then you should not feel threatened by a character that you are playing.

gCrusher:

SageRuffin:
I find it weird that the player interpreted the text in that nature - maybe she just wants to visit the character for the sake of visiting?

Nah, we all just want to get our freak on, apparently. In all fairness, I've read most of the text as opportunities to be a deviate, but usually in taking from those weaker than I, regardless of what strength or skill I'm applying.

Oh trust me, I have my moments as well, but even if was completely accurate interpretation and the NPC wanted to have some "fun", how would that make the player's character sapphic (I hate using the term "lesbian"... ugh)? Unless she shows interest back, everything's good, right?

I fail to see the issue here. Or maybe I'm just weird. :/

SageRuffin:

gCrusher:

SageRuffin:
I find it weird that the player interpreted the text in that nature - maybe she just wants to visit the character for the sake of visiting?

Nah, we all just want to get our freak on, apparently. In all fairness, I've read most of the text as opportunities to be a deviate, but usually in taking from those weaker than I, regardless of what strength or skill I'm applying.

Oh trust me, I have my moments as well, but even if was completely accurate interpretation and the NPC wanted to have some "fun", how would that make the player's character sapphic (I hate using the term "lesbian"... ugh)? Unless she shows interest back, everything's good, right?

I fail to see the issue here. Or maybe I'm just weird. :/

I learned a new word today. Sapphic. That sounds way more tasteful.

Captcha: subject, forturag

...yeah. Uh. Discuss?

gCrusher:
I learned a new word today. Sapphic. That sounds way more tasteful.

Captcha: subject, forturag

...yeah. Uh. Discuss?

Another fun fact: the term "lesbian" as it's used today is actually a bit of a misnomer. Originally it meant "a resident of Lesbos" (just like how you would call someone from America an "American"). Over time... well, yeah.

Back on topic, I say that this is hardly a fuck-up on the part of the developers. The player must've had an innate fear of "the gay", if you will.

Stupid demons eating my face! I like my face! I always liked the characters in Diablo because I enjoyed gathering little bits of information from the town and the manual about them. Then, finding out their fates in Diablo II--mind blowing.

I can see why this person would be upset. It's not fun to create something completely your own and then have someone decide something about it without getting your approval first. Always hard finding the right balance for RPGs.
The Warden not talking in Dragon Age Origins has always bothered me. The reason being because of one little choice it gives you when you create your character. Chose your voice. "Oh, okay," I thought, "I'm going with the witty, sarcastic one." I thought all the lines would be said in that voice. Nope. Just a few battle quotes. Why go through all the effort to decide on a voice if you're not going to let me use it?

What makes a game an RPG isn't a character sheet or experience points - plenty of genres use those - it's the sense of ownership you feel over your avatar.

Video game genres are defined by gameplay mechanics, not by story aspects. There is nothing preventing a straight platformer or FPS from having a player defined character, and JRPGs are no less RPGs for lacking one.

Chris Gardiner:
The Accidental Lesbian

RPGs use different methods to avoid falling into the identity gap - that space between the developer's game world and the player's vision of it.

Read Full Article

I don't see the problem, in REAL LIFE people don't get to chose their own sexual-preference, why is it so game breaking for it to happen in game?

You are ROLE PLAYING after all! Play the role!

Though if the game is trying to reflect the GAMER'S preference then it should have taken more explicit clues like which gender you proposition for sex. Anyway, regardless of how you read this, this only indicates transient bisexuality. One lesbian crush does not a lesbian make. It's only official when most of her interest is for females with insignificant interest in males.

As to back-story, I don't think it is fair that the gamer gets to choose what terrible circumstances are befallen on them, whether living as prince or a pauper.

In real life people don't get to chose that, it influences them and changes FUNDAMENTALLY who they are, on such a deep level that it must be left with the player. The player must EXPERIENCE what their character has gone through and either emphasise with them or actually feel they are in the role like an actor really living their role.

But people DO have a choice every day what to do with their experience.

Are YOU seeking revenge for their murdered parents? Or are you seeking Justice? Or Do you just want answers and reconciliation? That is your dynamic decision that is entirely in your head and only works if you live the role. You have to know and experience the loss of your virtual family and then the decision is not what you "plan" to do, but what you do do.

You cannot simply have the situation: "Yeah, my brother got murdered, I just remembered that now. I have no memory of the circumstances or even what my bother looked like nor any memory from my life... but it happened and I think I am supposed to care about this..."

I have a very good mechanic for this: Dreams

Sleeping is a vital element of RPGs, almost universal. And every time you do, you remember, you remember what happened. See to give a back story you don't need everything, you just need the important bits, stylistically presented the important parts. Enough to give you drive for your quest. This can also be done with flashbacks, hallucinations and vitrual reality constructs. You could even use de ja vu mechanics (who knows how).

Ever notice how in a dream you can't control yourself. Especially vivid memories, this can be so effective in game.

See from day-to-day moment-to-moment people don't remember all the events of their life, but when prompted they will remember. When left alone for their mind to wander.

Say your character is wandering through the woods from one quest to another then you hear voices - memories of poignant conversations. Relevant to your mission. Say perhaps a memory of an argument with your character's father such as:

"Son! Though shall not kill!"

"But Father, if I am being attacked, or I must help..."

"Killing is a Sin, boy... never forget that..."

For your character to 'recall' that memory as a disembodied conversation, just before he goes on a mission to avenge his father's murder, that I think works far better. I doesn't force you to do anything, nor make decisions for you, it does however force you into the role, be as conflicted as the character you are playing.

YOU make the decisions. You decide who to kill, who not to kill, who to sleep with and who not to.

Almost every role playing game demands the character start with amnesia - with no memory of past events - as it's the only way to put them in the same position as the gamer. Either that or you ease the player in slowly, giving them an entire introduction of their life to actually BE them... not merely impersonate them.

Same reason they make them either mute or of very few words... it prevents them breaking the character mould as in the accidental lesbian.

But I wouldn't say the "accidental lesbian" thing is so awful, it's the way you approach it.

Say for examples you are a female character and you hear the mention of a woman's name: Sarah.

This triggers a mechanic called "nostalgia" when unless you fight it with willpower (tap X for willpower) you will flashback to your time with Sarah. The flashback frames her romantically, your time together which is more than friendship. It is special and intimate but then it falls apart and stylistically the breakup is shown the cutting remarks and regrets.

You can't change this, the past is the past, those are your memories. It did happen.

But it doesn't matter what happened in the past, it is significant for how she will react to you and what kind of relationships you can pursue now but the decision you make now 100% yours. YOU the gamer could just decide you are not interested in her. Was your lesbianism just a phase? Was it just she was the one exception and it is over now? Or do you regret it all, do you want to restart what you had - that you the player only had a fleeting glimpse of as a memory.

alandavidson:
...and what's wrong with a lesbian character? Or a lesbian woman?

A character doesn't define YOU. If that were the case, everyone who played shooters would be a gruff macho man with steroid abuse issues. As long as you are comfortable being YOU, then you should not feel threatened by a character that you are playing.

No one was saying that but the player had already established in her own mind that her character is straight and this message heavily intruded upon that.

Treblaine:

SNIP

In response to your post I tend get annoyed by games that let you play a woman but assume you are male in real life resulting in these kind of lines in dialogue. It's just really depressing. That's the impression I get if they make your female character a lesbian without any input from you.

Eh...don't see the issue. All sorts of assumptions are made about the character you play, and you're stuck with it. That's part of the game. Possibly, though, they could tell you all these things straight up (no pun intended)...if you'd been playing Mario as a lesbian electrician, finding out he's a straight plumber might be a bit odd.

Ugh, seven words in a game of (I presume) millions of words can apparently truly offend someone. Most reasonable people probably just read it as a cute little quip with the possibility of being misinterpreted and didn't think much more of it. It's not like the game opens up a big quest chain that involves rogering this young lady.

Additionally, I could see this going the other way too if those last seven words were omitted. "How dare you assume that my character is not a horny lesbian by not allowing me to attempt to tap that ass."

I haven't really played Echo Bazaar but is anyone else put off by your character's apparent inability to truly fail? That seems like really terrible design. How can a character have any humanity if they are infallible? they seem more like gods than people.

gCrusher:

Captcha: subject, forturag

...yeah. Uh. Discuss?

I've been to Fort Urag before. It was pretty fun until the Confederate Hobgoblins attacked, then it was REALLY fun.

SageRuffin:

gCrusher:
I learned a new word today. Sapphic. That sounds way more tasteful.

Captcha: subject, forturag

...yeah. Uh. Discuss?

Another fun fact: the term "lesbian" as it's used today is actually a bit of a misnomer. Originally it meant "a resident of Lesbos" (just like how you would call someone from America an "American"). Over time... well, yeah.

Back on topic, I say that this is hardly a fuck-up on the part of the developers. The player must've had an innate fear of "the gay", if you will.

It isn't actually a misnomer, it was a euphemism. Lesbian...woman from the Isle of Lesbos...which is where the Poet Sappho lives with her female friends. So Lesbian and Sapphic are actually from the same cultural root.

But back to the original post...the character you are playing and you the player are not the same. I remember playing through Dragon Age: Origins and my Dwarven Noble was totally smitten with Morrigan...and I kept thinking...that is such a bad idea. She is bad news. I would not be dating her at all. But my dwarf and I are not the same person.

xXxJessicaxXx:

alandavidson:
...and what's wrong with a lesbian character? Or a lesbian woman?

A character doesn't define YOU. If that were the case, everyone who played shooters would be a gruff macho man with steroid abuse issues. As long as you are comfortable being YOU, then you should not feel threatened by a character that you are playing.

No one was saying that but the player had already established in her own mind that her character is straight and this message heavily intruded upon that.

But the text simply said:

What was the young lady's address?

Even with the context of the rest of the quote, that's incredibly ambiguous, and it baffles me how the player even came up with her assertion in the first place. Suppose the NPC just wanted to personally say thank you? Maybe she wanted to drop off a small gift as an alternate means of gratitude? Maybe she wanted to warn the player of the old man, like the article suggested? Maybe the NPC had an ulterior motive and the player just made herself a target for an assassination, and put up a facade so no one would get suspicious of her asking for a stranger's address?

My point being, unless future dialogue with or from that same NPC implies that she really does intend to "part the waves", you can't really say that that particular quote - especially as vague in tone as it is - intrudes on the character's sexuality. And even if the player was 100% accurate in her assertions, unless the game outright forces her character to do some kind of lewd act with the female NPC, there still wouldn't - or shouldn't, rather - be much of a problem as she could have her character say some variation of "no". Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's not very difficult.

Hell, this almost ranks up there with the one guy asking for a "No Gay" switch in DA2.

trooper6:

SageRuffin:

gCrusher:
I learned a new word today. Sapphic. That sounds way more tasteful.

Captcha: subject, forturag

...yeah. Uh. Discuss?

Another fun fact: the term "lesbian" as it's used today is actually a bit of a misnomer. Originally it meant "a resident of Lesbos" (just like how you would call someone from America an "American"). Over time... well, yeah.

Back on topic, I say that this is hardly a fuck-up on the part of the developers. The player must've had an innate fear of "the gay", if you will.

It isn't actually a misnomer, it was a euphemism. Lesbian...woman from the Isle of Lesbos...which is where the Poet Sappho lives with her female friends. So Lesbian and Sapphic are actually from the same cultural root.

Eh, close enough. You and I both know the basic etymology. In the end I think that's all that really matters.

But let's move on, shall we?

xXxJessicaxXx:

No one was saying that but the player had already established in her own mind that her character is straight and this message heavily intruded upon that.

Treblaine:

SNIP

In response to your post I tend get annoyed by games that let you play a woman but assume you are male in real life resulting in these kind of lines in dialogue. It's just really depressing. That's the impression I get if they make your female character a lesbian.

[EDITED FOR CLARITY]

There is more to lesbians than that, they aren't males in female's body - I know you did not say or imply that - but that's where that line of logic leads. Being a woman (or man) is down to more than physical, or sexual, it's right down to the way they (or us) go about getting things.

The thing about a role playing game is the player - either male or female - can be a representation of themselves.

And anyway, you have to admit that most games with male protagonists are exclusively intimate with females, and most female protagonists have exclusively male partners. Think Samus Aran, Lara Croft, Jill Redfield, Faith (Mirror's edge).

Looking at LGBT themes in video games you'll find male-male homosexuality far more common And I'm really struggling to find more than two examples of games that include Lesbian coupling but not gay (male-male) coupling as well. I can only think of Rain from Fear Effect 2.

In fact I'd argue there is a shocking absence of lesbianism in gaming!

You can't object to all presentation of lesbianism in media as titillation for a male audience, as how is that going to screw over lesbians who want their interests depicted?

Games need to take a more flexible approach to sexuality considering that your character is in such a weird state of essentially two people in one:
(1) The fictional in-game character
(2) the real person at the controls trying to fit in the role.

Really you can't say "oh, I'm a lesbian now"

Lesbian means far more than "female with fleeting crush on another female". It is indicated by ongoing actions that ultimately depends on the player DECIDING to follow through with.

Of course there are those who "know" they are gay, just the same as I have always "known" I am straight, that is simply because one can only imagine having partners of a certain gender.

But at the end of the day, you CANNOT really get into a relationship that does not resonate with your own sexuality, it breaks the immersion too much. But I think it is all right to give someone gay history, for either gender, and let them either pursue or leave it.

So I suppose Half Life 2 screws over Straight Females and Gay Males with the very personal interactions and relationship with Alyx. Though purely platonic at the moment, there are undercurrents.

Now if Half Life 2 had been about Gina Freeman... would that have really changed anything?

I went on this site lesbian gamers dot something (god, I sound like Jeremy Clarkson recommending sites like that, but seriously)

Anyway, they claim this is a problem but more more in the INVERSE.

For example playing a female and marrying a female, your wife describes you as "handsome".

That... that just sounds like they are using the same stock sound files for the wife in a lesbian marriage as in a straight marriage and it is jarring. I am not saying there isn't a dyke out there butch enough to like their wife to call them "handsome" but it's just one small part of developers continuing to have such a male-female bias to relationships.

But more than that, it's the attitude that a lesbian relationship is nothing more than a gender swap, swapping some pronouns and that's enough.

No. That is treating lesbians as men who happen to be in women's bodies.

Femaleness is far more than physical or sexuality, it is fundamental to ideals and approaches.

xXxJessicaxXx:

No one was saying that but the player had already established in her own mind that her character is straight and this message heavily intruded upon that.

Treblaine:

snip

I didn't mean to say lesbians were men in womens bodies. I guess my point of view harks back to the time of games like Morrowind and Arcarnum where they decided to have romances but didn't think any women would play and so made the love interests female and gave both characters access to the dialogue.

To me it's just an assumption that there will only be a man playing and so he won't care for his female protagonist 'going off' with another guy but he can enjoy being a voyeur. Bioware games are still guilty of this, giving the female character uninteresting straight love interests. I know it's a personal opinion but the only Bioware love interest I have ever like was Alastair which was written by a woman. The others seem stand offish or really bland like the writer just isn't interested. Jacob for example...and compare Kaiden to Liara (yes I know she's technically not female but come on...)

I try not to think about Anomen :< the horror.

Everytime a female character of mine is flirted with by another female character, which seems to be a favourite of Bethesda, it just reminds of those past examples and makes me shake my head.

Treblaine:

That... that just sounds like they are using the same stock sound files for the wife in a lesbian marriage as in a straight marriage and it is jarring.

They are using the same files. Which just goes back to my point that the default player for most video game writers is a man.

It only goes to prove my point that romances that are lesbian are made for a male voyeuristic audeince not for gay women. It is grating on both straight and gay women just from different angles.

Treblaine:
I went on this site lesbian gamers dot something (god, I sound like Jeremy Clarkson recommending sites like that, but seriously)

Anyway, they claim this is a problem but more more in the INVERSE.

For example playing a female and marrying a female, your wife describes you as "handsome".

That... that just sounds like they are using the same stock sound files for the wife in a lesbian marriage as in a straight marriage and it is jarring. I am not saying there isn't a dyke out there butch enough to like their wife to call them "handsome" but it's just one small part of developers continuing to have such a male-female bias to relationships.

To be fair, there is a such as a "handsome" female who indeed isn't masculine in any way.

But that's another subject. Let's move on, shall we?

Treblaine:

Lesbians are more than just males in female bodies - I know you did not say or imply that - but that's where that line of logic leads. Being a woman is down to more than physical, or sexual, it's right down to the way we go about getting things.

Now, I doubt you are intentionally suggesting this, but the term "more" used when comparing lesbians and transgender people seems to be insinuating that transgender individuals are somehow lesser than lesbians. As someone who is myself genderqueer, I was originally offended by this, but I realize that wording things can be difficult.

xXxJessicaxXx:
To me it's just an assumption that there will only be a man playing and so he won't care for his female protagonist 'going off' with another guy but he can enjoy being a voyeur. Bioware games are still guilty of this, giving the female character uninteresting love interests. I know it's a personal opinion but the only Bioware love interest I have ever like was Alastair which was written by a woman. The others seem stand offish or really bland like the writer just isn't interested. Jacob for example...

Nah. The main problem with Jacob is that his dialogue is set up in such a way that FemShep might as well be holding a fucking neon sign saying "FUCK ME NOW!". I always imagined my FemShep to be paired with Ashley, which made those scenes of interactivity all the more jarring when those sultry lines came out into the open.

That's not to say Jacob doesn't suck - as a character and in terms of gameplay - but simply saying that he's bland is just scratching the surface.

-'Another little, under-the-radar title called Dragon Age: Origins , from plucky Canadian underdog BioWare, does something similar'-

Isn't typing this the same thing being complaining about in this Echo game?

Failing to find humor in something, then getting upset over it, is rather silly.

So is basing an article around 'forced lesbianism'.

Otherwise, this was a good read.

SageRuffin:

xXxJessicaxXx:
To me it's just an assumption that there will only be a man playing and so he won't care for his female protagonist 'going off' with another guy but he can enjoy being a voyeur. Bioware games are still guilty of this, giving the female character uninteresting love interests. I know it's a personal opinion but the only Bioware love interest I have ever like was Alastair which was written by a woman. The others seem stand offish or really bland like the writer just isn't interested. Jacob for example...

Nah. The main problem with Jacob is that his dialogue is set up in such a way that FemShep might as well be holding a fucking neon sign saying "FUCK ME NOW!". I always imagined my FemShep to be paired with Ashley, which made those scenes of interactivity all the more jarring when those sultry lines came out into the open.

That's not to say Jacob doesn't suck - as a character and in terms of gameplay - but simply saying that he's bland is just scratching the surface.

I would agree with that my femshep seems to turn into some sort of sultry abomination when she goes near Jacob when he is in no way likable.

I have played his romance just for the sake of it and I still found him to be very bland, even his loyalty mission is uninteresting.

I would go for Joker over Jacob a million times over. Bioware like to keep all thier funny and interesting characters single, like Varric and Joker and give the female player bland meatheads like Jacob and Kaiden. Meanwhile the male player gets really interesting people like Jack and Tali.

zedel:

Treblaine:

Lesbians are more than just males in female bodies - I know you did not say or imply that - but that's where that line of logic leads. Being a woman is down to more than physical, or sexual, it's right down to the way we go about getting things.

Now, I doubt you are intentionally suggesting this, but the term "more" used when comparing lesbians and transgender people seems to be insinuating that transgender individuals are somehow lesser than lesbians. As someone who is myself genderqueer, I was originally offended by this, but I realize that wording things can be difficult.

WHOA! I didn't even notice that mistake.

I meant to say "there is more to lesbians than that, they aren't males in female's body"

I believe the consensus is "male in females body" is in the same area as LGBT, but is quite distinct from actual lesbianism, someone who is sure in their gender, just their sexuality does not conform with that [EDIT CONTINUE] which is typical but not absolute.

God dammit, the English language makes talking about sexuality and gender a minefield.

So many gendered pronouns, so many phrases based on presumptions. I have to read everythign through twice

SageRuffin:

Treblaine:
I went on this site lesbian gamers dot something (god, I sound like Jeremy Clarkson recommending sites like that, but seriously)

Anyway, they claim this is a problem but more more in the INVERSE.

For example playing a female and marrying a female, your wife describes you as "handsome".

That... that just sounds like they are using the same stock sound files for the wife in a lesbian marriage as in a straight marriage and it is jarring. I am not saying there isn't a dyke out there butch enough to like their wife to call them "handsome" but it's just one small part of developers continuing to have such a male-female bias to relationships.

To be fair, there is a such as a "handsome" female who indeed isn't masculine in any way.

But that's another subject. Let's move on, shall we?

Maybe it's a cultural thing.

There was a time in English that words like "handsome" were not gendered and could be applied universally, like "cute" is today i.e. my cute boyfriend, my cute girlfriend, my cute dog, my cute daughter, etc depending on appropriate context, of course.

But today handsome really is a gendered compliment.

Just like describing a man as beautiful, even if he is (literally) it doesn't seem appropriate and to an extent challenges his masculinity.

I think it's just the most tangible part of how the game feels like it was designed around a male protagonists and they just dropped in a female character model in as an afterthought, it doesn't feel like real inclusion. It's obvious how easy it is to code in new textures, that doesn't show any commitment.

I put this in a similar vein as the Bechdel Test, women are present but not in a significant way. Bechdel test is 3 fold:
(1) are there 2 or more Named female characters in the film (nameless extras do not count)
(2) do they even talk to each other?
(3) is the subject of their talk about ANYTHING other than a male character?

The majority of films fail this test, and those that pass it pass often only with a single fleeting scene.

This isn't about positive or negative depiction of women, just that they are actually truly depicted AT ALL! If they can't verbally interact about something other than men then the women are hugely denigrated in their depiction.

I really enjoyed this article, which is no surprise considering what the author writes for. Man, I would've really liked that game more if anyone I knew would've played it with me.

Sober Thal:
So is basing an article around 'forced lesbianism'.

Why was that silly? After all, the article wasn't "about" that player being upset. It was about the "identity gap." The incident was just an anecdote used to introduce the larger topic.

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