Gaming is for STRAIGHT GUYS!

I love that more gamers are speaking out about the straight-white-male character domination in video games. Awhile ago, I had a tweet stream discussing Bioware’s outspoken stand against players who felt “violated” by the option to choose gay relationships in the game.

I’ll sum up the exchange.

Neglected straight male gamer“:

I don’t think many would argue with the fact that the overwhelming majority of RPG gamers are indeed straight and male. Sure, there are a substantial amount of women who play video games, but they’re usually gamers who play games like The Sims, rather than games like Dragon Age. That’s not to say there isn’t a significant number of women who play Dragon Age and that BioWare should forego the option of playing as a women altogether, but there should have been much more focus in on making sure us male gamers were happy.

“Neglected straight male gamer” translated: WAHHHH!!!! What about ME?! I’m a neglected majority! How dare you think about women & gays as much as ME? This is oppression! I’M MORE IMPORTANT, DAMNIT!!

Here was Bioware’s response:

The romances in the game are not for “the straight male gamer”. They’re for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention…More than that, I would question anyone deciding they speak for “the straight male gamer” just as much as someone claiming they speak for “all RPG fans”, “all female fans” or even “all gay fans”. You don’t…And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as “political correctness” if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don’t see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what’s everyone’s fuss all about? That’s the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.”

HELLLLLL yeah, Bioware!

If anything, this is a glaring example of why video games need to boost the visibility of other groups. It’s a preventative measure…y’know, to keep it from becoming a festering shithole of over-privileged assholes who think the world revolves around them and their entitlement. Sound familiar?….

So, here’s an org I came across recently who is doing a project to boost the visibility of queer folk and people of color:

There is also the larger, more visible org called “Games for Change” that I think is worth supporting.

Check them out if you’re interested! The reality is, much of the western world plays video games. In fact, an NPD report called “Expanding the Games Market” found that 63% of Americans game. Yet, overwhelmingly, only the most privileged group on earth (that is, the straight, white, able-bodied, cisgender male) is represented. So peeps, don’t hesitate to call out your favorite gaming company’s problematic usage of racism/sexism/heterosexism in your games! Tell them that you want to be represented & included (or want others to be represented/included)! Companies, like Bioware, will respond to our demands if there’s enough of it.

40 thoughts on “Gaming is for STRAIGHT GUYS!

  1. I wonder how having gay characters or being able to pursue gay relationships in a game somehow restricts the game experience for straight males — a group I belong to.

    I haven’t played DA2, but gay NPCs were present in DA and older BW titles way back to Baldur’s Gate (I think you could court Jaheira if you’re a woman and Anomen if you’re a man in SoA). What’s so fucking wrong with playing these plot branches for shits and giggles, just to screw with your characters?
    I’m even not talking about actual ROLE PLAYING you’re sort of supposed to engage in, and pretending to be what you aren’t being the very definition of it.

    It’s just that stupid adolescent fear that precludes you from touching everything that could even remotely (deep-space) be seen as homosexual in nature. You know, or else — god (or whatever Peeping Tom you’ve made up for yourself) will bestow the magic purple eye-shadow upon you, and you’ll turn into a nancy poofter for the rest of your life! Boooooo!

  2. Having played Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2, the biggest problem this guy had was that all of the “romancable” characters would be attracted to the main character, no matter what gender the main character was. Which hasn’t bothered me or my husband.

    On the other side of the coin, proper romances in American games are hard to find; I’ve only run across a handful of games that have deep, meaningful storylines revolving around your character choosing who to fall in love with, and I want to see more of that in future games. Love and sex are important parts of being human, so they should be represented in the media we enjoy. :)

    • Gotta agree with that statement. Relationships in games should be harder than finding a magic necklace that shows people “I’m available.” You should have to go through dozens of battles with them at your side, build a bond through it, and decide that nobody else has seen the same things, the same experiences that you’ve had together.

      The fact that in Fable your farting can land you a wife that literally just watched you slaughter your old wife is preposterous. If straight white male games (like myself) think that’s fine they should just add a sex slave system to the games and make it so every time you decide to do the deed your screen goes black and you just wake up the next morning.

      Though my personal preference in RPGs is Monster Hunter, which gives you a gender and skin color option that doesn’t really matter except by varying the looks of your armor if your male or female. Doesn’t that say something about how equal people really are? No matter what color and sex you are, getting trampled to death by a dragon still means you’re dead! No matter how Purple & Green your Gypceros armor is.

      • While I want to agree with you; These are games.

        The fact that demon doors talk in Fable is proposterous.

        The fact that being an accomplished blacksmith crafting the strongest armour fo miles around after only making a load of iron daggers in Skyrim is ridiculous.

        :P

  3. I guess the only thing I am disappointed with BioWare about is that they ignore a lot of the FemShep woman in the kitchen jokes on the forums.

    Not only that, they waited until the last installment to really give a femshep an appearance and that made a lot of people angry (others would argue better late than never) but how long are we going to hold to that argument?

    Video games are fantasy, I don’t mind seeing a woman with big breasts here and there – but give the damn character some depth and story. Her character should not be defined by how she’s standing in-front of a mirror.

    Not only that, I really do think there should be more leading male characters of different colors and sexuality – but I have this feeling BioWare and other companies are too hesitant to piss too many people off with that.

    I’m not ignoring the progress we made, but this shouldn’t make any gamer; gay, straight, woman or man complacent in whats going on. We don’t go, “OK< I got my femshep/gay romance options! I guess I won the war!" Wrong. We have to fight ignorant entitled assholes like that comm enter. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same guy on the Bioware forums because this exact thing happened about the homosexual romances which were revealed in ME2.

    I'm really happy you covered something around the game universe, Laci, to a lot of people its not important at all. But its another creative medium for people to get out, and when they see these strong, military white male figures on games or the woman with the big busty chest who looks like shes posing for Playboy? That doesn't make them take it seriously.

    I could make this post long with how much sexism actually floats around in games because of Gamers (not all of them, but try being a female and logging into Xbox live without some asshole telling you to go make him a sandwich?).

    Awesome post. Don't always agree with you, Laci, but I think we can agree that you shed light on difficult subject matter and I hope you continue for the years to come.

    Oichi

    • I disagree about the fem-shep part, only because I can see the reasons for not having two alternating advertisements, it might be slightly confusing to have one advert show a male main character and the other to show a female main character who is apparently the same person (of course, this only applies to the first game in the series, and the issue didn’t arise until ME2 advertising was released, at which point it was slightly too costly for them to go back and make alternate advertisements for fem-shep). I think fem-shep representation in ME3 is enough, it would have been nice to have it earlier, but it’s not exactly a game-breaker (pun intended).

      However, sometimes I feel games are judged a little too harshly, how many main-stream movies can you think of with a black main character who isn’t also the comic relief character? Off the top of my head I can’t think of many. It’s a systemic problem in all media, at the end of the day it comes down to a conflict of interest, they have a target audience in mind, if your charcter is a black transgendered lesbian… well, you’ve probably just lost a lot of money, especially if the role is equally suited to a white straight male.

      I’m not trying to justify it, I think it’s horrible (I personally have no quarms about playing a gay character, a female character, etc.) but I can see why it’s the way it is. Not to mention, specifically for games, a lot of the development team is usually made up of white males on their macho-male power fantasy…

      Here are some games that don’t conform to the GoW/Lara Croft gender roles: Mirror’s Edge, Red Dead Redemption, Portal. There are many more I’m sure…

  4. Very interesting. Bioware’s comment is 100% spot on. I fully share miss Lemon’s expression of joy in that case. However, as someone who enjoys games, there is a limit as to what a company can take into account when developing a game. When creating a simple shooter, set in WW2 for example, it’s illogical to choose a main character that is non-white and non-male. And who gives a crap, I wonder. The goal of the game is not to create an important link between the character being played and the player. Same goes for an RTS, you play with what you’ve been given.

    When it comes to RPG’s however, everything changes. You decide what the main character will be, and you have influence over it’s interactions, be it with other human players, or with computers. You should have the option of skin color, the option of gender, the option of sexual orientation. But as mentioned by Otranreg, we’ve had this for ages… Boulders Gate is a good example of being very free in this. Neverwinter Nights, same thing. Some people might recall Nox, where you could make your characters skin purple if you wanted too (you had to play as male though, the game was set in fantasy medieval times and chicks didn’t really fight there, plus it would have been too complex 10 years ago…). Games like the Sims let you hook up with whomever you want. I can go on and on…

    But yes, of course, there is still a lot left to wish for. But you also have to understand it from a developers point of view. The more options you create, the more complex your game becomes. And also, fact of the matter is, your biggest market IS that of white straight males. You can’t just ignore that. It’s kinda like this: if you rent an apartment here in the Netherlands, basic stuff like a kitchen and a bathroom sink and stuff, are included by default. They are build according to some standard that fits almost everyone. But sometimes, the person who rents the place is shorter than average (I want to say: Asians, but that would be racist… But we’re just really tall (on average) and they are really small (on average and compared to us), but fine, I will think it, not say it… =D). K, so then this Asian person (ah fuck, I said it anyway! =/), gets offended because he/she can’t reach the top shelves and the sink is too high. Of course we feel sorry, but there’s nothing real that we can do about it.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is: it’s very easy to complain, but it’s very hard to make the complaining go away (by solving the issues). You can’t satisfy everyone all the time, though with modern technology and the RPG format, we are getting close. But don’t expect to be able to pick your gender, race or sexual orientation in the new Call of Duty anytime soon… There is absolutely no need to.

  5. Gaming has long been dominated by mainly white cisgender males. The medium has such potential for story telling given its interactive nature. Players can be placed into environments in which they can experience perspectives they never will in reality.

    The industry has come a long way from the days of “Duke Nukem: Land of the babes”, in which the player defeats an alien race who were bent on stealing earths women. The players reward, “Operation Repopulation” where a line of gorgeous women line up outside the players room dying for their turn with Duke. Fast forward and the most recent iteration of Duke “Duke Nukem Forever” was slated universally by criticism (it currently has a 54 on metacritic). A terrible game that appears juvenile and pandering compared to some of today’s games.

    So the industry is slowing moving forward, including more diverse players. Many RPG’s allow the player to choose their race, skin color and sometimes sexual persuaion. (Skyrim, Mass Effect, etc) So the player is free to play as they wish. So the industry is responding more and more to the issues of race, gender and sexual orientation.

    But still games like Modern Warfare, the largest franchise in the gaming at the minute is nothing short of backwards. The game is played through the eyes of multiple soldiers across many environment, guess how many female soldiers or enemy combatants the player comes across, not one. In the world of Modern warfare the only women who appear are innocent bystanders or hostages.

    What games need to do is learn how to use the differences to create a great narrative. I’ve heard the idea of a game where the player would play as a mother trying to escape a war torn conflict with her children. I reckon that could be pretty powerful to play.

    Anyway http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/sexual-diversity these guys have a much better handle on the subject that me. They run a series about how to make games better and have a great handle on it.

    • “I’ve heard the idea of a game where the player would play as a mother trying to escape a war torn conflict with her children. I reckon that could be pretty powerful to play.”

      Doesn’t that kinda go against what games are supposed to be? Games are realistic, but not real. A game like you mentioned would be way too real, and I would not be comfortable playing that…

      • Then don’t.

        There are plenty of games I’m not interested in, why should that have anything to do with whether it gets made or not?

        Really who are these people that can’t abide something being made for “not them”?
        Haven’t they ever tried something they didn’t know was going to be good?
        Has their entire lives been nothing but chocolate and vanilla, have they never tried cookie-dough iced cream?

        Sometimes I think everyone should be forced to live overseas for a year to realize how small a box we all live in.

  6. Women love women. Women love men. Women are friends with women. Women are friends with men. Men love men. Men love women. Men are friends with men. Men are friends with women.

    Homophobia is a tool used to damage all members of society and to control, damage, or destroy all of the above natural and healthy human relationships.

    “All bad things are gay. All gay things are bad.” “Dragon Age is gay, therefore it is bad.” It’s an insane tool used to make men hate other men, make men hate women, and make women hate men. A man can’t write poetry for a woman he loves, because that’s “gay”. He can’t be loving and caring, because that’s “gay”. A father cannot kiss his son’s head, a brother cannot hug his brother, a man cannot value a woman for her personality and her mind because that’s “gay”.

    The only way to be manly is to be brutal and savage. Cold and heartless. And if you are not like that then you are “gay” and not worthy of the title of man. And anyone who dares defy this dogma is “gay”.

    It is amazing, and sad, how people, such as the person who claimed to represent straight male gamers, are tricked into believing that the freedom of choice, the freedom to love and be loved, is oppression and the only way to liberate themselves is to shackle themselves to the oppression of a forced sexist division based on ignorance, misandry, misogyny, and racketeering.

    It’s complicated, which is why people are hoodwinked on such a large scale, and a great deal of what I say myself is wrong because I am unable to tell truth from lies for the large part. But I think that gay or straight, man or woman, any ethnicity (white, black, or otherwise), young or old, promoting dogmatic hatred of any group is detrimental to all human beings of all groups.

    Bioware, I think, does a great job of trying to represent many different kinds of people and be inclusive rather than exclusive. I liked their games and from everything I know of the writers and developers, they seem like good people. Having said that, I don’t think this is an issue confined to the world of gaming or one that will be solved in the world of gaming.

    And, of course, as usual, everything above is only my thoughts and opinions.
    _________________________________________
    My PhD is in pretend-science.

  7. Why are people bothering with relationships in games anyway? That’s not what makes a game FUN, its the gameplay! The fact that its even an option in the game only means that the developers are lazy and un-inventive.

    • That is not true of all games. You have to look at what type of game it is.

      Mechanics are extremely important for mechanically orientated games like many first person shooters and RTS games. Other elements are still important, but the mechanics are the most vital part.

      However, many games, mostly RPGs, are not primarily about mechanics. They are story driven. They are about morality, philosophy, making hard decisions, and human psychology. They are about the characters in the story, much like a movie or book, and not about how much damage your sword does or how much defense your armor has.

      And I think dragon age is very much so a game which is story driven and in which the narrative is very important.

      Of course, some people play it just to stab dragons, and that is fine. But some people, myself included, played to experience the story and by the end of it were fighting to avenge our fallen comrades or countrymen who were more than nameless NPCs.

      They were developed characters, human beings, much like any novel’s characters, which pulled at the heart strings. And denying a very fundamental part of what is human (sexuality) would leave a gaping hole. They could have ignored it completely, but I think that if they are going to include it (which they did) then it is a very fine thing to be inclusive instead of exclusive of all different kinds of people.

      Or in other words, there are different ways to play different games. Game play is a wide spectrum of things. In a game like Dragon Age, there is many hours worth of nothing but conversations. The game would be terrible if these conversations, the dialogue, the story, the characters, were all ignored because they were not considered important.

      Dragon Age is the kind of RPG which remembers the words role playing before the word game.

      • I’m sorry, but that whole argument got me thinking about a youtube video that completely explains my feelings (though less politically correct) about your argument.

        http://youtu.be/n7VAhzPcZ-s

        I guess my real issue here though is everyone being hypocritical. Not just straight folk, but everyone else as well, about sexuality and religion. They all preach tolerance, then some Atheist petitions to have the nativity scene removed from being in front of a city hall! Its not offensive! Its a bunch of freaking statues depicting a scene from the world’s most boring novel! If you don’t like people telling you to change your ways don’t ask them to change their’s!

        -_-

        • Well, if you wanted to be accurate, the Establishment Clause can be interpreted as preventing the government from giving one religion preferential treatment. Because City Hall is a government building, not a private one, and because the Nativity scene is religious in nature, this could be seen as giving preferential treatment to Christians, even though it is on a very small scale and a fairly trivial issue. Your example, if you didn’t already know, is actually similar to the supreme court case County of Allegheny v. ACLU where a Nativity scene was displayed in a courthouse where it was decided that it did violate the Establishment Clause. Of course, I’m not saying the supreme court can never be wrong, because it certainly has been, but I can see the reasoning behind this particular part of this decision.

          Then there’s also the issue of “tolerance”, which would fall under the Free Exercise Clause rather than the Establishment Clause. The only way I could potentially see the act of taking down a religious symbol from a government building as a violation of this would be if the religion’s literature specifically stated their symbols had to be displayed on government property, which to my knowledge Christianity doesn’t (not trying to be snarky). Hypothetically speaking, if a religion did require that, I suppose there would have to be a decision over this. Though realistically, taking down a religious symbol from a government building wouldn’t prevent members of that religion from believing or practicing.

          Sorry if I went off on a tangent, I just find US constitutional law fascinating.

      • Unsurprisingly, I didn’t learn anything, hear anything worth knowing, or become convinced of any new ideas by a guy who calls himself Nazi (“Nahtzee”).

        Having said that, I don’t see why you feel the need to defend your stance because this is not an attack. My point was that there are different kinds of games with different ways to be played. Nazi’s point was that people who don’t take games seriously enough shouldn’t be allowed to have opinions about them.

        Sort of like how anyone who isn’t a professional movie critic, producer, or actor isn’t allowed to watch movies.

        Your idea of fun is not the only idea of fun that there is. That doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you or your idea of fun. There isn’t. I am not saying that. Nor does it mean that there shouldn’t be games that cater to that.

        What it does mean is that not -all- games should cater to it.

        I am not trying to abolish male character leads or heterosexual options in games with romance options (and if people were trying to do that, I’d stand against that too). If I was doing that, then I’d be hypocritical. But I’m not.

        This is like a menu that has only beef and people are asking for there to be chicken, lamb, fish, and various other choices. I am not trying to get rid of beef. I am not stopping you from having beef if you want. I just want additional choices.

        I am not infringing upon you. You can still always choose what you like. I am not denying you anything. If you think there is something wrong with the very idea that people could be different from you, then you need to rethink the subject.

        • Actually “Nahtzee” was sort of a double pun. The creator of the original “No Punctuation” series is named Yahtzee. So you see where that was.

          And I’ve been getting used to needed to defent my point lately, blatant government attack on our freedom lately (which they’re supposed to defend).
          But I don’t think his point was about people taking games seriously, but about how people brought the quality of games down with complaints, saying they weren’t geared toward them enough. Its not that they should be allowed to play games, or watch movie like you put it, but would you seriously just sit by and watch as the qualty of movies went down continuously because one group of people didn’t understand it or were offended by it?

          As far as my idea of fun, sitting at home having a party with some friends, playing a game of cards and drinking a little is what I call fun. Especially with girls involved (or whatever someone’s attracted to). It’s always be more fun to interact with people right in front of you than a game will be, we can’t duplicate that now and I hope we never do.

          As far as the beef analogy, there’s always another resturaunt. Just like there’s always another game… Kinda kills my point I suppose, but the simple thing is that people really just need to stop taking things so personally. Just because these idiots can choose to be gay in the game doesn’t mean they have to or should feel pressured into doing so (Unless there’s an xbox achievement for it, then that’s pretty fucked up), just like they don’t have to slit their partner’s throat if they don’t want to right afterwards (again, unless there’s an achievement, fucked up, blah).

          Most of them have these same choices to make in real life. And sure, they say art immitates life, and you can kinda call games art, but at what point does art stop immitating life and just become a second one that you neglect your real one for? I used to have that problem, then my PSP broke and I stopped caring about gaming as much. I still wanna play those one or two games that come out every now and then that I know’ll be good, but I don’t want people bitching about whether something it has is good enough or taking things too far, its the developer’s choice and if people complain about it too much it’ll just get removed all together. Then people’ll complain about THAT.

          Anyway, good discussion. As you said, everybody has their views about how things should be handled, and while I prefer the “take it away if they argue over it, or spill some blood to get the job done” method, it seems to be the only way to truly get things done anymore, even in the case of our own government. Sure we stopped SOPA and PIPA, but right after that they secretly drafted and signed the international ACTA treaty right behind out backs. Will they not learn until they’re confronted by the people they betrayed marching on them with guns?

          • Son of a bitch there are so many typo’s in that… Why isn’t there an edit button!? My eye’s twitching here!

  8. I knew there was a reason I loved BioWare :P and now I hear Mass Effect 3 will be having a full variety of romance options whatever Shep’s gender and orientation, and the writing’s always great. This sort of thing isn’t the only reason they’re my favorite developer, but it certainly helps :)

  9. I just recently was talking to some friends about RPGs, and their companions. Mainly the Fallout series (3 and New Vegas). I began talking about my favorite companion from each game, Fawkes and Arcade Ganon. In a game whose companion roster fell on the short side, with very few good choices to select from, Arcade Ganon rose to the top of my list in a heartbeat. He was funny, intelligent, and strong, he could handle himself in a fight. He was also gay. And when I found that out, I smiled. I wanted to pat Bethesda on the back. Here was a male, gay character, and the only way you’d even know, was if you talk to him through specific speech options. He was gay. Not the Hollywood-stereotypical, flamboyant, squealing, ohgawdilovecocks gay. It’s just who he is. He makes a joke about a guy not having come and swept him off his feet. And that’s it. That’s all. Nothing else. In my eyes, this makes him a should-be-standard of the gaming industry, when it comes to homosexual characters. It shouldn’t encompass what the character is about, it should just be a part of them, like it is a part of many people in real life society.

  10. I agree that this is largely a tempest in a teapot, the vast majority of gamers could give two shits about “gay” choices in games. Hell half of the “straight white gamers” roll up female characters and act out lesbian romances anyway … lol.

    Plus anything that brings more diversity into gaming will only strengthen it and make it better!! I applaud seeing more older gamers, more women, more families gaming together multigenerationally. I think those are great, encouraging trends! Bringing in biases about sexuality, etc. to the game design arena is very disconcerting to me! I for one don’t care … if players are given free choice they can choose to take it or not. What is the big deal?

    Consumers will buy well made games that provide the things they want, if those ingredients aren’t in the games … they’ll look elsewhere.

    Two issues that I’m more concerned about … video games vs. real life socialization and video games vs. tabletop gaming. For me I’d like to see “gamers” look more to tabletop gaming options than only to video games. It saddens me how anti-social (even those who engage in the so-called “social” multiplayer and/or MMO video game options) gaming is. I myself have vowed this year to severely limit how much time I spend gaming and have thus far spent more time doing face to face activities with friends and family. Don’t get me wrong I love to play good video games, but I’m trying to relish that more this year rather than just play endless titles I bought on sale on steam or in the bargain bin. Sorry to go off topic … but for me that is a more pressing concern than whether or not I have the option to play gay storylines in videogames. I think people should have more choice in video game RPGs rather than less all around … I can hardly wait for the days when we’ll have true choice not just choose A, B or C (if we are lucky) with everything I can hardly wait for real sandbox gaming …

    • Long ago I made this post and don’t know why I looked at the replies now. For the record I am in favor of gay choice in RPGs … and agree that people can just choose it or not … that was my point. If I poorly expressed that sorry.

  11. Also, just like in real life, you can just reject them. The poster probably gets offended when/if a gay man makes any kind of pass at him in real life too. Practice with me son, “Flattered but not interested.”

  12. This kind of pleases me yet irritates me to hear Bioware say such wonderful things. Of course I agree with their sentiment completely.

    And yet when Star Wars: The Old Republic came out there was heterosexual activities within the game, yet no homosexual options at all. As a concerned straight guy who plays games with a whole bunch of lesbians, it pissed me off.

    Bioware’s official response to this was something along the lines of “There is no homosexuality in the Star Wars universe” which pisses me off even more. I’m inclined to think it was actually a decision coming from LucasArts to say/do this more than Bioware, but it’s frustratingly contradictory.

    That said – I believe they’ve recently patched the game to allow homosexual interaction for players who wish to engage in that? I haven’t played it recently enough to know.

    I’m really pleased to see homosexuality, or at least completely unbiased open-ended sexual orientation becoming an option in games though. It makes things more exciting!

  13. Yes I remember this story breaking in March or so of last year. I felt extremely annoyed about this man taking on the moniker of “Straight Male Gamer” and acting like his viewpoints were the same as the rest of us “SMG”ers. I was perturbed enough to write a brief article on the subject back then for our geek website. http://www.dayoldstubble.com/2011/03/27/bioware-showing-their-support-for-all-gamers-in-a-positive-way/
    Hopefully soon tolerance will be the majority vs the minority.

  14. As a female who FUCKING LOVES DRAGON AGE and loves people not genitals: I kinda wanna go all FemShep(Mass Effect) on that guys ass! I mean, my favorite parts of Biowears games are the face I DON’T have to be male, I DON’T have to be a straight female, I DON’T even have to fuck a HUMAN! (Girls, you all know you love Liara and Tali Zor’ah Vas Nomandy as much as I do…Well, maybe not AS much, but you get the point). I was so utterly impressed and proud of the world when I was allowed to be myself, in all my hot-ass, alien-loving, gaming female glory, in ME and DA.
    Besides, having a three-some with Zevran and Isabelle was fucking AWESOME! Not to mention that finding out that “ingesting” Garrus could sent me into anaphylactic shock was also pretty rad, in a scientific way of course. And I know he’s a male who can only be schexed up by womenz, but he’s also a bug-like-alien xD Shmexy bug-like alien…>_>

    I lost the point of what I was saying…something about that douche-faced guy getting shot with my hand cannon.

    • I know this is an old post now, but I can’t resist replying anyway because I am in fervent agreement, as well as a fellow hardcore Dragon Age fan. I’m REALLY hoping FemShep can put the moves on Tali in Mass Effect 3, because I’m pretty sure those two were meant to be…
      Anyway, it’s nice to see a post about the gaming community standing up to its own jerks. I think there’s this stereotype of gamers as sexist, racist, basement-dwelling, sexually oblivious white guys with neckbeards (such as: http://qkme.me/2klh). Truth is, people of all different backgrounds play and enjoy games. I’m glad the community image is changing to a more positive one, and though BioWare is far from perfect, I think they (along with Bethesda! <3) are helping to make our diversity at least a little more visible.

      And yeah, Garrus is pretty sexy for an alien-bug-metal-catface-man. :)

  15. Interesting that this is coming up again with the release of the third game. However it was current when ME2 was being released. Everything has really been said and bioware is awesome. The end.

  16. I want to make a game that targets straight males. I want it be an adolescent power fantasy, much like a comic book. While I don’t want to exclude other people, I do want to make the game that I actually want to play.

    Since it’s dubious that I will even finish the prototype I’m “working” on, you can rest assured that there’s little to no chance that I will ever complete development of the game. So I guess it works out from your perspective.

    I see nothing wrong with making games that target specific markets. I don’t hear people griping that Barbie Fashion Designer didn’t include material that would appeal to males, but there are females complaining about games that don’t include enough material appealing to females. I admit that there are probably a few too many games targeting males given that a third of the gaming market is female, but I don’t think the problem is prevalent enough to be worth writing articles about or making organizations for.

    If you want a game targeting females, go ahead and make one.

    I think there is a serious lack of games targeting homosexuals, but the same point still applies. If you want one, make one. I understand that random people on the internet can’t do the same quality of work as Bioware, but they can still make video games.

    Given the guy who was complaining, I don’t think he really has anything to complain about. Bioware has been including the full range of possible relationships in every game it makes for the past several years. While I haven’t played any of their newer games, I doubt that you’re forced to engage in homosexual sex at every turn. There being that possibility shouldn’t offend any reasonable person.

    If I were a real video game developer instead of some schmuck, I would probably include as many different possible relationship types as I could. I see nothing wrong with it, but I also see nothing wrong with making games that target particular groups. Targeting a particular group allows you to make a game that is more fun for that particular group.

  17. This is definitely a good point and is definitely an area where games have been lacking and thus far very few games have dared to go due in part to that type of expected backlash and the fact that in the media gaming is still viewed as a childrens passtime and there is inevitable media outrage when a game tries to include something as “scary” as homosexuality. Bioware have definitely been among the best in this category but I would like to put forward another company that has done some good work in this area, Atlus has worked LGBT characters and issues into at least 2 of their games thus far without making these characters cliches or having people point it out non-stop. The two games in question are Persona 4 and Catherine. It may be more difficult to play Persona 4 now because it was released in the early 2000s and the console it is played on isnt readily available in stores but Catherine was just released this august in north america, is a good game in addition to having a very subtle transgender character and is one of the few games that attempts a commentary on relationships

  18. Extra Credits, a animated show that discusses issues facing the gaming idustry and culture did a few episodes on diversity in games, I think you should check them out. You’d probably like them:

    http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/diversity
    http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/sexual-diversity
    http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/true-female-characters
    http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/race-in-games

    BTW, this isn’t one about diversity, but it’s still probably my favorite:
    http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-myth-of-the-gun

  19. Guys are just so homophobic, (not all of them, some are more relaxed about it)
    even the slightest comment about them and ‘being gay’ is a HUUGE mistake.
    It looks, in my eyes, like having something gay near them, like a virus and it could easly infect them. (Seen with a gay would kill their ego, forever – being dramatic here-)
    gah! I don’t give a sh*t if there is an option between characters of being straight or gay…
    Just play ;) gay or not.

  20. AH another thing:

    I think they are just so accustomed to their habbits of gaming: Only straight guys, manly guys, shooting, killing people, just having MAN time
    ANd having of course female characters in it that are always skinny beautiful and giving them a lot to fantasise about > big boobs are always showing and if they are wearing armoury > so little that could kill her in an instant ’cause the makers just want to show off her female parts…
    Not so realistic)

    ps. Sorry if I made some grammar mistakes :)

  21. I realize that this is months after the article was posted and that probably no one will read this, but I still feel that it needs to be said:

    Research the Arkh Project before you donate money to them. I have seen people raise significant concerns about the group’s professionalism, plans, and the irresponsible and prejudiced behaviors of at least one of the main creators. If anyone needs help finding actual criticisms of the project that aren’t racist/sexist/etc, search for ‘Arkh’ on Yamino’s main Tumblr blog. You’ll find a post that I found quite informative.

    I’m not trying to tell anyone where they should or shouldn’t spend their money, but I (and many others) really really really want a game like this to be made, and I would be much more willing to donate if they weren’t an untested development group (unless you count the previous attempts from some of the creators, which have only provided vaporware) asking for a very large sum of money, or if there was some sort of guarantee that I wouldn’t just be wasting my money.

    Anyway, this ended up being much longer than I intended it to be, so I’ll end on this note: If anyone has good evidence to trust the Arkh Project, please tell me. I really want to be convinced that I’m wrong.

  22. Just want to throw this out there. I’m both female AND gay and I ALSO proudly out-game most of the guys I know. In that sense I’m also currently in college majoring in Game Development and Design. And when I do start working for one of the big companies, not only will I prove them wrong on the subject of female insignificance in the game industry, but I will also be pushing for LGBT friendly, color friendly, and player/audience friendly games. All gift wrapped into one, awesome, all-encompassing game. A game that anyone(within the age limit of the rating) with an open mind can enjoy. That is my big crazy dream, to be the one putting amazing and successful games that people love out on the market. To hear kids squealing about how awesome their avatar is or how difficult the boss happens to be. To see teens glued to the screen to find that last item to a side quest resulting in the Ultima weapon. To see everyone happy and entertained by my games, my ideas, my dreams. I honestly couldn’t ask for more than that :)

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