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Should games feature characters that are bisexual/homosexual?

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Posts

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    shryke wrote: »
    The key word here is "necessary". Not shouldn't, but doesn't need to be. Unless it's needed, it's superfluous. It's not necessary. Because the reality is, especially in gaming, most characters aren't straight or gay. Their undefined. The subject of their sexuality is never brought up. Never dealt with. Their only "straight" because YOU assume they are.

    You play Half-Life 1 and you get zero information of Gordan Freeman's sexual orientation. For all you know he could be gay. It's a subject that the game never addresses.

    Exactly. That's what I was trying to express earlier. There are actually very few heterosexual characters in games, too. Most characters have absolutely no sexuality. If you are assuming a default heterosexuality, it's the PLAYER's fault, NOT the designer's fault.

    Drez on
  • gtrmpgtrmp Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I think the people who are arguing that while gay characters should be included, but not forced by game devs to do so...well, consider this. A lot of games try to take in the scope of a realistic, breathing world that parallels our own. These are the GTAs, Sims, and what-have-you.

    If a game dev is trying to make a game that is realistic and parallels our society, gay characters should be put in because hey, that is realistic.
    Although that doesn't necessarily equate to a positive portrayal. Your two examples of 'realistic living world' games are probably the most obvious polar opposites in terms of how sexuality (homo- and otherwise) is treated in games. In The Sims, every character has the potential for gay or bi relationships, and - aside from the lack of babies in same-sex couplings - those relationships are treated exactly the same as hetero relationships. On the other hand, you've got the GTA series, where sexuality in general (not just homosexuality) is almost universally treated as a topic for derision and debasement, with the vitriol increasing in each consecutive game.

    gtrmp on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    How many times must it be addressed that the sexuality unknown characters aren't part of the argument.

    Incenjucar on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    How many times must it be addressed that the sexuality unknown characters aren't part of the argument.

    I'm not sure how it isn't, though. There are a negligible number of games that even feature characters with a known sexual orientation. The percentage is so low that the entire discussion is irrelevant.

    Also, people keep bringing up stuff like the Harlan Ellison quote. The only way to discuss the misunderstanding of the quote is to point out the correct way to comprehend it, which is to say that most characters are sexually unknown. Sexuality is often superfluous.

    Drez on
  • gtrmpgtrmp Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    shryke wrote: »
    Telemachus wrote: »
    Majority ≠ default.
    Majority is exactly what default means in this case.
    Then why isn't the default video game character female? They make up at least 51% of the human population.

    gtrmp on
  • WerrickWerrick Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Sexuality is often superfluous.

    Bingo.

    Even asking the question posed by the OP sets those who are gay apart by granting them a special status. It just doesn't matter. It's slightly remarkable in that it's the minority, but the moment a character's orientation becomes a plot point the story becomes something else.

    Werrick on
    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be rude without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

    -Robert E. Howard
    Tower of the Elephant
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Sexuality is depicted all the bloody time in certain genres.

    Any time a character, whether PC or NPC, has an S/O, or children, or parents of certain genders, sexuality is involved. Same with any time a character is messing around with a porno mag or reacts to overt sexuality in another character.

    Nobody is saying to insert sexuality where it just isn't to begin with, but when it IS an issue, it things were, slightly more often, other than standard.

    --

    Sexuality isn't always a plot point, dammit.

    Sometimes it's just window dressing, like if the character has a fancy hat.

    Incenjucar on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    gtrmp wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Telemachus wrote: »
    Majority ≠ default.
    Majority is exactly what default means in this case.
    Then why isn't the default video game character female? They make up at least 51% of the human population.
    They're too busy cooking to go out and adventure.

    Drez on
  • WerrickWerrick Registered User
    edited July 2007
    gtrmp wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Telemachus wrote: »
    Majority ≠ default.
    Majority is exactly what default means in this case.
    Then why isn't the default video game character female? They make up at least 51% of the human population.

    Because we're at a wierd time right now where this phenomenon is both a reflection of a still tenuous slight majority of male players and also, paradoxically, is a throwback to when that gap was even wider.

    Werrick on
    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be rude without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

    -Robert E. Howard
    Tower of the Elephant
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    gtrmp wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Telemachus wrote: »
    Majority ≠ default.
    Majority is exactly what default means in this case.
    Then why isn't the default video game character female? They make up at least 51% of the human population.

    This case being whether their straight or gay.

    I never said male was the default because of a majority. Male is the default because our society has a gender bias. And because the majority of game designers are probably men and for most people the default is whatever they are.

    shryke on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Sexuality is depicted all the bloody time in certain genres.

    Any time a character, whether PC or NPC, has an S/O, or children, or parents of certain genders, sexuality is involved. Same with any time a character is messing around with a porno mag or reacts to overt sexuality in another character.

    Nobody is saying to insert sexuality where it just isn't to begin with, but when it IS an issue, it things were, slightly more often, other than standard.

    And in most games, this shit doesn't exist.

    shryke on
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Sexuality is depicted all the bloody time in certain genres.

    Any time a character, whether PC or NPC, has an S/O, or children, or parents of certain genders, sexuality is involved. Same with any time a character is messing around with a porno mag or reacts to overt sexuality in another character.

    Nobody is saying to insert sexuality where it just isn't to begin with, but when it IS an issue, it things were, slightly more often, other than standard.

    Yeps. I've wandered in countless couples' homes while playing RPGs. It's not going to make the story something else if a few of them happened to share the same sex.

    Elki on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    shryke wrote: »
    And in most games, this shit doesn't exist.

    Which is why we're only talking about games where this shit DOES exist.

    Funny how that works.

    Incenjucar on
  • WerrickWerrick Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Sexuality isn't always a plot point, dammit.

    Sometimes it's just window dressing, like if the character has a fancy hat.

    I didn't say it was always a plot point. What I'm saying is that, in my experience, primarily with books and movies that it often does and the movie isn't just the movie about some stuff, it's a movie about some gay stuff... if you'll excuse to really, really nebulous statement typed by an overly tired forumite.

    Werrick on
    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be rude without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

    -Robert E. Howard
    Tower of the Elephant
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I don't think that many books describe every fricking couple you see in the street on your way to collect the plot coupons.

    Video games are, you know, better at depicting hundreds of people without wasting words on it.

    Incenjucar on
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    And in most games, this shit doesn't exist.

    Which is why we're only talking about games where this shit DOES exist.

    Funny how that works.

    What? I was definitely talking about how one character needs to say "It's a me Mario, and I fucks Wario!"

    Elki on
    smCQ5WE.jpg
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Elkamil wrote: »
    What? I was definitely talking about how one character needs to say "It's a me Mario, and I fucks Wario!"

    Mushrooms and Goombas are pretty Freudian.

    Incenjucar on
  • WerrickWerrick Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I don't think that many books describe every fricking couple you see in the street on your way to collect the plot coupons.

    Video games are, you know, better at depicting hundreds of people without wasting words on it.

    It's certainly easier in video games. The truth is that sexuality is almost never broached anyway in games. It's assumed, I would imagine, that the protagonist is straight, but it's not usually outright stated.

    For that reason I drew upon my experience with books and movies and other media to describe that, while I don't feel that it would make any differnece whatsoever if the protagonist of an action game was gay or straight, I want the game to be about the action, not the orientation. I find in movies and books oftentimes when that happens that the orientation of the character is saturated throughout the medium, disallowing us to ever forget, as if it's crazy important or something and it's not. It's just not important, gay or straight.

    Remember, the question is "Should games feature characters that are bisexual/homosexual", not "Should games include characters that happen to be bisexual/homosexual?".

    Either is fine with me, to be honest, but the former is very different from the latter. It just doestn' matter to me and so I would definately play the latter, in fact I probably wouldn't even notice... I probably wouldn't play the former because I'm not interested in a game that "features" a gay character, in the parlance of the OP.

    Werrick on
    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be rude without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

    -Robert E. Howard
    Tower of the Elephant
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Featuring a gay character is different from featuring gayness.

    (Sorry to keep using FF7, but it's a hugely known game)

    If Cloud was known to be bisexual, do you really think that would change the game?

    If his preoccupation with Zack was, instead, a Crush, that would change maybe a few lines.

    The rest of the game would be exactly the same.

    Some people THINK he's gay anyways.

    Incenjucar on
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2007
    Feature a homosexual character =/= about being homosexual. It means that the main character is homosexual.

    Elki on
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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    So are we really just talking about random, ancillary allusions to sexual orientation? Like that there should be a few uni-gender families/couples in games that even have NPC couples? Because there are very, very few games that actually delve into or discuss a character's sexuality. If you are talking about the fact that many games adopt an overall ambiance of "heterosexual society" and you think the ambiance should have a more realistic dispersal of heterosexual and homosexual symbols, then that's a more plausible argument. I disagree that a designer or writer has or should have any obligation to do so though, especially in video games. Most video games - 99.9999999% of them - feature an exaggeration or caricature of whatever they allude to.

    It's like Werrick just said. Games should and could include them, but outright feature them? Hardly any games "feature" characters of any known sexuality, and the ones that do only feature an exaggerated, unrealistic sexuality.

    Drez on
  • WerrickWerrick Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Featuring a gay character is different from featuring gayness.

    Tomato, tomahtoe, that's actually how I read the OP's question which is why I'm discussing this issue the way I am. Featuring a character who happens to be gay is different from featuring a gay character, as far as I'm concerned.
    (Sorry to keep using FF7, but it's a hugely known game)

    If Cloud was known to be bisexual, do you really think that would change the game?

    If his preoccupation with Zack was, instead, a Crush, that would change maybe a few lines.

    The rest of the game would be exactly the same.

    Some people THINK he's gay anyways.

    Assuming it was handled in an adult, matter-of-fact way with no special emphasis on his orientation it wouldn't bother me a lick.

    Werrick on
    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be rude without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

    -Robert E. Howard
    Tower of the Elephant
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2007
    I think you're just reading too much into feature.

    Elki on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I think the adult handling is the main issue, at the end of the day.

    If they handle it poorly, it would cause a fiasco.

    If they handle it well, people would barely notice.

    At least until the fan fiction came rolling in.

    Incenjucar on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Handle it well and the parent groups will still cause a fiasco about marketing homosexuality to kids. In turn, a respectful portrayal will be noticed by more reasonable folk after hearing about it from critics and due respect for the effort will be granted.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I dunno.

    I haven't heard much backlash from all the ass-rape jokes yet.

    Or is it because it counts as violence?

    Incenjucar on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I don't think I understand the OP's question. Games have featured GLBT characters in the past, and will undoubtedly do so in the future. It's not super-duper common, but who can forget Shadow Hearts 2? The gay marriage in Fallout 2? The not-so-secret bathhouse scene in FFVII?

    Lets also not forget MMO's, where any game has multiple guilds, usually spread out across multiple servers which are either gay, or openly inclusive of gays, and gaming companies like Blizzard and NCSoft which have been very supportive of these guilds existence.

    I don't think we'll see too many gay main characters, simply because gays are far too small of a percentage of the player base for any sort of video game.

    Regina Fong on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Hell, I didn't even know FF7 had ass-rape jokes in it.

    Although it does explain something. If you'll excuse me, I have a friend to go mock.

    shryke on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    The gay marriage in Fallout 2?

    ??

    Bravo.

    Incenjucar on
  • WerrickWerrick Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I think the adult handling is the main issue, at the end of the day.

    If they handle it poorly, it would cause a fiasco.

    If they handle it well, people would barely notice.

    At least until the fan fiction came rolling in.

    Right.

    Now, to be clear, I don't have anythign against the idea of games that feature a gay character where the orientation is the main focus, I just don't want to play them. They don't interest me. Much like some folks wouldn't be interested in playing a game where the focus of the game was on the straight character's orientation.

    The only thing I find irritating is when I open a book or watch a movie about "stuff" and it turns out that because one of the character's is gay that focus isn't taken away from the "stuff" and placed on that character's sexuality. I just don't care. It's not important to me. How does this affect the "stuff"? I want to watch some fucking "stuff" goddammit!

    I'll give you a non-related example to illustrate how I feel. When Casanova came out with Heath Ledger I honestly thought that it would be a sort of romantic/action movie. I really thought that, and then I went to see it and it turned out to be this stupid romantic comedy I felt cheated. I thought the movie was something that it wasn't.

    Now, I have nothing against romantic comedies... I just don't like them. It's not a great analogy, but I think it accurately displays my feelings on the matter.

    Werrick on
    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be rude without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

    -Robert E. Howard
    Tower of the Elephant
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote: »
    The gay marriage in Fallout 2?

    ??

    Bravo.



    For those who are curious but aren't going to play this awesome game:
    In one of the earlier towns, you can seduce a farmer's daughter, or his son - if you're very sexy. The farmer catches you; if you are a fast-talker and/or skilled in medicine, you can convince him you were just examining his daughter. If you're not, you end up having to marry her. There are no excuses if you're caught with his son, you get marched straight into a hilarious shotgun wedding complete with the town preacher fumbling when he gets to the "husband and wife" part (he settles for "Other"). Once married the husband/wife follows you around as a party member but they can't gain levels or skill-up, and basically suck. They are pretty much doomed unless you get a divorce from them in New Reno (there is simple no way to keep them alive through the later stages of the game, I've tried, and you cannot ditch them temporarily as you can with normal party members). But if you get divorced you get a little character quirk blurb that mentions you have been separated from your signifigant other, and it's actually a little sad.

    Regina Fong on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The issue here is really just the mindset of the writers.

    I intend to have bisexuality relatively prominent in my writing simply due to gender ratios of one of the main races (lots of lonely dudes). While I'll probably throw in a mini-arc at some point to explain the way it works out, for the most part, I'll mention it as casually as "and there were pigeons crapping on the castle walls above a young couple talking about whether to trim their beards to match."

    Someone who is especially sensitive to homosexuality may get hung up on it, but a relatively mature reader will, at worst, raise an eyebrow, and keep on reading, and probably forget about it in a page.

    --

    Jeepguy, that is fricking awesome.

    Progress.

    Incenjucar on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    I dunno.

    I haven't heard much backlash from all the ass-rape jokes yet.

    Or is it because it counts as violence?

    Part of it is the fact that they're jokes and part of it is the fact that you need to slog through several hours of RPG to get to them. Keep in mind that parent groups don't play videogames as a hobby.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Part of it is the fact that they're jokes and part of it is the fact that you need to slog through several hours of RPG to get to them. Keep in mind that parent groups don't play videogames as a hobby.

    So the key is to have the main character outed on disk 3.

    :P

    Incenjucar on
  • WerrickWerrick Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Someone who is especially sensitive to homosexuality may get hung up on it, but a relatively mature reader will, at worst, raise an eyebrow, and keep on reading, and probably forget about it in a page.

    Yah, that woudlnt bother me. I'd be like; "Oh... they're both dudes, okay." and then carry on my merry way.

    Werrick on
    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be rude without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

    -Robert E. Howard
    Tower of the Elephant
  • A-RodA-Rod Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Most games dont really deal with sex much, or characters sexuality, I really dont think it adds much to the game anyway. I can only think of few games that had sexual references, 1 being god of wars mini game, another was mgs3 with the raiden look alike being the main villains boy toy, and Bully which i havent played personally but i know that the player could choose to court some dude or some girl(s).

    A-Rod on
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    A lack of representation in popular culture is something that minorities generally have to deal with, and which apparently everyone is totally cool with.

    MrMister on
  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited July 2007
    MrMister wrote: »
    A lack of representation in popular culture is something that minorities generally have to deal with, and which apparently everyone is totally cool with.

    I'm a straight white male and I've yet to play a single game with a character that "represents" me.

    I am not an Italian plumber or a commando in a secret government army.

    Gorak on
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited July 2007
    Don't be daft.

    Elki on
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  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited July 2007
    OK, fair enough, I am an Italian plumber.

    Gorak on
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