Protagonist Jimmy Hopkins can kiss several male characters in Rockstar’s Bully.
Maybe you heard?
The smooching story was broken by GayGamer and editor Flynn DeMarco. AfterElton, a gay-oriented site, has an interview with DeMarco about the Bully brouhaha. In a Q&A format, DeMarco tells how he discovered the kissing scenes and talks about gay themes in other games.
Florian Eckhardt [of Kotaku] posted an earlier review of it from GameBrink which mentioned that “you can kiss girls and some guys,” but that’s all. I got a copy of it myself, and with a group of friends we played until 11 p.m. at night, and we discovered that yes, you can kiss guys in the game.
Asked about other games with gay content, DeMarco said:
It’s hard to say whether it was Fable or The Sims. I got The Sims strictly for [the gay content]. I got bored [laughs]. You get married, have kids and a white picket fence… In a sense, The Sims really was one of the first advocates for gay marriage and adoption, because they were included in the game and treated just the same as heterosexual pairings and parenting.
How does DeMarco and GayGamer deal with accusations about having a “gay agenda”?
Gaming is mostly geared to the straight white male. What [the accusers] don’t understand is that mindset is built into the games. I find it ridiculous to be accused of that. I don’t feel like I am forcing any agenda. I’m really just saying that “hey, there’s something of interest to gays here as well as all this other stuff.”
The response (to GayGamer) has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m very proud to say that we have a good portion of our regular readers who are straight. Of course there have been the homophobes and haters, but they are far outnumbered by the positive responses.
On openly gay characters in games:
We sort of have one with Makoto in Enchanted Arms; however, the voice actor went over the top with him and made him über, über, über gay. It got on my nerves…
In Wild Arms, there is a character who has a boyfriend that is in a coma. He spends the game pining for him. The U.S. version doesn’t give any hints to their relationship… but in the Japanese version, it is made explicitly clear.
Unfortunately, if a company did [release a game with an openly gay character] they would lose money, or at least that’s the thinking. I am making it my duty to make sure that companies know that there is an audience that will buy games with gay content. I’d like to see it happen, but I don’t know if [a gay character] will ever make it to lead status.