Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

August 27, 2009 -

Are gay characters and themes more acceptable in video games these days?

Gay publication The Advocate examines the issue in Are Games Getting Gayer? For the article, author Bryan Ochalla spoke to, among others, game designer Brenda Brathwaite, author of Sex in Video Games. Braithwaite said:

We still haven’t seen the kind of normalization [of LGBT characters and story lines] that we’ve seen in movies and on TV for some time. We still haven’t had our Brokeback Mountain moment.


It took them a while, but developers... [are] getting hip to the fact that there are LGBT gamers out there who want to control LGBT characters... The almighty dollar talks as much in this industry as it does in any other, and we all know the gay market is nothing to sneeze at in that regard...

 

We also have to stop putting things into games that turn off gay players How many games have you played that put you in control of a male character and then asked you to save a princess?

Openly gay Maxis game designer Jeb Havens (no word as to whether he was impacted by yesterday's layoff) commented:

[Game developers are] moving away from the stereotype of the angry, homophobic teen boy ... toward a broader picture of who is buying and playing games... We’re starting to see a willingness to experiment with stories and characters that would appeal to more diverse audiences.


Comments

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

But we aren't the ones applying our arguments universally.  Those that we use those arguments against try to use theirs universally.  We're telling them they can't with our proof that they are incorrect in such an attempt.

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He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

You and others are trying to make arguements like the idea that homosexuality is a defect, immoral, or otherwise worse then heterosexuality, a large portion of the population (gay and straight) disagree. Using religion to back it up.

What debate are YOU watching?

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

When have I ever made a religion-based argument?

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He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Notice the "and others" statement.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Don't forget Hillary Duff!

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Or Snipzor!

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

I disagree.  A vast majority of the critically acclaimed games that have come out in the past years have been shooters and rpgs, all of which have been done.  Nobody has really pushed any envelopes with gaming in about a decade, but this is due to the popularity of gaming as a medium.  You can put out what's been done and it'll sell.  It's popularity has stymied real ingenuity.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Portal.  That is all.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

You're finding a great game, but I said the majority.  I could name a bunch of great games, too.  However, I was talking about how a majority of the games coming out aren't pushing the envelope.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

By the very definition the majority of games won't be innovative or top 10% amazing. That's kind of the point. You don't compare them to some standard, you compare them to eachother and a very small few come out on top.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Even when taken by themselves, most games since the N64/PS1/Saturn/Dreamcast era are not anything more than what's been done to death already.  Games are stagnant, and have been for some time.  However, merely having a character come out saying "I'm Gay" isn't going to fix that.

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He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

If this is realy what you think you're woefully ignorant of gaming in the last 8 years.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Actually, every gaming publication I've ever read agrees with me.  That's why Ocarina of Time is considered by a vast majority of the industry as the best game ever made.

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He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Hyperbole FTL!

Every gaming publication? REALLY? I somehow doubt PSM is touting Ocarina of time as the greatest game ever. In fact I think Halo (1,2,3), Mass Effect, WoW, GoW (god and gears), have all held those titals and have all been out since ZOoT. Fanboy arguements don't make you look intelligent.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

 I can't even go back to Ocarina of Time, and neither can many people. The quality of the game is incredible, but nobody can replay it until it has been years. Contextually, it is one of the best games, but it is in no way as good as some of the games we get today. You sir are trapped in the Nostalgia Zone (Deus Ex on the other hand does not fall into that trap due to its infinite replayability).

Also, "every gaming publication" is an unfalsifiable statement and cannot be considered a valid statement.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Games still haven't had their Gone with the Wind or Citizen Kane moment, let alone a Brokeback Mountain moment. There are very few games (if any) that could be considered to be of the same quality as the aforementioned films, whilst games can have excellent gameplay they simply don't have the same quality of writing. Bioshock is considered as having some of the best writing in gaming, but when compared to that seen in cinema it just doesn't compare, it's no where near the same quality.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Video games have had their moments, though. Not movie moments, because it's just not something that can be done precisely like movies, but powerful enough ones- the kind of moments that just wind you because of how powerful the scene is, etc..

One that did it for me was the remains of the Jedi Enclave in KOTOR 2, when the Exile is standing before the last three remaining jedi masters- the music and dialogue (some of which was done by Ed Asner) were just... perfect. Stirring, really.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

You're right about KOTOR, but you missed his point entirely.  Gaming, as an entertainment medium, has not released a truly epic masterpiece to compete with something along the lines of Citizen Caine or Gone With the Wind.  This is because gaming as a story-telling medium isn't the greatest, because games that control the story aren't prized anymore as control is taken away from the gamer, and games that allow gamers to control the story can't concentrate on an epic story because they have to allow for branching paths in said story.  I believe that breakthroughs in gaming-as-a-story-medium are coming, but until then, there will be no Citizen Caine-Gone With the Wind-Wizard of Oz-Star Trek-Star Wars (circa 198)-Titanic, all of which would have to come before Brokeback Mountain.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

True, all true- but he was referring to "moments" initially. Start-to-finish, there may only be a handful of game that could compare, but if the key-word is "moments", then many gamers will be able to name a bit more.
... that don't include Aeris dying. Seriously, the way some people talk about that scene, it sounds like they're whacking to the scene of Elias being gunned down in Platoon.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

No, themed films became accepted by the mass public and critics alike. Games are no where near that point in time (or moment), they are no where near those moments of other critically acclaimed films, those moments which changed the public perception of film amongst other things.

I am doubtful that we will ever see a "drama" genre within gaming, a genre that focuses on character's emotions and issues, not on high scores or achieving certain feats. Fahrentein had a good try at it, but the last third of that game lost it and went down a typical game story type path (of supernatural beings and the "one"). The writing of that was not of the same quality seen in cinema. Fahrentein also had a realistic depiction of a gay man in it too as well as realistic sex which served a purpose to the story, not for titillation.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Genre no, but drama in games already exists.

FFVII - Death of Tifa.

Indigo Prophecy. Heavy Rain.

Mass Effect. Portal.

Are you paying attention yet?

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Portal?!?

I've already mentioned Indigo Prophecy above. But you still don't get it. We haven't had games that focus specifically on issues and emtions of characters. Games focus on getting to the next stage, doing so and so. And the writing in games just isn't comparable to that of film or television. Games have the potential to go deeper than both cinema and television due to the possibility of branching where the results of different decisions can be played out. This is why games are still seen as juvenile toys.

You look at the story and writing in Bioshock, in the gaming industry it seems Oscar worthy but when compared to films it's just a pretty average film in terms of writing and storyline.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

I disagree, yes levels and whatnot are stil present, but that doesn't dictate how the story can develope. I think you're trying to see videogames as interactive movies, which can and do happen, but they're no longer videogames.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

I disagree with your second paragraph.  We've already been turning away from scoring, and RPG's are getting better at storytelling, but true drama in gaming is a long way off.  I think that, after the next decade, in order for gaming to evolve and expand, it's going to have to move in a more drama-oriented direction.

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He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

The problem with the "moments" argument is I don't consider Brokeback a "moments" movie.  From start to finish it was revolutionary, and worthy of its place next to Citizen Caine, Gone With the Wind and the like.  However, movies as entertainment, just like gaming, wasn't widely accepted, and still has those that oppose it due to content.  Gaming, to be accepted, needs to evolve the way that movies did.  However, using movies as a model, homosexuality as a focus in gaming is a long ways off.  Probably not as long a ways as it was in movies, but a long way nonetheless.

Also, you're right about Aeris.  I thought for the longest time that I was the only person like "meh, saw it coming."  Sheik being Zelda, though, now THERE's a shocker.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Maybe Mario saved Peach and Link saved Zelda because they're good people, not because they were trying to get in bed with princesses.  No one ever said what their sexual orientations were.  Insisting that they were straight is insisting they were rewarded with hanky panky, which is of course, sexist.  Equality is great and all, but this just seems like people trying to find something to make a big deal about.  I believe there's a term to describe those kinds of folks. Hmmm, what is it I'm thinking about.....oh yeah, "whiners".

(Is it still politically correct or okay to make fun of emos/whiners/attention whores?)

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

The problem with this post is that Mario does get it on with Peach (well, as close to it as Nintendo would allow) and that Link and Zelda are actually brother and sister, according to the subtext of Link's Awakening and the WindWaker series.

I like where you were going, chopsticks, you just failed epically at it.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

I got the impression thatall the Links from game to game were different. Some does not equal all?

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

All of the Links and all of the Zeldas and all of the Ganons are reincarnations of the ones before them.  They are linked eternally to each other.

Like I said though.  My conclusion is based on subtext of five different Zelda games.  I forgot to mention A Link to the Past, which is directly connected to Ocarina of Time, and then Twilight Princess, so I guess that makes seven.  Okay - seven games that connect Link and Zelda as bro and sis, according to subtext.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

You know, come to think of it, one point of contention against Link being straight in Ocarina of Time (aside from the tights and tunic) is the fact that he becomes friends with several females of the course of the game (most of whom grow up into attractive young women, even Ruto), rescues many of them, yet only seems to be genuinely interested and intrigued in Shiek (before finding out it wasn't a dude at all).

Think about it. O.o :D

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Yes, because the only driving force behind every human action is sex. 

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

I'm sorry to hear that humor doesn't exist on your planet. That is sad tidings indeed.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Sarcasm doesn't translate well in print.... :P

______________________________ Because I have NO Life... :P I introduce the following. PSN User ID: FirebirdXR (Yes, I use that moniker often) Xbox Live ID: FirebirdLR (Don't bother, It's a Silver Membership) *Limited Time Only* I put both because I

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

I thought the eyeballs and smiley face carried it across pretty well. Some peoples sarcasm detectors just aren't very finely tuned. 

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Jesus, is it that subtle? I hardly think it even needed the emotes to suggest it was a joke. All I did was make a crack about Link being gay, that alone should have been indication that I was joking. Maybe I should have included Link crossing a rainbow bridge to get into a magic castle, right down the street from the Big Fairy. -.-

... And yes- at 17-19 (around about the age Adult link probably was in OoT), sex probably IS driving force behind all human (or Hylian) action. :P


NOTE- THE ABOVE WAS A JOKE, INSERT LOL HERE --->  ________

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

There you go! Make sure you put that in each time you're trying to make a joke. hopefully someone will think twice about acting indignate about it....

YUR NAM STARTS WITH A KAY, I FIND THT OFFFENSI!V

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

K has many straight and erect lines, like erect penises, and that offends me =O

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Projecting much? For one thing it became quite clear in later titles that those characters were paired up. For another thing why are you assuming that others believe Zelda and Peach are sluts who have nothing to offer in thanks other than sex, as if women are nothing but vending machines for pleasure? If your comment is any indication, "Insert coin, receive blowjob" is the label you put on the fairer sex. 

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Wow.  You just made a simple assumption of his/her mindset regarding women.  And then you ran with it so fast that you ended up taking that line of thought to an unlikely extreme without stopping to realize that your assumption was just that: an assumption.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

I think this article has gotten you all riled up fremen. Stop searching for shadows in the dark.


Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

It's all he's good at, really.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

If I was getting upset by any of this I wouldn't have bothered with this. Upsetting you and deadgarth etc is actually fun and easy and its amazing how I can get the same results as trolling without actually trolling. TBH if Champions Online was up today I probably would have just read the story, thought to myself "well this is going to rile up Austin Lewis and his merry men" then gone off to some super heroic adventures. 

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Champions Online sux and is for care bares.  Go pre order Aion Online, it's a real game you nuub!!!!1111bbq

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

To use the "mah friends" thing, out of the lesbians I know, all of them are going to be playing Aion, none will be joining me in Champions. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW? 

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

What does that have to do with anything?  Aion looks fucking awesome, so your lesbian friends would be retarded to not be interested.  The only reason I won't play it is that it will have a subscription fee.  The only game I'd be able to get with a fee is Star Trek Online, and, since I saw the trailer for Guild Wars 2, I don't know if I even want STO anymore.

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He was dead when I got here.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Hahaa. I'm the one upset?  I think you're mistaken. 

I'm not the one constantly ranting like a douchebag (see your idiocy at the bottom of the page).  You know what I'm going to do after I finish this post, and finish reading the new comments?  I'm gonna take my Gibson Les Paul off the wall, go to my basement, and play guitar while my wife plays FFVIII (we've been working on beating it this week because she never did and I never got the Eden GF).  While I'm down there, I'm going to probably have a beer or three.  Before I go to bed, I'll check on my son, lock the doors, and then turn out the lights.  And I won't care one wit what you had to say.  Because, at the end of the day, you haven't upset anyone except yourself.

Night night jackass.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

There's no hate like neocon hate.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Because I'm the one whipped up into a hateful frenzy.  Oh, wait, that's your liberal chum thefremen up there.  Damnedest thing.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Well you've certainly resorted to ad hominems more than anyone else in this topic, so yeah, point stands.

Re: Are Gay Themes Expanding in Video Games?

Sure I have princess. Because, of course, if you're not a liberal, anything mean you say is ad hominem.  If you're a liberal, it's fine.  Fairly sure that your liberal chum thefremen started us off, calling people bigots, making shit up, and overall acting like Jack Thompson.

 
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