Gay Gamer Calls for BioWare Writer to be Fired

One gay gamer has put together an online petition asking BioWare to fire Dragon Age 2 lead writer David Gaider. The same guy that vehemently defended BioWare’s decision to include same sex encounters in its games has become the target of gamers who are upset with the portrayal of one gay character in the game. The unnamed complainant calls it a disrespectful stereotype of homosexuals.

An online petition, found here, lays out the case against Gaider:

"As a homosexual playing Dragon Age 2, I’ve witnessed the worst stereotype homosexual characters in this game. If you refused to make your moves on a gay character then you are received rivalry points for not wanting to be gay for the character. This is completely wrong, homosexuals do not approach people and force them to kiss us, the person that wrote this game should be fired for stereotyping homosexuals in such a disrespectful way, as well as creating the worst writing in characters, plot and everything else in DA2."

Web site GayGamer offers a different take on the matter:

"Considering one male companion does this (Anders) and yet another does not (Fenris), this shows that the ‘gays’ in the game are capable of being normal people after all," the site wrote. "They are capable of flirting and not flirting. You know, as people do."

While the petition may hurt Gaider’s feelings, the chances of BioWare firing him based on it alone are somewhere between slim and none. It also does not hurt that only around 200 people have signed it.

Source: The Escapist

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  1. Cattleprod says:

    It’s not the primary reason, but it’s sure as hell acting as a barrier to changing things. A gay character is presented as something other than a shiny perfect paragon, and people scream homophobia. Giving writers a choice between writing minorities as totally flat characters for fear of offending people or not writing them at all, what do you think they’ll choose?

  2. Thad says:

    Related: straight male gamer gripes that straight male gamers don’t get enough attention in DA2.

    Gaider responds in the thread, both to that post and to the Anders controversy; his comments are very interesting and insightful.  He acknowledges things he would do differently, he acknowledges that budget restrictions play a role in design, and he acknowledges a possible bug in Friendship/Rivalry and says he’ll have the devs look into it.

    An all-around class act.  I’ve said it before, but I’ve always found the BioWare guys to be very good about engaging with their fans.

  3. Thad says:

    Zevran was a bi male too, though.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, but you didn’t actually pick a contrasting example.

  4. josh111888 says:

    I understand where this guy is coming.  I’ve been dreading the release of Duke Nukem Forever because the asshole writers seem to think that all us blond guys are badasses.  How dare they put a blond guy in a video game that isn’t a complete clone of me.  

  5. Arell says:

    As a gay gamer (well, lesbian actually), I’m disappointed in this player blowing this out of proportion.  I saw no problem with this particular scene, and it fits the character.




    Anders has a huge secret, one that makes him mentally unbalanced, and he’s just revieled it for the first time ever, to you.  If you choose the "Nice" response and tell him you understand, he says something about how awesome you are, and handsome too, and then gets all shy about blurting that out and asks, "Is this making you uncomfortable?"  If you choose the "Yes." option, this ends the romance immediately and he’ll never hit on you again.  Of course, the guy just opened up to you and made himself vulnerable, and you very bluntly tell him to back off.  He gets briefly huffy, which makes sense considering his secret, and you earn 5 Rivalry.  And to make sense of that, you get Rivalry/Friendship points all the time, and 5 is the lowest ammount.  It’s easy to earn Friendship to counter that 5 points.  And Anders doesn’t continue to act like a jilted lover, instead the incident is forgotten.





    And hey, I’ve put myself out there with some women, thought we were on the same wavelength, and after they turn down the advances, there’s that initial feeling of hurt.  But you get over it.  It’s no different than when a man thinks he and a girl are connecting, and then she tells him "no way."  Many men think that the girl was kinda leading him on by being nice and friendly, at least in the brief moment after rejection where feelings are raw.

    Basically, this was not an issue.  This is one of those hypersensitive people who sees insults and slights everywhere.  I hope David can realize this and not let it get him down.  Sadly, most of the people who end up signing the petition will be the ones who are either uncomfortable with gayness, or outright bigots who don’t want it seen in any form.

  6. Cattleprod says:

    And this is why ‘minority’ characters will continue to be rare, because if they’re presented with even the slightest flaw they’ll be met with screams of racism, homophobia, etc.

    Why are most protagonists heterosexual male WASPs? Because they can actually have character depth.

  7. mogbert says:

    1. Rivalry points aren’t necessarily bad.

    2. Anders isn’t gay, he is bisexual, like three other characters.

    3. This may even be a glitch, since you get rivalry points sometimes for no apparent reason.

    4. Can I call for the gamer to be fired? You know, for poorly portraying gay people?

    5. Likely can be fixed with a simple mod.

    I’m fairly sick of people who say "You can’t insult me or say or do anything I find offensive, because that is a hate crime!" Yes, Anders has some issues. Most of your characters do, and if they don’t start with them, they have issues by the end.

  8. Father Time says:

    Reword the headline, I thought "Gay Gamer" referred to the website


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  9. Samster says:

    Um, straight men and women are perfectly capable of being jerks to you when you spurn their advances, too. In fact, as a female character I remember losing points with Zevran in Dragon Age: Origins for turning him down, and other characters I think who somehow got the idea I was interested.

    People don’t like being rejected. This is a human (elf? lol) thing, not a gay thing.

  10. masterdingo says:

    *Potential Spoiler*


    Anders is mentally unbalanced. Being angry about how the character handles personal interactions with either rivalry or romance is in line with his unbalanced personality. He’s two personas in one. Bipolar in a literal sense. 


    – When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

  11. hellfire7885 says:

    Indeed. Being a douchebag is universal regardless of gender or sexual orientation or even faith, a douchebag is a douchebag.

  12. kagirinai says:

    I understand this guy’s frustration. Gaming still lacks much in the way of diverse, quality writing, and it’s especially complicated given the relationship between player and game. Other forms of media are a transient experience without consequence; gaming persists, even if only in the game, and it does tend to make it more personal.

    However, his petition is silly, and makes for a terrible precident. If we start firing writers for not making all gay characters acceptable people, we’ll be forced eventually to make all characters in to mary-sue’s. If this was the only gay character in the game, then I’d understand, but it sounds like they’re making an attempt to portray gay characters as… you know, real. Having depth. Being individuals. Being gay doesn’t exclude you from being a bad person. 

  13. Talouin says:

    The thing is… Anders does this even if you’re a female character.  There is a dialogue choice that has "Romance / Romance / Aggressive" as your choices.  Anders doesn’t take people being aggressive towards him well at all… so it earns rivalry.  

    Perhaps the guy shouldn’t have jumped the shark quite so quickly.

  14. DorthLous says:

    Okay… That was funny. I might still not agree with the petition or the comments he made, but, nice comment Thad.

  15. kurifu says:

    This is just a retake on the classic short story "The Boy who Cried Wolf". The real travisty here is that someone without objective reasoning has decided to pull the prejudice card out where it doesn’t belong. This belittles minorties everywhere, and makes it much more difficult to hear them when the issue truely is important. 

  16. Magic says:

    Absolutely agreed. I suppose calling for someone to be fired is an effective way of garnering attention over an issue – we see it in other news stories whenever someone is truly outraged about something. It doesn’t make it right, nor necessary, and tarnishes the claimants respectability.

    As for Bioware romance, they can be cheesy but at least they’re in there and I imagine they’re a low priority during development. I was amused with my human noble’s pursuit of Morrigan, and sadly proud when they all the way. 🙂

  17. Thad says:

    (EDIT TO ADD: Re: "An online petition, found here" — the link just goes to Amazon’s DA2 page.  Am I missing something, or did you give us the wrong link?  Incidentally, sticking links on words like "here" and "this" is poor design; your link could simply say "an [link]online petition[/link]".)



    There’s absolutely a case to be made against the adolescent and simplistic depictions of romance in BioWare games (and I say this as a guy who can see 5 BioWare games on the shelf as he’s typing this — I’m a big fan, but they have their faults), but there’s really no worse way to make that case than an online campaign to get a specific writer fired.

    It’s perfectly fair to have a dialogue on the subject; it’s reasonable to tell BioWare what your objections are and how you think they should be addressed in the future.  I’ve always found the BioWare forum admins to be reasonable and eager to engage in conversation with fans (the recent unpleasantness with a user being locked out of the game over a forum ban notwithstanding, and they fixed his issue and apologized quickly).  Demanding firings is not a good way to start such a conversation.

  18. Thad says:

    Yes, because if there’s one thing that immediately leaps to mind when I think of complex, fully-developed characterization, it’s BioWare romance quests.

  19. Kojiro says:

    If this is a gay stereotype, then it’s one I’ve never heard of.  I thought it was going to say all the gays in the game are promiscuous and having sex in the bathroom. 

  20. Neeneko says:

    Actually it is a pretty common one and has been used as a justification for why gay people should not be allowed into certain places and has resulted in violence.

    It is probably strait male ego or something, but there is the idea that gay men, if they are allowed to mingle, will hit on strait males aggressivly and try to ‘convert’ them.  Some people even dovetail it with the ‘homosexual agenda’ meme and turn it into a great plot to turn all their children gay or such rot.

    So while I think the petition is unfounded (and kinda douchbagish), I kinda see the person’s point at least.   One thing that can be difficult about writing characters and character behavior comes from when general code that applies to all characters overlaps hurtful stereotypes.  It is difficult to predict people’s backgrounds, and as the comments in the OP show even within a community it can varry wildly according to which stereotypes individuals encountered and how heavily the impacted the people.   The gamer’s method of lashing out is inappropriate and petty, but we should not dismiss why he is upset and keep it in mind when creating gay characters (and thier underlying behavior models) in the future.

  21. Alex says:

    The manual cautions that rejecting advances made by other characters can earn rivalry points. Depending on the situation, it can, potentially, happen with almost any of the characters, not just the gay ones. As GayGamer points out, it’s not even universal among the gay characters.

    The fact is that some people take rejection personally. Happens in real life all the time. Being gay or not being gay isn’t the issue.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

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