Dragon Age writer wants same-sex relationships in games to be accepted as part of the norm

Wednesday, 19th February 2014 21:27 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Dragon Age’s lead writer David Gaider has said he’d like the industry to get to a point where same-sex relationships in games don’t need to be discussed, but are just accepted as part of the norm.


Speaking on his blog, and re-posted by Polygon, Gaider said there’s still corners in the gaming community in which a plot dealing with gay subject matter is considered “a personal insult.”

“There are people out there for whom the presence of any gay content will automatically render it “the gay game.” The presence of two bisexual male followers in Dragon Age 2, only one of whom made advances on a male player without first being flirted with, means ‘every man in Thedas is gay and wants my man-meat,’” he said.

“These are the same people for whom the mere existence of a gay character, or a plot that deals with gay subject matter, really anything that forces them to acknowledge that homosexuality so much as exists, is going to be a personal insult. I remind myself that it’s not that much to include, and really it’s very little in comparison to the entire rest of the game … and thus, considering what it means to those fans who receive that validation almost nowhere else, it’s not too much to demand a bit of tolerance and compassion from the portion of the audience for whom this content is not even intended.”

Gaider said he hopes someday the topic no longer needs to be discussed and it’s just simply expected.

“It seems like the presence of a discussion at all leads some to moan about how it’s all everyone even talks about, and how it dominates the videogame industry … as if it could, as if that’s a thing that’s even remotely happening, or as if the issue’s already settled and couldn’t everyone just talk about something more relevant to me now,” he continued.

“The more that gets said, the more it reinforces my belief that there’s a place for such discussion right now, that it’s needed. That’s how attitudes change, after all. I’m not going to pretend we already live in tomorrow, but acknowledging the criticism and striving to do better is — as an industry — how I think we’ll eventually get there.”

The latest entry in the franchise, Dragon Age: Inquisition, is slated for release on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in the third quarter.



  1. Djoenz

    No problem if its at least optional. Dont force things down my throat especially not a penis..I would bite it right off!

    #1 10 months ago
  2. YoungZer0

    Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t make such a big fuss about it. Don’t bother with any discussion on that topic. Just move along and continue with what you’re doing, only then will those people get quieter and quieter.

    There is no reason to engage. You won’t convince them. If they choose to not buy your game because it allows your male characters to suck a dick in the game, that’s their business.

    And honestly, this is nothing new. We had same sex relationships in videogames long before games like Dragon Age existed. Wasn’t a big fuss about it back then, why do you have to do it now?

    #2 10 months ago
  3. absolutezero

    Don’t reduce interpersonal and romantic relationships to the basest series of fucking check-box conversations and then act like your helping to further the cause of humanity you egotistical bald fuck.

    You want to know what I hate the most about this? The fact that you can pick and choose, who or what you seduce and you can change it at any given moment, just like that.

    and people swallow it. They fucking love that shit, not something thats actually attempting to be well written and an actual aspect of the characters and a direct influence on the story being told, but a little game of lets pretend and dress up.

    Bioware style romance “missions” are a fucking blight.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. Obernox

    Fine by me.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. TheWulf


    It depends on what you mean by optional, I’d think.

    If your statement is one of a desire to not be forced into a relationship with a gay partner and experiencing that sexuality, then no, you shouldn’t have that forced on you. You could choose that, if you wanted to experience it for the sake of being able to understand other people, but you should have that choice.

    If, however, you mean that you should have a ‘Gay’ checkbox in your game that you can toggle on or off to remove other forms of gay content, then I wouldn’t agree with that. For example, I think that if there was a gay couple in a game that made their way into your entourage, they shouldn’t have to stop being gay. If they wanted to flirt, and kiss, and hug, then that’s their business.

    I have straight relationships forced upon me by the entertainment media many times per day. Just today, I saw at least two straight couples kissing and hugging. So, in the interest of equality, we should be willing to allow gay people to have the same respect afforded to them, or the same disrespect shown to straight couples. Either way, there should be an equal approach to this.

    I feel that some people, not necessarily you, would probably want an option to turn off all gay content in their game. Like I said, I found what you said to be vague, so I’m going to assume the best and take it as you not wanting to be in a gay relationship rather than being exposed to a gay relationship. You’ve seemed reasonable up until now, I have no reason to believe otherwise, so I’m just talking in general, here. Dig?

    But there are people who’d want that. And that kind of reminds me of the treatment of America’s black people of yore. There were eateries that provided a ‘pure people’ experience (for white folks only), and this was perceived as okay at the time. As such, there were people who didn’t think of themselves as racist because they could tolerate those black people, provided that their exposure to them was on their own terms. So that they could retire to their ‘white only’ avenues at the end of the day.

    That’s not how things should be. And honestly, that attitude toward black people is almost mirrored today in the attitude toward gay people. I’d almost say that the majority almost needs someone to discriminate against.

    In my opinion, to fight that, we need people of all walks of life in the entertainment media, with equal exposure. So for every straight couple, you’d have a gay couple. That’s the ideal future. At the moment, there’s still this incredibly unsettling Aryan undertone in the Western hemisphere. Often to be a part of the entertainment industry, you’ll have better chances if you’re young, healthy, unblemished, thin, straight, and white.

    That’s unfortunate. Sure, we’re seeing that shift (especially in comedy shows), but it’s all too common nonetheless.

    Again, I think you’re probably reasonable, so imagine the following, if you would: A game where one of the important secondary characters is gay and having an interracial gay relationship with another character. One of them is hispanic, and the other is black.

    How uncomfortable do you think that would make certain groups of people? I honestly believe that even that, when it’s outside of the player and just two other characters being themselves, would lead to sociopathic rages, it would likely almost lead to angry riots. People are like that. People can be dumb.

    So, yeah. I support your right to not be forced into a relationship with a gay partner, 100 per cent. But can we agree that there should be more gay characters who enjoy a relationship together regardless of the player’s orientation? If I can be exposed to straight relationships on a daily basis, I don’t think it’s unfair to ask that others be exposed to gay relationships.

    And if asking for that form of equality is unfair. Why is it unfair?

    But generally, I think we can all agree that this kind of social progress needs to happen. And it needs to happen in a non-clumsy way. Perhaps the clumsiness of having gay characters come onto the player too strong rather than simply having relationships with other gay characters is what’s causing the alienation and the regression. I’ve been hit on by straight characters in games, but I’m very open-minded, so I’m not offended. But I can see how some mindsets would see that as an attack, making the attacker the enemy.


    So… yeah. Less gay characters forcing themselves on the player character, but more gay couples in games.


    I think the discussion is more about the most tactful way to handle gay characters in games, as I’ve been talking about above. Which I think is an important topic to talk about, otherwise we’re still going to have that mindset where there are people who just want to segregate gay people from ‘normal’ people. And a lot of those who’d think that are likely only thinking that due to poor social stimulus.

    It’s not an unfixable problem, with the right approach.


    I … can’t entirely disagree with this for the reasons I’ve covered in my reply to #1.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. Mike W



    #6 10 months ago
  7. ududy

    It’s a little depressing that this writer thinks all fictional worlds should operate according to liberal-progressive ideals, as if this is some kind of universal truth. Demonstratess a dogmatic and unimaginative brain.

    #7 10 months ago

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