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

Wednesday, 19 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.

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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.

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7 Comments

  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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year ago
  4. Obernox

    Fine by me.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. TheWulf

    @1

    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.

    Hm.

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

    @2

    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.

    @3

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

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Mike W

    @Djoenz

    LMAO!!

    #6 1 year 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 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    PlayStation 4 firmware 2.50, codenamed Yukimura, is due for release tomorrow, March 26. Firmware update 2.50 for PlayStation 4 will be launching tomorrow, March 26, Sony has announced. Codenamed Yukimura, the system update is promised to bring suspend/resume feature, trophy sync improvements, accessibility options, and much more. 2.50 has been in beta testing a while […]

  • GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges and more

    Heists aren’t the only addition in GTA Online’s latest DLC – there’s a lot of content that can earn you big RP and cash payouts. GTA 5 Online Heists guide: adversary modes, daily objectives, free roam challenges While heists are the talking point and big payoff after more than a year of waiting, there’s a […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: what’s the best Police sniper rifle?

    What’s the best bolt-action, Police sniper rifle for the Professional class in Battlefield Hardline? Let us help you answer that question. As you’re probably aware, Battlefield Hardline weapons are class specific and faction specific. This makes deciding on a good weapon and loadout much harder than it was in Battlefield 4. Which is where Westie […]

  • Evolve 1.3 patch nerfs Wraith, adjusts Kraken

    Evolve is receiving a new patch that aims to put an end to the Wraith’s dominance. Evolve developer Turtle Rock outlined a few of the changes coming in patch 1.3. The patch brings balance changes to the monsters – mainly the Wraith – as well as other various changes to Hunters’ tools based on player […]

  • Bloodborne: watch the opening 40 minutes

    The opening minutes of Bloodborne really do set the stage for what’s to come. They’ll also help you decide if this game is for you. Arekkz Gaming has captured the first 40 minutes of Bloodborne. Complete with the opening cutscene, and the first few obstacles you’ll face. The video is commentary free, so wear headphones […]

  • YouTube will relaunch livestreaming service with focus on eSports and gaming – report

    According to industry sources, Google is preparing to relaunch YouTube’s livestreaming service with a focus on eSports and gaming. According to anonymous sources speaking to TheDailyDot, Google is planning to bring back YouTube’s livestreaming service. The company is said to have started recruiting around 50 engineers with experience in the field, “a pretty big statement […]

  • I think I’m too old for Final Fantasy 15

    Final Fantasy 15 was nine years in the making – and counting. Are we the same people we were in 2006? Final Fantasy 15: Episode Duscae A demo available for PS4 and Xbox One. Offers a couple of hours of gameplay. More if you jump over the borders. Bundled with Final Fantasy 15 Type-0 and […]

  • New multiplayer mode for Splatoon announced

    Nintendo has sent over three screenshots for Splatoon along with information on the Wii U another of the title’s multiplayer modes. Called Ranked Battle, it keeps track of each player’s online ranking. Splat Zones is one of the additional ways to play online in this mode. It differs from Turf War, which is the main […]

  • 2015 WoW Arena World Championship has a $250,000 prize pool

    Blizzard has announced the WoW Arena World Championship will culminate at BlizzCon 2015. World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena teams from around the globe will compete for spot at the 2015 WoW Arena World Championship and for a share in the $250,000 prize pool. Online qualifiers will be held for North America, Southeast Asia, Australia, New […]

  • The Crew two-hour demo now available in US, tomorrow in the UK

    Ubisoft has announced a free trial of its driving MMO The Crew will be available tomorrow, March 25 in the UK. It’s live today in North America. For current players, the Vintage Car Pack and Vintage Live Update, including a new PvP mode, are now available. The Vintage Car Pack included the Chevrolet Corvette C2 […]

  • Minecraft Mass Effect Mash-Up and Pattern Texture Pack out from today

    A Mass Effect Mash-up pack and the Pattern Texture Pack will release on PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita today in North America and tomorrow in Europe. The Pattern Texture Pack is also available for Xbox consoles today. The Mass Effect Mash-Up pack contains the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 plus textures and craftable items […]

  • The Talos Principle expansion pack Road to Gehenna announced

    An expansion for The Talos Principle has been announced titled Road to Gehenna. The expansion follows the narrative of Uriel, Elohim’s messenger, as he explores a “strange, hidden part of the simulation” on a mission of “mercy and redemption.” Uriel is attempting to free the souls of the damned “at all costs.” Road to Gehenna […]

  • Twitch Plays Pokemon finally catches ‘em all – even the rare Mewtwo

    Twitch Plays Pokemon players have captured all 151 original Pokemon which were included in a modified version of Pokemon Red, and this includes the rare Mewtwo. It took 39 days for Twitch players to catch ‘em all. Have a look at the impressive feat for yourself below. Thanks, Polygon.

  • GameStop will have limited units of Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL back in stock

    Those who missed out on the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL will have another opportunity to purchase it outside of eBay. Tomorrow only, GameStop stores in the United States will have four units in stock, according to and internal memo sent to Kotaku. This is every store in the country, and again, only […]

  • Second phase of Fortnite closed Alpha launches today

    Fortnite’s second closed Alpha test will go live this afternoon, according to the official website. Those currently participating will have until April 14 to test the online aspects for 12 hours per day (noon -12am EDT). All progress from the previous Alpha test will be wiped, and other changes are listed in the patch notes. […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon out now on PC, Xbox One

    As promised yesterday, the single-player DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jaws of Hakkon, is now available on PC and Xbox One. It will run you or £11.99 or your regional equivalent. The new content expands the land of Thedas with mountainous regions and forests, and it is full of “vicious enemies.” Players will also be […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer shows Ascendance gameplay

    Activision has released a new gamepay trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to support the Ascendance DLC which releases next week. Ascendance, will release first on Xbox consoles March 31 and includes the next chapter of the Exo Zombies Saga, Infected, along with four new multiplayer maps: Perplex, Site 244, Climate and Chop Shop. […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight will be a digital only release on PC – report

    It appears Batman: Arkham Knight will not see a physical release on PC, according to ShopTo. The retailer was told by its buyer the Rocksteady game will only be released on PC in digital form. ShopTo is currently double checking the information. If accurate, it is unknown if this will be case in North America […]

  • Bloodborne patch focusing on load times, performance optimizations in the works

    A patch for Bloodborne which will address load times is in the works, Sony has said The load times were one of the issues noted in Digital Foundry’s report on the From Software title. Sony told Eurogamer the patch would also explore other issues as well. “The development team is currently exploring another patch for […]

  • Gearbox would “love” to have entire Borderlands collection on current-gen

    An Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of the original Borderlands game is something Gearbox Software is interested in, according to studio boss Randy Pitchford. Speaking in the latest Major Nelson podcast, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said should Borderlands: The Handsome Collection prove successful, 2K Games might consider a current-gen version. “The fact that The […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork shows the catacombs, dock, more

    Over the weekend we posted Wolfenstein: The Old Blood artwork along with news of a retail release in Europe. Today, we have better quality images of said artwork to share with you. Enjoy. The standalone prequel will be released digitally on May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in North America, and digitally on […]

  • Slender: The Arrival terrorizes PS4 and Xbox One this week

    In case you forgot, what with Bloodborne out today and other high profile releases of late, Slender: The Arrival is out today on PlayStation 4 in North America. The scary game will arrive on Xbox One tomorrow, March 25, and in Europe on PS4. Slender: The Arrival is an expansion on the original Slender game […]

  • World of Warcraft’s WoW Token rollout slated after launch of patch 6.1.2

    Blizzard has announced it will start rollout its WoW Token option in the weeks following the launch of patch 6.1.2 on March 24. WoW Token allows players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard will release WoW Token first in realms serving North America, Oceania, and Latin America and will expand […]

  • The Evil Within: The Consequence dated for April, teaser video released

    Part 2 of Juli Kidman’s adventure in The Evil Within will arrive next month with the release of The Consequence. Above is a brief teaser showing some of the “madness” Kidman will encounter. The Consequence will arrive on Tuesday, April 21 on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. European PlayStation players will […]

  • Bloodborne sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate” per performance analysis

    Bloodborne has been analyzed by Digital Foundry and according to the report, even with a 30fps cap the game sometimes “struggles to run at a smooth frame-rate.” The game’s day-one 2.69GB update 1.01 is “essential” as it contains improvements to game performance and stability and the frame-rate tests run by Digital Foundry were in single-player […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews round-up

    Borderlands: The Handsome Collection reviews are out in the wild so we decided to catch a few of them for you. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is out today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The collection packages Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel along with each game’s DLC content on one disc. Better graphics and […]

  • Evolve, Forza Horizon 2, WWE 2K15 are this week’s Deals with Gold

    Evolve, Forza 2 Horizon and WWE 2K15 are just some of the games which are part of this week’s Xbox Deals with Gold. You can also pick up the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Pro Edition for 20% off as well as the standard edition for 33% off. For the Xbox 360 crowd, there’s also […]

  • Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles now available starting at $250

    Microsoft is offering a discount on three Xbox 360 bundles with prices starting at $250. The Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value bundles feature various content such as a Kinect, 500GB console bundle and one month of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 500GB Spring Value Bundle: comes with Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare download and Fable […]