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Leaving gay characters out of RPGs is “beyond” BioWare

Friday, 15th August 2014 09:35 GMT By Patrick Garratt

It’s the 21st Century. It’s time to move on.

dragon_age_inquisition

“Why picking a gender or sexuality is an issue is beyond me. We have the technology to do it, and we have for a long time, so why not let your fantasy be different?”

More RPGs should allow you to play with any race, gender and sexuality you choose, BioWare producer Cameron Lee said at gamescom yesterday, and that the topic of same-sex relationships in games is still an issue is baffling to the developer.

Lee confirmed that his current project, Dragon Age: Inquisition, will include same-sex romance.

“It’s an important topic,” he said. “It goes back to fantasy fulfilment. Your fantasies may be different to mine in terms of gender, sexuality, race, class, how you look, all these things. We’re not going to force you to be a fixed character, that you have to be this male guy that runs through the world and looks a certain way, walks a certain way. We even give you choices of voices.

“So why picking a gender or sexuality is an issue is beyond me. We have the technology to do it, and we have for a long time, so why not let your fantasy be different?”

BioWare trailblazed the inclusion of gay relationships in big-budget RPGs, and has drafted female avatars and homosexual options into all its major role-playing projects, such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Despite serious moves in recent years to ensure major games are inclusive in terms of gender and sexuality, large franchises and companies still stick to a male-only formula.

Capcom RPG Deep Down drew criticism earlier this year for only including male avatars, as did Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

Lee added that successful role-playing game should strive to be inclusive as the concept is “at the core of RPGs, and I think it’s a shame that more games don’t allow you to have that freedom.”

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