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wildpins

A Gay Hero

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Your thoughts on how that would work. Do you incorporate the love side of things? Do you introduce your audience to his thoughts and emotions? Your ideas welcome.

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Your thoughts on how that would work. Do you incorporate the love side of things? Do you introduce your audience to his thoughts and emotions? Your ideas welcome.



Why would the sexual orientation of a character matter in a game? I can only see it mattering in a game where a romance plot is used throughout the story, but that's about it

If you think about it, in how many games do they even mention sexual orientation? It could very well be that Mario is gay (maybe he just enjoys saving that damn princess time after time), maybe Master Chief is gay, heck maybe even Samus Aran is gay (never really played any metroid game that much, so I don't know whether her sexual orientation is mentioned anywhere :D ) or even Lara Croft (I think this would disappoint a lot of fans though)

A character could very well be gay, but that doesn't mean you'd have to notice any differences when compared to straight characters

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Any detail of a character can add depth to the experience, the storytelling, and the interactions between characters -- at the same time, it has to be used in a way that makes sense and isn't pandering towards one side or the other, stooping to stereotypes, or pretending that, whatever it is, is any more significant or empowering than it really is. Especially given a very sensitive subject, such as it is for many people both for and against -- or for whom are personally effected, the treatment of such things should be handled very sensitively. If you were instead to treat the subject only shallowly, or to paint it in broad strokes, would be really nothing more than to pander to the inevitable controversy.

When Tomb Raider came out, her character was rather shallow -- not much more than a pair of tits with guns -- Today she still relies on sex appeal, but its been toned down and her character is more fleshed out -- more mature. If you can't treat homosexuality at least as maturely as Ms. Croft's modern incarnation treats womanhood, then I would suggest you are heading down the wrong path.

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You have to be very careful on your handling of this, otherwise you stand the risk of alienating large parts of your user base. That said, I don't see why this should be impossible.

How you handle it depends on the setting and game type. As was mentioned, it's entirely possible that some characters you're familiar with are gay and it just didn't come up. In a game like Halo, Master Chief could be gay and it just wouldn't matter.

That's where you need to be careful though. If you bring it up in a game like Halo, you're probably doing it just so people know, "Hey, this guy is gay!" In a game like Mass Effect, it would possibly have relevance in the side romances. How much it matters outside that is up to you, but again you have to be careful on how far you take it. Graphical sex scenes are out for heterosexuals, so I needn't even bring that up, but you could use it for plot purposes (i.e. your boyfriend gets captured and you have to rescue him). Careful not to invoke too much stereotyping or gay hate among the heroes or bad guys, or you'll definitely get community backlash though.

At any rate, it seems that in games where you are in control of your character's development, choosing to be gay is a more or less acceptable thing in modern games. Unless I'm totally losing my mind you could do this in Dragon Age, for example. I don't recall ever reading anyone faulting the game for it. Of course, I also don't think it ever came up in the story, even if you chose to be gay.

If you do have a gay hero, I'd advise keeping it low key and otherwise mostly irrelevant, unless the game type calls for something different. An odd comment on it here or there, or even plot points would probably be fine. Anything more and I strongly caution you to consider what you are doing.

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I wanted to see what people's thoughts on the matter were. I got the feedback I expected and half wanted. The story detail and progression of characters needs emotional attachments for the game. This being said, people will need to know he is gay. Now to the extent is solely based on how well I want them to connect to him. My thoughts are currently this "I want them to be linked into his choices and feelings from his perspective." If you have played or watched Metal Gear Solid 1-4 you will see how Konami tries to do this with several of their characters. I don't mind trying new ideas, if it alienates the players just because he's homosexual, then they missed a good story and a good game, I lost money on it, so I move on. The flip side is if it works, I can then introduce a prostitute for the main character in another game.

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I'd say it depends on the audience you are aiming for. There are successful yaoi ren'ai games with gay main characters (and gay everybody else too). But if you're doing a general-audiences single player RPG then you have a choice between either minimizing the sexual aspect or slanting your game design toward a female audience to compensate for the percentage of male audience you're going to lose.

A prostitute (assuming you mean a female one?) Would actually be a less objectionable choice to the typical teen and older player base of single player RPGs (or FPS or RTS or whatever). I do wonder how much prostituting you would have the main character actually doing during the game; doesn't seem to fit well with typical monster killing, army-directing, or gun-shooting gameplay.

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These games sound interesting. I'd like to play as a gay hero or a prostitute.

It seems that your (perceived) problem is that you want to sell a game about a gay hero to heterosexual, male players. Let me brainstorm a few different ideas that may or may not be correct or helpful:

1. Make the object of love a person that a heterosexual man would like to hang out with as a friend (and save from dragons because they are friends etc.). Thus you make the player interested in interacting with the character without having the romantic interest in him. Do this by giving the character virtues and qualities that men see as positive in a male friend.

2. Make the object of love feminine in a way so that hetero men can project their interest in females onto him.

3. Exploit fetishes that some men have to entice desire towards the object of love.

4. Introduce female secondary characters that the hero is not romantically interested in, but who the player might be interested in. This gives the player who wants to interact with females optional objects of romantic phantasies.

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Why would the sexual orientation of a character matter in a game?

If you look at this from a marketing perspective, it does a lot. A number of dev houses use sex symbols, or the opposite sex for selling games. Big tits, cute faces, you know the deal. I'd guess a gay main character might have a limited appeal for the mainstream.

For inspiration, I reckon you should check out the Japanese Anime culture. You will find an interesting mix of characters. Quite a number of heroes are either gay, bisexual, ambiguous in orientation, or even appear androgynous. Sometimes the audience is free to interpret the character however they like. This is probably a good strategy, because such characters will not appear confrontational to the conservative (or should I say, insecure) crowd. Making the character in question very powerful also helps.

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Why would the sexual orientation of a character matter in a game? I can only see it mattering in a game where a romance plot is used throughout the story, but that's about it

Let me also add something to this discussion. It is true that in games like Mario Bros, sexual orientation of the hero does not need to be mentioned inside the game. On the other extreme end of the spectrum are romantic visual novels, where attraction has to be handled in one way or other. E.g. the game Amagami, where the hero according to the backstory is obviously attracted to females at least. Another possibility is to let the player choose their orientation through the choices they make.

It seems that in the rpg RedPin is envisioning, storytelling is important. It seems to be a game that is closer to be a visual novel than to be Mario Bros. Thus it is relevant to consider revealing the orientation of the hero. It could be held secret, or be up to the imagination of the player, but at some point a game with heavy story-telling could be perceived by the player as shallow or unrealistic or untrue or to be a game for children if romance is not handled in any way.

The answer to the question is the game that the creator has envisioned. They have a vision of a game where the hero is gay and this is relevant to the story. Now it's just to implement it.

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The fact that it's a game I really don't think changes anything.

Adding the element is the same as any other characterization in that storytelling is another form of entertainment that, when combined with a game, can enrich the experience.

It can be able damn near anything really.

And having said all that, I'll say it's exactly like if you had a book that had a gay hero.

So how is it an issue? Well gay people do have stuff to deal with. Being gay is one of those things that can sprinkle challenges onto life. Are you open? Did your parents disown you? Is a lady coming on to you? Are you getting preached at?

Maybe the game is you escaping from a "reeducation" camp or something but it's all really overdone.

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