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StaceyPowers

Favorite LGBTQA+ portrayals in games?

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On a thread about the TLOU HBO show, @Crazycrab and I were talking about Ellie’s orientation (because another member brought it up). We both think that Ellie is a great LGBTQA+ portrayal because the matter is treated as entirely irrelevant in the game. There are so many actually important things for the characters to be hung up about (like infected and assholes everywhere) to bother getting hung up over something as irrelevant as Ellie’s orientation. Which is as it should be in an ideal world.

Of course, we don’t live in an ideal world where people expend their anger and intolerance on things that are actually a threat to their lives, so I think stories that reflect that also are important.

So, a contrasting LGBTQA+ portrayal which I also like is Dorian in Dragon Age: Inquisition.  DA always seems to feature a diverse set of characters, which I really appreciate. Dorian’s orientation caused him issues back in Tevinter, and those are front and central in his mind. Being as that is a familiar experience for a lot of LGBTQA+ people, exploring it seemed worthy to me. Beyond that, Dorian is just awesome all around. A lot of characters in DA are LGBTQA+. Some, like Dorian, have struggled because of it. Others don’t even bring it up. They’re just available or they’re not, depending on whether your character is male or female.

What LGBTQA+ portrayals have you liked most in games, and why?  

 

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4 hours ago, The Blackangel said:

I’ve never actually played a game that even came near the subject. The community hasn’t been part of any games that I was even aware of. But I think it’s a great idea to see more games like that. As long as they’re not the villains all the damn time.

 

The point that me a @StaceyPowerswe're touching on in the other topic is that it shouldn't make any difference to how you delveop your characters whether they are gay or not.  In the case of The Last of Us and Ellie it's a great story and character, NOT because she's gay but because of how you get invested in her through her and Joel's journey.  Not to mention the perfect work from Ashley Johnson, the writers and animators.

 

In my opinion it's when writers try to bullseye in and highlight on their gay characters being gay that they come across as being self absorbed and obnoxious.  Just write it naturally making it about the person rather thn their sexuality and it'll be fine.

 

On topic now, when it comes to gay characters specifically when it comes to games, with the exception of Ellie and The Last of Us... I honestly am a little disappointed to declare that I don't have that much to say.  I haven't played any Bioware Games (Mass Effect and Dragon Age) that extensively and the only other example I can think of is Life is Strange along with the Before the Storm Prequel and they are dependent at least partly on player choice.

 

Of course in Skyrim you can marry an NPC of the same gender but without mods it makes no difference at all so that doesn't count.  There's also the quite unclear nature of the relationship between Vanille and Fang in Final Fantasy XIII, but that game sucks.

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4 hours ago, StaceyPowers said:

On a thread about the TLOU HBO show, @Crazycrab and I were talking about Ellie’s orientation (because another member brought it up). We both think that Ellie is a great LGBTQA+ portrayal because the matter is treated as entirely irrelevant in the game. There are so many actually important things for the characters to be hung up about (like infected and assholes everywhere) to bother getting hung up over something as irrelevant as Ellie’s orientation. Which is as it should be in an ideal world.

Of course, we don’t live in an ideal world where people expend their anger and intolerance on things that are actually a threat to their lives, so I think stories that reflect that also are important.

So, a contrasting LGBTQA+ portrayal which I also like is Dorian in Dragon Age: Inquisition.  DA always seems to feature a diverse set of characters, which I really appreciate. Dorian’s orientation caused him issues back in Tevinter, and those are front and central in his mind. Being as that is a familiar experience for a lot of LGBTQA+ people, exploring it seemed worthy to me. Beyond that, Dorian is just awesome all around. A lot of characters in DA are LGBTQA+. Some, like Dorian, have struggled because of it. Others don’t even bring it up. They’re just available or they’re not, depending on whether your character is male or female.

What LGBTQA+ portrayals have you liked most in games, and why?  

 

 

I feel like I've got little to say now as Ellie and Dorian are the two that come to mind for me as well.

 

Dorian is very noble, courageous and, whilst he's obviously been tormented and exiled as a result of sexuality, he still retains a kind of pride and focus and that's makes him a very admirable and selfless hero. There's other LGBTQ characters in the game obviously, but he stands out for me because as he undeniably he wears his sexuality and how it affects his life on his sleeve, but you ultimately come to admire him not because he's deals with his sexuality with that aforementioned pride and courage, but because he deals with everything with that pride and courage. Gay or not, a good buy, but being gay may have shaped him into an even better guy in the end and that's a very positive message.

 

Ellie is quite different. She's more down to earth and relatable, but no less admirable and that was achieved through imperfection. She's very rude, stubborn and foul-mouthed. Despite that, she's also the kind of character that somebody in the closet can observe and look up to. As I think @Crazycrab pointed out in the other thread, the main story on TLOU didn't focus on nor even define Ellie's sexuality at all and instead focused on the father daughter like bond forming between her and Joel and didn't go onto her sexuality until the Left Behind DLC and that's good because it let us bond with Ellie in a similar way Joel did. This made us care about her to the point that we didn't care about her sexuality much at all. We were surprised perhaps, but not bothered and willing to support her, and that's they way it should be when somebody comes to somebody close to you coming out. That's a very different, but equally positive message as Dorian.

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14 hours ago, Crazycrab said:

Of course in Skyrim you can marry an NPC of the same gender but without mods it makes no difference at all so that doesn't count. 

Hahah, I was going to mention that, not as a positive exactly. Just as something hilarious to me. Everyone in Skyrim is gay for the Dragonborn, but otherwise straight. The land of heteroflexible people =D I mean, I appreciate the flexibility, but it's not all that realistic.

14 hours ago, Shagger said:

Gay or not, a good buy, but being gay may have shaped him into an even better guy in the end and that's a very positive message.

 

Very good point. He developed even greater courage and pride in himself through his struggles, and used them to become even more awesome :)  Also, I have a female char on my first playthrough, so I didn't get to romance him, but I've found the friendship with him very satisfying. Incidentally, I chose Sera to romance, and thus far she hasn't even really mentioned her sexuality, it just is. So it's a nice contrast between them.

14 hours ago, Shagger said:

didn't go onto her sexuality until the Left Behind DLC and that's good because it let us bond with Ellie in a similar way Joel did.

Wonderful point, I didn't even think of that. Then again, I grew up with parents who didn't honestly understand that type of unconditional love for their children. In that way, this game is also a great demonstration of what that should look like without even talking about it really. You just experience it if you're an empathetic gamer. I wonder if that is why a lot of players who do get annoyed at other LGBTQA+ representations in gaming often seem to make an exception for Ellie; they can't help but love her as she is.

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The closest I've come to games that take LGBTQA+ into account is some of the marriage systems in the simulation games and RPGs I play. For example, from what I'm aware, you can marry a male or female no matter which you are in My Time at Portia. Harvest Moon came out with one in Japan ages ago that let you have a similar-to-marriage relationship with another girl while you're playing as a girl. And Littlewood, a game I currently play l like Portia, makes its hero gender neutral, so you can marry any of the characters without worry of your gender and their's. 

I love visual novels that feature such characters, but there aren't enough of them, so I should work on one.

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