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Author Topic: Homosexuality in games  (Read 9767 times)

Garoth Moulinoski

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #60 on: September 19, 2012, 01:35:22 pm »
Just remembered that the Emperor from Magical Drop 3 is a complete and utter queenI'm not sure how toned down he was in the Japanese but he is totally camp in the western versions.

Interesting! Specially since most examples are the inverse of this!
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Zanerus

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #61 on: September 19, 2012, 02:12:24 pm »
As shown in the cutting room floor, the issue of homosexuality was going to be more present in Asellus's scenario in Saga frontier. However much of her story was chopped and what was left still made it noticeable but not explored as deeply.

http://tcrf.net/SaGa_Frontier/Unused_Text

Case in point,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOTWSq9ubvE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yFKuzAXFDk

Each ending hints to relations she has, though to be fair, her full mystic ending is a bit less sane.

Validus

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2012, 06:02:29 pm »
Enchanted Arms for 360

nuff said

spencer5976

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2012, 12:47:03 pm »
Sodom of Street Fighter Alpha ?

Zoinkity

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #64 on: September 23, 2012, 09:47:27 am »
They did sort of water-down Birdo.  If I remember the manual correctly, Birdo was a guy who wanted to be a girl and shot eggs instead of sitting on them.  Or something like that. 

As far as Big N, there's always this guy...

Garoth Moulinoski

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #65 on: September 23, 2012, 03:37:09 pm »
As far as Big N, there's always this guy...

Well... He's not explicitly stated as being gay... so yeah... All he is is really eccentric.
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thr

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #66 on: September 23, 2012, 11:40:45 pm »
this page could possibly serve as an interesting, though rather rudimentary read on the topic at hand.

now, in the aforementioned Fable series, you could seduce, pick up and even marry characters of the same sex.
in Ultima VII you could have some same-sex fun in the whorehouse at the Buccaneer's Den. choosing a same-sex host did raise a few eyebrows from the NPCs involved, but there were no questions asked and no overarching consequences. (aside from the unicorn refusing to talk to you afterwards, but that had to do with losing your char's virginity) oh, and the male host was a pickpocket, so you'd pay more than you bargained for even if you were playing a female character.

there are other games with a homosexual theme, but my pick for the absolute pinnacle of 'gayness' in mass-market games would be Dragon Age. it's apparent from the very beginning. if you choose a human noble as your character, there's an episode in the intro where you can choose to score a guy or a chick. it becomes even more apparent with the game's progression, as there are certain members of your party that can be made into your bedmates (and more than that), regardless of their sex. you can even have a threesome. :) that's in part what makes a good RPG, the ability to have a threesome shape every aspect of your character as you see fit, in the context of a game. including sexuality, which is a powerful driving force behind us humans.

now if you WERE looking for something more explicit, while there are very few games made by us westerners that revolve around this particular theme (and what little there is is utter shit), our Japanese brothers actually have entire game studios devoted solely to making gay games. there are many titles available, ranging from gentle, romantic teenage love stories to pure pornographic material, and everything in-between. it seems that they often fall under the 'visual novel' genre, but there are exceptions. the 'yaoi' theme seems to be the most prevalent in these games, but there are also quite a few 'bara' games for guys without the pedo streak. my favourite so far would be Ride on Shooting Star, a strange cross-genre game by Underground Campaign. still waiting for a translation of this one into English, as I've enjoyed it a lot, but hit the language barrier and was unable to continue after a certain point. be aware that this is a very explicit game, with lots of butch guys having raw, sweaty sex with each other.

as for why so few mainstream games embrace the topic of homosexuality, well, I believe that this matter is at least two-fold. first, stuff that pertains to sex life is best fitted in sex games. second, mainstream games are generally created and marketed towards a wide demographics. taking into account that homosexual audience is but a fraction of potential customers, there's little incentive for game-makers to gear their product towards this particular demographics. in this regard, Lionhead and Bioware did a wise thing with their choose-your-own-sexual-preference-or-any-mix-thereof, potentially widening their player base, but without alienating their primary customers. the gay stuff is not readily apparent, neither in Fable, nor in Dragon Age. you have to actively pursue this type of action, and a typical heterosexual person simply won't choose the relevant options, effectively rendering the issue non-existent for most players, while still remaining viable and valuable for the interested parties.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 12:34:31 am by thr »

Zanerus

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #67 on: September 24, 2012, 02:16:01 am »

as for why so few mainstream games embrace the topic of homosexuality, well, I believe that this matter is at least two-fold. first, stuff that pertains to sex life is best fitted in sex games. second, mainstream games are generally created and marketed towards a wide demographics.

I have to disagree there to a degree. The ACT of sex should be restricted to such games yes, but we commonly see romances and relationships in games, regardless of the content of the game. Most Mario games end with peach giving Mario a kiss. A straight relation is perceived by many as the normal which in most cultures is correct way to look at such.

http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/sex-in-games

Extra credits discusses this topic roughly in the linked video. Intimacy however is very difficult to portray and to me it seems most media makers don't know how they wanna do it without making it be intimacy=leading to sex.

Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #68 on: September 24, 2012, 03:54:25 am »
I agree with everything stated above, and I'm at a loss for why games, and other media don't portray intimacy between either established couples, or characters attracted to one another better. I've always assumed everyone that works in media has never been in a healthy, caring, stable relationship and has no idea how to portray to people holding hands, or cuddling while watching a movie.

As to the demographic being wide, I'd point out that people ship, people like to see others hook up, root for couple, or relationships to work either on purpose, or unintentionally, and whole famous, and well received shows have been built around such things. Intimacy and well-developed relationships are just another facet of world building, and something I'd like to see done better in many games, but add that to the list of more/deeper RPG elements, and more voice acting, and the return of the world map.


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KaioShin

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #69 on: September 24, 2012, 04:07:58 am »
It's not just sex, it's hard to even find intimate moments like kisses in games that have any sort of emotional impact. If relationships are depicted then usually in an innocent teenage-buddies (virtually all JRPGs) kinda way or in games that try to be mature (=violent) the love interest is usually unapproachable and the relationship is restricted to one-liners and other verbal innuendo. Why all that? Because game writing is in the dark ages and the devs don't dare touch it because they know they would fuck it up. Also it doesn't help that the US is the home of a large part of the industry and that half the country is a frigid bible-thumper stronghold.

All the examples of homosexuality in games mentioned so far honestly leave me completely cold. All of those relationships are the kind of "click on npc to open dialog, click 'I love you', watch cut scene THE END" kind of relationships if even that. So what if a sprite of some dude gets described as being gay? It's all completely meaningless unless the game does something with it, builds up a real relationship between the characters with dialoges and events. In Fable for example you might as well marry a stool, it has that little impact on the game and being married doesn't really do anything. A NPC stands around in your house and plays a random line out of a pool of 3 dialog lines to greet you when you visit, SHIT IS EPIC!!!1.

They need to get heterosexual relationships right before they can even start to think about homosexual ones without embarrassing themselves.

Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #70 on: September 24, 2012, 04:18:06 am »

They need to get heterosexual relationships right before they can even start to think about homosexual ones without embarrassing themselves.

I thought I'd made that statement in my post above, now that I see I didn't, I want to state I should have!
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MegaManJuno

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #71 on: September 24, 2012, 08:50:27 am »
I want to state that Guild Wars 2 genuinely surprised me. There was a gay male couple involved within the opening story for my Sylvari character (plant people).

The guy comes up and asks you to help save his lover from some rampaging, invincible green knight. It wasn't until I got to the location that it became apparent that his lover was male. I found it rather respectable in the way it was portrayed. No cliched, over-the-top, "Broadway" gay acting. No gratuitousness. Just 2 guys in love.

FallenAngel2387

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #72 on: September 24, 2012, 09:16:23 am »
As far as Big N, there's always this guy...

If we're counting character based on appearance, most of Igarashi's run on Castlevania would count.

KaioShin

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #73 on: September 24, 2012, 09:22:57 am »
There was a gay male couple involved within the opening story for my Sylvari character (plant people).

Like you said, they are plant people, they don't reproduce via sex too, they grow on a magical tree. This is similiar to the Asari in Mass Effect which only have one gender while they all look like hot girls. See the pattern? Incidentally the homosexual character in Dragon Age was an Elve and not a human too. If they are going to hint at homosexuality in their games, most developers still take the easy way and chose kinda-human-but not-really species. One could be cynical and derive some even more sinister commentary about homosexuality from that but I wouldn't go that far. They are just playing it as safe as they can while trying to look progressive. But considering how important the US market is they can't even be blamed really. If they went all out they might actually lose sales.

Nightcrawler

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #74 on: September 24, 2012, 09:24:14 am »
Can't argue with that. How can we ever hope to see intelligent representations of other types of intimate relationships when we still don't have intelligent representation of the plain vanilla variety? It's certainly better than it used to be, but there's along way to go. As mentioned, it's also a hugely taboo subject matter. We already believe violent games create killers here in the US. Then, our less evolved section of our populous still believes many alternative types of relationships are evil sins and such games might convert 'normal' folks, :o and would lobby Washington to further censor and stop games from being distributed. Such are large hurdles that most developers would rather not even try to bother with. It's not economically viable when you can't sell your game at Walmart or Gamestop, for instance. However, somebody needs to in order to attempt to continue social progress in our societies! Hopefully we'll see continued increases in such content creep in slowly and it will circulate and become more commonplace in everyday life. It seems to be doing so in movies and TV over the last decade or so.

I don't know much about treatment of such alternative relationships in the Japanese culture, but I get the impression it is fairly taboo there as well with similar walls.
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MegaManJuno

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #75 on: September 24, 2012, 09:36:38 am »
Like you said, they are plant people, they don't reproduce via sex too, they grow on a magical tree. This is similiar to the Asari in Mass Effect which only have one gender while they all look like hot girls. See the pattern? Incidentally the homosexual character in Dragon Age was an Elve and not a human too. If they are going to hint at homosexuality in their games, most developers still take the easy way and chose kinda-human-but not-really species. One could be cynical and derive some even more sinister commentary about homosexuality from that but I wouldn't go that far. They are just playing it as safe as they can while trying to look progressive. But considering how important the US market is they can't even be blamed really. If they went all out they might actually lose sales.

I get what you're saying, but I was referring more to the presentation of it. The way it was presented really had no bearing on the species in this case, and could have easily been any species in the game. I find that people, in general, need to learn to separate sexuality from sex. They are two different beasts, and I think in this case that they took a step in the right direction (however small that step may be).

thr

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #76 on: September 24, 2012, 01:42:37 pm »
I wouldn't hope for the big publishers to embrace homosexuality in their games anytime soon, unless they see this as a way to substantially increase their income. which won't happen soon, considering how devastating an 'M' rating (not to mention the dreaded 'Ao' rating) is for sales, at least in the States, from what I gather. it's a bit different in Europe, as far as I can tell, as most game shops offer games with an 18+ rating, unless they specialise in games for children, or whatever. games for adults are quite a big market here.
anyway, I'd expect small studios to lead the way in this matter. while it's not easy to find homosexuality-themed games, and what little there is is mostly jerk-off material, there are a few ventures into a more mature-ish territory. for example games by Christine Love.

Zanerus

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #77 on: September 24, 2012, 03:28:51 pm »
I don't know much about treatment of such alternative relationships in the Japanese culture, but I get the impression it is fairly taboo there as well with similar walls.

The best way I can describe it is as off an on and depends on the person. If it was really such a hot seat issue there wouldn't be entire genres of both manga and anime dedicated to defined by the act of same sex relations. However most examples in them that I've read aren't worth much but it of note that its common enough that it isn't a hot seat issue like it is in the states. A fun fact is that it was common for samurai to take male lovers. But yea I'm not japaense, so I've only got the information from searches and conversations.

I wouldn't hope for the big publishers to embrace homosexuality in their games anytime soon, unless they see this as a way to substantially increase their income. which won't happen soon, considering how devastating an 'M' rating (not to mention the dreaded 'Ao' rating) is for sales, at least in the States, from what I gather.

My counter example is old but I'll admit I stopped following modern video games since I can no longer afford any new systems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Gear_Solid_4:_Guns_of_the_Patriots#Commercial
http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Metal_Gear_Solid

MGS4 was a PS3 exclusive game, which in 2008 had a much smaller audience then the X-box 360 however as shown more than 5.5 million copies were shipped over seas and over all the game a HUGE sucess, landing on the top selling top 10 of many companies for a few weeks or month after the release. The game was M rated, and kinda puts a flaw in your statement. The "public" eye of media watch dogs barked up at this, but notice the increase in M rated games on this new systems. If sales really get damaged by an M then why was Left for dead and Left for dead 2 a huge success?

Here's the last game I use as an example "During March 2012, Mass Effect 3 sold 1.5 million copies for consoles, with 3.5 million shipped for all platforms.[155] According to EA's Q4 results, Mass Effect 3 has grossed over $200 million.[156]"
http://www.gamespot.com/news/mass-effect-3-sold-15m-in-march-projects-analyst-6370946 is the link related to that quote.

However I have another issue with your statement that is more a personal one then a discussion issue.

Quote
"I wouldn't hope for the big publishers to embrace homosexuality in their games anytime soon, unless they see this as a way to substantially increase their income. which won't happen soon, considering how devastating an 'M' rating"

Why does the act of showing affection and intimacy in a non carnal way have to be M rated? Ico for example uses romantic subtleness such as the fact that through the game the main character is holding the hand of his love interest/ partner through out the game. Its subtle actions that best portray healthy relationships. I'll use a life experience here but most people I knew who only displayed their romance by carnal acts were in really shitty relationships for the most part. By carnal in this case I mean going from trying to beat each other in verbal abuse to making out shortly after, then most likely leading to sex. From my experiences all relationships based soley on sex appeal are bound to fail and as a country it takes us half our life to seemingly learn this.

A teen rated game can easily show characters holding hands, maybe having a chat while cuddling on a couch or something. Not all games need this, but games need to learn to accept that sexuality si more than the act, and express that somehow.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 03:47:41 pm by Zanerus »

thr

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #78 on: September 24, 2012, 04:17:00 pm »
I was under the impression that the biggest USA game sellers do not distibute M or Ao-rated games.
from wikipedia ESBR article: 'Companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all have policies against allowing AO rated games to be licensed on their consoles. Additionally, most major retailers, even those who carry M-rated games, do not sell AO-rated titles in their stores or through their websites. Consequently, AO-rated games are restricted to the PC and Mac, and sold in limited fashion.'
also: 'While some video games and video game series released in Japan will feature same-sex themes or options that allow players to have same-sex relationships with NPCs, some developers will remove such content from the game entirely when submitting it for ESRB review in the U.S., typically out of concern of receiving a more mature rating. The Harvest Moon series, for instance, has featured the option to have same-sex relationships only in the original Japanese releases. Another example can be found in The Sims series; while the Windows versions are notable for their inclusion of same-sex relationships and marriage, GBA and Nintendo DS ports of The Sims games won't allow the player to have any romantic interactions with members of the same sex.'

Zanerus

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Re: Homosexuality in games
« Reply #79 on: September 24, 2012, 04:44:53 pm »
AO rating is very rarely used and is akin to our NC-17 movies. They exist but are by no rate the common amount and are not the same as R. Though many NC-17 movies are simply "uncensored" R movies that were walking sex parades. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AO-rated_products Is a list of all AO rated games, a quick serch on gamestop for one system has over 204 pages worth of results, though a good portion are repeats. http://www.gamestop.com/browse?nav=1335

By more mature in the case of harvest moon most of them are E rated if not all of them and it would risk pushing the game into T rating, which defeats the purpose of the game's audience. I have no information on the sims, but I hate them so I have no intention to do any research.