How do you feel about LGBT characters in games?

How comfortable do you feel about LGBT characters in games?

  • I would be thrilled! I wish there were more.

    Votes: 56 45.5%
  • I would be positive to it, as long as it didn't take too much spot.

    Votes: 31 25.2%
  • I'd tolerate it / be neutral.

    Votes: 36 29.3%
  • It would make me feel uncomfortable.

    Votes: 5 4.1%
  • It goes against my morals or beliefs.

    Votes: 10 8.1%

  • Total voters
    123
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Brillenpinguin

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@JosephSeraph: Yeah, I agree. Next time we blink someone's gonna talk about Bad Dragon XD;
 

Cryranos

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Straight people putting LGBT characters in games is no more "pandering" than LGBT people putting straight characters in games.
 

Natural

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Just make the game, don't emphasize on them being LGBT and the game will be fine if you write a good enough story and has* the right content. I don't think anyone would have a problem playing the game as long as they're not doing things that people would disapprove on like having same gender sexual scenes. (Maybe it's against their religion?) But even then we're all adults (I hope..) so if it's a quality game people will play it regardless.. 
 
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trouble time

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Straight people putting LGBT characters in games is no more "pandering" than LGBT people putting straight characters in games.
No one is saying it is, they're saying that the act of pandering is pandering (as odd as that sounds). Pandering is a second action beyond representing, and in this case is representing to get attention from a demographic that cares, and a lot of pushes for diversity actually do work from the "this is a huge untapped market" which does imply pandering, and well some people are going to take that as fact. The problem is that pretty much any representation can feel like pandering when there is a visible push to pander to a demographic. The other problem is people assuming that pandering is a bad thing at all times, it isn't. Well the word has a negative connotation but you can basically replace it with accomodate (which people do as well) and it sounds much nicer (try replacing pander with accomodate in the sentances above this one).

Of course, if something is pandering or not is based on intent, you can't tell if someone was trying to grab a demographic or not, and even if they say one way or the other the audience may not believe them. I don't think I'm pandering to anyone, but I also don't think I'll be spared the accusation, and at that point even if I were to deny it people would beleive what they want to believe and that's A-Ok.
 

Mama_B

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I don't really see why someone's romantic/sexual orientation would even need to come up unless there was a romantic plot/sub-plot in the story.

Personally, I don't really care about a character's orientation when I'm playing a game unless it's relevant for some reason.  It's not as if I'm going to play said game specifically because there's a straight guy/girl in the party or snub the game because there's an LGBT character on the roster.  To me, the story supercedes all of that.  If the story is good, no one will care who the characters are sleeping with unless they're being overly sensitive.

Write what you know.  If you don't know, then research.  If you're unsure, research again.  Avoid the common stereotypes that are seen overused in the media.

Definitely don't make too big of a deal about it - there are news groups all over the world who that on a daily basis.
 

byronclaude

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I won't lie, I am glad I caught this post...  because it has been a subject that has been discussed with my team here at home.

Being a gay man myself...  and having played many games with romantic sub-plots, while never seeing even a hint of a homosexual romantic interest...  I cannot help but long for that experience even just once in a good game.

My current project is HEAVILY EXTENSIVE, and nearly finished...  yet does not include any distinct LGBTQ relationships because it is hard for me to really know how to insert that without 'deviating from the norm to such a huge degree as to scare the straight-majority players away.

So yes, my vote is that I would be thrilled to see more...    ...but I understand very much why others with their alternate internal-make-up might feel differently...  so I am not militant on this matter.

Incidentally, if anyone knows of a finished project that involves the main character being involved in an LGBTQ relationship...  PLEASE let me know...  I would love the opportunity to veg out into that world some  :)

Thank you everyone who contributed to this post.  ;)
 

Reavenator

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I won't lie, I am glad I caught this post...  because it has been a subject that has been discussed with my team here at home.

Being a gay man myself...  and having played many games with romantic sub-plots, while never seeing even a hint of a homosexual romantic interest...  I cannot help but long for that experience even just once in a good game.

My current project is HEAVILY EXTENSIVE, and nearly finished...  yet does not include any distinct LGBTQ relationships because it is hard for me to really know how to insert that without 'deviating from the norm to such a huge degree as to scare the straight-majority players away.

So yes, my vote is that I would be thrilled to see more...    ...but I understand very much why others with their alternate internal-make-up might feel differently...  so I am not militant on this matter.

Incidentally, if anyone knows of a finished project that involves the main character being involved in an LGBTQ relationship...  PLEASE let me know...  I would love the opportunity to veg out into that world some  :)

Thank you everyone who contributed to this post.  ;)
It's not uncommon for popular video games nowadays to include LGBT characters.  I don't think you should be so afraid to add it in.

Just make it optional, or at least not feel too forced (though that's what I would say about a straight romance as well), and I don't think it will be an issue.
 

Nirwanda

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I was kind of looking from the sidelines this thread, since my opinion is that of the mayority, I really don't care about the sexual orientation of a character, I care if the game is good or not, but since someone made a question I can answer....

Incidentally, if anyone knows of a finished project that involves the main character being involved in an LGBTQ relationship...  PLEASE let me know...  I would love the opportunity to veg out into that world some  :)
Man, don't be scared to write the relationships you want to see, particularly here, we won't care. Of the top of my head I can think of three.

- Luxaren Allure: A great rpg about lesbian romance.

- I'm scared of girls: An adventure game about a trans kid dealing with the issues of identity

- Czarina must die: A dungeon crawler that includes a gay couple.

 Those are the ones I can recall by name, there are many Rpgm games dealing with all sort of issues, hope you enjoy these
 

JosephSeraph

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OMG YES I HAD FORGOTTEN I'M SCARED OF GIRLS IT IS ~SO GOOD~

I made me cry so hard, a lot of times. It's really beautiful and well written. The atmosphere is fantastic as well. Czarina is really fun and craze's a super cool dev, i love all his games. And although I haven't played luxaren, i have a lot of faith in the dev and it is quite well received!
 

Helladen

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LBGT community has a lot of propaganda in their activism. This is why a lot of people don't like it - they feel like they are having it shoved in their face. As long as you keep this LGBT stuff minimal and not in people's face, then it should be fine. Don't lecture people about it or do anything out of the ordanary, keep it minimal. We don't see games parading around being straight, think of this the same way. No one deserves special treatment just cause you are a minority group. It is discrimination toward people that belong to the majority, we just have less of a reason to fuss about it since we are the majority.
 
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ScoobMoob

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Gender identity and sexuality are just more facets of a character's identity. Use them however you like, to whatever end you like. I don't think anyone would like a character whose sole identifier is their sexual preference, just as you might not like a character whose only trait is how much they like cats. Doesn't really matter though. You want to make a character that explores the mental aspects of growing up in a world that sees you as a mistake? Go for it. I don't think adding fake depth to your characters by just sprinkling them with special tidbits accomplishes anything, and making your Mary Sue a lesbian won't suddenly make them more interesting. Sexual preference and gender identity are the same as most other character traits; use them well and they can add to the realism or interest in your cast, use them in poor taste and be scrutinized. Just my thoughts.
 

littleyuri

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I find it okay. An example would be The Last of Us DLC. SPOILER (I think.) Neil Druckmann confirmed that Ellie is gay. It was only subtly touched on in the game, which makes it all the more interesting because it left me in a realization state for 30 minutes. Another good thing about this was how well it fits in the universe and how that makes you think about it. It was mainly because controversial topics in that world died soon after the apocalypse happened. Growing up with no one to tell you who to fall in love with, and the like.

I think it's very fascinating.
 

Kaelan

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Don't care. I like good writing. I don't like Identity Politics. I like any character that is well written, regardless of their behavior. I dislike characters written in to fill an identity checkbox, regardless of what that identity is. So if they're well written, like Zevran in Dragon Age, or Jann Walker in Valkyria Chronicles, I'll like them. If they're obviously intended primarily to pander to an audience, like the Overwatch characters, then I don't like it. 
 
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Demiqas

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Politics in my video games is the last thing I'd ever want, which is unfortunately appearing in increasing numbers. I probably wouldn't even notice it if you don't pour all the attention into that LGBT character. This thread is not a good start to that.
 

Mihel

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I'm not shocked by having characters that kill people, kill animals, steal stuff, do drugs, invade kingdoms, try to conquer the world etc.

So I'm not shocked by having a character who is LGBT.
 

SLEEP

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Not including LBGT+ characters, whether intentionally or accidentally, is a political statement in itself. You are not being apolitical by not including them. I empathize with writers having issues, it's hard to write against the norm, so don't give up. :) If you're aware of it and want change, that's a first step in itself.

Being able to "ignore" them is also a political statement. "It's ok to be gay as long as you're not obvious about it" is absolutely a political statement (and not a good one whoops). Stop pandering to Straights by only including LBGT+ characters who are "easy to ignore".*

*this last sentence is kinda-joking but its a joke that makes a point also
 

Cryranos

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As long as you keep this LGBT stuff minimal and not in people's face, then it should be fine. Don't lecture people about it or do anything out of the ordanary, keep it minimal. We don't see games parading around being straight, think of this the same way. 
What does that even mean? Are you saying that LGBT characters should be relegated to the background or something, because it's "out of the ordinary?" Do you just want to ignore things that make you uncomfortable?

And of course we see games "parading around being straight," just like any other media produced in a hetero-normative culture. If there is a straight romance that figures into the plot in any significant way, then that game is indeed "parading around being straight" just as if it was a lesbian or gay couple that that game would be "parading around being gay." It's just that the straight romance wouldn't change peoples' view of the game, because straight is the default.

Most of the characters in my work are either straight or bisexual in hetero relationships, since, despite the fact that the concept of straight romance is totally foreign to me (just as the concept of gay romance may be foreign to you), I've been raised on a culture that only gives very brief glances into relationships that deviate from the norm of "man and woman, close in age, from similar ethnic, educational, and economic backgrounds," even if depictions of those relationships almost never connect with me on an emotional level. Of course, I make them anyways, mostly just because it's what's expected, and doing otherwise will automatically lump my work into a niche.

 


Politics in my video games is the last thing I'd ever want, which is unfortunately appearing in increasing numbers. I probably wouldn't even notice it if you don't pour all the attention into that LGBT character. This thread is not a good start to that.
Either you're using a radically different meaning of the word "politics" than I am, or your plots must be pretty boring (or ridiculously avant-garde).

Not including LBGT+ characters, whether intentionally or accidentally, is a political statement in itself. You are not being apolitical by not including them. I empathize with writers having issues, it's hard to write against the norm, so don't give up. :) If you're aware of it and want change, that's a first step in itself.

Being able to "ignore" them is also a political statement. "It's ok to be gay as long as you're not obvious about it" is absolutely a political statement (and not a good one whoops). Stop pandering to Straights by only including LBGT+ characters who are "easy to ignore".*
This. Given, nobody really cares if your indie game doesn't represent them and their oppressed minority, and nobody will lose any sleep if you're a bigoted jerk that doesn't want to think about gay people. On the flip side, if all you can come up with is a cliched stereotype, we'd actually prefer you left that out.

But it's not the people who make the games having this attitude that this hurts; it's the people that video games in general are being marketed to, and when even a small number of consumers decides to vocalize their disgust for increased representation of women, people of color, LGBT people, people with disabilities, etc., it just sends the message to people that are making those games that there isn't as much of a market for inclusiveness or deviance from the norm. That's what hurts the most to people who are hungry for representation.
 

trouble time

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Being able to "ignore" them is also a political statement. "It's ok to be gay as long as you're not obvious about it" is absolutely a political statement (and not a good one whoops).
What statement is that? Is it homophobic to not include LGBT characters? If so then I can must say I disagree. I also disagree on the merit of not being into post-modernism, but that's a different kettle of fish.

What does that even mean? Are you saying that LGBT characters should be relegated to the background or something, because it's "out of the ordinary?" Do you just want to ignore things that make you uncomfortable?

And of course we see games "parading around being straight," just like any other media produced in a hetero-normative culture. If there is a straight romance that figures into the plot in any significant way, then that game is indeed "parading around being straight" just as if it was a lesbian or gay couple that that game would be "parading around being gay." It's just that the straight romance wouldn't change peoples' view of the game, because straight is the default.

Most of the characters in my work are either straight or bisexual in hetero relationships, since, despite the fact that the concept of straight romance is totally foreign to me (just as the concept of gay romance may be foreign to you), I've been raised on a culture that only gives very brief glances into relationships that deviate from the norm of "man and woman, close in age, from similar ethnic, educational, and economic backgrounds," even if depictions of those relationships almost never connect with me on an emotional level. Of course, I make them anyways, mostly just because it's what's expected, and doing otherwise will automatically lump my work into a niche.
I think you've constructed a strawman, I don't see anyone saying that they don't want to see a gay relationship (well those who aren't also saying they don't want to see ANY relationship) I don't even think Loothunter said that. What they've refered to is having a character remind everyone their gay by way of sterotypes like calling everyone honey or having that lisp (which would be hard to replicate in text I think). At the moment I can't think of a compareable "straight" sterotype besudes maybe the sterotypical Dudebro (though I frequently see that applied to characters who are secretly gay so I'm not sure it counts). I don't think showing a relationship would count as "parading around".

This second part is intended as encouragement. You should just make whatever kind of games and whatever kind of characters you want. I'm all for unfettered creativity and I think the lack of that is one of the biggest problems with the games industry today. Besides age the most prominent relationship  in my current game has none of the characteristics you mentioned, and it was more or less added on a whim and inspired by a typo, but I must admit it's ended up being one of my favorite parts of the character interactions. It's the best part of being an indie, it's a lot easier to take risks, especially when you're your own lead designer.
 

Euphony

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Oh god. I sincerely hope people realize that LGBT characters can be included in a game simply because that's what the dev wanted to do and that not every instance of a minority in media is some political agenda-pushing conspiracy. OH GOD I REALLY SERIOUSLY HOPE PEOPLE REALIZE THAT.
 
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