Dragon Age Writer On Characters’ Bisexuality

By John Walker on March 25th, 2011 at 11:20 am.

OOOOH! THEY'RE TOTALLY GONNA DO IT!

A peculiar accusation was made against Dragon Age II on the BioWare forums, in which a user accused the game of not properly catering for the straight male gamer. Honestly, I’d launched into writing this with the intention of factually reporting it, but just typing those words has made me want to start throwing chairs. What? Good grief, even if that were true, which it so spectacularly isn’t, wouldn’t it… but… good grief. Amazingly, one of BioWare’s writers, David Gaider, gave a calm, level-headed response where I would have said capital swears. He makes some interesting comments, as EG point out.

In Dragon Age II you’re able to form relationships with your companions. In order to cater for players choosing to play as, or indeed being, male or female, these characters are essentially bisexual. Some are overt about this, others you’d never know until you played again as a different sex. When I finally write my treatise on the game, I will have some criticisms to make of the way relationships are handled, but the variety, and offering of straight, gay and bisexual relationships certainly won’t be one of them.

The original poster said things that make my spine hurt, like,

“Its ridiculous that I even have to use a term like Straight Male Gamer, when in the past I would only have to say fans.”

But the crux of his argument was,

“In every previous BioWare game, I always felt that almost every companion in the game was designed for the male gamer in mind. Every female love interest was always written as a male friend type support character. In Dragon Age 2, I felt like most of the companions were designed to appeal to other groups foremost, Anders and Fenris for gays and Aveline for women given the lack of strong women in games, and that for the straight male gamer, a secondary concern. It makes things very awkward when your male companions keep making passes at you. The fact that a “No Homosexuality” option, which could have been easily implemented, is omitted just proves my point.”

Imagine the news stories if BioWare had included a “no homosexuality” button. Anyway, we’re not supposed to be dragging some guy on a forum over the coals for what some may think are deeply homophobic remarks. Gaider’s reply is the interesting part of this story.

He does point out that it’s a politely expressed ignorant opinion, before going on to criticise the behaviour of others in the (clearly heavily modified) thread. And then offers an eloquent explanation of the decisions made for Dragon Age II’s romance. I’ll paste the whole thing here:

“The romances in the game are not for “the straight male gamer”. They’re for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention. We have good numbers, after all, on the number of people who actually used similar sorts of content in DAO and thus don’t need to resort to anecdotal evidence to support our idea that their numbers are not insignificant… and that’s ignoring the idea that they don’t have just as much right to play the kind of game they wish as anyone else. The “rights” of anyone with regards to a game are murky at best, but anyone who takes that stance must apply it equally to both the minority as well as the majority. The majority has no inherent “right” to get more options than anyone else.

More than that, I would question anyone deciding they speak for “the straight male gamer” just as much as someone claiming they speak for “all RPG fans”, “all female fans” or even “all gay fans”. You don’t. If you wish to express your personal desires, then do so. I have no doubt that any opinion expressed on these forums is shared by many others, but since none of them have elected a spokesperson you’re better off not trying to be one. If your attempt is to convince BioWare developers, I can tell you that you do in fact make your opinion less convincing by doing so.

And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as “political correctness” if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don’t see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what’s everyone’s fuss all about? That’s the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.

The truth is that making a romance available for both genders is far less costly than creating an entirely new one. Does it create some issues of implementation? Sure– but anything you try on this front is going to have its issues, and inevitably you’ll always leave someone out in the cold. In this case, are all straight males left out in the cold? Not at all. There are romances available for them just the same as anyone else. Not all straight males require that their content be exclusive, after all, and you can see that even on this thread.

Would I do it again? I don’t know. I doubt I would have Anders make the first move again– at the time, I thought that requiring all romances to have Hawke initiate everything was the unrealistic part. Even if someone decides that this makes everyone “unrealistically” bisexual, however, or they can’t handle the idea that the character might be bisexual if they were another PC… I don’t see that as a big concern, to be honest. Romances are never one-size-fits-all, and even for those who don’t mind the sexuality issue there’s no guarantee they’ll find a character they even want to romance. That’s why romances are optional content. It’s such a personal issue that we’ll never be able to please everyone. The very best we can do is give everyone a little bit of choice, and that’s what we tried here.

And the person who says that the only way to please them is to restrict options for others is, if you ask me, the one who deserves it least. And that’s my opinion, expressed as politely as possible.”

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673 Comments »

  1. Mashakosha says:

    Two sexy sex tags in one day? What is this madness?!

    In all seriousness though, props to Gaider for that response. Shows that some of the employees of BioWare haven’t sold their souls to EA.

    • bob_d says:

      Especially considering the original post (apparently with which the writer spammed the message boards) frankly didn’t merit a response, much less the thoughtful, measured one it received.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      My question is how is 2 hot chicks gettin it on not geared to the “Stright male gamer”. That is percisly who that option is for isn’t it?

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      @Martha: Exactly. Same reason why I play as a female in most games given the option. More fun to watch for endless hours, and since I’m suspending reality in a game anyway, might as well toss in some hot lesbian action just for kicks.
      Why yes, I’m am single, ladies.
      er wait, what?

  2. WeFlySpitfires says:

    They should add a sliding meter that lets you determine how homosexual you want the game to be.

    • Choca says:

      Something like : “Slightly Gay – Pretty Gay – Totally Queer – Wham’s music video” would do the trick

    • Beastbaron says:

      I think an in-game homosexuality slider would be awesome, as long as one end imbued the game’s dialogue with the ‘not gay’ homo-exoticness of Top Gun. The other end should contain full on Priscilla, Queen of the Desert costumes and combat should be replaced with dance-off quick time events.
      I would pay good money to see a squad of Hurlocks pirouette in unison.

    • Premium User Badge Earl-Grey says:

      Surely such a slider has a home in every game?
      One that goes from 1 (NOHOMO!) to 11 (Fabulous).
      Just imagine how much more fun the dreary annual CoD would be with a special “Bedazzling Cabaret” setting?
      Not to mention how much more pleasant the suit in Crysis would be.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      We need a Kinsey Scale slider in the game options tab http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_scale

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I usually don’t do anything “gayer” than just plain old bumming blokes (yes, all right, and occasionally buying them flowers or taking them to dinner), and don’t buy any Lady Gaga records or get my hair styled by hairstylists, but I would totally play the shit out of Fabulous Dragon Cabaret Age.

    • Vanderdecken says:

      Every comment above this one has so much win I honestly can’t believe my eyes. And I think a Kinsey scale slider would be a fantastic idea for determining your character’s sexuality during creation.

    • cheese lol says:

      A “…no homo” conversation interrupt would be great. They already have the code to implement it, too.

    • jonfitt says:

      DA3 just needs to implement Gaydar.

      All NPC characters should watch your interactions with other NPCs and then make a judgement on if they think you swing their way. If they do think you swing their way they might make an advance, if not they’d wait for you to make an advance. If you approach them and contradict their judgement of you they could even make comments about how they didn’t realise…

      There. Fixed.

    • Tally says:

      I’m feeling ME2′s paragon/renegade QTE’s. Sort of a gay/’see, look I swear I’m not gay” choice appearing on screen during some events.

      e.g. Anders could break down about a friends death and start crying.
      Gay opt.- Hug, caress and comfort him.
      “Dude, I’m not gay” opt.- Say, “Quit crying like a queer. Man up.”

    • Cooper says:

      I particularly love the idea of the “srsly, no gay here” option being the Top Gun style.

    • Caleb367 says:

      All the way to the Culture Club setting.
      This is gonna be exciiiitiiiiing.

    • TSA says:

      Jeremy Freese’s excellent piece of interactive fiction, Violet, has something like this. The specific command is: “Heteronormativity off”.

  3. Groove says:

    I couldn’t romance a darkspawn, I am discriminate.

  4. JackShandy says:

    I didn’t realise David Gaider was such a lovely man. All I’d heard on Bioware’s inclusiveness were the debates on the lack of black or asian people in dragon age, and the way the marketing exclusively focuses on males.

    http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=3784
    http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=3920

    I suppose I’ll go and revise my opinion now.

  5. thecrius says:

    I’ve a lot of gay friend.
    But anyway can someone explain me how can i make clear to the damn justice/vendetta npc that i DO NOT WANT to have sex with him? Why we can’t be just good friend?
    Yes, I’ve a lot of gay friend. And DA2 is gay friendly. A little too much.
    But hey, i can understand that with a ridiculous main story, the Bioware guys tried to keep us busy dodging the advances of all the gay of our party.
    Dragon age: Stalking was the original title.

    • zergrush says:

      I finished the game with a male character and can’t even remember Anders making a pass on me, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t romance him and his friendship bar was almost 100% friendly.

      So either it’s perfectly possible to deny his advances and still keep his friendship or he put something on my character’s drink.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      In 2011 I’m not sure you’re allowed to parenthesise recreationary comments with “I know gay people”

    • psycho7005 says:

      @Tom
      That made me laugh, a lot, for an extended period of time haha.

    • Oddtwang of Dork says:

      Did you mean “reactionary” there?

      Also, Richard Littlejohn makes a ludicrously large living out of doing precisely that.

  6. Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

    I played the demo, and the really worrying thing was how long Hawke spent staring at his sister. Naughty Hawke.

    • Creeping Death says:

      I remember actually seeing a thread on the Steam forums on release about people complaining how you couldnt romance your sister… yea -.-

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I demand a “yes incest” option in my games!!

    • Ragnar says:

      What about the Mabari hound?

  7. Savage Henry says:

    Well, it’s the thin end of the wedge really, isn’t it? It starts off as a casual sexual pass made by an NPC towards a ruggedly handsome, muscular, ever-so-slightly homoerotically designed player-character, and where does it end up? Collectable saucy postcards of young men’s sweaty bottoms in The Witcher 2! NOT ON MY WATCH!

    • CMaster says:

      Hahaha. That sounds brilliant – The Witcher 3: Geralt sees the error of his playboy ways, not in that treating his sexual partners as conquests, but that he was making conquests of the wrong sex.

    • kikito says:

      “and where does it end up?”

      JRPGs lol.

    • Groove says:

      Witcher 4: Whatever. Men, women and saucily posed furniture. Sticking it wherever it’ll fit.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I love the idea of Geralt’s sex card collection being the IKEA catalogue

    • Spatula says:

      i lol’d

    • Savage Henry says:

      I’m going to Ikea in the next couple of weeks. I’m going to hear that ruddy panpipe sex-music every time I sit down in a comfy chair now. Thanks for that.

    • Premium User Badge Makariel says:

      Great, now I feel dirty for reading the IKEA catalog earlier today…

    • Nick says:

      As well you should, considering you found it in a bush and some of the pages were stuck together.

    • Hammurabi says:

      Chippendale or Chippendale’s — you no longer need to make a choice.

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Mais oui, mon armoire!

    • Cooper says:

      I was already in sitches at the comment thread so far, but that’s a pun worthy of a standing ovation.

    • Zogtee says:

      Geralt: “Oh, Billy Bookshelf, tonight I’m yours. All yours!”

      Billy: …

      Geralt: Uh! Uh! Uh! Arggghh..!

      Billy: …

    • Teph says:

      Where does it end? With Shadow Hearts: Covenant’s infamous collectibles (quite likely NSFW).

      Clearly my perspective’s been twisted by those evil decadent consoles. After trading gay porn to a pair of exceedingly camp tailors in exchange for custom-made puppet-dresses, the potential of being hit upon by a male DA2 companion holds little concern.

    • tonweight says:

      BLOOD AND THUNDER!

      VICTORY AT SEA!

  8. Comradebluesky says:

    “…the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance.” I’m not used to seeing these sorts of fundamental injustices acknowledged so clearly by a videogame developer, and – more to the point – seeing these sorts of ideals actually expressed in a videogame, and then openly and unabashedly defended by one of its writers. It might sound pie-in-the-sky-optimistic, but it openly tackling such issues really gives me hope for the future of videogames.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      Agree 100% with this.
      Reading his response sent my optimisimeter off the chart.
      One day we’ll look back at games in the first couple of decades of the 21st century with the same cringing embarrassment we look at so much comedy of the 60′s and 70′s. And that’s a good thing.

    • Premium User Badge Dolphan says:

      While his reply was generally spot on, the ‘majority’ line is a bit wrong. Class and gender priviledge are obvious exceptions.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      @Dolphan

      Fair point.

    • Jumwa says:

      Comrade and Dolphan, both well said.

      Now I have a lot of gay friends, but–…

      Just kidding, I had to throw that in there.

      The original comment by the “fan” was cringe-worthy, especially, for me, his remark about all the female characters. The response by the writer was great. It’s the kind of well thought-out response you’d expect from an armchair analyst with a lot of time and no PR to worry about, not a corporate lackey.

      I hope it marks the beginning of more such thinking amongst game developers. I’m sick of my partner and I playing games that don’t even acknowledge 50% of the human population, let alone “minorities”.

    • ping says:

      100%.

  9. Holybasil says:

    Why you’d want to romance any of the potential L.I. are beyond me, regardless of orientation or gender.

  10. karry says:

    I dont see whats wrong with being somewhat homophobic. Of course, i also do not live in USA, that haven for sexual freaks and bizarre fetishists of every kind, so what do i care. And really, “no homosexual romance” button sounds like a good enough idea to me.

    • Deano2099 says:

      You’re allowed to be homophobic. Just when someone starts saying other people should change their games to suit your homophobia then you cross the line in to being a dick. And there is a “no homosexual romance” option – you just turn down their advances. If you’re really offended, given it’s a Bioware game, there’s probably a way of getting them killed at the end as well.

    • kikito says:

      “I dont see whats wrong with being somewhat homophobic.”

      The same as being somewhat racist.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Yeah. I don’t see what’s wrong with hating people either. What’s wrong with a little intolerance? I mean Hitler was a little TOO racist, but what’s wrong with a BIT of racism?

      PS: I was going to answer this is a sensible, joking manner, but in hindsight, I’m going to be blunt. I hate your kind. The idea that being homophobic is okay, as long as it’s just “a little” is what gets people killed. It’s what stops gay men and women everywhere enjoying the privileges everybody else takes for granted. It’s blatant oppression of the majority of the minority, and if you can’t see what’s wrong with that, you’re scum.

      Meh. Sorry. Moderate if you must, but I felt it had to be said.

    • Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

      I am moderately karry-phobic.

    • matty_gibbon says:

      You don’t? Really? R E A L L Y?

      R E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E A L L Y?

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Wot Crimsoneer said basically.

    • Urael says:

      Chaps/Chapesses, Karry is a Grade A troll. It’s not here to indulge in anything other than negativity and shit-stirring, presumably for some entirely transitory amusement. Its latest comment being designed for one thing only.

      The Ego at work here is clearly damaged and must not be fed.

    • gganate says:

      i always thought the USA was seen as sexually conservative, but it’s nice to see we’re apparently a haven for sexual freaks, whatever those are.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Karry has some impressive trolling skills. Where did you learn your craft, sir?

    • Lilliput King says:

      Urael: Yep. The man’s an arse, fellas. Stop giving him the attention he craves.

    • Nick says:

      Pretty much everyone has prejudices of some kind, its the way you act that ultimately matters.

  11. yourmotherspeaking says:

    Would anyone dare to criticise the inclusion of non-white characters and inter-racial relationships? I think not.

    Who knows, perhaps we’ll see certain media sources now claiming that games turn people gay.

    • Archonsod says:

      It used to be common, but since in most fantasy settings such people are more than happy to support elf sex, even when said elves were just a cypher for a real world racial group, it tended to reduce their ability to argue to pretty much blatant and superficial racism. Most modern bigots hate being unable to use pseudo-logic to hide behind.

  12. Hentzau says:

    His response there does raise my opinion of him by a fair bit, but the fact remains that all romance in Bioware games – be it gay, straight, bisexual, whatever – is terribly handled, being essentially a matter of giving a series of clearly-signposted positive dialogue responses until the sex happens. That’s about as two-dimensional an implementation of romance as it’s possible to come up with.

    I mean, remember Baldur’s Gate 2? My trek through the minefield of Jaheira’s romance dialogue was abruptly cut short when I accidentally let a bandit cut her throat. If you romance Aerie you eventually have a kid together. Things happened in those romance scenarios which were not sex, and they were tricky enough that success in one felt like something of an achievement.

    I guess my point here is that the egalitarian approach to romance is admirable but the actual treatment of it is universally awful, and until the latter is fixed the former is going to be a bit of a damp squib in terms of player impact.

    • JackShandy says:

      Oh, I don’t know. I never tried Jack’s romance option (Rule 23: Never go for someone with your name) but apparently you actually lost her if you went for the cheap sex option.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Same happened with Viconia in BG… I can see why they did it though, those romances were, if anything, more difficult than in the real world.

      It’s odd actually isn’t it. A romance that has a challenge to it, one you have to ‘game’ is inherently at odds with the realism factor. I mean, most of us give up on playing real life ‘dating games’ at some point in our 20s. We accept that actual romances are like in a later Bioware game – they just happen, and if they’re genuine and good they tend to move forward unless someone does something really stupid. It’s rare we start thinking “hmm, what is the best thing to say to impress her” and “oh, how best do I navigate this conversation in order to come out on top” or whatever.

    • sonofsanta says:

      @JackShandy: you could go for cheap sex, and it did end that romance path, but… the cheap sex option was clearly placed in the Bastard position on the dialogue wheel, whereas all other options for romance in ME are always in the Shiny Git position. So it was still pretty obvious and 2D.

    • Rich says:

      “Giving a series of clearly-signposted positive dialogue responses until the sex happens.”
      If only real human interaction were so simple.

    • Urthman says:

      Hentzau, this is a really strong article that makes some similar points:

      http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2011/03/design_diversions_is_a_biweekl.php

      party members are supposed to be the player’s friends and allies…Yet conversations in this game encourage players to say whatever will (literally) score them the most points with their in-game friends. Even if players are motivated by nothing more than a genuine interest in the character, the game system still rewards manipulative dialogue…

      Because the dialogue system is structured around like/dislike, the game doesn’t support the idea that I might admire a character as a person but disagree with their attitude towards the world. The game system seems to assume that you either agree with what she says and like her or disagree with what she says and dislike her.

    • Archonsod says:

      “His response there does raise my opinion of him by a fair bit, but the fact remains that all romance in Bioware games – be it gay, straight, bisexual, whatever – is terribly handled, being essentially a matter of giving a series of clearly-signposted positive dialogue responses until the sex happens. That’s about as two-dimensional an implementation of romance as it’s possible to come up with.”

      If you thought the romance responses weren’t clearly signposted in BG II you really ought to work on your reading comprehension. The only reason Jaheira was “more difficult” than Aerie or Viconia was because she wanted more neutral responses while the other two went to the extremes (which meant if you didn’t understand the character you could still work it out via process of elimination). It’s just as two dimensional.

      Of course the romances are usually contrived, awkward and often downright stupid. But the same can be said of 90% of movies, TV, books and indeed art in general.

    • Nick says:

      Yes, their romance writing is now frankly pathetic “romance novel” trash for the most part.

    • JFS says:

      You’re quite right, and it’s a sad development. Well, perhaps we’ve got to remind ourselves that this stuff is still in its infant shoes and shouldn’t expect too much. However, I’m still totally with you.

      Urthman, the quote you have there is very nice. It summarizes my thoughts about the companion system in Dragon Age… I can’t really role-play or try to have my character say what I would say because there’s always the “XX disapproves” thingy looming which punishes you mechanically – pretty badly, even, if you mess around too much. The goal is always to manipulate them to hell and back, not be “real” with them. If designers sorted that out, perhaps in a way where your relations didn’t at all matter mechanically (I mean, you even get bonus stats if your allies like you in DA:O!), and where party members only left you when you really acted squarely in contrary to their holiest beliefs and not because you told two lame jokes in two different conversations weeks apart, we would have taken quite a big step.

      On the other hand, all we want from our RPGs is interactivity, choices and consequences that really matter and shape the world. So, going with “do whatever you want to and no one will care” isn’t going to work, either. I’m glad I don’t get paid to think up a good solution to that conundrum!

    • Betamax says:

      Video game romances are hardly great across the board, however. BioWare handle them better than a lot of others. As for DA2, did you not try to romance someone while on the rivalry path with them? It has quite a different feel to it playing out that way, very unlike most of their previous stuff as well. Isabela’s romance is also a little different to the norm depending on how you go about it. The comparison to trashy romantic novels gets bandied about a lot, but I sometimes wonder if many of the people who use it have actually read the latter and compared. Trashy romantic novels are quite different if you ask me.

      If I were to compare the negative side of them to anything it would be a rom com or otherwise cheesy romantic film, right down to the PG ‘sex’ scenes.

  13. kikito says:

    I demand “no-birds” and “no-yellow-clothes” options implemented in the game immediately. They could be easily implemented and will eliminate yellow clothing, which is awkward, and birds, which I’m afraid of.

  14. Deano2099 says:

    I do have some small misgivings about this.

    Bisexual and gay companions? A good thing. They probably shouldn’t be in the majority, unless there’s a world-based reason that it’d differ from the sort of proportions we get in the real world. But they should be in there.

    It’s these characters that ‘adapt’ that bother me a bit. A character that’s not openly bisexual, but is a lesbian if you’re playing a woman and straight if you’re playing a man. Or vice-versa. With the same lines and ‘plot’ used for each type of relationship.

    We’re always talking about having more deep and realistic characters in games. Sexuality is always going to be a huge part of any person’s identity, it goes right to the core of who we are, it influences so much of what we do… I don’t know how you can write a character with a flip-switch on their sexuality depending on the player’s choice of gender.

    “The truth is that making a romance available for both genders is far less costly than creating an entirely new one”

    That’s a hugely depressing quote to me. Yes it’s easier, but it’s also undermining the identity of characters created in this way. It’s also depressing that because of the ‘numbers’ Bioware have never made any exclusively gay characters.

    Again, if the character is openly bisexual, or even a closeted bisexual in a way that makes sense, then that’s fine. But arbitrarily making a character bi just to increase the available romance options, or even worse changing their orientation based on the sex of the PC is ridiculous.

    • JackShandy says:

      I believe the dark-side cat-lady jedi from knights of the old republic was exlusively homosexual.

      Oh my gosh, look at what I found while trying to google her name.

      http://swforums.bioware.com/viewtopic.html?topic=378314&forum=89

    • Crimsoneer says:

      THAT LINK IS AMAZING.

    • SimonHawthorne says:

      It’s these characters that ‘adapt’ that bother me a bit.

      You’re right, it is part of their identity. But the thing to remember is that when you’re playing an RPG, more often than not, you’re not just playing the one character. You control (or at least influence) the NPCs that form part of your crew in a very real way – and that’s a Very Good Thing. It means that your character isn’t just sat in the middle with everyone pretending to listen. Your central character changes people.

      Who your character is, the choices they make, shape your companions including, in this case, their sexuality.

    • Latterman says:

      They probably shouldn’t be in the majority, unless there’s a world-based reason that it’d differ from the sort of proportions we get in the real world.

      they should also reduce the number of elves in the cities. the last time i walked through my local alienage there were definitely less of them.

      why does this “the game does it different than the REAL WORLD” argument never die?

    • matty_gibbon says:

      Dragon Age does not have to represent the same proportions of homosexual, bisexual or straight people in the real-world. Quite apart from any other issues, Dragon Age is not set in the real world! Bioware should be able to create any world they like.

      In regards to characters changing their sexuality to suit the player, I understand your view – Regardless of the argument I just made above, it does seem unlikely that a character would change their sexual preference, especially given that it forms so much of a person’s identity.

      The simplest solution then is not only to make every one of your potential companions bisexual, but to create a world for your game where every human character is bisexual. Just say, “right, in this game the society is sexually open and everyone in it is open to sex with same or opposite gender”. It’s an elegant solution that still has a place in a believable fantasy setting.

      Personally, I would welcome a world in which people can feel free to “make passes” at others without worrying about their gender or that they might be offended because they are not of the same sexual orientation.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Right, you’ve mis-interpreted me here. I’m find with an all-singing, all-dancing, all-gay fantasy world. But it does have to make sense. Specifically you’d need to establish how reproduction and population growth worked.

      In Dragon Age, as the lore goes, reproduction is the same as it is in the real world. Also, it’s a place where huge amounts of the population are wiped out every few decades by the Blight, so there would need to be fairly high population growth.

      Now by all means, give me ways around this: people take sexual partners for reproduction reasons but raise kids with same sex partners. It’s done by magical asexual reproduction. Straight couples are rare but have 20 kids each, whatever.

      It just has to fit the internal logic of the world.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I agree with pretty much everything David Gaider says here, but I do have a little sympathy for this position. Were I playing a male Champion, I’d probably find it a little odd if absolutely every man in my party appeared to be gay. Of course, playing as a hot female character, it’s only natural that everyone should fancy me.

      Oh, and that KotOR link is amazing. Why are Christians such an embarrassment?

    • Hidden_7 says:

      I never thought of John particularly as an embarrassment. He actually makes me pretty glad of humanity more often than not. Oh wait, you meant the BAD Christians, right?

      Bad/embarrassing people are bad/embarrassments pretty much regardless of which tick boxes they are checking and entirely with respect to them being bad/embarrassing, is my take on the matter.

    • qrter says:

      Yep, that link is surprisingly astounding.

      The poor little guy sounds like he’s going to break down crying any second, his world rocked to the very core.

      And what’s up with all these people saying they “disagree” with homosexuality, or don’t “believe” in it, my goodness.

    • Premium User Badge Carra says:

      Wow, one strange forum post. Obviously the christian way to deal with homosexuality is to kill the gay characters. Wtf?

    • Consumatopia says:

      I agree that it’s kind of weird when all potential RPG relationships are “adaptive”–though, I could also be convinced that it’s an acceptable compromise of realism and depth for the sake of making things more epic and entertaining. (I suppose put in those terms that actually makes it sound even more creepy, but ultimately most of these RPG romances are going to be kind fan service-y.)

      It’s also unfortunate that that these “adaptive” NPCs are also cluelessly adaptive. In the real world, people have the option of looking at someone’s body language or facial expression to look for clues as to whether their attraction might be mutual. (Or they could ask other people about a potential love interest’s past history.) But, unless the next version of Kinect is impossibly awesome, game characters can’t really look through the screen to see how I react to them. So their mistaken advances will go somewhat further than a reasonable person would go with someone uninterested in them.

      I can think of a number of solutions to this. You could do what the Sims does–it keeps track of who your character takes an interest in and forms their orientation appropriately. But Dragon Age is an epic fantasy game, not a relationship simulator–you don’t have time to hit on a whole bunch of people, you’re busy saving the world and fighting monsters.

      The game could allow more gradations of responses to NPCs–not only can you respond positively to what someone says, you could decide exactly how positive your response was. There could be a slider here, and if you want someone to know that you’re interested in them even without making an explicit dialog tree selection, you could keep making really positive responses. (Or, if you wanted things to be strictly professional, keep your responses just barely positive.

      Or you could just explicitly select an orientation in the character generation screen, and characters will react accordingly. Maybe that’s a “No Homosexuality” checkbox by a different name, but lots of RPGs let you customize aspects of your personality and that seems like a reasonable option to have an interest in.

      Or, you know, you could just suck it up and let Hawke always make the first move. It might not be realistic, but nothing about Bioware relationships is realistic. Normal people don’t find it as traumatic to fend off advances from people they aren’t interested in as traumatic as the original forum poster, but they usually find it kind of tedious, and video games aren’t obligated to simulate the most tedious aspects of life.

      I suppose it probably is somewhat enlightening to some straight males like myself to be hit on by lots of people they aren’t interested in, so if the game designer is intentionally trying to teach me a lesson in that regard I suppose that’s fair enough, but if they actually want to avoid this weirdness I think I’ve shown there are plenty of reasonable ways to do so.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Carra, the parts you’re looking for are Leviticus 20:13, and Romans 1:26-32.

      And the obvious, and just as immature response? The only way to deal with Christian characters is to kill every bigot you encounter.

    • Urthman says:

      In the real world, people have the option of looking at someone’s body language or facial expression to look for clues as to whether their attraction might be mutual.

      Clearly, what Dragon Age 3 needs is an un-voiced option during conversations labeled “Check him out” or “Check her out” and the camera swoops around and gives you a great shot of the dudes ass or the woman’s cleavage like in Metal Gear 4. And after that the character will start hitting on you.

      It would be sort of like how Farah complains when you stare at her in Prince of Persia:Sands of Time with the first person camera and then later in the game after you’ve saved her life a few times she gives you a coy grin instead. Except even creepier.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      It takes three pages of that thread (and several agreements) before someone comes along and says “I’m a Christian, and I think you’re a fucking moron”. Embarrassment.

      Edit: Although, looking at the date of that thread, my own position might have been slightly more, shall we say, conservative, back then too. I shame myself.

    • Archonsod says:

      “Bisexual and gay companions? A good thing. They probably shouldn’t be in the majority, unless there’s a world-based reason that it’d differ from the sort of proportions we get in the real world. But they should be in there.”

      It’s worth noting religion is the main reason for the comparative lack of homo/bi sexuals in the modern age. Go back to ancient Greece on the other hand and bisexuality tended to be the social norm.

    • jamesgecko says:

      @DJ Phantoon The Bible is extremely anti-homosexual, but you’re pulling that passage out of context. One of the major themes of Romans is that everyone deserves to die. 1:26-32 is followed by a passage saying that wrath belongs to God, not humans.

      Leviticus 20:13 is ancient Israelite law which doesn’t directly apply to Christians. It also advocates the death penalty for a ton of other things, including many sexual acts outside of man/woman wedlock, rebellious children, and atheists.

      Where were we? Oh yeah, something about Dragon Age 2.

    • Oculardissonance says:

      Dammit, I was halfway through writing a scientific rebuttal about how general assumptions on sexual preference are ether unproven or wrong when I realized I had been drawn into debating science in another fantasy based game.

      Bottom line is we all want the fantasy to be our fantasy and revolve around our world view. We become irrationally offended when it does not. Especially when the fantasy is compelling in all other aspects. I feel for people who have such a homophobia that one virtual character of the same sex hitting on them causes them to cry in a closet for days. I really feel for them because lets face it they are the new minority. I want to say fair dues but all I can do is lightly caress their inner thigh with my slightly androgynous man hand. “There, there it gets better.”

    • PanpipeSolo says:

      @somnolentsurfer

      Were I playing a male Champion, I’d probably find it a little odd if absolutely every man in my party appeared to be gay. Of course, playing as a hot female character, it’s only natural that everyone should fancy me.

      I don’t understand how you can call Christians embarrassing when you say something like this. Are you joking?

    • patstew says:

      I think the bigger problem with the gay:straight:bisexual ratio is not that it’s unrealistic, more that every gay and bisexual in the world seems part of your party. Obviously the sexuality of the vast majority of NPCs is unkonwn, but I can’t remember seeing any incidental homosexual relationships in bioware RPGs.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @matty_gibbon
      Dragon Age does not have to represent the same proportions of homosexual, bisexual or straight people in the real-world. Quite apart from any other issues, Dragon Age is not set in the real world! Bioware should be able to create any world they like.

      Although, to play the devil’s advocate here – all the myriad games in which everyone is straight (unrealistic) do tend to come under significant criticism, not least from the RPS community.

      So saying “to hell with real world proportions”, while tolerant of creative license, can be quite exclusionary. In practice, exclusionary against bis and gays, that is. Although in theory, I imagine games set in an otherwise realistic setting where everyone is gay could be off-putting to more than just homophobes.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      @PanpipeSolo

      I don’t understand how you can call Christians embarrassing when you say something like this. Are you joking?

      For clarity: Yes.

      Or, at least, attempting to reflect humorously on the sense of male entitlement that leads us to resent being hit on by male pixels, whilst assuming female ones will be submit to our every whim.

    • Ragnar says:

      Actually, I think it makes more sense this way. Don’t think of every companion as bisexual, think of everyone as sexually open during a stressful time.

      This is how I see Dragon Age: There’s no religious or societal structure setting sexual norms. Sure, in peaceful times, most people would form heterosexual relationships for procreation. But in stressful times, when darkspawn threaten to overrun your world, and you’re fighting for your very survival, you’re happy to find love wherever you can. The characters may not consider themselves bisexual, it may never have entered their minds before, but they know the dangers they face. They might die in the next few days, and Hawke is willing to give them love and support, to make this tough period just a little bit more bearable. Hawke may not be their ideal, but their ideal didn’t include fighting the darkspawn either, and with how much they’ve relied on Hawke so far…. Let’s face it, people fighting for their lives can’t be choosers. They get their love wherever they find it.

  15. Premium User Badge Saul says:

    It amazes me how much ignorance some people can fit into their heads!

    • Premium User Badge Earl-Grey says:

      Maybe it’s like the TARDIS?
      Only perhaps Ignorance And Relative Hatred In Space….the IARHIS (Toyota Yaris?).

  16. Wizardry says:

    BioWare’s implementation of homosexuality has no place in RPGs at all. Homosexuality should not be based on player choice or player preference. It should be based on the sexual preference of your character. In other words, perhaps choosing a sexual preference for the protagonist during character creation would be the best approach in an RPG. A heterosexual character can only pursue romances with characters of the opposite sex, a bisexual character can pursue romances with both male and female characters, while a homosexual character can only pursue romances with the same sex. This would make the whole romance chunk of the game (which is a significant portion of it, sadly) fit in line with what RPGs are all about. It will also stop people bitching about how they were unable to avoid homosexual relationships due to the crappy dialogue wheel.

    • Jonathan says:

      But I didn’t know at the start of Dragon Age that the only potential romantic partner I liked was female. If I’d been forced to choose a straight partner it would probably have had to be Alistair (*barf*).

      If only Sten had been a viable option. Nice, butch, handsome Sten. /swoon

    • Deano2099 says:

      That doesn’t make sense. Even if I choose to be straight at character creation, my character isn’t wearing a sign on his head saying ‘straight’ is he? So why wouldn’t he still get hit on by male characters until he made that clear to them?

      The games do basically have the situation you suggest, just you define your sexuality in the game by the way you react to anyone trying it on. I don’t see why doing it at character creation makes a difference.

      Except of course, this allows some flexibility, because who hasn’t met someone and thought “I’m straight but…”

    • choconutjoe says:

      I suppose that’s analogous to the ‘creating a lawful good character’ vs ‘creating a character, then role-playing them as lawful good’ design choice.

      I’m loving the idea of playing through BG2 with a lawful good gay paladin though.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      @Johnathon:

      You like horn heads? YOU FREAK!

      Bioware should never cater to your Qun loving kind!

    • Wizardry says:

      @Deano2099: You’ve got it all wrong. Your character won’t be wearing a sign on their head or anything like that. NPCs, gay and straight, could very well “hit on” your character. The difference here is that you won’t have the option to choose those lines of dialogue which genuinely encourage them if your character’s sexual preference isn’t in line.

      It’s just like [intelligence] dialogue options that appear only if your intelligence is high enough. Or all those dialogue options in the first two Fallout games that require certain skills to be high enough such as doctor, science, speech and first aid. RPGs are defined by the statistics, traits and abilities of your character as you have defined them. Not by options thrown at the player periodically that bypass your character entirely.

    • Deano2099 says:

      I get what you mean, just don’t see the benefit of it. Plus you’d have to cater for so many different options at character creation, is there going to be an option for “straight, but a few drinks and some flirting and I might dabble slightly”

    • Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

      >is there going to be an option for “straight, but a few drinks and some flirting and I might dabble slightly”

      Ah, the Oghren option.

    • bwion says:

      But surely, whether you choose your character’s sexuality at the very start of the game or as you play the game, it’s still down to your choice as a player.

      Now, if you’re arguing that all meaningful choices about who your character is should be made separate from playing the actual game, well, fair enough, that’s a valid stylistic choice. I like games that way sometimes, though I’ve also been impressed by the ‘decide who your character is through gameplay’ mechanic when it’s done well (as in Planescape: Torment and, to an extent, in KOTOR 2).

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Y’know, the people with a problem with this are the same people that don’t like being hit on by members of the same gender.

      Personally, I find it flattering that I turn so many heads. Means I look good.

    • qrter says:

      This is a really silly discussion.

    • Urthman says:

      perhaps choosing a sexual preference for the protagonist during character creation would be the best approach

      SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS NOT A CHOICE, YOU HOMOPHOBIC BIGOT!

      (also, wanting to choosing a race for your character in an RPG is racist! )

    • Archonsod says:

      This makes no sense whatsoever. I can’t decide my charater’s sexual preferences, yet I can decide pretty much any other preference they happen to have?

      Furthermore, sexual preference is not fixed, nor is it usually as simple as choosing between three convenient boxes.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      If such a system was ever implemented I’m simply going to choose “bisexual” every single time so that the game doesn’t artificially restrict my choices.

      In fact your whole idea is pretty much useless, no offense. I think Archonsod explained it well.

    • Wizardry says:

      It’s not useless at all. The only other alternative is to have a hidden or viewable score that determines how heterosexual the character is, but this is a really bad idea unless you put in some initial conversation that sets it to an initial value.

      The fact is that you can often choose both race and gender at character creation. Many RPGs let you choose your starting age. Some even let you choose your character’s previous profession and/or background. I’ve seen a few RPGs that even let you choose your starting religion. Of course, the D&D games also let you choose an alignment. These result in various differences in the game, such as specific dialogue options, specific quests and specific abilities.

      There has been an RPG that lets you change your religion during the game. This could easily be accompanied by a quest for the temple. Alignment is often changeable by directing your character towards doing an evil act. Gender has been changeable at least as far back as the first Might & Magic (1986) through shrines/altars and girdles of masculinity/femininity in D&D games. Choosing your sexual orientation could easily work exactly like this.

      You guys seem to want every possible option to be thrown at the player. This basically means that you don’t want any limitations imposed by the character. You want to be able to blow up a building without being a bomb specialist. You want to be able to charm the leader of an amazonian clan with an ugly character with low charisma. You want to be able to walk into the dwarf underworld as a non-dwarf race. You want to be able to sleep with men and women while having a straight or gay character.

      Why not cut character creation and statistics from the game entirely? If every option should be given to every player then strength, dexterity and agility should not play any part on determining available game content. Your skills in firearms, security, stealth, repair and survival should play no part in locking off quests.

      Do you guys want to be playing RPGs or just action games with a cut-scenes and player choices?

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Wizardry
      Nice straw man arguments there. Sexuality is not a skill. (Accepting it might be for some people but I digress.) Please don’t tell me you are actually comparing race, gender, or sexuality to a skill to be leveled.

      Race, in many RPGS, is almost analogous with character class in a way. It provides bonuses that are, in lore, based on that race’s background, lifestyle and physiology. It serves a useful gameplay and role-playing purpose by fitting certain statistical attributes and play styles towards a race’s fictional characteristics and vice versa. Sexuality serves no such purpose.

      Also, race and gender are visible. This means that there is a logical rationale for how these can effect NPC’s attitude towards you. Sexuality is not visible (not inherently anyway). So gay/bi male NPC’s would magically not hit on you because… why? because they saw the variable in the game files? Pretty immersion breaking.

      But even beyond all that, who one wants to form relationships with is a player choice* within the game world. Race is not, gender is not, those are fixed. By predefining your sexuality selection, and eliminating possibilities, you are taking said choices away from the player character, as well as shoehorning them into one of three simplistic sexual archetypes. It strips away player agency for reasons that are not explained by the game world’s rules. After all, a straight person always could choose to have gay sex for whatever reason (money, power, deception). Not likely, but it could happen. Changing one’s race or true biological gender is neither possible within the real world nor the vast majority of fictional worlds.

      Think of it this way – Some people are good people. Some people are bad people. Some people have complex or idiosyncratic moral values. Predefining sexuality is, from a gameplay perspective, pretty much like making you choose “Good Guy”, “Bad Guy”, or “Doesn’t Really Give A Shit” at character creation.** And then you are only offered the dialogue choice that matches your moral orientation for the rest of the game.

      Tell me, would that make sense? Is that a good gameplay mechanic? Is it realistic? Does it add anything of value to role-playing? Then why include it? If it’s completely arbitrary and detrimental to the game, why would you be so insistent that it be featured?

      Really, if it isn’t good from either a gameplay or roleplay perspective, and you demand it anyway, I’d probably assume you have ulterior motives behind your request.
      (Sorry for long post.)

      *Sexuality is not a choice, but you could argue “sexuality” is really just a construct based on your innate psychological criteria for who you feel driven to pursue sexytime relationships with.
      **If you think I’m trying to inject morals into sexuality, you didn’t comprehend the analogy.

    • Wizardry says:

      You keep talking about stuff that I didn’t even say. I did not say that the sexuality of your character should prevent NPCs from hitting on you. Nor did I say that sexuality is a skill. I meant that you should be unable to make choices that completely contradict the character, such as sleeping with someone of the same sex with a heterosexual character for “fun”. Sleeping with someone of the same sex with a heterosexual character because it could be considered a necessity for completing an objective is completely different, and can very well be player choice.

      Race and sex is very much similar to sexual preference in implementation. Similar to background, profession and religion, which you failed to mention in your post. The main differences between race, gender, background, religion, profession and sexual preference is their degree of flexibility. In real life, race can’t be changed. Gender can’t really be changed. Background can’t be changed without time-travel. Religion can be changed through influence or wisdom. Professions can be (relatively) easily changed. Sexual preferences can probably be moved slightly in different directions.

      All of those can be easily integrated into a role-playing system. All of those can be given initial values upon character creation.

      - If the developer does not want players to be able to change their race (through magic or technology), then they won’t put the ability to do so into the game. Most RPGs follow this. Some exceptions have spells to temporarily make characters appear a particular race. This would make race flexible, yet with an initial option at character creation.

      - If the developer does not want players to be able to change their gender mid-way through the game, then they won’t put in the ability to do so. On the other hand, if the developer decided to allow this, such as for a possible solution to a quest, as seen in the first Might & Magic, then gender would also be flexible, yet with an initial option at character creation.

      - If the developer wants to allow a player to change religion by converting at the different temples, then religion becomes flexible. However, if the developer decides that the setting dictates that no character can ever change their religion, then perhaps they will not allow religion to change after character creation.

      Why is sexual preference any different? If you give a character a certain religion at the start of the game, you may later decide that changing to another particular religion could allow you to reach an objective in a manner better suited to your statistics. You could then head to the temple of that religion and convert. This could include a quest, a permanent negative effect, a significant amount of cash and a change in divine abilities. This attaches role-playing mechanics to the act of changing religion, while the divine abilities would add mechanics to religion even if conversion was made impossible in the game.

      Sexual preference could also be chosen at the start of the game. This would most likely be more of a social mechanic than religion. Perhaps the benefits of certain conversational paths could be heightened, or increased, if you and the NPC in question have compatible preferences. Perhaps your ability to charm a particular NPC (using your character’s charisma score) could be improved based on your sexual preference and their sexual preference. Perhaps there could be a very limited number of ways in which your character’s sexuality can be modified, fitting nicely within the setting.

      Your analogy to character alignment is a strange one. For example, D&D had an alignment system without forcing players down certain paths. If you take the Baldur’s Gate video games, for instance, there were quite a few uses for alignment. For starters, alignment directly influenced your starting reputation. Many magical items were restricted to characters of a certain alignment. Many spells and abilities worked better or worse on characters of particular alignments. Particular quests even modified your alignment based on player choice. In fact, that last one is perhaps as important as the examples before. Statistical feedback. Alignment affects the player choices. Player choices affects alignment. Introduce a spell that damages creatures the further their alignment is from yours, then add a few ways to modify your alignment.

      So no. Sexual preference does not have to rail-road your character down particular paths and lock out every bit of content that is not compatible with your sexuality. However, the fact that any possible character type can pursue every single piece of romance content basically implies that all romance content has no ties into the RPG label. After all, multiple-choice dating sims aren’t RPGs for that exact reason.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Wizardry
      OK, I’m starting to get where you’re coming from. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

      Your gameplay bonuses are explained as thus: “Perhaps the benefits of certain conversational paths could be heightened, or increased, if you and the NPC in question have compatible preferences. Perhaps your ability to charm a particular NPC (using your character’s charisma score) could be improved based on your sexual preference and their sexual preference.” OK, but your character’s sexual preference couldn’t logically be applied in those situations unless it was already revealed through dialogue or actions, could it? (It isn’t simply “visible” like race or gender.) And then you’re already back to the player choice system that renders predetermination moot.

      The NPCs could have predetermined sexuality stats, sure, which react differently based on both the player character’s gender and revealed sexual predilections. But again, without in-game player choice, they’d be limited to knowing the player character’s sexuality by magically reading the variable from a data file.

      Unless the NPC was a psychic. Or the sexuality was part of a backstory option. But even as a backstory, the complexity is staggering considering the closet/ambiguity factor, if you want to avoid unrealistic simplicities: gay, straight, bi, gay but passing outwardly as straight, gay passing as bi, bi passing as straight, bi passing as gay, straight passing as bi, straight passing as gay, completely enigmatic, x but incorrectly rumored to be y, etc etc.

      Because god knows it’s possible, even commonplace, to be attracted to and engage in same-sex activity without wearing a giant rainbow pin on your shirt, or even while flat-out lying about it. And I don’t know of any RPG studio or RPG engine now or in the foreseeable future that can handle that kind of complexity, relegating it to the theoretical level for now.

      So basically predetermining sexuality would restrict player choice, with the benefit of psychic NPCs being able to react to the player character more realistically if they’re reading their mind?

      I think I’ll pass. It just doesn’t make the game better. Sure, I can envision some kind of purist thinking where “race and gender aren’t chosen in real life, and are predetermined in the game, therefore sexuality (which isn’t chosen in real life) needs to be predetermined in the game too”.

      But it just isn’t good game design IMO, from any angle, and I oppose it on those grounds.

  17. Curvespace says:

    That is an epic dose of level-headed smackdown. I have a huge respect for his ability to present that argument in the way he has done.

    Me, I’d have gone off the deep-end and air-dropped him into a warzone. Privileged little runt could do with some perspective.

    I hope EA block that guys games <– irony (I think)

  18. Jonathan says:

    Maybe in the world of Dragon Age bisexuality is the norm, and dirty heteros are looked down on as a bit queer.

    That’s what I’m going to believe now, anyway.

    • Latterman says:

      i’m not going into detail here but in medieval and pre-enlightenment europe same/bi-sex relationships (in the upper classes mostly) were quite common and not frowned upon. they completely lacked the concept of an indetity solely based on your sexual preferences which first came up in the 19th or maybe late 18th century.

    • Starky says:

      That isn’t quite true, there is a lot of revisionist history has that floating around as common knowledge about ancient cultures being more accepting, or more homosexual than modern cultures top of which is probably the modern idea that ancient Greece was filled with open homosexuality.

      No, the percentage of homosexuality has always been about the same (roughly 10% of the population) – and even in more decadent cultures wasn’t open or encouraged.

      It may not have been actively opposed or oppressed, but that isn’t the same thing as socially accepted. though I’ll grant you there is evidence that is was more acceptable in the upper classes.

      People like to quote evidence that Ancient Greeks had young boys that they mentored and “often” became sexual – or that it was a bisexual culture.
      Which just isn’t true, and has never really been true for any culture – it happened, sure no doubt about it, evidence suggests that it wasn’t persecuted heavily, but nor was it the norm, or encouraged.

      Still boils down to about 1 in 10 – and you’ve got to think in places like ancient Greece where man-boy love was the most common, how many of those 12 to 17 year old boys were willing, or would have given consent if they had a choice?
      It may have been higher than 10% as it wasn’t just sexual preference but power – like prison sex/rape, otherwise straight men might have has sex with those young boys as a dominance thing, rather than a sexuality thing.

      Still homosexuality, or bisexuality has never been anything more than a minority in the general population, and when it was above the normal rate, it tended to be with cultures that encouraged adult male – young boy relationships/mentors, and only among the upper classes.

      Still, those cultures may have been a hell of a lot more accepting, tolerant and enlightened than some parts of modern society when it comes to homosexuality, something we as a culture should strive for. But I don’t think we should be looking to decadent aristocrats and adult men dominating, even raping young boys in their care for our moral examples.

    • rivalin says:

      Bull.

      There was no acceptance of homosexuality in medieval or early modern Europe, there may have been a lack of active widespread repression but that’s not the same thing. There is no source base supporting your evidence whatsoever, only highly tendentious readings by historians with an agenda, such as Boswell’s laughable thesis about a gay subculture in medieval monasteries.

      I’m not homophobic, but I loathe revisionist crap, this is just the latest in a long line of moves in fantasy that force modern values onto the past. No peasants shouldn’t be becoming great champions, no women are not as strong as men, no homosexuality would not be publicly acceptable.

      I can’t stand the fact that people have to force 21st century egalitarian morality onto a setting heavily grounded in medieval western Europe. Take it or leave it, if you like all the knights and lords, kings and warriors, you have to accept that in feudal warrior societies, being sexist, classist, racist and so on, was not only the norm, it was rational, adaptive behaviour.

      No doubt someone will break out the “it’s fantasy”, “they have dragons so why can’t they be really politically correct too, argument. Frankly it’s immoral to take from a time period and not respect its values, and it shows the staggering ignorance and arrogance of modern culture (almost everyone for almost all of the last 7,000 years had different beliefs, but the values that have been developed since the sixties are simply right, the unchallengeable truth, never to be disputed again for all time; everyone who ever lived before us was wrong, and anyone who will ever live after us will be wrong unless they agree with us.)

    • Archonsod says:

      “Frankly it’s immoral to take from a time period and not respect its values, and it shows the staggering ignorance and arrogance of modern culture”

      Bollocks. The defining aspect of Europe in the middle ages was the Catholic church. If you don’t have a Catholic church in your setting, you’ll need some pretty damn good explanation at why your society happens to have followed the exact same path Europe did.
      Secondly it’s fantasy. Dragon Age is no more set in Medieval Europe than Mass Effect was. It takes influences from it, but that’s all. Furthermore, taking from other time periods and doing what the hell you want with it is neither immoral nor disrespectful. In fact I’m a little confused as to what “the middle ages” has done to be worth respecting in the first place; last I checked it was a concept rather than an entity.

    • D3xter says:

      @rivalin: Congratulations for winning this news message. Best post of all of em :P
      There is a catholic church… it’s called the Chantry, there is a templar oder, there’s the French… they’re called Orlais etc.

    • Jumwa says:

      I know people love to use the term “revisionist history” as a negative slander, but… revisionist history IS the job of a historian. We are constantly reanalyzing and revising our interpretation of history based upon new facts and points of understanding.

      We can’t be afraid of that.

      And as for the issue of “how things used to be”, one thing you should always keep in mind is that social norms changed from time to time, place to place. Social “progression” was not a straight line, heck, you couldn’t even plot it on a 2D graph. Different cultures at different times were more or less accepting of various issues–such as homosexuality–following their own trends.

    • Starky says:

      Jumwa, there is a vast gaping gulf between a historian using new evidence, new research, new facts and points of understanding. And a historian reinterpreting history based on modern beliefs, ideology and political motivations.

      It is the second that is the issue, and an issue that has existed for as long as there has been historians.

      Vast swaths of current historical teaching is based upon this modern cultural bias, especially in America, but they are not the only ones – England is just as bad in as many ways, but just not so blatant and clearly wrong about it. British history classes bend the truth to suit political motivation (maybe even to breaking point on some issues), American classes (at least at high school level at least – based on my contact with American students) flat out lies.

    • Archonsod says:

      “There is a catholic church… it’s called the Chantry”

      The Chantry is not a Catholic organisation. In fact, it disagrees with some quite fundamental doctrines of Catholicism.

    • Droniac says:

      @rivalin

      Indeed, writers really should completely demolish any work they’ve done on creating an intricate fantasy world by implementing completely incongruous societies, beliefs, and values that have absolutely no place in the world the writer has created. That sounds like an absolutely great idea …

      You seem more than a little biased to a very particular, and incorrect, perspective on life during the middle ages and earlier human history. Many of the assumptions you make are definitely wrong:

      #1 If it’s based on the middle ages there have to be knights, feudalism, and serfdom.
      Not true. Just a little sailing trip across the north sea would’ve brought you to Frisia’s doorstep. An area completely void of feudalism and serfdom from the 10th century until the 16th century. And that’s just a simple trip across a country border, there were even greater cultural differences throughout Europe (let alone Asia, Africa and America) during the middle ages.

      #2 Peasants do not become great champions.
      Wrong. There are numerous historical accounts of simple folk who rose to great renown.
      A great example is Pier Gerlofs Donia. A Frisian farmer whose wife was brutally raped and murdered by Habsburg knights, which lead to him taking up a great sword and starting a brutal rebellion. His band grew to encompass thousands of warriors and in one particular battle he managed to steal 28 ships from the Dutch.
      He’s a hero to the Frisians (there’s a statue in his honor), and a monster to the Dutch. His band torched and massacred numerous towns during their rebellion.

      #3 Women are not as strong as men.
      Not strictly true. Humans are not born exactly alike and there are always exceptions. There are in fact women who are exceptionally strong or exceptionally tall. But you probably meant to imply that the notion of warrior women is foolish, because such things just didn’t happen, right?
      Actually, women warriors existed long before the middle ages began. Particularly noteworthy are the Scythian warrior grave sites in Southern Russia, where 20% of the warriors buried are women dressed for battle. These were likely the inspiration for the Amazon myth in Greece.
      Similarly there are numerous major historical conflicts that saw women participate very effectively in combat and/or command. The Spartan princess Arachidamia and her female warriors, Princess Pingyang lead an army in her revolt against the Sui Dynasty, Artemisia I of Caria who was praised by her Persian opponents for her skill at naval command, the Icenian queen Boudica who sacked the capital of Roman Britain, etc.

      #4 Homosexuality would not be publicly acceptable.
      Err… probably true.

      It’s also more than a bit silly to equate any specific culture to a time period. Even during the reign of the Roman empire there were hundreds of wildly different cultures across the globe. So it’s impossible for a fictional culture to be ‘immoral’ because it goes ‘against’ a time period. It’s ridiculous to even try to compare the two, a time period is not a culture!

    • Jumwa says:

      “It’s also more than a bit silly to equate any specific culture to a time period. Even during the reign of the Roman empire there were hundreds of wildly different cultures across the globe. So it’s impossible for a fictional culture to be ‘immoral’ because it goes ‘against’ a time period. It’s ridiculous to even try to compare the two, a time period is not a culture!”

      That’s the message I tried to get across in my comment. History is not so simple as to plot these concepts on a trend graph.

      If you were to sit down a bunch of historians who specialize in various, differing locales during the same time period (at any point in history really) they would each paint dramatically disparate pictures of what life was like, and what the culture cherished or disliked.

      A lot of people fail to realize this as the 19th and 20th century saw rise to a notion that progress was linear, and that things would get better, inevitably, with time. So when we looked back on the past, we applied that same rationale, thinking things must’ve been inherently ‘worse’.

    • rivalin says:

      @Droniac;
      1. I didn’t say, any fantasy had to be based on a feudal society, bu there are clearly most elements of a feudal society in Dragon Age, with other elements taken out. Also It is very clear that it is based on western Europe, the Orlais are the French etc, if you actually want to be original in your setting its fine, but they are using western Europe, so you’re arguing with no one when you try to enlighten me that there were different cultures around the world, there certainly were, but we’re talking about one clearly modelled on western Europe. And as you well know, Frisia is the exception that proves the rule as far as western Europe and Feudalism goes.
      2. Frisia again, so as before. In any case of course there have been uprisings of peasants before, from Roman times to the thirty years war, what I am talking about is champions in the medieval sense, which by definition required you to be of knightly rank or greater.
      3. Actually not what I meant to be imply, but I’ll respond in any case; you’re reaching for evidence, as everyone with a bit of knowledge knows, grave sites are not always reliable regarding profession. Queen Elizabeth had armour and weapons made for her, but she never did any fighting, it was about her rank not her profession, it’s just as possible that the Scythian grave sites are of high caste women and nothing else. Regarding the Amazon myth, the fact that you’re being forced to mention myths of warrior women says quite a bit don’t you think? What I was actually referring to was the fantasy insistence that women are “exactly” as strong as men, which is preposterous. It’s a fact that the strongest people in the world in all ways are men, and that on average men are much stronger as well, so for fantasy games to insist that women and men are exactly the same just because there is a small number of women who are stronger than a small number of men is ridiculous.
      Also I never simply discussed a time period, I am talking about western Europe during a specific time period, which is clearly their almost exclusive inspiration. My points about class aside, what I’ve posited holds true across virtually every pre-modern civilization across the globe and throughout history, you’ve managed to find some very limited, and debatable exceptions, which while very learned, I would argue further reinforce my assertions’ persuasiveness and validity

  19. Premium User Badge Mungrul says:

    To be honest, I wish Bioware would step away from portraying sexual relationships in their games. They always feel stilted and embarrassingly juvenile. Let alone which, they are now quite blatantly a part of the Bioware game formula. It’s a bit sad really.
    And don’t get me started on the Asari.
    Rarely have I seen a more blatant example of male teenage sexual fantasy fulfilment. A race created purely for wank material.

    And I say this as a massive Mass Effect fan.

    • Jorum says:

      As much as I love Mass Effect, oh god yes the Asari are poor.
      A whole species who consider spending 200 years as a pole-dancer a standard stage of life. Really?
      And despite the assertions they are asexual, they unfailing have playboy figures.

      I would have liked someone at Bioware to have the balls to make the Asari properly asexual looking.
      That would have made the male-shepard/liara thing much more interesting.
      (and made the average X-box player much more uncomfortable!)

    • Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

      >I would have liked someone at Bioware to have the balls to make the Asari properly asexual looking.

      Actually, perhaps I would have been easier if the Bioware writer had lacked balls?

    • Schadenfreude says:

      The thing about the Asari is that all the Turians think they look like Turians, the Salarians think they look like Salarians and (I assume) the Krogan think they look like Krogan (I think you overhear that listening in on the Stag party).

      Clever little getout clause for them all looking like they do :D

    • CMaster says:

      The Asari are yet another bit of laziness and weakness in ME.
      I just finished ME2 and have described it as “more effort that one could imagine being put into a very lazy game”. It’s a huge game, with staggering amounts of very competent voice acting delivering frequently exceptional lines, with very few bugs. But on top of this brilliant finishing of almost everything is staggering laziness at the key design level for everything. From basic species designs, through what the writing is about, to core gameplay design and world design.

    • cjlr says:

      Asari look like they do because they`re viviparous mammals, although the suggestion from those guys in the Ilium bar that there are subtle psychic cues as to their appearance is a tempting one…

      @CMaster:
      Laziness! That’s what I thought too, but I wasn’t sure how to express it. I mean, so much of that game is brilliant, and so much is just so silly.

      I absolutely love the parts that are pulp silly – lets’ not kid ourselves, that’s exactly what ME is. But some parts are just stupid silly, and that’s sad.

  20. RaytraceRat says:

    I think that was one of the best devs answers I’ve read.

  21. Tyashki says:

    Doesn’t cater to the straight male gamer? Has this person met Isabela?

    Seriously.

    • zergrush says:

      Isabella’s probably the most annoying DA companion. Pretty much every line she speaks makes me want to punch her. I only romanced her with my female mage, and mostly out of curiosity to see at least one awkward sex scene. It was even awkwarder than expected, probably the most cringe-inducing sex scene ever made by Bioware.

      It made me so afraid of seeing something that inhuman again that I practiced celibacy with my rogue on the second playthrough, despite somewhat courting Merrill. I liked her too much to risk losing any interest after seeing an horrible sex scene.

    • Premium User Badge Keymonk says:

      He apparently thinks she’s too ‘exotic’.

    • Klaus says:

      In my opinion the shy, nerdy, attractive, verbally clumsy, doormat Merrill is more of that than Isabella. Isabella doesn’t really need you at all and she has a life, one filled with sexing up many non-hawke peoples.

  22. PatrickSwayze says:

    I think Bioware Character Creators need some tick boxes:

    [ ] Straight
    [ ] Gay
    [ ] Curious
    [ ] Greedy Bisexual
    [ ] Furry Freek
    [ ] Xeno Loving Heretic
    [ ] Etc Etc Etc

    But if Gay people are afforded the option of having homosex relations in game, surely straight gamers should be allowed the options of not having them?

    That’s fair right? It’s only going to involve snipping some dialogue trees out? It’s probably easier than creating copy pasta dungeons…

    • Deano2099 says:

      If you are playing as a gay character, you will still get hit on by the opposite sex. More often than a straight character gets hit on by the same sex I’d imagine.

    • Neut says:

      “But if Gay people are afforded the option of having homosex relations in game, surely straight gamers should be allowed the options of not having them?”

      Only if Gay people are afforded the option of not having any heterosexual relations in the game either.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Sounds fair to me? Does that strike you as a problem?

    • Neut says:

      Yes. Obviously.

    • JackShandy says:

      Players should be able to take things that make them uncomfortable out of a game. In a perfect world, we’d all lie blind and motionless in stacked coffins filled with pudding. It would be dark and warm and nobody would offend anybody and also the government would pay for the pudding.

    • Premium User Badge Harlander says:

      I haven’t played DA2 but I rather imagine you do have the option not to. I think there’d be rather more media furore if, during play, the player character was raped…

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Xeno loving? What, like http://nerfnow.com/comic/452 ?

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @JackShandy
      mmm. Pudding.

  23. Jorum says:

    Good for Bioware to actually address such an idiotic comment.

    Now I think about it, why does Bioware have such an obsession with romance sub-plots?
    I think all their games have had one (KOTOR 2 maybe not?)
    guess it’s a hangover from hollywood.

    It would be kinda refreshing (and more realistic) if they just made one game where the hero isn’t a horny sex-magnet.

    Actually, what would be really interesting is to make a game where the hero is really unattractive.
    Be interesting to see how easy it is still act all heroic and magnanimous while dealing with unrequited love and rejection of advances.

    • Wizardry says:

      Knights of the Old Republic 2 wasn’t made by BioWare.

      And the answer is Baldur’s Gate.

    • poop says:

      yeah I havent been bothered with a bioware sex plot since the first time i played me1 because they are always really boring, slightly creepy, nerd pandering.

    • Jorum says:

      Ah, that explains KOTOR2.
      Been a while since BG so couldn’t remember properly. In retrospect thank the gods for that as I would have tried to sexy up Imoen something rotten (squick).

      Interestingly the story of BG suffered not a jot from lack of romance options.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Nah, KOTOR2 had romance plots. Several, if memory serves.

      edit: On the Bioware front, I think the only RPG without romance options was the original BG

      edit2: Ninja’d by over an hour. Oops.

    • Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

      >Now I think about it, why does Bioware have such an obsession with romance sub-plots?

      I think it’s not so much Bioware who have an obsession, it’s a large contingent of their fans. If you look through the forums from before Dragon Age 2, a large percentage of the threads were speculations about which companions in the game you could romance.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Re – Imoen romance. There’s a mod for that. Ick.

  24. Very Real Talker says:

    A straight male customer has the right to say what he likes and what he doesn’t like to see in his games. If he is annoyed by a 100% homosexual\bisexual character, that’s his prerogative. No need to throw chairs around or hulking out.

    I think it is intuitive that if a game tries to cater to a specific niche, it is very likely to alienate other market targets. If you cater to homosexuals, you are going to alienate heterosexual.

    Imagine that, instead of having a gay romance option for every character like dragon age 2, we had the possibility of having a piss fetish sex based romance for every character, in an effort to cater to piss fetishists. This, of course, would result in the alienating a great number of people. Even if you had the option to avoid said piss based romance.

    I think it is inevitable that if you cater too much to a certain demographic, you alienate the others.
    I think almost nobody would have been annoyed\offended if only a small minority of the characters was gay. But if you make everyone a homo, you alienate the heteros. It is that simple.

    I, as a straight gamer, would like to play games that have a low incidence of gay contents. Is that so enraging that you feel the need to throw chairs around?

    • poop says:

      I dont really feel alienated as a straight dude but “party of adventurers in a fantasy world who are also all bisexual” sounds like the setup to a really boring porno webcomic

    • FiveO says:

      I, as a white gamer, would like to play games that have a low incidence of other races. Is that so enraging?

    • choconutjoe says:

      “But if you make everyone a homo, you alienate the heteros homophobes”

      Corrected that for you.

    • Deano2099 says:

      This is a fair enough comment, but instead of saying “heteros” you mean “homophobes”. I don’t mean that in a pejorative way, am not trying to offend you, but that’s the right word to use for someone who is uncomfortable with gayness being represented in games.

      The vast majority of heterosexual people have absolutely no problem with homosexuality being an option in our games. Those that do have a problem are themselves a minority.

      So yes, if you cater to gay people, you’re piss off homophobes. They’re both minorities. I’d imagine the second group is actually the smaller minority.

      So by your own argument, catering to homophobes by not including any gay content is catering to a small niche that is likely to piss people off.

      I’d have no problem with any sort of fetishist in the game either, as long as it was optional.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      Sorry, why do gay characters alienate heterosexual players? This makes no sense to me at all.

      You aren’t forced to pursue homosexual relationships. You might not think the straight options are particularly great, but then complain that the straight options aren’t so great. Why complain about the presence of options for homosexual relationships?

      Respectfully, I’d ask why you are so uncomfortable with the game pointing out to you the option of homosexual romance dialogues?

    • JackShandy says:

      I’m fairly sure it’s the opposite. If you have only white characters, you’re alienating everyone but white people; if you have no female characters, you’re alienating girls; if you have no gay characters, you’re alienating homosexuals.

      The trick here is that these are all options. Forcing a straight man to play a gay character probably would alienate him, simply because it’s not an experience he can connect to- but allowing the option to be gay surely can’t alienate anyone but those who couldn’t stand homosexuality being presented at all.

    • MannyCalavera says:

      Are you seriously trying to equate homosexuality with a sexual fetish?

    • JackShandy says:

      Manny Calevera: I love your name, but Homosexuality is a sexually deviant act. Pissing is obviously far less, uh, mainstream than being gay, but they’re both comparable as sexual acts not practised by society at large. I suppose a closer example would be non-child bearing incest? If it helps, even the common lust for breasts is a fetish.

    • Neut says:

      I’m in the mood for some Godwinnin’!

      I, as a [nazi] gamer, would like to play games that have a low incidence (preferably none) of [jewish] content. Is that so enraging that you feel the need to throw chairs around?

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      What? “sexually deviant”? Really? Fuck this, you’re an idiot. I’m going outside to sit in the sun. I’ll live longer.

    • roosten says:

      The American Psychiatric Association hasn’t described homosexuality as sexual deviancy since 1973, so give yourself another 2 years and you’ll be a full 4 decades behind the times.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Tom, don’t get too bothered by words. “deviant” and “abnormal” are words that have been taken and used aggressively in order to attack people.

      All they really mean is “different to the norm”. Which does apply to gay people. Straight people are in a huge majority, which does make straight the “norm”, alas.

      Being gay is abnormal and deviant, but only in the same way having green eyes is abnormal and being over 6 foot tall is deviant.

      Homophobes realise there’s a power in those words as they sound nasty and bad, and so use them to attack gay people knowing that it’s hard to actually fight back because technically they’re right.

      But everyone has something deviant and abnormal about them, and being deviant and abnormal is not a bad thing at all.

    • JackShandy says:

      Woah woah woah! I meant deviant as in “Deviating from the norm”, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with deviating from the norm, sexually or otherwise. Please don’t hate me!

      I guess I said that because I’ve just been reading this from Tom Jubert, which makes a convincing argument that those who embrace homosexuality should also accept other socially frowned-upon behaviours like non-child bearing incest:

      http://tom-jubert.blogspot.com/2011/02/criticism-of-homes-case-against.html

      God, I better go before I dig this hole any deeper. Sorry, everybody – please be assured that any offense was due to poor choice of words and a late night.

    • Premium User Badge Colthor says:

      @TheApologist:
      “Sorry, why do gay characters alienate heterosexual players? This makes no sense to me at all.”
      Because they all have rays that turn you into a Klingon. Just try it in Dragon Age: I politely turned down Zevran’s advances – sorry mate, not my type – and ZAP! Rest of the game with a pastie on my forehead.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I disagree. Under your definition everyone is abnormal and so no oneis. Fact is ‘deviant’ has taken on an offensive connatation in discussion of sexuality and suggests a conscious deviation from a supposedly _correct path_. As opposed to just being a part of what that person is. You don’t refer to someone who has a naturally high intelligence level ‘intellectually deviant’ or a person who has one leg shorter than the other ‘physically deviant’, or, as per your example, a person with green eyes is not ‘optically deviant’, calling a homosexual a ‘sexual deviant’ is a slur, which ever way you cut it.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      @Colthor
      Oh, well in that case fair enough.
      I always fancied being one of those blue dudes. Do they have a ray for that?

    • Deano2099 says:

      Tom – yes, everyone is abnormal in some areas. Everyone is deviant in some areas.

      No, you don’t call people ‘optically deviant’, but if you did do that then you’d be grammatically correct. It’s odd phrasing that isn’t often used but it’s not wrong.

      Yes, sexually deviant has become a pejorative term, but as I say, if you get in to the debate you end up losing as it’s also technically correct.

      Personally it’s a word I’d like to see reclaimed as a good thing, rather than being hidden from. I’m straight but I’d still proudly call myself a ‘sexual deviant’ as I’m in to some weird shit…

    • Crimsoneer says:

      I, for one, want more fetish sex scenes in games.

      Sue me, I’d so have tied up Morrigan.

    • wsmieszek says:

      @JackShandy:
      No. Homosexuality is considered a natural variation of sexual orientation in human species. It is NOT a sexual deviation. While some religious groups would want you to believe it is, it really isn’t.

    • Premium User Badge Colthor says:

      @TheApologist:
      I don’t think so, but it’s something they should look into for DLC.

    • Deano2099 says:

      @wsmieszek

      I think the problem here is that you and Tom are defining ‘deviant’ sociologically, while Jack and I are defining it mathematically.

    • bwion says:

      (I try to engage obvious trolls in conversation sometimes. It’s a weakness of mine.)

      “A straight male customer has the right to say what he likes and what he doesn’t like to see in his games.”

      Well, of course. I don’t see anyone disputing that (though I’m sure you could find someone who would, and has, because this is, after all, the internet, and you can find someone who’ll say stupid thing if you work hard enough.).

      Telling someone that they’re wrong, and why they’re wrong, particularly when it’s done as eloquently and even-handedly as Mr. Gaider’s response was, in no way infringes upon anyone’s right to express themselves. What you, and I, and David Gaider, and Dude Who Only Wants Straight Sex In His Games, Thank You Very Much, are not entitled to is uncritical acceptance of what we say.

      You don’t, in short, have the right to never be disagreed with.

    • Josh04 says:

      I dont really feel alienated as a straight dude but “party of adventurers in a fantasy world who are also all bisexual” sounds like the setup to a really boring porno webcomic

      It’s actually a really good porno comic: http://oglaf.com/

      As for the definitions thing, I’m fairly sure linguists agree that you can’t detach the definition of a word from it’s social context. ‘deviant’ has become a slur and therefore it is a slur. You can’t wind back the language clock.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ Deano2099

      You’re quite right this is a disagreement of how language should be defined, but the problem with your standpoint is that language is used by humans, and humans aren’t all played by Data from Star Trek. Language is inherently contextual. You might be grammatically correct to call someone ‘optically deviant’, but so what? I’d be grammatically correct saying “The best thing about the internet is that it is made of pins”. It doesn’t change the fact that its fucking gibberish.

      Language is about far more than the structure of sentences. Its about semantics. Your argument is the same one that in the UK is used to justify using the word ‘Paki’, on the grounds that its simply a shortening of an apparently neutral, factual description. Mathmathically speaking, if ‘Brit’ is ok then ‘Paki’ must be too right?

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      @battles_atlas Well explained. Especially the pins.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Well yes, that’s the general current meaning, but if we just give up on words because people start using them pejoratively, then are we going to give up on ‘gay’ next?

      My point was two-fold basically:

      one) if you bother trying to argue that homosexuality isn’t actually deviant or abnormal with actual homophobes, you automatically lose the argument and any chance of enlightening them, because technically they’re right, even though they’re right in a horrible way, they can turn to a dictionary and say ‘look here.’ By all means say ‘I’d rather you didn’t use those words to describe us, as actually we find them offensive’ but trying to say ‘no, we’re not that’ isn’t helpful at all. To take the ‘Paki’ example again, you generally don’t get people from Pakistan going ‘oi! I’m not a Paki’, they go ‘oi! don’t use that word you insensitive prick’.
      Another example we’re familiar with here: telling pirates that piracy is theft. They’ll tell you it’s not, and they can win that argument, and sidetrack you from explaining why piracy is wrong.

      two) I think they’re words that we should reclaim, but then, it’s easy for me as a straight man that doesn’t get called deviant as my deviances all take place behind closed doors to say that.

    • Archonsod says:

      “Imagine that, instead of having a gay romance option for every character like dragon age 2, we had the possibility of having a piss fetish sex based romance for every character, in an effort to cater to piss fetishists. This, of course, would result in the alienating a great number of people. Even if you had the option to avoid said piss based romance.”

      Erm no it wouldn’t. A great number of people might never take that option, but simply having the option there is insufficient to upset the majority of people. Generally it’s only a small minority who get offended due to their own issues or agenda’s. While the majority of people might find such content offensive, providing it can be avoided they’re happy to ignore it. The one’s who get offended tend to do so at the fact you’re given a choice in the first place.

    • Premium User Badge Stijn says:

      I think the problem here is that you and Tom are defining ‘deviant’ sociologically, while Jack and I are defining it mathematically.”

      Gee, and which of these two fields might be more appropriate for discussing homosexuality in this context?

    • Grape Flavor says:

      I think that if indeed, games were making “all” the characters gay, you would have a valid right to complain. Much in the way that people can complain that games overwhelmingly cater to young straight men.

      But that’s not what we’re talking about, is it. We’re talking about how having any homosexuality represented at all makes you uncomfortable for some reason.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ Deano2099
      “if we just give up on words because people start using them pejoratively, then are we going to give up on ‘gay’ next?”

      Well, yes, if gay groups decide to do so. Language evolves, devolves, revolves. “Mixed race” is nolonger cool. So what? We’re not going to be left with a situation where we have no word to refer to a person who likes having sexy relations with someone of the same gender. Another word will replace it.

      ” if you bother trying to argue that homosexuality isn’t actually deviant or abnormal with actual homophobes, you automatically lose the argument and any chance of enlightening them, because technically they’re right… To take the ‘Paki’ example again, you generally don’t get people from Pakistan going ‘oi! I’m not a Paki’, they go ‘oi! don’t use that word you insensitive prick’.”

      I get what you’re trying to say here, but the problem is you’re still wrong. People might indeed say ‘oi! I’m not a Paki’, because ‘Paki’, with its semantic connotations, is not something they recognise as representing them. Its the same problem with your use of deviant. You’re still essentialising a particular meaning of words as the universally correct interpretation. To go back to the start, and whether ‘gay’ is technically deviant, the question is failed from the start. There is no single, ‘technical’ definition. Maybe you could argue there is for scientific concepts, but not for popular language like ‘deviant’. For me, ‘deviant’ signifies both that something is in the minority, and that its wrong. I’m clearly not alone in that interpretation. As a result, in no way is a homophobe’s declaration that homosexuality is deviant technically right, because for it to be so homosexuality would have to be technically wrong.

      If you’re still not convinced of this argument, I suggest you read New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. Even if you are, read it anyway. Its properly good.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @battles_atlas
      “Mixed race” is no longer acceptable? Since when?

    • JackShandy says:

      Here’s my position, because making everyone on RPS think I’m a homophobe is the lowest point of my internet history.

      Like I said, I’d been reading that critique by Tom Jubert, and it made me think that anyone who supports Homosexuality but is against other fetishes/sex acts – say, furries, or even non-child bearing incest, which he uses as an example – is a hypocrite. As long as it’s between two consenting adults, and no harm is done, the difference between the two seems small. So when Manny Calevera specifically got offended to hear homosexuality compared with fetishes, I wanted to speak out – not against homosexuality, but in defense of fetishes.

      So, I was trying for a word that grouped all the types of “non-normal” sex together – that is, all types of sex that don’t specifically serve an evolutionary carry-on-the-species purpose, or that society at large doesn’t partake in. Obviously “Deviant” wasn’t the right one, but I’m not sure that any word I could have used would have sounded good. I suppose, what with places like “DeviantArt”, I didn’t think the word would be as offensive as it obviously is.

      Edit: Disclaimer: I’m young and stupid, and very far from figuring this stuff out, and this point of view is quite possibly incorrect in a very basic and obvious way. But I have never, ever wanted to demean or insult gay people. I’m sorry if I have.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ Grape Flavour

      Yeah I *think* ‘dual heritage’ is preferred by some now, but I don’t know if its a done deal. Bit of a mouthful, but ‘mixed race’ with its connotations of racial purity is pretty dislikable.

      @ JackShandy

      Don’t beat yourself up too much, this is a thorny issue. I think your mistake was making a perfect valid point in the wrong context. I think save the fetishism defence for the DA3 argument about whether all the NPC’s offering to defecate on you is alienating the coprophobics.

  25. SuperNashwanPower says:

    These games should start including a Kinsey Scale in the game options tab. That way you can custom build your romantic experience http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_scale

  26. Very Real Talker says:

    David Gayder said:

    “And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as “political correctness” if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance.”

    if you don’t cater to me I’m not going to buy your game, that’s why you should at least consider listening to people like me.

    Of course there is the possibility that I’M in the minority, and that most gamers are gaymers… in that case I will simply stop playing them. Still I think that Gayder misses this point: if you don’t cater to a demographic, you will lose them. I think it is a stupid idea to not cater to the majority of gamers, but that’s of course a decision David Gay has to make. And let’s not forget the possibility that gamers like me (straight, not homophilic) are the minority.

    That’s what I think

    • poop says:

      what

    • SimonHawthorne says:

      You are joking with the misspelling of his name, right?

    • FiveO says:

      My response to this is: homophobes, welcome to the minority! This is a tiny taste of what it feels like. The degree to which you are going to be catered to is only likely to shrink and shrink. Somehow, I don’t believe you’re going to give up gaming because of homosex options.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      yes I’m kidding with the spelling of the name. Poop you are right, I was not clear enough in that post of mine.

      The point is this: if he doesn’t cater to heteros, heteros will less likely buy the game. Since they are the majority, at least I guess, not catering to them sounds stupid.

      of course I can’t rule out the possibility that most gamers today are either gay or gay leaning. In that case it would be smart to have gay content heavy gaymes. But if it is not the case, and white straight gamers are still the majority, it follows that he should cater to them.

      They could always do smaller gaymes that target to the specific demogayphic of gay gaymers, though.

    • Deano2099 says:

      The ‘majority of gamers’ are straight people that have no problem with optional gay content being present in their games.

      Gay gamers are a minority.

      Straight gamers that have a problem with gay content are an even smaller minority.

      So who should we cater for again?

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      And by joking I mean

      ‘Self-satirising because it’s a ridiculous position and nobody would ever seriously misspell his name like this because it’s such a cheap shot that only serves to undermine my position’

      rather than

      ‘Joking because, heh, his name sounds like gay and he’s advocating for his own content in his own writing about gays so, heh, he must be gay and, heh, LETSJUSTCALLHIMDAVIDGAY!’.

      Right?

    • Very Real Talker says:

      FiveO:

      why are you so hysteric about it? If they don’t cater to me, yes, I’m just going to give up gaming. I’m not playing da2 for starters. I’m not going to be aggressive about it like the homophiles are being now.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      Deano, I already said that if homo friendly gamers are the majority, I will accept my minority, not worthy of being cathered to, status.

      I just want to express my dislike of having such an high incidence of gayness in my games. Maybe there are others like me, maybe there are not. Why shouldn’t I express my preference again? I’m not demanding anything. Just expressing my preferences and my point of view.

      Why do you all feel the need to be so antagonistic about it, like it is a victory if gamers like me are in the minority?

    • Selifator says:

      I seriously doubt that Bioware will cater the homophobic part of their fanbase. Tough luck for you. And people are glad that gamers like you are a minority because you are probably like this outside of games as well. Which is not a good thing.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      Simon- cheapshot? frankly I consider it a juvenile and inoffensive joke, I don’t want to insult him or insult him to win an argument.

    • kikito says:

      Your logic is flawed. Your text can be summed up as follows: “either you are hetero, like me, or you are a gaymer”.

      There are several things wrong on that statement, but let me write down the two most important ones.

      1. What you are refering to as “heterosexual”, is called “homophobic” by the rest of the world. Sometimes they also prefix it with “ignorant”.
      2. Real heteros are not bothered with homosexuality. They are ok with it, and if a gay person makes a pass at them, they do what they would do with a person from the opposite sex they aren’t attracted to – they politely decline.

      They are simply sane heteros. That group is the majority.

      On a very far second place, there’s the gay gamers.

      And then, fortunately, far, far away, there’s the homophobic bunch. Where you are.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      kikito, I think making every male companion gay is simply catering excessively to the gay demographic

    • Deano2099 says:

      @Very Real Talker

      You are in a minority. Most gamers are gay friendly, I’m afraid you’ll find. Most people are gay friendly, I don’t see why gamers would be any different. I have to admit I have no statistics to back this up, but if you have proof for your side of the argument I’d love to see it. But I just look at the real world and while homophobia certainly exists and is an issue, there’s not that much of it. I mean, look at how many copies Gears of War sold and how much homo-eroticism was in that!

      The reason I’m being antagonistic is that I’m a heterosexual. Never really fancied another guy, thought of sleeping with one makes me vaguely queasy. I’m straight. I’m a ‘hetero’. And I’m pretty pissed off that you’re claiming that you talk for me, and that you represent me, because you don’t. Because I have no problem with gay content in games. I can just ignore it. Or I can make two ladies get off with each other.

      So please stop talking about what ‘heteros’ think. By all means have your opinion, but don’t try and talk for other people.

    • Ajh says:

      You DO realize you do NOT have to touch anything remotely homosexual in this game romance wise right? I’m pretty pro gay rights myself but I’m playing a female Hawke and romancing Fenris.

      Then again I’m one of those people that don’t count right? I shouldn’t be catered to with any story options. Damn me for being born a woman. Oh the shame huh?

      Seriously though, what’s wrong with Merril? She’s got that cute little accent.

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      As I understand it there are 4 potential love interests in the game. 2 of those are females with whom you can have a male-female relationsip. How exactly are straight-males being ignored?

    • CMaster says:

      Wait, so providing two women for you male character to be able to romance (and indeed you can play a female character and get it on with women, if you’re one of that (seemingly large proportion) of straight men who like to watch lesbians isn’t catering to you? But providing the same options to gay gamers is catering for them?

      I R CONFUZED.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Ajh: I think what was wrong with Merril was that the accent was the only thing right with Merril. It was very right though, so that counts for something.

    • DaFishes says:

      Hey, you know what? I’m a hetero, Anders hit on my Hawke, and I wasn’t offended. I wasn’t even uncomfortable. I just said “No thank you,” like an adult, and then proceeded to friend-lock Anders. Life goes on.

      These asspuckered homophobes need to take the advice they give women who are tired of eve teasing: “Relax, you’re overreacting. Take it as a compliment, honey.”

    • Archonsod says:

      “Why do you all feel the need to be so antagonistic about it, like it is a victory if gamers like me are in the minority?”

      Because you’re a bigot, and the less we can be associated with your ilk the better we feel? Shoulda thought it was pretty obvious.

  27. Lobotomist says:

    I made a similar “pro Hetero” post for the last Dragon Age game.
    Suggested to have option to turn off gay romances in game

    Didnt get the star treatment though.
    But was attacked by mob of gay friendly gamers. Quite aggressively too.

    Their excuse “We have the right to have gay romance in the game”
    I said “We have right not to have it”

    Only thing that got clear to me. Is that we are heterosexuals are treated as group that has NO RIGHTS.
    Group that should “Shut up”
    And companies support this trend, because its hip to be pro gay. It sells good.
    Not because they necessarily like it.

    • poop says:

      why did you write this post like a spoken word poem

    • Dominic White says:

      … Seriously?
      There is no moderate response: [While I understand the anger, please try to deal with these sorts of comments without resorting to threats and insults, thanks - John] And I’m saying this as a completely heterosexual male.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      @Dominic White:

      So, your opinion or no opinion?

    • JimRyanor says:

      You do have the right not to have it. If you’re not interested in a gay romance don’t play a guy and then pursue the romance options with the male characters. Its hardly forcing you to click on and continue with a specific dialogue chain. Unless you just can’t help yourself…

    • Dominic White says:

      To beat your chest, declare yourself ‘pro hetero’ and declare that straight people have no rights and are under siege by this gay plague is unconscionably terrible and anyone who even considers holding such views needs to be thrown under a bus.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Guess what?

      No gay gamers ever asked for a button to turn off heterosexual relationships in the game. As they’re able to ignore them.

      Why can’t you do the same with homosexual relationships?

    • JackShandy says:

      I hope more of these people don’t come. I’m terrified of what this thread could soon become.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      @Lobotomist
      I would really respectfully ask you to think about your view that heterosexual people are a category of people with no rights, in contrast with homosexual people who have lots of rights. Because, truly, honestly, this is divorced from reality. You are entirely free to pursue your sexuality. The idea that homosexual people have that freedom is mad.

      But let’s be clear about what you are asking for. You desire the removal of people in the game world who have a different sexuality to you. No one should or could threaten your freedom to pursue your heterosexual desires. But what you cannot ask is for the removal of people who have a different sexuality. You have no right to that whatsoever.

    • Premium User Badge HopperUK says:

      I don’t think homophobes have the right to eliminate gayness in games. I think the very idea is disgraceful. It’s the same old ‘I don’t have anything against them but do they have to shove it in my face?!’ argument and it’s disgusting.

    • MannyCalavera says:

      “… Seriously?
      There is no moderate response: [Deleting this again - sorry - John]. And I’m saying this as a completely heterosexual male.”
      I would like to second this.

    • choconutjoe says:

      @Lobotomist

      It’s not about the sexuality of player. It’s about the sexuality of the player character. It’s an RPG remember?

      Saying the game discriminates against heterosexuals because it won’t let you turn off gay romance is like saying the game discriminates against people who don’t have magical powers because it won’t let you turn off mages.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I knew I will get lot of small minded responses.
      Same as I got in original post.
      My point was simple. You cant ignore homosexual romance in the game.
      Character Zevran insists on having homosexual discussions – and you have to go over it, if you want the character approval which is important part of the game.

      So, whatever they say – they didnt give you the option to avoid it. It was forced on you.

      Now I am no purist. I know gays exist. Some of my best friends are gay. But all to hell if I now have to enjoy my escapist hobby – Medieval Fantasy , where somebody is forcing me to include homosexsual elves.

      What is next ? 5th edition of D&D will have all dark elves be leg fetishists ? And gnomes be swingers ?

      Note that I never asked to remove this , i know some people like it. And they should be allowed to enjoy it…why not ?

      All i ask is to have option not to have it. It doesnt have to be even on default.

      Damn you have option to turn of blood. Because some people dont like it.

      Should they be attacked too ?

      All in all.
      Gay is in. Bioware added it because its profitable and enjoys the hubbub its creating.

      Dont think its about being right

    • Dominic White says:

      You’re disturbed by the very idea of having to interact with someone different to you, but call everyone else small-minded? My earlier comment stands, and is redoubled in fury an intensity.

      You. Are. Scum.

    • Deano2099 says:

      You can kill Zevran as soon as you meet him. Try being a better homophobe :P

      But yes, you have to flirt with him if you want his approval. So what? If you’re not comfortable with that, that’s your issue.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      @Lobotomist
      Sorry, you have to do better than that. Why is what I said small minded? You haven’t even responded.

      Respond properly or it seems like you can’t defend what you said, and that even though there really are huge ethical problems with how you think, you just want to hold on to your view because it’s easier than admitting you are wrong and challenging yourself to be different.

    • choconutjoe says:

      I found this particular disturbing.

      That’s why you’re a homophobe.
      That’s why you don’t speak for heterosexuals.
      That’s why everyone here thinks you’re a dick.

    • Ajh says:

      Here’s how to turn off gay romance in Dragon Age 1:

      Kill Zevran, or if you have him at your camp already tell him to go away.

      Tell Leiliana to go away if you have her already or refuse to take her with you.

      It’s that simple.

      That’s why you were mocked. Because you were missing the obvious answer and being intolerant and rude about it at the same time.

    • MannyCalavera says:

      @ lobotomist

      1. I can’t believe you are seriously using the “I have friends line…”. That line does not allow one to use bigotry with no comeback

      2. You talk of escape, being forced. Are you really that uncomfortable by homosexuality? Are you really that uncomfortable in your own sexuality that you prefer to have alternatives hidden from you?

      3. You are the one with a small mind. I think you need to realise that for most of us it doesn’t even occur to us to be bothered by this. There is a reason for this. Try and think what it might be.

    • Neut says:

      “Saying the game discriminates against heterosexuals because it won’t let you turn off gay romance is like saying the game discriminates against people who don’t have magical powers because it won’t let you turn off mages.”

      OT but I for one would’ve liked the option to turn off mages in DA:O. Damn fireballs :D

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      DING! The second “I know Gay People” in this thread. Fuckin’ A, you prick.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Haha
      I love this fake political correctness.
      Most of you I bet never even been around a gay before. LOL
      Most of gays dont give a damn what you think. They are gay because they are. And they are not looking for your approval.
      So what the f do they care about me not liking gay romance in my game ?
      No
      The ones that care, and post here are just a straight heterosexuals pretending to be oh so political correct. Trying to reduce their homofobia by roleplaying gay.
      I have been there , seen it , experienced it and dont have to pretend anymore.
      So please , i will have my sandwich without the sausage. Because i like it that way
      ps
      There is nothing more Orwellian than political correctness – The mind control is always disguised as something politically right.
      Tell me what i think is wrong. But do not force me not to think it.

    • FiveO says:

      Wait, where did you get this line on the opinions of all gay people? I would really like to know!

      (for no particular reason…)

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      So there’s this homophobe, right? He walks into a forum and tells a bunch of strangers that not only does he dislike gayness, but he also knows more about gayness than anyone else here. Laugh? I nearly did.

      I’m amazed you think you know my sexuality just from text on a screen.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Hehe, not all gay people. Not all people are same.
      Some gay people are pricks, some are pussies and whiners, and some are bastards. Just like black, white, chinese and heterosexual. We are all people. Damn homo sapiens. We all have rights to EXPRESS OURSELVES
      Nobody is better and MORE RIGHT.

      And for those that call me homophobic. You are a hater. You are the seed of hate and discontent. Doing it on purpose. Painting people with colors and hurdling them into groups. So you can point and accuse them easier.

      You are the non tolerant one.

      Just like that by not believing in god does not make me atheist. Not being gay doesnt make you homofobe

      If i dont watch Sunday football match does it make me football hater ?

      By what right, mister political correct you paint and categorize me ? What gives you that right , if not the hate that you wish to ensue over me ?

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      @Lobotomist
      Nope. I am more right than you. That’s why I am bothering to interact with you: to demonstrate to you through argument that I am indeed more right than you, and that you should adopt my opinion or some version of it.

      If I had failed, and you had demonstrated to me that you were more right than me, I would have done the same. Unsurprisingly, you failed to change my mind. Perhaps more surprisingly, you failed to actually engage in a debate, and just went for weird disconnected half sentences and literary allusions that you’d realise don’t make any sense if you thought about them. Which you clearly won’t.
      Sad.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Point is : there is no victory in this.

      You are not really honest in your opinions , because you are not honest with yourself (or others)

      Part of you are gay , and are clearly biased – which is completely alright.

      But the other part is the ones that dont have their own opinion, but only repeat what they have been told is right. And as they have been told that you should be gay friendly , and they repeat it as mantra. They could have been told , 50 years ago , that gay is bad. And they would act accordingly.

      Instead of thinking by their own head, and not being afraid to say their own opinions.

      I have no such problem.

      I party with gays. Because , hey – we all know who has the nicest girl friends ;) hehe :P
      But hell if i want my elf assasin to be gay ! Get out of here !

      So , if you are gay. Whatever , who cares.

      And if you are political correctness zombified sheeple. Grow a spine and a brain , and do what YOU think is right.

    • Wilson says:

      @Lobotomist – I’m a little confused by your posts. If it really doesn’t bother you that much, why do you want to have an option to remove it from the game so that you don’t have to be hit on by gay characters? Because in theory that’s all your problem is right, since you don’t have to then have a relationship with them? Surely it’s hardly worth removing? If you aren’t homophobic why do you need to have it completely removed from the game? I think that’s why a lot of people are attacking you, because your position as stated by you doesn’t seem to make sense.

      - You aren’t homophobic.
      - You want an option to totally remove even the slightest hint of anyone being gay from the game, and obviously it bothers you enough to argue for it.
      So why do you want it removed, and why does it bother you so much?

      Also, I would have thought optional tick-boxes to remove all reference to certain groups from pieces of media would be far more interesting for an Orwellian style story than political correctness.

    • Chalky says:

      @Lobotomist
      Why does it matter so much to you? You’re just ranting about how everyone else has a problem and you’re fine. Are you sure this doesn’t have more to do with you?

    • choconutjoe says:

      You are the non tolerant one.

      Tolerating intolerance does not make the world a more tolerant place.

      Just like that by not believing in god does not make me atheist.

      Yes it does, by definition.

      Not being gay doesnt make you homofobe

      No, making the kind of homophobic comments that you’ve made makes you a homophobe.

      By what right, mister political correct you paint and categorize me ?

      You’re the one who brought up political correctness. Nobody here is arguing for political correctness. Nobody has ‘painted and categorized’ you either. You’ve been criticized entirely on the basis of the things you’ve said.

      What gives you that right , if not the hate that you wish to ensue over me ?

      If you think nobody has the right to criticize your opinions then you’ve fundamentally misunderstood the nature of free speech.

    • Ovno says:

      I’m not gonna bother getting involved with the other arguement, though if I did I would be on the side of the people who are happy to have other people catered for in games without getting all prissy.

      However….

      “Just like that by not believing in god does not make me atheist.”

      I’m affraid by definition it does…

      a·the·ist
         /ˈeɪθiɪst/ Show Spelled[ey-thee-ist]
      –noun
      a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheist

    • Lobotomist says:

      @Wilson
      You are right. It does sound strange.
      For example – True Blood. I loved Lafayette and Hesus gay romance. Why ?
      I felt it fitted the story and the world lore.
      Dragon Age.
      I felt it was artificially imposed to keep the sales numbers high, by creating controversy that sits well with today political correctness hipness
      It had nothing to do with story, with lore, with fantasy world of Dragon Age. It was just put there upon request from accounting.

      And by the way. Atheist is a term crafted by contemporary Christians to paint all non believers and group them together. Many todays free thinkers and philosophers are against this term and such narrow (and obviously hostile) categorization

    • Lilliput King says:

      Atheist is a word crafted by contemporary Christians to group together unbelievers as unbelievers?

      I dunno, man.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      @Lobotomist.

      Okay, first off, not believing in any gods absolutely DOES make you an atheist. What do you think that word means? What a bizarre thing to say.

      Secondly. I’m not “gay friendly” as you put it because I’ve been told it’s politically correct. I’m “gay friendly” because it’s the right thing to do. Because it’s the clearly rational attitude to have if you take an egalitarian approach toward persons.

      Treating like cases alike (egalitarianism) is the cornerstone of just action. In the vast majority (who am I kidding, all) of my interactions with heterosexual people, their sexuality plays no meaningful role in the way I relate to them. Thus, ones sexuality isn’t a relevant factor in my interactions with people, so it didn’t be something I discriminate toward.

      Likewise, with regard to simple, non-extreme libertarian virtues (generally freedom of expression should be maximized, so no limits of liberty unless absolutely necessary to protect liberty elsewhere) I recognize that people’s expression of their sexuality, gay, straight, bi or otherwise, doesn’t negatively impact anyone else’s ability to express themselves, so I see absolutely no reason that it should be limited in any way.

      This is not a sheep, “political correctness” response. Personally, I don’t care what’s politically correct or not. Political correctness gets its name from what a politician can safely say, so the most bland, least offensive expressions possible. I don’t care about offending people. I do care about doing what’s right. Thus, I’m not a homophobe. I would suspect this is true of most people here expressing similar sentiments.

    • DaFishes says:

      Dude. I somehow doubt that some of your best friends are gay, with that attitude. Or at least, they’re your best friends, but you’re not their best friends.

      Heterosexuals are NOT oppressed. Being hit on by a gay person (or gay PIXELS, FFS) does not oppress you. It makes you uncomfortable. There is a vast difference.

    • Wilson says:

      @Lobotomist – Ah, then if I read you right what bothers you isn’t the presence of gay characters and them coming on to your character in the game, but that you feel it’s been imposed as a marketing/political correctness kind of decision, rather than it being a fitting part of the game.

      Personally I really don’t believe that political correctness is the big deal a lot of people make it out to be, and I certainly don’t think it’s reasonable to brush off the opinions of many people because they happen to be ‘politically correct’. You can’t assume that they’ve all been taken in by some kind of sinister propaganda and have lost the ability to think for themselves. I could just as easily say you’ve been brainwashed by anti-PC groups, and you need to start thinking for yourself, sheepy! But that wouldn’t really help the debate and it’s unlikely to be fair to you.

      Still, while I don’t agree with your views that the romantic bits in DA2 have been co-opted by a PC agenda to boost sales, I find that argument far more palatable than when it appeared you were deeply homophobic and wanted an option to remove any reference to gay characters in the game because you didn’t like homosexuality.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I am not offended by gay romance in Dragon Age.
      But I do feel it was added artificially. And I dont like that.
      And that seriously affected my immersion in the game.
      So if they added it, just to please gay players (and they did just that) – than why not give option to turn it off for heterosexual players ?
      It served no story element. It was not essential to the story. It was pure political correctness stunt in my fantasy game. Yuck
      (btw heterosexual options were just as bad , lol. Wish they had button to remove them too. )
      But than when you ask to have option to close it. You have all this gay defenders voicing up.
      I find it hilarious.
      Gays dont need your protection. They are fine.
      And actually most the gays I know hate all this gay activism crap that is going on.
      They dont want to protest their difference. They are no different.
      They are just PEOPLE

    • rivalin says:

      “Tolerating intolerance does not make the world a more tolerant place.”
      So you tolerate people who agree with you? Wow, that’s impressive, the ultimate test of tolerance is in your reaction to views with which you disagree vehemently, not those which you deem acceptable.
      So I guess you approve of Dominic White’s hate spewing bile, purely because his political views accord with yours, because intolerance is ok when it’s directed at the “bad people”, its okay to say “you are scum” and that you should “be thrown under a bus” to a homophobe, but if you said “we should throw all the fag lovers under a bus” that would be different somehow, because it’s one the “bad people” saying it?
      I suggest some of the zealots on this thread read some “On Liberty”, because their attempts to silence dissent through social pressure are no different than any other bigoted group in the past. “but it is different”, they argue, “why’s that?” “because we’re right” they answer. No social opinion is right; past societies valued order, others valued freedom of conscience (clearly not ours), ours values equality above everything else, none of these goals is any more right than the others, but there is always a majority in that society who will viciously attack those with deviant opinions (oh, the irony!)

      And before anyone jumps on me, I have no problem with the homosexual relationships in the game aside from their nature being somewhat anachronistic.

    • Archonsod says:

      “. Atheist is a term crafted by contemporary Christians to paint all non believers and group them together.”

      I knew Cicero was smart, but even I didn’t know he had a time machine.

    • Lobotomist says:

      “In fact, “atheism” is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a “non-astrologer” or a “non-alchemist.” We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”
      — Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)

    • Archonsod says:

      Sam Harris talks a load of pish at the best of times. His argument is nonsensical too, atheism is not defining you as not being part of a group, it’s defining a belief system which doesn’t include Gods. I’m sure the Buddhist population would be mildly amused at being accused of defining themselves as not-Christian.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Exactly my point: DEFINING
      Why there is a need for defining ? Atheist , Homophobic , Gay , Christian. Labels…
      We are individuals.

      And we are straying from the topic. What i mean that labeling is not good. And everyone has freedom of choice and opinion.

      And just dont wanting something. In this case gay romance option in our fantasy game.
      Doesnt make us homophobic – which i find very insulting hateful term.

    • noodlecake says:

      Does that mean that there should be a “No Heterosexual” option to for gay gamers who have a problem with straight relationships? And “No Bisexual Characters” for gay people and straight people who have a problem with characters in their games who find members of both genders sexually attractive?

      There is a straight option in the game just like there is in real life. If someone comes onto you and you’re not interested because you’re gay and they’re the opposite gender or you’re straight and they’re the same gender you just politely (or impolitely) refuse. Which you can do in the game! I don’t get the problem here. :S

    • noodlecake says:

      And also “homophobic” is a hate group. It’s not like being Christian or Atheist or whatever. It’s like going “I’m gonna shout abuse at this guy because he’s got different coloured skin to me but I’m not a racist because that’s labelling.” Oh okay then. It’s not racist any more because it’s not right to label people.

    • Edward F. says:

      “Oh no, oppressed minorities are calling me out for making a blatantly ignorant statement about how I can’t shove an important concept into a small corner because it scares me! Whatever will I do!”
      Hun, this kind of ignorance is what keeps me and others from being able to marry and enjoying other human rights. You started with how you should be able to get rid of gays in the game and then backtracked about how it was”forced” and a “cash-in”, and then sidelining the whole discussion on some tangent of atheism. Hey, guess what: Some characters are gay in this game, and you can’t use your magical ignorance powers to will them into something that doesn’t scare you.
      My friend, you are homophobic. As defined by wikipedia – “Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and in some cases transgender and intersex people and behaviour. Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and irrational fear.” You may talk about how “homophobe” is a hateful labeling term, but that is only because you are a prejudiced, discriminatory person. In the real world, you can’t navigate to a little menu and uncheck the “gay” option. By saying that people can be gay but only on your terms, you meet that definition exactly.

  28. Premium User Badge heretic says:

    ahah man those born again christians are really funny, they’ll go around killing (you shall not kill) in games but anything homo is no-no!

    The reason I play games is to experience things that I wouldn’t usually be able to experience, for example playing as a female character, or even as a bisexual PC. Of course, being straight I have a preference, but I won’t start chundering at the sight of anything which doesn’t float my boat…

    Now its a different issue if this isn’t handled properly (like too much in your face for example), but then you can complain about it not being handled properly – developers learn by trying things out, you shouldn’t ask for said content to be removed.

    • FiveO says:

      +1

      DA2 handled romance in general terribly, and both the gay and straight options were cringe-worthy. I think some of the problems that the born again contingent are having are at least partially due to the ridiculous delivery.

  29. Sunjammer says:

    I just wrapped up Alpha Protocol. I remember being worried before that game came out, because it seemed almost obsessed with pointing out that you could bonk every woman in the game. After the game turned out to be fairly subdued and tasteful, much MUCH more so than Bioware has been able to do, I’m prepared to think two things, in parallel:

    1. Chris Avellone can write a story about a horse taking a piss and have it resonate
    2. Bioware are a bunch of epic nerds.

    I think the original poster’s idea of “unrealistic bisexuality” is moon language: Welcome to 2011, motherfuckers, where if you spend a little extra time in front of the mirror before hitting the town, shocker, both men and women may be attracted to you. This is what it means to live in the future; Deal with it.

    However I also think Bioware should either work hard on making their romantic relationships subtler, or ditch them altogether. Because as it is they are really, really bad at it, and it comes across as completely forced. Dragon Age Origins to me was absolutely prepostorous in this regard, with a freaking love/hate progress bar you could game to “optimize”. The nerd-dom was perpetually overflowing.

  30. Premium User Badge HopperUK says:

    Maybe we should all have the opportunity to hide what makes us feel uncomfortable and funny in our tummies. Perhaps if they put in a ‘no brown people’ button on every game, those poor ignored racists wouldn’t have to be confronted with the idea that their Fallout NV character could potentially be something they don’t like. Will nobody think of the racists?

    • JackShandy says:

      I can see it now, a big bunch of checkboxes. A “No Swearing” button. A “No Blood” button. “No Cops”, “No Atheism”, “No Religion”, “No fighting”, “No homosexuals”, “No Races”, “No Magic”, “No Romances”, “No Difficulty”, “No Conflict”, “No Colour”, “No shouting”, “No Running”, “No Shocking Political Commentary”.

      Really, in many ways, a bluescreen is the perfect game.

    • Spatula says:

      “really, in many ways, a bluescreen is the perfect game”

      ‘cept it’s racist towards smurfs. You b#stard. :-)

    • bleeters says:

      @ HopperUK

      You jest, but it’s depressingly not that far from reality.

      It saddens me how popular that one currently is.

    • Premium User Badge HopperUK says:

      @bleeters: Holy cow. I’m not sure why I’m surprised, really.

    • Easydog says:

      @Bleeters …. That is the most depressing thing I’ve seen in a long time.

    • tossrStu says:

      You think that’s depressing? You don’t want to see this thread about it then:

      http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/307/index/6686736/1

      In summary: “There’s nothing wrong with it, and YOU’RE the real racist for caring about her skin colour in the first place.” Ugh.

  31. vash47 says:

    This game is suck a trainwreck.

    • Bodminzer says:

      This comment made me smile after a couple of minuts of feeling very cross. Thank you.

  32. Bantros says:

    OK OK OK, what I was not happy about was the lack of fine females in the Blooming Rose, I think that should be a topic for discussion.

    Yes, you have to have choice and all and I don’t have a problem with that but then where the god damn are the human females?! My Hawke demands a real woman, not a man dwarf or man elf, a man or even girl elf and certainly not the elf that looks like a girl but sounds like man (I felt so ashamed!), a woman!

    I demand a patch chop chop

  33. Stuart Walton says:

    As a Straight Male Gamer myself, whenever presented with unexpected opportunities in a game it’s quite invigorating. It doesn’t matter if it’s an option I wish to choose but the fact that it’s there is a damn good thing. Nobody complains when you’re given good/evil, light/dark, or benevolent/mercenary options. In fact we celebrate them, even if the outcome counts for little or has an outcome that’s binary regardless of the level of choice.

    So we should celebrate when given these extra options. You don’t have to take them. It’s OK if you don’t get to see everything in a game. In fact, I think not seeing some content because you repulsed from it is better in terms of immersion because the game made you invest emotionally. And that could be a repulsion to anything: drug taking, slavery, cruelty to animals etc. Not just sexuality.

    In ME2 I didn’t chose any particular love interest, I had a pretty wide choice but ultimately none of them seemed like something my particular (female) Sheperd would have picked. Chosing one for the sake of it felt wrong too, in fact choosing any felt like a bad idea. It would have been cheap and I would not have enjoyed it. The only comfort I get is the odd visit from Kelly to my quarters but even that feels cheap and hollow since she’s blatanly the ship’s bike. Is the game bad for making me feel this way. No, it’s good because it made me feel something because it gave me a choice.

  34. Juicetin says:

    It’s intelligent, sensitive articles like this that keep RPS a cut above the vast majority of games journalism. The inclusion of homosexual relationships in games has been a long time coming, and Bioware’s inclusion of them in DA 1 & 2 should be applauded. It’s 2011 for god’s sake, and the games industry must recognise that it cannot shy away from depicting relationships that might displease a small minority of bigots. Keep up the good work John.

  35. Kai says:

    If he gets a “no homosexuality” button, I want a “no heterosexuality” button.
    I’m not heterophobic, though. Some of my friends are straight!

    In more seriousness, Gaider’s remarks are incredibly well written and I tip my hat to the man.

  36. Teddy Leach says:

    I’m a Straight Male Gamer, and I don’t have a problem with homosexuals. Both in games and the real world. Hell, I’ve been hit on by gays in the real world before, but it’s not like you can’t laugh it off or say that you’re not gay.

    DA2 has bisexuals. So does life. Get over it.

    Although, with that said, it does seem a little statistically unlikely that one would have that many bisexuals in the party.

    • Ajh says:

      I think it’s easier to just make them bisexual so that no matter whether you play a male or female character you can pursue the romance of your choice.

      Basically it makes things simpler for the developers and writers, and isn’t necessarily for realism.

    • noodlecake says:

      Yeah. they aren’t bisexual. They’re just straight in one universe (where you play, say, a male character) and gay in the other (where you play the female one) ;) Apart from the pirate lady. She is definitely bi.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @noodlecake
      Ah. That’s an interesting way of looking at it, differing sexuality in parallel universes. That makes sense, after all, every playthrough of an RPG is indeed its own parallel universe!

  37. Very Real Talker says:

    I read an interesting theory that is relevant to this. Basically the gamer lifestyle- days indoor in front of the pc, poor nutrition, no exercise- could have messed up with the hormonal balance of many of them, turning them gay or gay friendly. That’s why there are so many gay romance enthusiasts or gamer that serially play as a female character in rpgs without thinking it’s weird.

    An interesting theory indeed in my opinion.

    • Urael says:

      Hehe, very well said, Very Shit Talker. I read something a while back that claimed that bigots had 30% of their brains damaged by too much repressed homosexuality, and were thus unable to ever fully balance their opinions again.

      Doomed forever to be ignorant, inhuman ass-wipes. How sad.

    • Deano2099 says:

      I read a study that said kids playing videogames, especially more complex ones such as Dragon Age, tended to have a higher than average intelligence.

      I read another study that said that people with a higher than average intelligence were more likely to not be homophobes (or to be ‘gay friendly’, to put it your way) or have any other such bigotry.

      So maybe that’s why too.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I think you’re making my brain dribble out my ears.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      such viciousness. Why do you want to dehumanize whoever doesn’t share your enthusiasm for gay sex? Nice to know that the essence of being human is a passion for all thing gay.

    • Sunjammer says:

      You don’t have to have an interest in gay sex to accept a gay compliment. Contrary to popular belief, being around gay people doesn’t reflect on your own sexuality, much like being around girls doesn’t mean you’re a ladies’ man.

      Get over yourselves, homophobes; You’re probably not that hot.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Dude, seriously. I have no enthusiasm for gay sex whatsover. That doesn’t mean I mind it.

      I don’t like Guinness, but I don’t go off on one if my friends drink it down the pub.

      I don’t like horror films, but have no problem with them existing.

      Put it this way, quick quiz – do you like or dislike the following:

      Marmite
      The Libyan no-fly zone
      Death metal
      Jazz
      The novels of Iain Banks
      Plasma TVs
      Basketball
      The emotion ‘ennui’
      The lyrics of Frank Tuner

    • Chris D says:

      You can inititiate a conversation by openly insulting a minority and anyone who chooses not to share your prejudice or you can claim the moral high ground.

      You don’t get to do both.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      The essence of bring a good human is not being a dick, matey

    • John Walker says:

      Very Real Talker – you are now tipping over into pure troll territory. I’d recommend keeping your delightful eugenics theories to yourself.

    • Urael says:

      You dehumanize yourself, VRT, by failing to view homosexuality as anything other than a natural part of human existence, by making a distinction in your own mind between what is acceptable human sexual behaviour and what is not, and treating the latter camp differently from the former. And please don’t mistake tolerance for something as ‘enthusiasm’. There’s a world of difference between the two words.

    • Premium User Badge Lars Westergren says:

      >Basically the gamer lifestyle- days indoor in front of the pc, poor nutrition, no exercise- could have messed up with the hormonal balance of many of them, turning them gay or gay friendly.

      Fascinating how you are replaying the fears of 19th century Victorians.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      hahahahahahaha!!!!! oh god I can’t breathe!

      “poor nutrition, no exercise” turns you gay? Or, even, “turns” you gay friendly? You are either a master troll or the stupidest person alive. Or both I suppose.

      Either way, bravo sir, I am doubled over in amusement. I always did have a sick sense of humor. Try to work in a few more corkers before you get banned.

      EDIT: Oh, I’m feeling bad now. Perhaps this fellow means well. All this tearing him down seems rather cruel because he’s put forth his nonsense in such a civil way. Besides, what if he’s borderline retarded or something? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t feel guilty about all this invective then, guys.

    • Klaus says:

      serially play as a female character in rpgs without thinking it’s weird.

      It’s like being on /b/

      Is it so hard to understand that games aren’t real life, and what you accomplish in them doesn’t spill into real life. I don’t get why playing as a female makes me less of a male. Does playing as a non-human make me less human?

      I had to explain this to my six year old cousin – who had an aversion to playing as female characters – and I believe he got the gist of it. Why grown men can’t… well, I don’t know. I’m not a psychologist.

  38. ZenArcade says:

    Please can we NOT use the term “straight male gamer”? Why are we so insistent on being targets for the marketing guys?

  39. Nick Ahlhelm says:

    I kinda like the idea of a sliding scale in the character creation screen that would allow you to set your sexuality ahead of time. It would seriously cut down on the weirdness of the “everyone hits on everyone else” that seems to come with Dragon Age 2.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      but how we would educate the bigots then, if they can skip the gay parts? These inhuman pieces of shit need to get used to being hit on by same sex individuals

    • Urael says:

      You mock, VRT, but how nice would it be for bigots to be able to handle an approach by a gay character IN A VIDEO GAME, without running to the developer’s boards to complain that their demographic is being ignored/sidelined?

    • Lilliput King says:

      Only 2 characters in the entire game ever hit on me.

      :(

    • Urael says:

      *hugs Lilliput King*

    • Ryuuga says:

      Awww, getting ignored even in the CPRGs. That does sound sad.. *pats*

  40. Chris D says:

    I’d quite like to see Bioware make a game for people who don’t necessarily want to be reminded that video game characters have better sex lives than they do.

    Not that I mean…I just have friends who might appreciate that….yeah.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I don’t want awkward sex scenes of any orientation in any of my games.

      The awkwardness makes me cringe unless it’s intentional. And it’s often not intentional.

    • drewski says:

      Why don’t you just not pursue them? You trying to impose your “don’t want any sex scenes” desire on everyone else isn’t much different from someone trying to impose a “no gay sex scenes” desire on everyone else.

    • Temple to Tei says:

      I don’t want awkward sex scenes in my game I play games to escape reality.

      (Drew you may have missed the joke there)

  41. Haplo says:

    So, all the characters in Dragon Age 2 are effectively bisexual? Uncanny. This reminds me of a story.

    I dunno about you guys but that’s basically the result of any pen and paper roleplaying game I’ve been in. You have a party of 5-6, say, and you’re fairly intending to have your PC enter a fulfilling romantic relationship? The sexual attitudes of the party basically approach a… How would I phrase it? A human-to-human approach. Sort of like if there were no genders at all. Obviously, there are, but it’s like it’s hardly considered at all in my games. Just people lovin’ each other.

  42. FalleN says:

    “zOMG, homosexual content, i r offended!”
    Seriously? Are we still this closed-minded? Get over it. If you don’t like the fact that you may have a character of a differing orientation… Don’t take them with you!

    And since we’re covering absurdities…
    I think that there should be a religion slider added to the game, for all the non-believers out there. Maybe some of them don’t want to hear about the maker constantly… /end sarcasm.
    Honestly if you don’t like what the developers have done with THEIR, let me repeat that… THEIR story, then don’t play the game.

  43. Dominic White says:

    Well, this whole thread is rather educational. It has brought all the horrific bigots out of the woodwork, so that we might identify them and run them out of town. And no, there’s no such thing as ‘reverse racism/sexism/etc’ if you discriminate against bigots. If you’re against them, you’re a good human being.

    • Neut says:

      I wonder which of them are bigots and which of them are trolls, though I suspect the overlap might be pretty huge.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Dominic
      Exactly, the whole idea of “reverse” whatever is absurd. The reverse of bigotry is non-bigotry. (Label sexism against men as sexism, racism against majority race as racism. No need for nonsense words.) And if you’re bigoted against bigots, well good for you.

      I do hope that’s what you were trying to say, and not “minorities/women can’t possibly be bigots, anything goes with them”. (Because if so you are a rationalizing bigot-enabler at best, and the last sentence of my previous paragraph will come into full effect.) :)

  44. John Walker says:

    I want to congratulate folks here for the way this discussion is being handled. While obviously people will be upset by those expressing homophobic opinions, I’m pleased by how even-handed most people are being in response.

    Please don’t resort to threats or personal insults, as unpleasant as some people’s opinions may seem to you. Think of this as an opportunity to educate.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      I was just about to post to say the same thing. The quality of the argument in this thread is precisely why I like to hang out here.

  45. frenz0rz says:

    Christ, whats with all the hating in this thread? Without wanting to go off on a total non-gaming tangent, it seems like even the most reasonable person who argues “I do not want issues of homosexuality to play a big part in my fantasy RPG” is being labeled with all sorts of horrible things. Just because someone is opposed to homosexuality in gaming does not make them an outright homophobe, and certainly does not make them… well, lets pick some words out here:

    “Scum”
    “Dick”
    “Go fuck yourself”
    “Die in a fire”
    “I hate your kind”
    “Ignorant, inhuman asswipes”

    Bloody hell people, just tone it down will you? We’re discussing the relevance and/or necessity of presenting homosexuality in a videogame. This is not fucking World War 3 unless you choose to make it that. Besides, you cant stop someone’s hatred or discrimination by throwing it back in their face.

    Personally, I think its an important issue to deal with, or at least consider. I hope I am not labeled a heartless, discriminating piece of shit for saying that I have always felt uncomfortable around two men kissing or full-on grinding in public. Thats not to say I think theres anything wrong with that; rather, I simply cannot help how I feel when I witness it. It just makes me uncomfortable. If anything, approaching homosexuality this way in videogames can help people like me become accustomed to such sights as a normal part of human culture.

    But please, if you’d rather just call me a monstrosity then go ahead.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Obviously most of those labels are harsh, but you are a homophobe aren’t you?

      I mean, I have cynophobia, it’s a fear of dogs. I get uncomfortable around dogs. That doesn’t mean I hate dogs or think dogs shouldn’t exist, but I’m still a cynophobe.

      You’re a homophobe that wishes you weren’t, which is fine, you don’t deserve to die in a fire or anything of the sort, but you do still sort of fit in that category.

    • John Walker says:

      frenz0rz – you might want to wait until people have called you names before complaining about it. You have expressed honest opinions, and said that you do not wish to have gay content removed from games. I don’t think anyone is going to attack you for that.

      Other people have expressed pure homophobia, which is obviously going to rile others. Someone saying that being gay is a fetish, or deviant, for instance, is going to offend a lot of people. Being told they are a “dick” in response doesn’t register as any more insulting to my mind.

      Deano – I think you’re being unfair. frenz0rz has admitted that something makes him uncomfortable, and then suggested that exposure to it in games may help him. That doesn’t sound like hate to me.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I think this S,N! classic about the difference between “civility” and “decency” is quite relevant:

      http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/2710.html

      Why the fuck should homophobes be engaged with anything but bile?

      “Just because someone is opposed to [black people] in gaming does not make them an outright [racist]”

      Fuck off.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      @frenz0rz
      Personally, I think your honesty about your feelings (and, clearly, with yourself about your feelings) regarding accepting expressions of homosexual desire, is heartening not monstrous because it is the only way I know of that change happens. In that sense you highlight why this debate matters.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Well apologies to frenz0rz if it has upset him, and you’re quite right it certainly isn’t hate. But the word ‘homophobe’ covers a huge number of attitudes, including fear, which is sort of what I was getting at.

      I used to be sort of similar to be fair, seeing gay people made me a bit uncomfortable, but I pretty much got used to it. But I did feel like a bit of a homophobe then.

      Again, it’s one of those words with so many meanings that it’s hard to use in a non-pejorative way.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Personally I’m uncomfortable around two people kissing in public or “full on grinding,” regardless of the sex/genders involved. What you do in your own homes is cool, but keep your sexuality and affection in less public places eh?

      To be clear I’m joking. Well, about that last part. PDAs do bug me, but it’s not like I think I’ve the right to have people not have them.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      so we are now extending the concept of homophobia to the desire of not witnessing live gay erotic performances, or the desire of not being hit on by you whole male supporting cast.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      @Very Real Talker

      Nope, that’s you being extremely odd.

      It was being extended to the kinds of displays of human affection that one conventionally sees in public spaces between couples whether they be of the same or different gender.

    • frenz0rz says:

      @John – You’re right, I might have been getting a bit ahead of myself in expecting a torrent of abuse for admitting how I feel. I agree that some people who have expressed intentionally offensive views toward homosexuality should really expected to be insulted in return, but I feel it is very very important to distinguish between the ‘haters’ and those who are simply uncomfortable with the whole homosexual thing. In this case, I dont think the word ‘homophobe’ can be adequately used to label the various different groups of people with very different attitudes toward homosexuality under one banner.

      @Deano – Dont worry mate, you’ve not upset me. I think your last sentance hit it perfectly – the word ‘homophobe’ can mean so many things, its hard for people to use it without it sounding derogatory. That said, I still wouldnt describe my feeling when witnessing homosexuality as ‘fear’. I’d much rather call it ‘unease’. Even so, one of my favourite pubs in Reading is a gay club, because the drinks are just so damn cheap. I just occasionally have to look away or busy myself in conversation with a friend to avoid the feelings of unease and awkwardness.

      @ TheApologist – Thank you. It feels much better to openly debate this sort of thing than to, as I’m sure many do, hide one’s feelings away completely to avoid causing offense or awkward situations.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      But see, this is all okay, because eventually we’ll all die, and the generation after ours will be less prejudiced. I myself hate people that refuse to believe in evolution, and try to get it removed from public schools. As soon as someone says, “I don’t believe in evolution” and they’re under the age of 60, I stop listening to them entirely. Is that realistically fair? Probably not. But like the civil rights movement, and the suffragette movement before it, people will give up their prejudices and they’ll go out of vogue. I mean, for the most part, no one who “is bothered” by homosexuality would loudly admit to also being “bothered” by people who happen to be not white. This is a Good Thing.

      The other thing is, you didn’t come in yelling “FAGGOT!” and “QUEER!” at people. Generally, people will respond more or less on the level you begin the conversation at. If you begin it by saying “all gays are going to hell”, people will respond with vitriol in kind, lightning fast. Like, “Bam! Tit job!” Fast.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ DJ Phantoon

      If it were that simple! Cultural liberalism isn’t some self-perpetuating force, it has to be fought for. If you doubt that just look at your own example of evolution. In the US, evolution is now far less accepted than it was a couple of decades ago, as I suspect is rational enquiry in general. In the UK we have Michael “Scrawny Cunt” Gove setting up ‘Free Schools’ with their own curriculum, several of which already have an open dedication to teaching creationism.

      The forces of darkness always put up a fight, and they don’t always lose. “This is a war, sober up!” as a song lyric once went.

    • Ovno says:

      “As soon as someone says, “I don’t believe in evolution” and they’re under the age of 60, I stop listening to them entirely. Is that realistically fair? ”

      Yes, but I find a better, response is…

      “That’s fine, evolution unlike religion is a testable scientific theory and doesn’t need to believed in as it is based on facts not the writtings of people who lived thousands of years ago”

      Though I am of course a patronising smug git…

    • frenz0rz says:

      Tried to post this a couple of hours ago but it doesnt seem to have appeared, so lets try again.

      @John – You’re right, I might have been getting a bit ahead of myself in expecting a torrent of abuse for admitting how I feel. I agree that some people who have expressed intentionally offensive views toward homosexuality should really expected to be insulted in return, but I feel it is very very important to distinguish between the ‘haters’ and those who are simply uncomfortable with the whole homosexual thing. In this case, I dont think the word ‘homophobe’ can be adequately used to label the various different groups of people with very different attitudes toward homosexuality under one banner.

      @Deano – Dont worry mate, you’ve not upset me. I think your last sentance hit it perfectly – the word ‘homophobe’ can mean so many things, its hard for people to use it without it sounding derogatory. That said, I still wouldnt describe my feeling when witnessing homosexuality as ‘fear’. I’d much rather call it ‘unease’. Even so, one of my favourite pubs in Reading is a gay club, because the drinks are just so damn cheap. I just occasionally have to look away or busy myself in conversation with a friend to avoid the feelings of unease and awkwardness.

      @ TheApologist – Thank you. It feels much better to openly debate this sort of thing than to, as I’m sure many do, hide one’s feelings away completely to avoid causing offense or awkward situations.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @TillEulenspiegel, battles_atlas + others

      This is an incredibly dangerous way of thinking. This kind of thought is How Bad Things Happen. And yet people never learn.

      The idea is that those who disagree with you, are not misguided, simply wrong, or even flat out morally deficient, they are all “inhuman fucking scumbag pieces of shit”. They are not complex individuals who may have some redeeming qualities. They are not products of their environment or culture. No, they are not even human. And presumably the only thing stopping us from exterminating them like the insects they are is that pesky legal system.

      There’s basically a whole movement advocating this position, increasingly so on the American left. That certain principles, or even rote ideology for that matter, are so important that the opposition needs to be be demonized to satanic levels. Not even the opposition, but the middle-grounders, the moderates, and the heretics and unfaithful from within the ranks. No shades of gray are presumed to exist. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WithUsOrAgainstUs Sure it might not be reality, but you gotta “frame the narrative”, right?

      This line of thinking isn’t noble, it isn’t principled. It’s totalitarian. I mean really, when you’ve start routinely referring to your opponents as “forces of darkness”, and you need to remind your allies to “sober up” and “get tough”, usually you’re well on your way to being a:

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheFundamentalist
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ActivistFundamentalistAntics
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnightTemplar
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WellIntentionedExtremist

  46. Moth Bones says:

    Is David Gaider single? His response brought a tear to my eye and made me consider buying Dragon Age, even though I have little interest in computer game romance subplots. Patient, eloquent, polite yet forceful… what a man

    “And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as “political correctness” if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don’t see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what’s everyone’s fuss all about? That’s the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.”

    This is the essence of it, as exemplified by a few of the posters above – and credit to RPS for not moderating some of the more obnoxious comments. What the complaining gamer fails to grasp is that his feelings of exclusion relating to this game are related, in a pretty watered down and extremely context-specific way, to the feelings of exclusion the dominant culture will tend to engender in people who aren’t male, white, straight, middle class. Hell, some of us even have problems with the gender binary that is so ubiquitous.

    To those who’ve posted here about feeling “uncomfortable” with homosexual themes, well, I’d like to point out that your discomfort is the biggest inconvenience you’re likely to experience from being a straight male. You’re not going to be beaten to death, disowned by your parents, discriminated against in employment, forced to flee the country of your birth – all things that can happen to queers that stem from straight male ‘discomfort’ with homosexuality. And yet you moan about a computer game that is attempting to be inclusive! Just try and think a little, use your imagination. I thought that was what computer games were for.

    • Neut says:

      Your post brought a tear to my eye, well said. :D

    • FiveO says:

      Very well said.

    • Premium User Badge TheApologist says:

      Beautifully said.

    • Vanderdecken says:

      Amazing post. The last paragraph is the best argument I think it’s possible to construct for this. Well written.

    • Vinraith says:

      Exceedingly well said, especially that last paragraph.

    • welka says:

      Thank you for this comment. I’m queer (bisexual for those of you who believe in the gender binary) and do not fit into the gender binary (I have a beard and wear short shorts and dresses), and gaming culture has always been an especially alienating and hostile place to me. Seeing posts and comments like this appear in (relatively) mainstream gaming media is encouraging and inspiring.

    • Cooper says:

      Thank you for those words.

  47. anglocon says:

    The Dragon Age designers cite George RR Martins Song Of Ice And Fire novels as one of their influences for the Dragon Age world. Be thankful there is not an option to romance Bethany or Carver … incest is very prevelent in SoIaF …

    • drewski says:

      Oh come on, there isn’t THAT much incest in ASoIaF, at least in the “present”.

    • Easydog says:

      There is homosexuality in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ as well, between Renly and the ‘Knight of the Flowers’. Which is kinda Bioware blatant.

  48. Mr_Hands says:

    Coming soon! Dragon Age II – No Homo Edition!

    Admittedly, there isn’t a change in gameplay. If you do accidentally engage in some homoerotic activities, characters immediately avoid eye contact and mutter “no homo.”

    • Nick Ahlhelm says:

      Now I just see the whole Team America bit between Gary and Spotswoode.

    • Savage Henry says:

      ‘No Homo’ – Dragon Age 2′s very own ‘No Russian’.

    • Outsider says:

      Aw, I missed this post earlier. It made me laugh out loud.

    • battles_atlas says:

      That’s a nice thought experiment Savage Henry. Compared to a level where you machinegun an airport full of tourists, how much controversy would a Modern Warfare level that involved the male avatar seducing another man generate? My money is on more.

      Given the series’ increasing desperation for attention we might yet see it happen.

  49. zergrush says:

    Is it really inherently offensive if people show interest in someone who might not feel attracted to them? Why can’t you just turn them down and move on with your life/game? And why do other peoples choices that have no effect on your life bother you enought that you can’t even stand being reminded that they exist during your escapist fantasy of choice? Isn’t this kind of thing worthy of some sort of questioning and self-analysis?

    It’s really weird to see those comments because gay people hitting on you is something that happens out there in the real world, if you enjoy going out to places where you can drink, dance and socialize it’s very likely that it’ll happen at some point in your life. Hell, the one time a dude hit on me was on a bikers club party(!).

    And you know, backing your opinions with some sort of fact / evidence that go beyond “It’s wrong because I disagree with it!” and having some degree of empathy even for people you disagree with will make everyone think you’re less of a dick.

    • Sanglyon says:

      Isn’t it ironic (in the real sense, not an Alanis Morissette way) that the guys most likely to feel offended by another man hiiting on them are the same who keep and keep on hitting on girls despite repeatedly being told “not interested”, and call them b**ches for not returning the attention.

    • Archonsod says:

      “people hitting on you is something that happens out there in the real world”

      And you can never have that happen enough …

    • Consumatopia says:

      the guys most likely to feel offended by another man hiiting on them are the same who keep and keep on hitting on girls despite repeatedly being told “not interested”, and call them b**ches for not returning the attention.

      Yeah, I was thinking this as well.

      I remember a minor controversy over this xkcd comic. People responded with stuff like this. I have a suspicion that DA2 romance critics and critics of that xkcd comic are disjoint sets.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Consumatopia
      That response to the xkcd comic is sickening. The strip is perpetuating rape culture? What? Also: “If I were even slightly interested I would have shown it”. So apparently it’s okay for women to show interest, but if a man shows interest, even in the most brief, innocuous way possible, he’s a privileged would-be rapist. And the woman should respond as such.

      Ugh. There are very few movements so delusional, so hate-filled, so utterly sanctimonious and totalitarian as ideological gender feminism. Fascists, liars, and bigots.

      (If you happen to disagree with my assessment spare me the typical straw man stuff, I don’t need anyone to tell me what I believe or what my values are, ok?)

    • Consumatopia says:

      @GrapeFlavor, I’m uncertain that this is likely to proceed in good faith.

      But I’ll comment on one narrow point.

      Also: “If I were even slightly interested I would have shown it”. So apparently it’s okay for women to show interest, but if a man shows interest, even in the most brief, innocuous way possible, he’s a privileged would-be rapist.

      By “I would have shown it”, I believe she’s referring to non-verbal, less direct body language. This post on the same site (but by a different author) expands on related concepts. But, really, it shouldn’t be such a foreign concept that there’s usually some exchange of eye contact before most successful romantic approaches.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @ Consumatopia
      I see what you’re saying, and I agree. However, many men (good men, women-respecting men) are not extremely adept at reading subtle body language cues. Are they to be vilified and verbally abused for not reading correctly?

      And of course – no one would ever criticize a woman for making some harmless comment to strike up a conversation with a man. Ever.
      I’m sure that site has some absurdist justification of “oh but the big bad man is implying horrific rape and trauma with said tiny, friendly comment because he has a big bad penis and he has collective socioeconomic intimidation as an oppressive patriarchal class entity being put forth surreptitiously in the individual context of master slave-relations which…” or some drivel. (I could pass as a “feminist” myself, being unthinking, robotic creatures, they are easy to ape.)

      It’s pure double standards. Plain and simple. (Or you would argue a woman would be similarly condemned for such a comment, and the man would not be labeled a misogynist for being similarly dismissive and rude?)
      “oh but theres no such thing as double standards because as the oppressed group womyn have free license to counter the systemic patriarchal dynamics by expressing their valid womynly solidarity of… Ah fuck it you get the idea.

      Anyway, this is getting deeply off topic.

    • battles_atlas says:

      @ Consumatopia

      God I wish you hadn’t linked to that xkcd critque. Its actually very hard to read any of that and not agree with Grape Flavour’s comment above. The degree of self-righteous uni-dimensional narcissism is suffocating. I kind of hope that that brand of feminism had fallen into the black hole of its own navel-gazing back in the 70s. Apparently not.

    • Consumatopia says:

      It probably would have been better if I had linked that “Schrödinger’s Rapist” post rather than the one one mentioning xkcd because I should known that would get everyone’s back up.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      “So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone.”

      Brilliant. The stereotypical XKCD dork and this blogger are both living in their own little worlds where they’re terrified of social interaction and utterly unaware of how other people think and interact and flirt (this was a nice response).

      By the by, don’t think for a moment that most (or even many) feminists are like this. There are idiotic extremists in any group you care to name, and they tend to be unfortunately vocal on the internet.

      Rape is a huge societal issue. Shit like this doesn’t help; it’s at best a bizarrely distorted representation of the problems women face.

    • CMaster says:

      @Consumatopia
      While the original critique of the comic was based on what I feel is a misreading of the comic pretty dramatically, it’s still based on a reading and you can see where they’re going with it. It’s worth noting perhaps that XKCD is routinely described as a comic that hates men, so seems you really can’t please everyone.

      What depressed me however was reading the comments thread, where various posters say how they would only ever talk to women in public, or how male privilege means that everything a man does is evil (drawing out the gist, not the actual words).

      That Schrödinger’s Rapist post I’m also far from convinced about. It suggests that women are in much more danger than men – but that’s the opposite of reality. Men are much more likley to be victims of violent crime than women. (Of course, this is normally at the hands of other men – either that or women are a lot better at not getting caught) this includes being murdered

      It’s entirely possible that women do worry more – but that blog post implies legitimately, which I’m not entirely convinced is the case.

    • CMaster says:

      Just to explain a little where I am coming from on this:
      I categorically, absolutely believe, that a society where some elements are not allowed to converse with other elements is not something to be strived for, not something to be encouraged. Let’s try changing the roles a little. Let’s suggest that we have a rich person, carrying lots of money and valuable items and hence constantly worried about being robbed. When a poor person attempts to speak to them, they are constantly trying to decide “are they going to mug me? They’re schrodinger’s mugger!” so poor people shouldn’t talk to rich people in public. Does that sound ok?

      Of course, I’d suggest it’s pretty inappropriate to start a conversation with a stranger with an attempt to come on to them – there should be some initial contact made first. Equally, any response of “sorry, not interested in talking to you” made during that initial contact should be respected.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      ‘Zactly, CMaster. I’ll strike up conversations with anyone on public transit – male, female, canine – because I’m a normal human being. Not because I’m trolling for sex. I lived for a while in southern Italy, where you’re a total fucking weirdo if you’re not constantly chatting with everyone.

      Rules like “wait for eye contact first” only apply to social retards and creepy assholes, who aren’t going to listen anyway. I have this vision of some poor guy stealing glances at a girl who’s reading a book, hoping she’ll notice him.

      I doubt the people saying this really are so asocial as to expect strict adherence to such rules. All they really mean is “unwanted advances are unwanted”. I really, really get that. It totally sucks that every female past the age of 15 or so is constantly subjected to such advances. It doesn’t mean that the nice guy trying to have a friendly chat is necessarily unwelcome.

    • Consumatopia says:

      @TillEulenspiegel, if that quote in your first post is all took to set off all that bile, the problem is clearly with you, not the post. “social retards and creepy assholes” indeed. The existence of people like you is another reason why some people don’t like talking to strangers.

      @CMaster, it’s not surprising that by the standards of the internet a lot of idiots are going to say that xkcd “hates men”, but consider that the critique goes on at length about how they like 95% of the other xkcd comics, including a number of antisexist comics. It’s not so much a matter of not being able to please everyone as someone who’s right most of the time may also occasionally be wrong.

      There is some irony in your “drawing out the gist” of the comments only a few posts after Grape Flavor asked to be spared “the typical straw man stuff”.

      It may be true that men are at greater risk of violent crime (apparently from other men), but we men don’t generally approach each other because we’re find the other attractive. If I wanted to steal a man’s property, either by force or by stealth, I would want him to have as little familiarity with my face and voice as possible. That women face a much greater threat of rape by men than vice versa is just something that’s going to color how some women look at men who try to socialize with them–I don’t see how you can avoid that.

      The point of the Schroedinger’s Rapist post was not that men should not approach women, but that they should pay attention to how the woman is reacting to their presence before they do so. And I don’t think that runs a foul of your absolute, categorical belief–if the rich guy clearly wants to be left alone, the poor guy ought to leave him alone, and vice versa.

      Look, I’m not saying that everyone has to agree with those posts, I only linked it because it seemed like an ironic contrast with the current debate. But their point of view is a lot more reasonable than the misinterpretations some of you are making of them.

    • Consumatopia says:

      @TillEulenspiegel, if that quote in your first post is all took to set off all that bile, the problem is clearly with you, not the post. “social retards and creepy assholes” indeed. People like you are another reason why some people don’t like talking to strangers.

      @CMaster, there is some irony in your “drawing out the gist” of the comments only a few posts after Grape Flavor asked to be spared “the typical straw man stuff”.

      The point of the “Schroedinger’s Rapist” post was not that men should not approach women, but that they should pay attention to how the woman is reacting to their presence before they do so. And I don’t think that runs a foul of your absolute, categorical belief–if the rich guy clearly wants to be left alone, the poor guy ought to leave him alone, and vice versa. Nobody’s obligated to talk to you.

    • CMaster says:

      @Consumatopia
      First an acknowledgement of fault: When I first read the Schrodinger post, I seem to have missed a paragraph or two, where it discusses situations where it appropriate to continue the conversation. This rather changes my take on the post. The author is still wrong with her inital premise – that women are more in danger than men. She then manges to take this further by turning all sexual assaults into rape – a lot (probably the majority) in fact of the sexual assaults that the (unsourced) 1 in 6 figure mentioned will be things along the lines of groping, or people getting uncomfortably close up against walls etc – these things are all still wrong but that doesn’t make them rape. Still, the core of the post as a “how to talk to people” still works, although it should :A apply to talking to anybody, not just women and B:hopefully be obvious to most people. The fact that the post exists however suggests perhaps it isn’t so obvious.

      Second, a clarification: I was distilling down to one sentence some individual posts in the comments, not all. There were a variety of opinions there, but some I found just as frustrating and disturbing as some of the more objectionable posts on this thread. Some just said a lot about the slightly unnerving pick-up habits of posters. Many were arguing about how to interpret the comic – wish I guess just goes to say there are a lot of ways it could be taken.

      Then, I’d just like to add that I did say that: “Equally, any response of “sorry, not interested in talking to you” made during that initial contact should be respected.”. I’m merely objecting to the idea that saying hello to someone you are sitting next to is something that should be looked upon as an intrusion, as harassment, as something to be hounded for.

    • Consumatopia says:

      @CMaster, clarification appreciated.

      But I’d point out that not all violent crime is equally relevant to social interaction. If I’m going to mug someone, I’m probably not going to chat them up first–I’d like them to be as unfamiliar with my face and my voice as possible. (Not that a mugging is remotely comparable to rape–it counts as a “violent crime”, but usually physical injury can be avoided by handing over property.)

      I agree that the 1 in 6 number (estimated proportion of women who have been raped in USA, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/210346.pdf ) is an overly simple analysis of the situation–the most relevant number would be the number of women who have been raped by strangers. (And similarly for the violent crimes men face.) But even that only begins to scratch the surface–because when a human being is in a specific situation, they aren’t drawing from a uniformly distributed lottery of all human beings to select their fate. If you start to add some conditionals–what are the odds that a person acting like this man approaching a woman in this situation (e.g. alone on a subway) might be planning rape–then people are basically left with little but their intuition to guide them.

    • CMaster says:

      @Consumatopia
      Oh of course. I was merely correcting the false idea that women are more frequent victims of violence than men. It’s a lot harder to quantify other factors however. and other situations.
      I will say that purely anecdotely, my experience of stranger violence has been that is has been preceded with a seemingly everyday interaction to get close without suspicion, followed by the violence. (I’ve had someone on the street ask me for the time, before flooring me with a punch). Equally, reports of people I know who’ve been mugged are about 50/50 split between some initial excuse to distract, approach or separate, and those that jumped straight to attacks (no chance to peacefully hand over items there) or threats.
      That report linked is pretty horrifying as these things always are. Does go to show the classic point of the “stranger danger myth” – the people who are dangerous are those that know you, especially as a child :(

      Edit: I should perhaps add, I’m not looking for justification to hit on women (or men) in confined spaces with me. Aside from the fact I’d never have the nerve, I also don’t think it’s really appropriate. I do think people should be happy to be friendly to each other – sometimes talking to someone you don’t know can be a really enlightening experience, or perhaps you will meet a new friend.

    • Consumatopia says:

      @CMaster, I must concede that I’m not very good at mugging people and those seeking to avoid that particular crime should probably seek advice from people other than myself.

      And I certainly concur that there is much to be gained by people being friendly to each other.

  50. MannyCalavera says:

    Coincidently whilst we have been having this debate I have had to listen to my Accounts Manager repeatedly use the word faggot to refer to a customer who is gay.
    It is a horrible thing.

    • Moth Bones says:

      Grounds for an official complaint, surely?

    • MannyCalavera says:

      I have made a previous verbal complaint. This time I may make a written one. I am unionised so I may get them in to explain the finer points of the law.

      It won’t change her opinions. But hell I feel complicit if I stay schtum so I got to do something.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      [One more time and you're banned. Got it? - John]

    • Moth Bones says:

      Manny, please do. It might be worth mentioning that she was referring to a customer as well. I’d say that customer has every right to know about this too, so they can take their business elsewhere.

    • CMaster says:

      @VRT
      You think that’s clever, do you? You think you’ve put TheApologist in a catch-22 situation.

      Hahahaha. That trick might work sometimes, but not when you use what are clearly recognised as derogatory terms.

      Ha.

    • Very Real Talker says:

      listen buddy, don’t ruin that woman life over nothing. One thing is to ban someone from the internet because he offends your sensibilities, the other is ruining someone’s career for petty reasons.

    • Urael says:

      It’s not “petty” to complain about the non-professional attitude of a professional person to a customer; it’s good business sense, not to mention morally correct in this instance. Nor will doing so ruin this woman’s life or career – by her very actions she’s risked that all by herself, forcing people to the point where official action becomes necessary to deal with her.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      A bit like the ass slapping thing, actually.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      While this isn’t the time or place for a discussion of work place ethics, I hope to Hell you do something about this.

    • sinister agent says:

      I agree with Urael on this. There is a time and a place to be a bigoted twat about people. Work isn’t one of them. It’s deeply unprofessional.

      I hope you do get something done about this. Even if all it results in is that this person learns not to flap their dumb mouth off without thinking, you’ve done everyone a favour.

    • Ragnar says:

      Ugh, I’m sorry for you. It’s become something of a pet peeve of mine hearing people use “gay” or “faggot” as derogatory terms. It’s somehow even worse when it comes from otherwise smart and intelligent people. Aside from being obviously insulting to those that are gay, it just shows such lack of effort. If you want to insult someone, dig into your vocabulary and use your imagination. Don’t just settle for the lame insults of an immature 16-year-old.