Homosexuals (That’s “fags” to those morons who keep calling me one on Xbox Live) aren’t particularly well represented in videogames. Sure there are games that feature LBGT characters – but mostly in a generic manner, with a one-sex-fits-all ethos – like Fable, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. One indie game developer wants to change that, but his experimental game ideas – while trying to be “ironic,” only seem to perpetuate established stereotypes.
Ranting during the, uh…Rants session of the Games for Change conference in New York , designer Robert Yang – a self confessed “game designer and practicing homosexual”, talked about some of the homosexual themed, experimental games he’s developing.
“Only recently I’ve been making games about gay people,” He said, of his series of games, called Radiator. One of those games is all about gay divorce. Billing it as a “first-person shooter,” Yang exclaims that “you don’t actually shoot anything in this game. You just kinda sit in a marriage therapist’s office in Fresno, California and stare at your husband as he complains about how inconsiderate you are.”
Another of his ham-fisted ideas is an actual first-person shooter – where players shoot different sized condoms at mens’ “bulges.” the point of all it, says Yang is to promote LBGT issues within the gaming culture.
“A more diverse gaming culture is a healthier gaming culture,” he said. “Of course we could do better… maybe a triple-A game with a transgender protagonist, or maybe in Mass Effect 4 you’ll be able to sleep with like 20 dudes. I dunno.”
While I applaud Yang for trying to bring homosexuality in games to light, I can’t say I find his ideas appealing, clever, or stimulating – no matter how much irony they’re laced with,. to my mind, as a straight guy, I think Bioware’s done it best – by allowing players to engage in homosexual relationships in a natural, unforced way – and not really making an issue out of it at all. Yang’s also pointed out BioWare as “a really great vanguard (ha!) ” for LGBT issues.
I think shoe-horning gay characters in to games just for the sake of political correctness is counter-productive, but if it makes sense within the story – especially in RPG’s where everything is about player choice? Go right ahead.
Last Updated: June 20, 2012