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General Thread/Musings about LBGTQ+ Representation in Games

TheInfamousKira

Reseterror Resettler

We also can't jump or dance and start every conversation with "Hey, guys!"
 
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My favorite game, Path of Exile, has one gay player character and at least three gay NPCs. But the game never seems woke, and the gay character you play is only subtly gay. For example, the first boss tries to "seduce" you with apparitions into her lair, and for all characters the apparations are of the opposite sex, only for one character it's the same sex. Subtle.
 

Drizzlehell

Member
The problem with stuff like that, not only in gaming but just in any kind of entertainment, is that so very often it is being rubbed in your face instead of simply being there like any other thing that we're used to. Recently I watched this romantic comedy on Netflix about gay dudes but it wasn't being obnoxious about it or anything. It was just a cliched rom-com like so many others you've seen before, except it just happened to have gay dudes as the main stars. It didn't try to shove in some tired political commentary into the story, there wasn't any social activism in sight, just an earnest and respectful depiction of a gay romance between two normal people.

So yeah, game devs also have to learn the difference between representation and pandering for the sake of publicity. Which is another reason why this shit bugs me because they usually pander in order to score some points with the Twitter crowd, which in turn translates to good publicity and higher sales revenue. It's not earnest, it's just marketing. And it's often even damaging to the cause because it draws negative attention to the subject matter that doesn't need any more negativity. Sacrificing storytelling in order to preach to the audience is always going to cause a backlash, and those rich studios can keep generalizing and blaming cis white males for causing such backlash, but this kind of toxic cycle is never gonna cause any positive change. They're just fucking frauds that use a sensitive and politically charged subject to sell a product.
 
In the UK I believe the percentage of LGBT+ individuals nationally is only something like 3% - 4%. Not to be antagonistic but I'm still trying to understand why its even worth 'representing' such a small portion of the population given how divisive it can be for some. Surely due to the associative outrage surrounding these issues it is better to leave character orientation as ambiguous? It has been previously handled for years in this manner and there was never the kind of outrage surrounding the issue we see today. I wonder, is anyone actually able to put a case forward for inclusivity of this nature that encompasses the facts and isn't just a naïve virtue signal?

From what I have seen Japanese developers seem to handle these topics far better than the West. In the West, characters showcasing their orientation seem to only exist as their group identity first and as an individual second. For me I am not convinced given the many historical examples that developers responsible for this kind of 'representation' are even aware of the potentially dark precedent they may be setting. Poor portrayal for me in both gaming and the entertainment industry as a whole has contributed to overt sensitivity and light aversion to 'representation' and more so towards 'overrepresentation'. I for one don't mind 'representation' in games but if it is handled in a ham-fisted, brazen, stereotypical fashion or clearly forced i.e. overrepresented then I am out. At that point it feels more like forced normalisation and ideological pandering to me and it doesn't seem that video games that are used by many for fun and escapism is the appropriate medium to push these ideas.
 
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Doom85

Member
In the UK I believe the percentage of LGBT+ individuals nationally is only something like 3% - 4%. Not to be antagonistic but I'm still trying to understand why its even worth 'representing' such a small portion of the population given how divisive it can be for some. Surely due to the associative outrage surrounding these issues it is better to leave character orientation as ambiguous? It has been previously handled for years in this manner and there was never the kind of outrage surrounding the issue we see today. I wonder, is anyone actually able to put a case forward for inclusivity of this nature that encompasses the facts and isn't just a naïve virtue signal?

Maybe because we’re hoping said outrage will grow smaller as the generations progress? If you normalize something over time the hope is that new generations will see it as a normal part of society as well and not be influenced by any potential bigots in their life. One can argue it’s being over done, but removing all of it or keeping it always ambiguous? Nah, fuck that.

Also, are the sort of sad people who are homophobic to that extent that much into gaming? Something tells me the middle-aged lady who’s obsessed with her religious views (and is probably one bad day away from a Karen incident) or the 70 year old man going on about how “life was better before the gays and the Mexicans took everything from us!” were never going to play something like Mass Effect or The Last of Us Part 2 anyway. Removing those sorts, I doubt what’s left of serious homophobes makes up even 3-4%. Like, are there gamers who are significantly homophobic, sure, but I’d like to think they’re a very small minority.

As for Japanese developers, I’m struggling to think of even 5 significant characters in Japanese video games who were LGBT (like, legit, not just fans shipped them with someone of the same gender). Now if we’re talking anime and manga, that’s way easier, but gaming from Japanese developers not so much. Though that’s not surprising since lots of Japanese properties avoid romance of any kind to a ridiculous extent. I mean, in the Resident Evil universe, Barry Burton (who had kids) and then Ethan and Mia from 7/8 are the only main characters who seem to have ever had romance in their life. Leon pines for Ada to no avail, Jill turned Carlos down, and Ashley threw herself at Leon who turned her down. Like, yeah it shouldn’t be the focus of their type of stories, but when we’re still following these characters decades later it gets ridiculous that it seems virtually all of these VERY good-looking people have a non-existent dating life.
 

jaysius

Member
Representation of anyone and everyone is GOOD, but this is like those flammers back in the early 90's, they only have ONE THING about their person and that's that they're gay... like it's a special thing.

It's a normal thing, it's a person whoopdedoo, you know the thing is, if the person has successfully integrated their sexuality into their personality you don't even know that their LBGTQAAWOEOE+++ because that's how normal people work, it's just a small aspect of them. The internet making everyone a snowflake has thrown people out of whack and made them think that if you have a "special" sexuality then you NEED to make that your ENTIRE PERSONALITY.

What good representation looks like is the character is just another character, and maybe if relationships come up they do a casual kiss, or they mention it, it's not the ENTIRE GAME. Or maybe some funny joke about punch in the nuts and then the trans character says "Glad I don't have them" in passing, or something like that.

People need to realize that it's 2021, and there's more than just straight people in this world, do you need to WORSHIP THEM? No, just don't actively hate them if you're around one of those people.
 

fart town usa

Gold Member
If it's written well, great. If it's lecturing or pandering, then it's just complete cringe and ruins the experience.

Here's an example of an LGBT character written masterfully. Need more examples like this in gaming.

 

kalecsan

Banned
The word "representation" itself is ideological charged. The meaning being that a piece of art has the social responsibility to cater to specific demographics of that specific time in some /all the content.

Now I believe that to be a bunch of commie gobbledygook, It weakens the individual from the creation and puts the tribal mind to the front. It makes art a medium to some political action and not a final expression by itself.

And apart from that, it comes from the fallacy that you "need" to play/see a person with trivial characteristics like skin and gender to be similar to you to connect with the piece of art. Absolutely nonsense.

What makes any story stick with you are the ideas and actions of the characters, not their fucking pigmentation color or what they like in bed.
 

mcjmetroid

Member
I cant say i've ever played computer games and pondered, or even cared about the sexual preference of my pretend onscreen character

I honestly dont even know how it became a thing.
This 100%. I just don't get it...
You're been transported to other worlds it's escapism.
If you can't relate to a character that looks different to you then I don't think.
 
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