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I'm Out of the Box! (A safe place for gaymers)

Pshaw. It doesn’t sound like you’re disagreeing with me at all! You actually helped to clarify some things in my head.

Ingress is more organized? I suppose? Competitive between Greenies vs. Smurfs? The whole green vs. blue thing is suspiciously like the experiment where they gave all the students at a school either a red or blue(?) badge, randomly, with no explanation, and then observed the students’ social groups divide up into colors and become hostile to the group with the other color. In reality, Ingress has a lot of people playing both sides at the same time, but you keep that on the down low (it is a game where paranoia is part of the fun, after all! But everybody does it).

PokeGo (which is what I’m going to call it from now on) does indeed have that surprise encounter element. And it’s more unorganized (not to be confused with “disorganized!”), enabling… um… random encounters? with other players. It’s shockingly rapid popularity helps that a lot. It’s not about teamwork to create gigantic “control fields” (which, in all honesty, is immensely satisfying), but hunting you up some awesome Pokemons! And maybe you bump into another trainer! Yay! And those unexpected stops do help you notice things you never saw about the place where you actually live more.

Both are kind of anti-video-gamer, in that they get you off your ass and into the fresh air to get some exercise. They both encourage actually seeing things about the real-world you may not have noticed before. And, as I’m learning more and more, they’re both like an enzyme, a catalyst for social interaction.

I may not have played it for long enough to find out: Is there a motivation for traveling, and visiting places you’ve never been to before? Going to unique Portals you’ve never been to before is a major driving force in Ingress, it helps you get tons of XP to level up, and badges. I want to see that mechanic in PokeGo, but maybe I’m just not experienced enough yet.

I mean, I’m not playing it a lot for the time being: it’s fucking hot right now, and if I’m going outside, I can only take off so many items of clothing before I have to start fending off all the boys and girls! And police.

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Not as explicitly as the unique portals badge, but Niantic claim to have put algorithms into where pokemon pop up geographically, based on their type. The obvious one is water pokemon, where the rarer water pokemon only tend to pop up near bodies of water (although that seems to include public swimming pools and reservoirs). I’d like it if the rarest fire pokemon could only be found near volcanoes or hot springs or something like that, but I guess that limits how many people can actually catch them, haha. There’s also the idea that ghost, dark, and fairy pokemon are more prevalent and easier to catch at night. I guess we’ll see once the first person actually “catches 'em all” :stuck_out_tongue:

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That sounds awesome! :astonished:

Whahhargh… let’s get this back on track. Shake it off, Justin! MinuteWalt! Just shake it off. PokeGo is here, if it’s not about queer. I’m so bad at this ;p

Ohh, I know! I can’t think of a game where the main character is gay! I know I’ve played a AAA title where the main character is lesbian but I can’t remember the IP. It’s an older game, barely pre-dating the era of the cover shooter, with some stealth mechanics. Like, last-last-gen. And there are lots of games where you get to have relationship side-quests with either gender. But are there any fairly mainstream, current, games where the protagonist isn’t straight?

I’ll concede Bonus Points if anyone can work in a Pokémon reference.

Weird thing I’ve also noticed: I cannot find one single game that has a black woman as the protagonist, unless you get to design the character yourself.

Oddly enough I can think of a handful of games with lesbian playable characters, but I don’t know that I can think of one with a specifically scripted gay male lead.

The DLC pack for The Last of Us focuses on Ellie as the main playable character as well as giving us some background into her relationship with her best friend/girlfriend Riley Abel.

One of the routes you can have Max take in Life is Strange essentially becomes a romantic relationship with Chloe, though it’s mostly implicit.

Nights of Azure isn’t really mainstream but does feature a tragic love story between two women.

There’s fan speculation that in the Tomb Raider reboot Lara and Sam are/will become an item (which I’m all for, but I haven’t played the newest TR yet so I can’t comment on that storyline.)

In the later _Dragon Age_s and _Mass Effect_s, restrictions on romance options are opened up, allowing the player character to romance characters across gender (and species) lines. But, as you mention, this is all player choice; none of it’s explicitly written into the narrative.

I’d also like to include Persona 4 here, where a gay teen and a genderqueer teen are part of your main party. Although admittedly they’re not the protagonists, they’re very integral to the plot and you get to spend a lot of time with them. On the other hand, I have to take points off the tolerance meter both for how obnoxious Yosuke is about Kanji’s sexuality the whole game, and also the fact that you can explicitly request Naoto to act more “traditionally” feminine which undermines the entire point of her character arc *grumble grumble, etc.

In terms of black women as protagonists, the internet says there have only been 14 of them, and of varying quality, which I absolutely believe. Of those listed, I’ve only played Broken Age, so I’m not in a position to comment?

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Dang, I completely forgot about Persona! Nice catch.

Oh, also Bridget from Guilty Gear totally slipped my mind. It’s so obvious, but I just didn’t think of that game until I was able to get a little sleep last night.

I also forgot about Birdo from Super Mario Bros. 2!!! How the hell did I let that one slip by? Yeah, Birdo isn’t exactly a protagonist, but really deserves a mention at least.

As far as the black ladies: From the article you linked to, they themselves say: “Only five of the women on that list can truly be called the main protagonists and not partner characters, guests or just part of a team.”

Which is still more than I thought of.

Of the women mentioned in that article, many (Jade for instance, from the excellent Beyond Good and Evil) are more vaguely somewhat ethnic than actually African. I totally somehow forgot about Clementine from Walking Dead (<3 <3 <3) and Vella from Broken Age. And Aveline de Grandpre from the Assassin’s Creed game, but that was on the Vita originally, so it’s not like anyone ever played it.

Hey, I really like my Vita :wink: Although I’m not a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed, so I didn’t play Liberation. (I am super-enjoying Assassin’s Creed Chronicles though).

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(I’m still loving Black Flag. I think I was a pirate in a previous life, and I keep playing any game that is about the golden age of Western piracy. I really get a kick out of the naval battles, they did a good job. Don’t tell anyone! The whole series has a lot of problems, but I’ve forgiven every one because when it’s awesome, it’s really awesome.)

Ahem. I was whispering just now, none of the rest of you could hear me, right? OK.

Oh, god, I’m about to say something stupid.
Why shouldn’t Ubisoft make a game about a gay African man, who is a pirate, and title it “Black Fag?”

Fine. I am leaving now. Don’t worry, I won’t come back. Y’all can have my stuff, I’m just going to leave it behind. I deserve this exile. I’m a bad person.

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Well, if Rule 34 is true, there’s already some porn in the works for that :wink:

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Pbtpbtpbtpbt!!! Pwah-hahahahaha! Oh, hell, I’m cryin’ over here! :joy:

Apparently, being a pirate was actually pretty gay.

Bah, that’s just a rumor.

Hello thread. Although I am not the target audience, I’ve been reading this thread with interest quite regularly. I’m glad that it’s a discussion that’s being had, because it’s made me look a bit deeper into some of the issues.

And it made me realise that, more-often-that-not, if I’m given a choice of character genders in a game, I seem to pick between male and female pretty evenly, with no real agenda behind it. And now I’m conscious of it, I’ll be aware of that choice every time and try to work out WHY.


Well, that’s no fun.


Oh, heck Pig, I’m not even certain I’m the target audience, and I started this whole mess.

The criteria for picking a character with me is usually in order of:

Who looks the most ridiculous (evil little girl/mad scientist etc.)
Which one is a big muscle-bear (always one no?!)
Who has the most desirable skill set
Which options are left after everyone else has chosen the above


For the Mass Effect trilogy I played as the female Shepard as the character had a better voice actor.


I played the female Shepard from the day I got the first game, (and continued to play her as my Shepard in all the following games, even when I had to recreate her from scratch after a platform change that didn’t support a crossover). I made her into a scrawny, bulge-eyed, buzz-cut, freckly ginger, slightly scarred, a gawky and awkward-looking badass queen of all the badasses. She maxed out Paragon in every game, and had a really decent Renegade level as well.

It’s one of the few games I’ve been a completionist in, and I don’t think it was my fault. It was my Shepard’s fault.

I have a very hard time seeing other people play their Shepard in “let’s plays” or whatever. I keep on asking myself, “Who the hell is that?” before I realize it’s somebody else’s Shepard.

I empathize strongly with my odd-looking pinnacle of human evolution. I honestly can’t imagine Shepard being anyone else now.

That’s what we want from an RPG, though, right? To play a role that isn’t necessarily you, and then to identify with that role, until they’re almost like a separate and real person from you. I made a lot of decisions in M.E. because Shepard wanted me to do that. “OK, my imaginary fictional friend. I don’t agree, but let’s do it!”

I’m not going to say anything about the ending controversy, we’re surely all sick of that by now. But I do think that the more linear approach to the game, as opposed to other games with great character creation tools that are more open-world (I’m looking right at you, Bethesda!) helped me to bond with the character I created. And I got to carry her from game-to-game, even if I had to write her up from scratch again.

The freedom of being able to get to be a different gender, sexual orientation, race, or even basic personality is one major thing that RPGs have going for them, and CRPGs have really come a long way in terms of character creation.

And also, yes, the female lead voice was much better than the male’s. He kinda sounded like a D.


I haven’t played much ME, but both the Shepards I created (on 2 &3, because you can’t get 1 on PS without buying the trilogy) were female.

I’ve played a lot more Dragon Age and all my characters have been female. I play games infrequently, so I’ve not completed any of them (I’ve done maybe a third of Origins, done all but the DLC for DA2 and DAI) but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my characters.

They’re all kind of aspects of me, but Hawke’s probably the most like me. Weird friends, doesn’t want responsibility but somehow ends up in charge, will take any opportunity to make a bad joke.

I’m still annoyed that I’ll have to play through DAI again with a male character so I can romance Cassandra.


I can get why some characters in games are written as flat out straight or gay. Otherwise there’s the trap of turning out to make no sense at all, like Chasing Amy. The majority of real-life people can’t really be “turned,” so it makes sense to use that in a narrative. I suppose RPGs are primarily about indulging in personal fantasy though, or at least that’s a major raison d’etre for role playing in general, so I’m a little bit of two minds about it.

What’s more vexing to me is the amount of flack developers get for creating gay, bi, pansexual, or transgendered characters, and the fact that developers often self-limit their story options to avoid that criticism. But even in games where you can chose a partner depending on your own character’s orientation, there’s an incredibly sparse number of titles that allow polyamory. Maybe The Witcher, where you can only be a ripped white male.

I get the storytelling aspect of that, successful polyamory is quite rare in real life. And yeah, Geralt’s kind of awesome.

It’s interesting that, despite including a trans character and Bioware’s first lesbian character, Inquisition has the most straight romance options of any of the three games.

There have been mods that have made Cassandra bi and that’s led to various arguments, with people citing the obvious offence caused by a similar mod for Dorian (a character whose storyline partly revolves around his parents disapproving of his sexuality and trying to use magic to change it).

I know a lot of people were disappointed that Cassandra was straight and others have responded that it “goes against stereotypes” by having the short-haired warrior woman be straight. But while that may be a stereotype, they’re not exactly prevalent in games.

I’ve considered the Witcher, but been turned off by my only option being Geralt.