Does a Game Characters Sexual Orientation Matter?

In recent years, game developers of some games have decided to take a proactive approach to the LGBT intolerance issues by including gay or bisexual characters into their video games. To some, it looks as though they aren’t afraid to get some criticism and negative feedback and possibly even lose some customers to show they are supporters of LGBT rights, and to others it seems like a ploy to gain more respect from gamers from the LGBT background when the developers really don’t care one way or other about the issue. Either way you look at it, just like any other controversial topic, you can be sure of one thing: People have a serious problem with it.

I personally am not negatively affected by finding out a game characters sexual orientation, but all the controversy that I see still has me wondering… Does a game characters sexual orientation really matter?
In recent news for Dragon Age: Inquisition, series writer David Gaider announced that the newest companion Dorian was a “fully gay” character (which he later changed the wording to “legitimately gay” as some took the former title offensively ). As I read comments on various news articles that relayed this information, I saw pretty much exactly what you would expect; people praising the decision, people hating the decision, and people downright being ignorant.

 

Just some of the comments I saw.
Just some of the rude comments I saw on a few websites.

But surprisingly enough, I saw a lot of comments of people simply stating “Who cares?” and the more I thought about it the more I couldn’t help but agree. Why is the characters sexual orientation something that is being announced as news on these gaming articles? Not only does it have little affect on the gameplay, but it’s also just not important for the gamer to know until they play through the game and happen to find out. Imagine if you were playing through Resident Evil 4 and then at some point you find out from a random conversation that Leon happened to like men, or you’re playing through a Call of Duty campaign and you save a woman characters girlfriend from a hostage situation. Would the gameplay be directly affected by the situation because in both cases you find out a character is gay? No. You would nod your head then blow off an infected monsters head with your shotgun, or run into the hostage situation and kill the kidnappers. So why then, is a video game characters sexual preference being pointed out for news? And why are people letting a characters sexual preference prevent them from playing a game, especially in a game like Inquisition where ALL romances are 100% optional?

At the end of the day, when gamers want to read up about a game that is coming out soon, we want to know about the core gameplay and what the story is about. We want to know what spells I can use, what guns are available, how large is the map, how much added content there will be, what will the graphics look like, how smooth is the combat… My character dating or being able to date the same sex or even the opposite sex isn’t going to directly influence my decision to buy and play the game, because that’s just something extra. We should be playing games to enjoy the games & not to let personal preferences wreck our enjoyment.

 

What do you think on the matter? Are we making sexual orientation in games too big of a deal, or am I wrong and it’s not being talked about enough? Shoot me a reply or e-mail me at codyfye@gamingtechunited.com and let me know!

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One thought on “Does a Game Characters Sexual Orientation Matter?”

  1. The author has the right of it – Unless it somehow affects the story, game play, or if the writers want a character to perceived in some way that relates to gender and/or sexual orientation. Like in the new Dragon Age game. If I’m a female character and they have it where you can date/get married and I say to the “gay” character “let’s get married” – he tells me: “I’m gay” – then it matters. Otherwise, why should it matter?

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