LGBTQ+ rep in video games


I think the assessment that A&E lean heavily on anime homophobic villain tropes is spot on [spoiler]for at least the first two endings.

I feel like the later endings cast that characterization in a different light.

A&E are instead an attempt by the robots to transcend themselves (robots) and the untenable situation on the Earth (perpetual conflict).* It’s the Androids that are the villains and A&E are basically just emotionally children/teens, not yet grown.** Like, Adam’s birth is violent and traumatic, after which you try to kill him. You essentially teach him (and by extension, Eve) violence, anger, hatred and prejudice.*** I think their story should be considered a piece with Pascal’s in that they’re in part about what violence and war costs the weak. (None of this gets away from the fact that they’re coded as homophobic villain tropes, but my takeaway is that they didn’t need to be, you made them this way and they would most likely have been kind, gentle, curious and loving [as their “parents” seemed to be]. Like, it’s not a great depiction, but the underlying narrative seems to be that this isn’t how people are supposed to be and it’s not their fault. I’m kind of reminded of Aaron in Titus Andronicus.).

*Adam at first seems like a kind of defensive response by a group of robots you find in a city. Later endings, I think, pretty clearly indicate that he’s not that at all, and is, instead, an emergency attempt by a group of robots desperately trying to find a way out of the android-robot predicament (“this cannot continue” they all proclaim). Also, on the way to these robots you encounter nonviolent robots who’ve modified their bodies as a kind of pacifist art, and then robots that are trying to defend their homes, robots that don’t want to die, robots that cry out in pain when attacked. 2B and 9S aren’t the heroes here, they’re villains. In fact, the only really hopeful ending (to my mind) involves sending A&E in a ship out into space, to go somewhere else and try to find a way to live without violence.

**I think it’s important to note too that Adam and Eve are the only characters in the game that particularly look and act like something from popular anime/manga (with maybe the exception of the Commander, but she’s a pretty minor character): they’re petulant, arch, strut around, like to go shirtless, have achingly mangaboy haircuts, angsty, one wears glasses (which must be a total affectation/fashion accessory), all of which just screams teenage boy to me.

***He’s born and then stands there while you attack him. He clearly doesn’t get why you’re attacking him and it seems like he doesn’t know how to defend himself (initially attempts at defense seem sort of an emotional response to harm, not the result of combat programming). As you attack him he gains levels and it’s strongly implied that you’re teaching him and what he’s learning is violence (and hate). Then you appear to kill him and from his corpse is born Eve, who, clearly born with the lessons you taught Adam (especially hate and anger) takes his brother/husband and flees. No wonder Eve is always pissed off and Adam is obsessed with death. It’s the first lessons you taught them.


non-binary as no-assumed gender sorry if mixing terms made my point unclear. I just assume they are a she but the developers purposely made sure their were no gendered pronouns in reference to Georgio, and let the player make their own assumptions.


So I intend to go back to this once I am done with Prey so I’ve semi skimmed your post here but the thing I will say is that I’m not super impressed with what I’ve read here (on the games part not yours to be clear) as by the time you get to that in the game you’ve likely seen the game just being homophobic for 20 to 30 hours at which point the game has not so much made any point about it it’s just had it’s cake and ate it to(o? [who decided that to and too should be different words? It is way to early for me to care]).


The purpose of being n-b is that you aren’t using he or she, so while I guess you could define whether or not they’re dfab or dmab, if a character is actually non-binary, unless they say they are also okay with gendered pronouns, assuming they’re a ‘she’ is a bit missing the mark. A character with a player-defined gender that is being called n-b by the developers is a different thing than what that means to people who are actually non-binary.


I was completely worried about FO4 from the first time they showed us the intro with the couple. There were a lot of other reasons I wound up not being able to get into the game…but that presumed start was really annoyingly limiting.

In general it felt like that game forgot some parts of the universe were supposed to be satire and started buying in to its own myth. It undermined so much.


Well it’s a bummer how much of a missed opportunity that game did. Like you have a guy/gal who lived in Perma-50s America where I’m sure heteronormativity was on steroids, but given how cold and rough the wasteland is, people wouldn’t bat an eye at folk who don’t conform to that norm and instead value the importance of companionship. Though I know if they had written it like that, people would be rubbed the wrong way by it for some reason I’m not thinking of right now.


I haven’t played the game, but this sounds like … not actually queer representation? Non-binary doesn’t mean “I don’t know the gender of this character and am thus free to decide what gender I think they are,” and as an actual non-binary person I find this really problematic. It sounds like the developers in this game didn’t make any decision about what this character’s gender/lack of gender is, but again I haven’t played it.


My words not theirs and I apologize for the confusion by mixing up terms as they are two separate things. As I said before the character has no-assumed gender and I apologize for using non-binary previously. Now you can view Georgio as none representation because they didn’t pick a gender and to be fair the devs have not said it is either way they have clearly stated its up to you. I like to think its a lesbian relationship based on one actress Kate Welch playing Georgio and secondarily how the game ends. if you want more information on it may I recommend Chris Priestman’s article on it.


Its ultimately up to you but I still think its one of the best romantic relationships in games.


Oh, yeah no. I’m not gonna say your interpretation is bad. Reading it as queer is legit, because Georgio is just that kind of character. You could read them all over the gender spectrum, which is kind of cool and lends itself to their appearance. Reading it as a queer relationship is a good thing.


It’s a zero-sum game of queer representation with those sorts of characters. We don’t technically lose anything because we never actually had the representation in the first place.

Wyman, from Dishonored 2, is like this as well. While the devs have said that Wyman’s gender is intentionally left unspecified, several translations in French, Russian and German, they’re referred to as a man. It’s clear that they left it up player interpretation, and I like to interpret Wyman as genuinely n-b (because who doesn’t wanna hope that a non-binary person could end up smooching a badass empress assassin), but I also acknowledge that it’s definitely the devs way of having their cake and eating it too. They get some of the asspats of queer people without having to take the actual risk that a queer relationship/protagonist might alienate them from their base of straight cis fans.


I think Tracer’s homosexuality seemed to be a retroactive move, but I think it was dealt with very well and thought about a lot, unlike J K Rowling’s terrible attempt at scoring queer points by retroactively saying “oh yeah Dumbledore was totes gay the entire time he just doesn’t like FLAUNT it in your face like all those other uppity queers”.

I really hate J K Rowling. She’s rich and has terrible opinions, but is loved because she wrote a good book.

But yeah, I definitely see Tracer’s “coming out” as a good move overall. It’s more come from “okay what does this community want and need and how can we give it to them”, but also it could be that they had always intended her to be gay but couldn’t push it right from the get go because it would have limited them in a lot of countries where that type of thing is illegal. It’s hard to know if it was an intentional compromise to introduce sexuality later on, or if it was a retroactive change to reflect the community they wanted to appeal to, either one I don’t think is necessarily bad.


They had announced gay characters from the beginning and from what I know of “insider sources” that Tracer had been planned a long time ago. I know this sounds really apologetic and it doesn’t diminish foibles in this regard but it wasn’t a spur of the moment/retroactive story decision afaik.


Venus from We Know the Devil is the best trans character by miles and miles btw.


God. Yeah? Like that’s kinda a problem in Fallout 3 too. Bethesda don’t seem to understand that the whole “the world was stuck in the 50s” thing was bad. And that like. The apocalypse itself is often treated as a good thing in the rest of the series.

One of my favourite things about New Vegas is how it criticizes the notion that the past, or specifically pre-war, was inherently better. There’s a lot of stuff with like, the NCR trying to emulate pre-war America and fucking it up, and Caesars Legion emulating Rome and becoming raping slaving monsters, and House trying to instill capitalist autocracy in a world that is actively hostile to that notion and it’s just. Really good.

Also the villain of the DLCs in that game literally wears an old flag on his back like guys. Come on.


See, I very much disagree with this. The game never says directly “Chloe has to die”. The player has to interpret that for themselves, and I personally though that the “time shenanigans” were more to blame. Disclosure: I ship Pricefield hardcore, they are the reason Life is Strange is my favorite game of all time, and I probably shouldn’t rate it as high as I do. I think Max and Chloe’s relationship is done very well. But it also hit me at a time when I needed representation.


I mean, the game says that you have to undo the time stuff, so that that has to happen.


I haven’t played Life is Strange, but from what I’ve spoiled of myself here it seems to me like I would just go for the quote unquote bad ending just to raise a middle finger to the fridge the lesbian trope the developers use.


Thought it’d be worth throwing in a link to Queerly Represent Me, which is a HUGE categorised database of games with LGBTQ+ rep


At the risk of opening a whole can of worms, what is ya’ll’s opinion on romance mods for Bioware games? I’m talking about the ones that make straight characters romanceable for same gender PCs here, not the ones that erase gay/lesbian characters.

(I’m not really interested in cishet people’s opinion on this by the way ;).)


I probably wouldn’t have finished Dragon Age Origins if I hadn’t modded it so I could gay kiss Alistair.
Maybe this is intensely shallow of me, I don’t know. My dude and Alistair as Best Friends wouldn’t have been the same I bet he wouldn’t have sacrificed himself to slay the archdemon for me then, huh. (I was planning to sacrifice myself but Could Not Stop Him i’m still mad).
It led to some slightly unintentional subtext to some of his conversations (no I suppose I’m not much like the girls back home), but mostly was pretty seamless.
I don’t really know about Larger Implications or whatever, it just made that game what it was for me. A tragedy that ruined my life