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Ga(y)mer: Part 3 - There are No Gay Heroes (and Marketing is No Excuse)

I want you to, off the top of your head, list off every gay or bisexual character from video games that you are comfortable calling a hero. The stipulations are that this character must have an established personality Ė no player surrogates Ė and must have at least ten minutes of screen time Ė so nobody mentioned off-handedly, or hinted at, or met in passing. The last stipulation is that this character must be gay or bisexual regardless of the playerís decisions. Meaning the characters from Dragon Age II are largely out, as well. If your experiences are anything like mine, youíre probably able to come up with around 10-15 or so, give or take. Now subtract characters from Bioware games. Your pool just got substantially smaller.

Not Pictured: Sexy time.

Thatís what sells games. And thatís what people will remember. If you make a game with cool visuals and gameplay, something that gets people excited, with a marketing team that does their jobs right and emphasizes those particular elements, with a publisher that gives an adequate amount of support to the project, then that will determine whether it sells or not. And the number of people that will swear off of your product - once they realize, three hours in, that one of the gruff, no-nonsense members of Marine Squad Delta Bravo Badass (tasked with slaying the Volcano God Vesuvanor) likes someone with the same kind of bits - are definitely in the minority. The argument that inclusivity and financial success are somehow mutually exclusive strike me as incredibly false. Games like Fallout: New Vegas, Fable, and Mass Effect have proven that you can have a successful title that also features non-heterosexual content. Sales are not the issue. If game developers donít want to include GLBT characters in their work, thatís up to them. But donít piss on my leg and tell me itís raining.

POINT OF CLARIFICATION: The use of the word "hero" or "heroic" within the post refers simply to "one who is heroic", rather than protagonist. Sorry for the confusion!
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About Azudarkoone of us since 12:59 PM on 05.12.2011

I am a 22-year old college graduate, currently trying to figure out what the hell I'm going to do with an English Writing degree. So far, the answer seems to be "play a lot of video games, sleep, and slowly starve to death."