Are gender-locked protagonists an instant deal-breaker to you?

Out of my next possible game two of them will be gender-locked (one locked male the other locked female, the others as usual will have a gender choice)

Now I know a lot of people are against gender-locked games I am just curious is it always an instant deal-breaker or could an author entice you to try it if the premise interested you and the story was engaging?


As long as they are not hyper focused on romance and/or gender issues, I don’t care if they are locked or not.


Thanks for the reply. One would be but it’d be for Heart’s Choice, the other would have little to no romance.


Personally I play VNs/CYOAs for romance, because if I want to play Adventure/Action games I’d play JRPGs stacked in my backlog instead.

That said, if it’s female genderlocked it’s an insta-buy for me, but if it’s male genderlocked I’ll have to know the LIs first whether I like them or not.


Genderlocking doesn’t bother me at all, regardless of the content of the game.


No. If it’s personality locked, or if there are certain personality traits of the protagonist which can’t be influenced by my choice as the reader? That is the instant deal breaker for me.


@callisto @Aletheia_Knights

Thanks for the replies.

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I wasn’t planning on going into too much detail to keep the topic more generalised but the two gender-locked games I’m planning the personality is something you have control over.

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It has to have a clear in lore reason the gender locking to me playing the game. If the game is gender locked just because I normally don’t have any interest. Moreover if I have to be male. I am tired of locked males games


I don’t mind a good ol’ genderlock but I remember some author way back had a sequel to their book in development, and it was gender-locked female. They were getting a lottt of criticism and complaints about that. Not sure if that’s why they cancelled the book, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was

Just something you might want to be ready for if you end up writing that book


You’ve never walked around the romance: there 90% of them are locked female and most of the remnant 10% are technically gender customisable but obviously written for a female protagonist.
Looking at you, Pixelberry.


When i was a kid i always wanted to play as a girl, but finding video game with female protagonist was exceedingly tough, especially ones with pegi under 16.
If it’s gender locked to male, well the rule from my childhood is still actual.

,The only book that I have chosen to play even though it was gender-locked to not-female was “an unexpectedly green journey”
In this narration, orks don’t have sexual dimorphism, so maybe, in my head, i think about my ork as non-binary character.
Also, my Ork is very simple person, and doesn’t have any emotional growth or changing traits ( they want to be the biggest and the strongest and the most orkish) , so I don’t have to analyze their emotions etc. To me they are wonderfull and funny ‘drone’


I’ve tried, I really have, because there are some games that I’ve really wanted to play, but I can’t engage as a guy. I can manage with unstated or androgynous characters to a degree, but playing a boy or a man I just can’t. I’ve been having the same problem with the books I read lately too, I’m kind of sick of always reading about boys.


I really think that male writers should do romance games locked to males. Like the gay wrestling I adore that game. And shows how a well-rounded and planned gender locked as male can be successful. if has the same quality.


Personally, I don’t like it when gender is predetermined, I can’t immerse myself in the story. I just have a psychological barrier that prevents me from enjoying reading, even if the character in the game is genderless. (that’s why I don’t like CoG games, I prefer HG) I like to create new characters and read the story from different perspectives.


I don’t see many games with male MC. At least IFs, (I’m not interested in other types of games so I don’t know how it is with them). In fact, when I follow Tumblr and, I notice a clear predominance of IFs and VNs with female MC. I feel it’s a little unfair…

Btw. I’ve noticed a similar imbalance in traditional novels (young adult and romance genre) but that’s not the topic of this thread, i guess.


My first choice always is play as female. I don’t mind making a male character to romance a specific RO, but I never felt desire to play any male gender-locked game.


It is not an absolute dealbreaker, but if the gender is locked into non-female, the story/premise/writing/etc would have to be enticing and good for me to give it a shot.

Female-locked games get more easily such passes because most of the time I play as female.


All the replies are great keep them coming!


No. I don’t play as myself, I create a character for each game (or at least the first playthrough), so I don’t mind. And I don’t see a reason why I couldn’t adopt the persona of a man or woman for a game.