Help with ethnicity and restrictions!

Hello! I’ve been planning a novel for awhile, and have also in the meantime been reading some of the Choice of Games stories and it’s given me the idea to perhaps adapt my novel into one of these games!

But, my whole story revolves around the yakuza within Japan, and I need for the father of the PC to be Japanese, therefore the character would be half-ethnicity locked (as you can still be mixed or fully Japanese). I have to know, will this be an issue at all? I’ve been trying to think of a way to get around it but honestly, it’s needed for plot purposes.

Thank you!



I don’t see this being an issue for the player. Several games that lock the player’s ethnicity have been highly successful. ‘The Samurai of Hyuga’ for example.


State upfront that this aspect of the MC will be locked regardless. @sharknap gave me this excellent device for my game that has mostly preset MCs:


I don’t see how that would be remotely a problem.

You’re going to learn fast that almost everyone around here has a different vision for what everyone else’s game SHOULD be, so just trust your judgement and stick to what you know is best for your own story. Because you can’t please everyone no matter what.


Always that you are upfront on the opening and the game description there is not need anything else. In fact, I really think that more games based on minorities should be great for something like historical games or didactic games.

If the story you want to play is about a Japanese yakuza everyone has to respect that.


I wouldn’t see a story like this as an issue. Giving players some choice in the mother’s background if possible could be very interesting. But it generally doesn’t bother me too much to have some details about the player character predetermined, for plot/story reasons. I’d say just be clear how you advertise the game and introduce the protagonist and what the story is about, that way readers will know what to expect.

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You have a clear story and setting based reason to make the MC Japanese. I don’t think you’re likely to run into many objections. At worst, some people might skip over your game, but they won’t make noise about it.

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Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the help! I was just a bit hesitant as other people have mentioned before that having something pre-determined breaks immersion but I’m glad to know that it’s worth the risk :slight_smile:


Something breaks immersion because it breaks the expectation. We expect a movie about fighting godzilla, instead there’s ultraman too. We expect to drift on the highways, instead the tofu takes the plot point.

It’s important to know which info to put upfront and which to keep hidden.


The expectations that @Szaal alludes to (for Hosted Games) for the most part involve gender and (recently) the presence of some sort of romance elements. If these preset expectations are met, as long as you do your world-building and story-telling in a consistent and continuity affirming manner, most everything has been proven acceptable.

If your story has a Japanese Yakuza soldier impregnating a (whatever nationality) whore in one of their brothels and this results in baby MC … as long as you execute the writing of the story well enough, people’s immersion will be assured.


How would you feel about playing a MC who has a fixed sex, race, or even ethnicity??

For example; The MC is a native american.

Sex: Depends on the game.
Ethnicity/Race: As long as it’s not being used in a negative context, maybe.

Oh not at all, it’s just I hardly see anygames that allow the reader to be a native. As a native myself I was wondering if other readers wouldn’t mind if I made the MC a fixed ethnicity to be native american.

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Whilst we’re on the subject of race and whilst not technically the same thing, I have been toying with a fantasy game where instead of the classic Human/Elf/Dwarf option you play as a Lizardman (gender selection optional and probably a better species name - Saurian? Dragonkind? Siluri- wait that one’s taken…). So I do wonder if people mind games where you are a specific species in a fantasy game or an alien or android character in a sci fi game…

You will always find those peoples, who like to play humans only.

But you also have those who like to play as many things, but humans.

I played as a Lizard, and a kitty both in avernum serie and Skyrim. I played a slave race in Geneforge serie. I begged BW to let me be an Asari for ages, a female Turiant, a female krogan…I played as a Qunari, an elf, a dwarf . I was a dragon in one game, a wizard, an addicted person, a warlord, a princess, a detective…yada yada.

The only issue homewhever, is that you don’t write them that feel like if you replace that skin with human…there is no difference. If you plan to make a race centered game, like an AI or a specie…it has to feel : This is not human.

Which is the hardest part, because eventually with the dialogue and as the story flew by, you can easely get lost and you start inserting your humans though in there .