How would you like a game to advertise its romance features/the sexual orientation of the PC?

Small thing, but I noticed that Gilded Rails uses a different romance tagline than the usual CoG one: instead of “play as gay, straight, or bi,” it’s “pursue men, women, or both.” (Note: other CoG games often have “play as gay, straight, bi, or asexual,” so the equivalent would be “pursue men, women, both, or no one.”) I personally really like the latter way of doing it, but I’m curious what other people prefer. While both ways are inclusive, one is more open-ended and broad, while the other is very specific and defined! What do you guys think?

  • Play as gay, straight, bi, or asexual
  • Pursue men, women, both, or no one
  • Something else

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I would say that one problem with this is that it doesn’t specify that you can actually play as gay, just that you can romance males and/or females. :thinking:

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Right, which is why I was wondering if this would be an issue for people who would prefer to have an identity/orientation acknowledged and defined! :thinking:

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Since most games write ace when meaning something closer to aromantic I am tired of seeing it like that. I would assume that if the game says both that you can romance males and females regardless of your gender but you know what they say about assuming…

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I already said this in the other thread, but I like the phrasing of “pursue men, women, both, or no one” because it feels more free/less defined.

While I like it when the story itself recognises my sexuality (and I really do like it when a game gives a little differentiated flavor text depending on your sexuality), I’m somehow sort of …put off when it’s written so explicitly in the game’s despriction. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So in that regard I prefer the new phrasing.

But I do agree with @ParrotWatcher that this phrasing can make it difficult to recognise exactly which sexualities are represented

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I’d say it depends on whether the game allows explicit statement of sexuality? An actual “what do you identify as/who are you attracted to” choice, as opposed to just presenting the romantic options and letting the player romantic whoever they want. Having the “pursue” tagline could be used for the games that don’t have sexuality as a variable, and then “play as” could be used on games that do.

Seconding @ParrotWatcher’s caveat about it being unclear whether or not there’s actual queer inclusion, though. I do want to note that that wouldn’t be a concern with CoG proper, but could be with their Heart’s Choice line.

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Oh, I really like that suggestion! That would make it much clearer what the game offers (imo).

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“Pursue both
So… no genderfluid, agender or nonbinary ROs?

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It doesn’t seem like it in Gilded Rails? :woman_shrugging: I assume if you had nonbinary, agender, or genderfluid ROs you’d alter the description accordingly!

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Tbh if an author writes “both” i’m steering clear of it.

It’s one thing not to have nonbinary etc options/npcs but another to act as if there are just two genders

Fair enough! To be fair though I don’t think writing “pursue men, women, or both” is them acting as if there are just two genders in existence necessarily, but it is advertising that those are the only romance options available in their game (aka no nonbinary etc romance options).

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It’s still a word that comes with a lot of baggage in context.

Hows about
“Pursue (men, women,) whomever your heart desires”?

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Is this a problem with the old phrase as well? Or are nonbinary people included in the “bi” of “play as gay, straight, or bi”? Sorry, I’m not too familiar with nb stuff (for the lack of a better word).

Though have there actually been nonbinary ROs in a published game? I can’t quite remember off the top of my head.

Heart of the House.

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Ah, I see! Thanks!

I should have known that, I actually played that game lol. But alas, I have a bad memory.

Bi commonly (in my experience) means own gender and others, not covering all genders.

Correct me if this is wrong, people

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I see! Thanks for the clarification!

Blood Money too

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As a short version (just to expand a little on the response you got already)–it varies from person to person, but “bisexuality” can absolutely include attraction to nb people and often does. In this context, it probably would include attraction to nb folks, unless players played the game as though it didn’t

I do think the "pursue [list of gender identities] could get awkward with games like HotH that (from what I’ve heard? I haven’t played it) have just one nonbinary RO. “Pursue men, women, one nonbinary person, or whoever”? I’d suggest “pursue romantic options of multiple genders” but that doesn’t necessarily include nonbinary folks. Whereas the “play as various identities” format doesn’t have to be concerned with the number of ROs of any given gender.

It’s been a little while but I know I’ve seen folks ask about whether or not games have romantic options or not–this adjusted wording might be in response to that? Savvy folks know that when the blurb says “play as X sexuality” it means you can express said sexuality in-game via romance, but rephrasing it to actually say “have a romance” might just be to make that more clear at a glance. How much input do CoG authors have over their marketing? Was this something that they requested/suggested or is it all done by the staff?

Some of the wording might also be because of the Gilded Rails plotline specifically–wherein not just romance, but the process of finding a partner, is very up front and center. Since your partnership might not only be romantically motivated, saying “pursue” might be intended to be inclusive to the MCs who aren’t looking for romance so much as social/business partnership

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It also doesn’t specify that you can “pursue men, women, both, or no one” no matter what your own gender is; that statement would be compatible with a game in which, say, there are no gay male options, and in order to pursue men or both, you have to play a female character.

What I do like is that it is more open to someone with a nonbinary identity for whom gay, straight, or bi might not feel like terms that are as accurate.

I’m also really not a fan of the word “pursue” in this context :grimacing:

In The Sea Eternal, one of the ROs is a gender-flipper who can be nonbinary; there might be some others like that. I think Congresswolf has a nonbinary RO, but I’ve not played it so I’m not positive.

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