Is gender of MC important?


#21

No, no! Gender identity and sexuality are two different things! Never take one as being of the other!

Agender people fall under the non-binary category as they’re neither male nor female. However, like how some nb people feel that they are both male or female, or neither male or female, agender people feel that they have no gender identity or personal connection with gender.

They may have sexualities (if not asexual) and romantic attractions (if not aromatic), but they do not consider themselves to have a gender. They see themselves to be only human, and that be that.


#22

Oh, perfect thats interesting someday i had to try role playing as one to understand better they issues. It must be hard found themselves labeled as x or y when they dont perceive those labels. I just can imagine the confusion and depression that could bring. Society is a pain in the ass trying to make us enter in a box, of what it expect of us.


#23

I don’t like it when games do that. I just don’t really like it, and maybe it cou,d be because I don’t agree with non binary, and all of that stuff. I just like ,y character to be a male. That doesn’t mean I would be rude to people who are like that.


#24

Interesting thread! I did want to touch on something in OP that I hadn’t yet seen addressed by the responses here, which is the idea that because English is generally a gender neutral language, that it would somehow be a natural extension of that to have an MC devoid of any gender references. Since it sounds like you are not a native English speaker, I want to assure you that it would not necessarily seem natural to those who are.

While English does not have gendered designations for inanimate objects or masculine and feminine nouns built in to the structure of the language, that is very different than acting as though people within an English-speaking community are socially considered genderless. We definitely use gendered pronouns for people. So much so, I would argue that a significant part of the struggle non-binary and agender individuals often encounter when asserting their identities and seeking to be addressed appropriately is that English–at this time, anyway–is still ill-equipped to provide a person-neutral identifier in conversation without having to expand the currently accepted lexicon or play with the concept of singular/plural “they.”

Granted, that is just the etimological side. If you want to try and leave the MC as a “blank slate,” so to speak, for style reasons, I think it could be tricky, but is doable. Readers do tend to like a certain amount of descriptions so they can imagine the story in their minds. An argument could be made (as I think it has here already, so I won’t waste too much time on it) that such an angle might risk alienating the reader if they feel they cannot fully conceive of the character in their head or make the MC less relatable, but not at all a deal breaker. After all, what if someone has a story in which the MC is of an alien race that does not have gender or biological sex that is at all comparable to what we have on Earth?

Anyway, hope that helps! Good luck figuring out how you want to tackle this issue, I think it is admirable to branch out and write a full story in a second language at all! :slight_smile:


#25

@MizArtist33 expressed what I was going to try to so I’ll just say here I agree with her post completely.


#26

Read ‘The Fleet’ for an example of a CoG that I think gets away with never mentioning the MC gender, because of its setting and plot.


#27

The only gender-locked CoG/Hosted game I have played is Sabres of Infinity and it was a great game. Overall though, one of the things I love about this company is its commitment to diversity.


#28

I would prefer to play games that are GOOD, even if the MC is gender-locked or sexual orientation-locked to vectors different than mine, rather than playing average games that either allow me to pick my gender or present things from the perspective of the proverbial “Ageless, Faceless, Gender-Neutral, Culturally Ambiguous Adventure Person”.

Three really fantastic ChoiceScript games (A Study in Steampunk, Sabres of Infinity, Guns of Infinity) are gender-locked (although not orientation locked.)

I note that no one seems to have published a CS game that is gender-locked to a female protagonist. No one has published a CS game that is gender AND orientation-locked (like, for instance, Nicky Case’s non-CS Coming Out Simulator.) I wonder why that’s the case? It certainly doesn’t seem like there’s a dearth of talent or people who either have direct experience in such things, or at least the ability to be very empathetic in such things.

If one of the side objectives in writing a CS game is to get people to open their minds about different people, lifestyles, genders, choices, getting them to put themselves into shoes of someone quite different from them is probably the best way to do it. I’ll be honest, every time I play an RPG of some sort and am offered a choice, I will naturally pick “male” and “heterosexual” the first time I play it. It’s easier. Games are for leisure and I don’t want to have to think too hard about things. (If I liked the game, I will probably go back and try other paths to see what’s different.)

I’ve played some darned good CS games that tell a story from the perspective of MCs that allow gender choice, too (Slammed, Choice of Robots, Choice of Alexandria leap to mind; there are others.) But you know what? None of them moved this cynical old Gen-X’er on issues related to sexuality and gender the way Nicky Case’s gender-locked, orientation-locked game above did.

So the answer the original poster’s question: decide what you want to accomplish and go forward from there. There’s nothing wrong with letting the player choose their gender etc. ala an action adventure like Mass Effect just to get them immersed into the real action (which really isn’t about gender.) But at the end of the day, it’s your art, and if you actually want the piece to tackle social issues related to sexuality, limiting player choice in this instance may actually make it better.


#29

I need to have the writing treating me like a male or female every so often in order to be properly immersed


#30

I’m fairly certain that there are Hosted Games that are locked to heterosexual.


#31

Yeah, you’re right. The firefighter game for one. (And that was a much better game than I had any reason to think it would be going in.) And that one that involved the scientist who time-travelled after his family died. Forgot. My bad.


#32

Seriously considering locking my games to homosexual now… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#33

If it makes the story better, do it!

ETA: Just don’t forget the “story better” part. :slight_smile:


#34

Well, I get the feeling that none of the heterosexual-locked ones would be locked for the sake of the story…


#35

IIRC, the one with the scientist I referenced above (Paradox Factor) it absolutely WAS integral to the story. The protagonist’s motivation in traveling through time is to stop his wife and children from dying.

I can’t say it was a fantastic game, but the story hung together. On its own terms, it made sense, you know?


#36

You say that, but the thing is you won’t. :slight_smile:

I’ll bet that because you’re used to games not allowing for the options you want to play as, you think it’s important to be inclusive.

I know I worry that people might not want to play a game if it’s locked to a sexuality other than heterosexual. Then I go I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU PEOPLE THINK!!! :stuck_out_tongue: I am writing this story for me! There shall be no straight men in my games unless they are villains!!!

I don’t even think this is important. Why care if it makes a better story? People don’t care if it makes a story better by the protagonist being heterosexual, they just write heterosexual protagonists. I don’t think there needs to be a reason or justification for a character to be gay, or bi, or pan or asexual. They should be allowed the same freedoms.


#37

Really?

The protagonist’s motivation in traveling through time is to stop his husband and adopted children from dying.

EDIT: Looks like this actually is possible in the game…


#38

Wait, no, I played that one, and it wasn’t gender or sexuality locked at all. I played as a scientist travelling through time to stop his husband and children (adopted) from dying. It made exactly as much sense.

Dead Already?, on the other hand, appears to be locked, though I didn’t play very far with it, since it mentions a wife.


#39

AHA! Ninjaed!

Paradox Factor allows you to play as gay.

And it was a fantastic story. :slight_smile: It’s one of my favourites.

Edit: Stop ninjaing me! I can only type so fast. :grin:


#40

…Dude, maybe we’re transatlantic mind-clones :astonished: