Is gender of MC important?


And I haven’t even played the game yet… Scary. :fearful:


??? I do not follow you here.

Might be true. Although I suspect anyone coding in CS is, in a real sense, engaging in a labor of love and not expecting a huge profit from the effort. (Maybe I’m wrong? If I am, let me know!)

Oh I disagree! Making a better story/game should always drive decisions when you’re developing a story-driven game. I’m not saying this to be contentious, but why do it if you aren’t driven to try to make something good or special?

I expect that people (in the larger world of writing, not just CS) write heterosexual protagonists because in large part because that’s what they know, and (I would imagine) at first blush, the market for a gay love story may not be as large as one for a heterosexual one. So, yeah, if maxing out market share is your driving concern, then sure, you’d probably want to focus on that angle. And if you’re straight, and you don’t know anyone who isn’t, then trying to write a good story centered on a gay protagonist might also be a bridge too far for you.

CoG seems to sit in a niche where a large chunk of its market segment might actually want a story with a really well-crafted gay character. In fact, they might just buy it just to give it a try, or support someone who at least was making an effort. Don’t you think?

In my opinion, the only justification for having a gay protagonist is: I can tell a better story this way. That’s also (in my opinion) the only justification for having a heterosexual protagonist, or literally, ANYTHING in a story. If it doesn’t make the story better, then don’t do it. If it does, then do it.

Note that from my way of thinking: “I am gay and that’s my frame of reference for the world, therefore I will be able to make a protagonist that is even more real and empathetic if she is gay and not heterosexual” is a perfectly good reason to do so. Equally valid is, "I’m straight, and that’s my frame of reference, and that’s why my protagonist is a heterosexual male. Does that make sense?


It’s been literally years since I played that game, so forgive me if my memory failed me there. Note that I said earlier that if offered a choice, I will always choose my own gender/orientation in my first play through… :wink:


I beg to differ. All stories could be made better with gay protagonists. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I think that’s a microaggression, but I’ll let it drop. :smiley:


Usually I’m inclined to agree (no surprise there?), but when I think about it, I prefer Affairs of the Court with a heterosexual male protagonist because I like the monarch better as a woman and I find the dynamic between a female monarch and a male “mistress” more interesting and subversive than the alternatives.

That only applies due to the genderflip, though :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, Affairs of the Court was very obviously written for a straight (female) MC, and then had genderflip options added in.

Besides, my statement was more a facetious rebuttal to “the only justification for having a gay protagonist is: I can tell a better story this way.” There shouldn’t need to be a justification.


I know what it’s like to not be able to play a game as the sexuality that I want to. So, when writing a game, I do worry if I’m doing the same thing. If the game isn’t allowing others to have the same freedoms I want. It is on my mind. I don’t want readers to feel as uncomfortable as I do when confined by a lack of choice in that regard.

Whereas I think that those who don’t have to go through this, who see themselves represented in almost every game they play, in every movie, in every book, they usually don’t quite get the importance of representation in the same way.

Although that doesn’t go for everyone. We’ve a lot of great people writing inclusively here, regardless of their own experiences. Who’re extremely passionate about the importance of representation.

For Hosted Games I think there is a labour of love going on. I think for most people who write that’s the case. Which isn’t to say that some people aren’t making money from this, since they are.

For Choice of Games, there is always the money there. $10,000 isn’t an insignificant amount of money, especially for doing something you love.

I do it because I want to. :slight_smile: Of course because it’s what I want to do it immediately makes the story better than me doing something I didn’t want to do. Other than that, I don’t see much of a need to justify my reason for picking my protagonist’s sexuality.

I’m not sure about statistics. I know that the majority of those who buy the games are an enigma to me. They’re not the superfans who join the forums. They’re not even the ones who leave reviews on the games. They’re just there, silent, speaking with their money.

Yep it does make sense.


Which I guess is why I enjoy having a heterosexual guy in the usual position of a heterosexual woman. I don’t know :grin:

If I’m prone to anything, it’s taking anything facetious and responding in an inordinately serious manner :stuck_out_tongue:

That said, one of my early posts on these forums included a pretty lengthy opinion about “justifying” characters belonging to different groups… my main points were that choosing to write a majority is just as much a choice as choosing to write a minority, meaning that the latter requires no more justification than the former, and furthermore that the fact that “these people exist and should have their stories told” is an eminent justification in itself :slight_smile:

This is pretty much what drew me here.


But the MC from Affairs of the Court clearly is a straight female, even if you choose to be male. Several actions the MC do not make sense if you aren’t a straight female.
Like when my MC found his wife and a attractive young girl in bed, my only options was to be angry or cry. Where is the option that 99% of the straight male would pick? (“Can I join you girl?”)

This game and Midsummer Nights should have female MC only, because they were written with them in mind.


I’m inclined to think that a man in such a marginalized position would end up having more in common with a marginalized woman than with dominating men. What I like so much about the totally flipped Affairs of the Court is that it exposes assumptions about male-female behavior.

Also… Midsummer Nights? Really? When in the world did that seem female-specified? Sure, it diverges from Renaissance Europe in having female knights, but it… isn’t Renaissance Europe? I can’t see anything else that seemed gender specific at all.


That’s fair.

See? Now we’re talking the same language. :smiley:

Hmm. I wonder which games were the big sellers?


I didn’t like it, because it does not let me play as a man, it only let me play as a woman even when I choose to be a man.

In Midsummer Night the MC is clearly in the role of Hermia (one of the protagonist of Midssumer Night’s Dream), and both the Knight and Morgan were wiriters as male (both want to court the MC even if they are female, there are several times that even if you choose them to be female they have male pronouns).


Sorry, I thought that “man” meant someone who considers himself a man, not someone with a certain role :expressionless:

Well, yes, Hermia is clearly one of the several Shakespeare references in the story. But you aren’t playing as her, just as someone with some similarities to her.

Women can court men. There is no off switch in womanhood preventing them from pursuing people romantically. The story takes place in a setting that includes female knights (and also such realistic things as powerful fairies). But even were we to assume that it were following historical European customs more closely (which it isn’t)… typically, women of higher social status would still take precedence over men of lower status. Queen Victoria proposed to Albert, and that was in a time period that restricted women even more than Shakespearean times.

A man does not cease to be a man because of where he finds himself in a story, nor because of the way other characters interact with him. As such, if you feel that your character’s malehood is challenged by being in a precarious position and by being courted, it must have been a fragile thing to begin with.

That would be a bug, and can be reported as such.


If you can’t see that every action is Affairs of Court were written with only straight female in mind, then It is not my problem. There are several times thats thought “Why can’t I do “X”?” Or “Why I would cry over that?”.

A lot of similarities.

The MC is the heir of the Duke, he is clearly above both of them, so your explanation is not valid. The author made the MC role to be like Hermia.
What reaction do you want to me to have when you wrote that part about my manhood? Is it relevant for this?

It is, but it reveals the gender of the character the writer had in mind. Later they just made everyone gender swappable.


It is clearly written to depict a character who has the social status which heterosexual women have occupied during an equivalent point in our history. The character behaves as someone would who has been marginalized in such a way.

You are also doing a very good job at what I literally just said about how “it exposes assumptions about male-female behavior.”

The knight is a ruler in her own right, and a necessary ally. She makes sense only as a courter, not as the courted. As for the other, Morgan is also an heir, so in this case neither is particularly above the other. Besides, there is no indication anywhere in the story that men are in a dominant position over women. Why would you just assume this to be the case?

Your character’s malehood. Which, yes, is relevant, given that you stated this: [quote=“Urban, post:53, topic:19918”]
it only let me play as a woman even when I choose to be a man.
That indicates that you considered your character’s malehood put into question.

My statement is intended to question why you consider him being a man to be challenged by these factors.


I disagree with you, and I gave you examples. Again, why my only option when I find the queen with a young attractive woman in bed is RO run away crying or get angry? Why can I ask to join them?
Or how the hell could I have swapped the queen’s second child with another without anyone noticing? It is clear that this was written for a women who cheated on the king and had a illegitimate child, the prospect a guy could have a child with another women and swapped them is ludicrous.

Both the Knight and Morgan are below the Duke. So the MC is above them. Where I said men are in dominant position? Why wishing to be able to court someone means “dominant position”?

Because my character doesn’t feel like a man. Those are the two games that it happened, even in Congresswolf, a game that you don’t even choose the MC gender, I felt it.
And I’m not the only one to have that opnion on Affairs of Court, just look in this very thread, there is a person that said the same thing as I did.


The gender blurring is one of the aspects I did like about Choice of Romance.

Running away and crying is not exclusively a female thing. And in this society I can believe it. I will admit I did have an issue with the choice as presented because I’d have liked a third option of being completely okay with it. But that was more finding it inexplicable why the protagonist would expect, or even want monogamy. And that whole idea never got explored.

I’d an issue with a similar act overly emotional scene in Waywalkers where I was like “hell no would I do that” and was surprised that so many of the younger players absolutely loved the scene and found it sooo romantic.

Originally this text wasn’t even there. It’s slightly better than the previous version where your son was just accused of not being the Monarch’s, even if she was the birthmother. I did question the whole ridiculousness of it.

The protagonist doesn’t feel like the sort of man you’re used to playing? Is that it? Because you’ve got men here saying, “yep looks like a man, feels like a man to me.”

Gender locking romances, but not player characters?

Oh, wow, I just read this thread and am surprised to come away with the fact that I’m almost alone in my opinion for once. I wouldn’t mind not having a specific gender! I think it would be interesting, as long as gender isn’t specific to the story. While gender can be very important to a person, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

But then I never really understood the concept of gender outside of, like, cultural stuff and female vs male dichotomies anyways so maybe I have a weird perception.


Clearly we mean different things by being a man.

With Affairs of the Court… Playing as a heterosexual female, it becomes easier to just fall into thinking “this is how it goes for heterosexual females.” Playing any other way brings the power dynamics into greater contrast.

Sure, it was written with that kind of story in mind, but the author has blog posts talking about developing the society in such a way that the norms work differently. This isn’t Earth. The culture is not Earth’s culture.

If the queen’s attentions turn to another lover, this is a threat. Sure, having more options about how to deal with this threat would be nice (more options are nice in general!), but that’s not specific to being a heterosexual male. And, considering the mindset of the character in the culture, he’d have a lot more factors just going on than what he considers attractive. His entire position in society is dependent on the good graces of one woman. That makes him incredibly vulnerable. This scenario is presenting a very tangible risk of the queen tossing him aside like a wet rag. Seeing a type of character which is not traditionally depicted as vulnerable in this way is more eye-opening.

Babies occasionally get swapped at birth already. People don’t always realize.
And rumors aren’t exactly notorious for logic.

The Knight and Morgan wish to court you. You too can court them back. Saying that they shouldn’t court you if they are women is denying them the ability to take action, which you are saying it would be appropriate for them to take if they were men. There is no indication that the society in question has any expectations about which gender should do the courting.

Then maybe you can explore what it feels like to be a man when people aren’t treating him the same way men expect to be treated in our society.

Also, what @FairyGodfeather says.