Is gender of MC important?


I’m not going to comment on A Midsummer Night’s Choice other than to say that as much as I tried to enjoy it, it really wasn’t my cup of tea. I played it two or three times and then never played it again. That doesn’t mean other people won’t enjoy it however.

Now regarding the Affairs of the Court series, a series I played to death, I’ve long since concluded that the primary author pictured a male monarch and a female protagonist in her mind. There are a handful of WTF moments that can pop you out of your immersion into the story when you encounter them if you aren’t playing a female MC and/or the monarch isn’t male.

For example, if if you are black-hearted enough to agree to poison your brother in law and his little girl too, you can invite them to tea or wine. During the conversation Matteo pipes in to you and Rosa that “it’s quite a lot of fun to be invited to drink tea like a grown up lady”. You then murmur back “I remember those days”. Um, what? To have made the line gender neutral, the connection should have simply been made between tea and grown ups, not tea and grown up ladies, as if it was something that grown up men didn’t do.

I remember in the beta for part 3, the Queen doubted her own maternity. How a woman could forget 9 months of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth is beyond me. When it was pointed out that maternity isn’t open to question the way paternity is, this was changed to fearing the babies were switched or some-such in the released version of the game.

I’m not a large man, but I’ve never in all my years met a woman who could effortlessly pick me up, and yet that’s what the Queen did with my male character. So the picture that popped into my mind was that my character must be some sort of midget like Verne Troyer of mini-me fame and she must be built like Chyna of WWE fame. The picture in my mind’s eye as a result was both off-putting and immersion-breaking.

And I have to agree with @Urban that finding my wife in bed with another woman just doesn’t trigger my primitive hind-brain to go cave-man the way finding her in bed with another man would. There was no towering rage or fear. My cerebrum easily remained in charge. All of the available choices struck me as very alien and not something I’d do in that situation as I felt no impulse to foolishly alienate my spouse with my non-existent rage or cry like a baby due to some non-existant feeling of betrayal. Look, I knew when I signed up for this gig that my royal spouse was a notorious philanderer so finding her in bed with a woman as brainless as Adelita was kind of a relief. A woman won’t accidentally impregnate her the way a man would, and Adelita isn’t sharp enough to be a true threat to my MC’s position. The two of them in bed together is also kind of hot. So instead of feeling rage or betrayal I’m feeling rather calculating about the whole thing, and looking for a way to roll with the situation and take control of it. I’d have loved to have been able to say something like, “How would you like to have four hands and two sets of lips caressing your skin my love?” to my MC’s very hedonistic wife, but there is no such option presented and so the scene falls flat for me. Believe me when I say that my character isn’t stupid enough to think that he’d be the center of any such threesome. It’s not about my character’s pleasure, it’s about increasing the queen’s pleasure as a strategm to strengthen his own position.


Fair enough (and I’m actually slightly embarrassed to have read even more into it than Mara did).

Having thought it over, though, I think one of my issues is that the game has two ways of classifying “gender”: role (as consistent with the Tudor period) and pronouns (but not biological sex). (I admit that there shouldn’t necessarily be any correlation between gender and gender role, but there obviously was at the time of the Tudors, and this setting is too close to claim that it wasn’t heavily based on that time-period.) Of the two, the pronouns have no discernible effect on the story (because creepy magic gay babies), and the role defines everything. And, of course, role is the one thing we don’t get to choose; we have to play the passive beloved, rather than the active lover (at best, we can go for a cunning manipulator type, but we still very much exist at the whim of the active characters).

I don’t buy that it’s age-related, either, as we see no real evidence of this in the story; my MC was just as passive going on forty as he was at sixteen. By comparison, we can look at ancient Greece, where older men would have sexual relationships with younger men, but outside of the military, such relationships would generally end by the beloved’s twentieth birthday. And yet, there’s no second “coming of age” ceremony for the Affairs protagonist, or anyone else, while the younger Tomas turns up as a fully-fledged lover.


I think game is role based not gender. It is our mind accustomed to seeing male king young woman as wife what make most of people saying about this game is made for a fem protagonist.

However I see it queen as girl more that male. I have Great Catherine of Russia as model or our terrible queen Isabel II both nynphomaniac and with a behavior so similar to Agustina.

About tomas now text clearly states There is no sex because he is totally no sex interested. Text before was really nasty but now is okay. Author changed right away when shows my concerns. She was really supportive


And we have Henry VIII, who will assure you that four of his wives didn’t count, and no similar queens (Mary had… issues, but hypersexuality wasn’t one of them), so I suppose cultural bias is at work here. :sweat_smile:


@ParrotWatcher I agree with you. I’ve said this before a few years back, and I’ll say it again, in a society where all roles are open to both sexes, there is no reason why you couldn’t take the money your Uncle is using to pay for your expensive outfits as well as the rest of your expenses at court and instead invest that hefty sum into a new business venture. There is also no reason why you couldn’t couldn’t join the military either, especially if your character is highly skilled with death magic. It would certainly make for a very different game.

The gender-equality premise of the game shoots a big fat hole in the other premise that you have no other option but to go hunting for a rich spouse. There is no logical reason why your character of either gender needs to end up marrying an ill-tempered elderly person that smells like a goat and whose already adult children will inherit everything, leaving your character virtually penniless, just because you as a player have turned all three of your character’s suitors down during your season at court. That ending would have made more sense in a world where your character’s gender is disenfranchised and exploited as women were in the real world, because in this world of gender-equality, there is nothing stopping you from going out there and signing up for the military or the church, or even to become a merchant.

Regarding Tomas, I was among those who thought the original wording of the “relationship” heavily implied forced non-consentual sex, but the wording has been changed to make it very clear that no sex takes place as Mara and others have pointed out. And while it wasn’t originally, It’s also now possible to resist if your magic score is high enough I hear.


This was the Queen in the Affairs game - it was really obvious. Almost painfully so.


A nynphomaniac forced married with a gay asexual man in 1800s could possibly go wrong? Poor man the stuff my country called him in his face was no nice at all. Poor guy.


Ah yes:

There is a title, even @Lizzy would be happy with.


33 posts were merged into an existing topic: Trans Discussion In and Out of Choice Games

Trans Discussion In and Out of Choice Games

I want it! :heart_eyes:


Alas! If only there weren’t a limit on forum titles. I’m not sure what the limit is, but it’s certainly less than that mouthful. :stuck_out_tongue:


Lol well normally I’m just happy with Princess, but that title is a work of art!


Spanish titles are the best titles in world but There are even bigger ones.The Alba duchess had doubled titles than that. Including some British and Scottish ones. We love dramatic titles that we never use. But sound astounding. It is a Spanish thing. Then we remember them for a nickname. Isabel II have two not nice at all.The fat and the whore


Think Spain will let me be the Queen then? :wink:


The funny thing about Midsummer is that I totally expected it to puckishly flip traditional gender roles a bit no matter what choices were made. In fact, it felt like this was supposed to happen in that story. When I bought it, I said to myself “this is a CoG take on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. It would be a subversion for it to not be gender-subversive.” It was cool.


In response to the question of what people said about the MC of Midsummer feeling like a man, the thing that stuck out for me was the idea that a male protagonist was a default–and in the absence of language specifically denoting a woman’s experience, that absence reads as more man than woman.

I wonder to what extent the cross-dressing MC in the game influences the player’s experience of the sex of the MC.


@poison_mara I … err… something is lost in translation Mara. It feels like you just complimented me? XD

@Doomspeak You may be right. Part of me wants to know what it is like for other people so I can avoid making others uncomfortable on accident. And I was curious because of the early discussion on agender and wondering if not thinking about genders, by and large and regarding myself both, equates to agender or if it’s different.

@Gower and @johannes_paulsen Weird… I played Midsummer Night’s Dream with a female character and it seemed like that was the way it was supposed to be to me.


@Shawn_Patrick_Reed Maybe Midsummer is a Rorschach test of some kind? :slight_smile:


I gave up trying to read all this when it got into semantics involving Choice of Romance.

For me, nine times out of ten, I won’t play a game if I don’t have the option to play as female–and on top of that, able to decide my appearance. There are some exceptions to this–Waywalkers, for instance–but unless the game is sooooooo good that my friends are saying it’s worth it to play…I won’t play it. Bard’s Tale is a good exception to that [also, Cary Elwes]

This goes for gender-locked as female, too. I find that when the gender is locked one way or another, there tends to be less choice for the player. I’m an avid roleplayer–I play tabletop RPGs with my family every other weekend. I like thinking outside the box and coming up with ways of doing something that other people might not.

Obviousky with games like cog, you have a maximum number of choices you can write (else it turns to absolute madness), but even so. If I can’t play as someone whom I can relate with – because I created her – I find it difficult to get into.


Being gender neutral saves time on actually creating the WIP. But it doesn’t feel very special to the reader. Personally (others may disagree) I love when the author gives me as much of an option for MC customization as possible. And makes me feel special and valued as a reader and increases the replay value when these MC costomizations affect the story somehow. (Scars adding intimidation or respect, tattoos adding increased rebellion and like of a group, ect).

So in simple terms. To those who skipped my large paragraph. Yes I think it’s important.