Like most players I can mostly relate to my MC if she has the same gender and sexuality as I do. If I can’t play as female then no matter how good the story is it’s really rare that I play a game till the end. (A Study in Steampunk is a good example: I loved the story at least how far I got with it, the way how it was written and all that… kudos to the author, and still I didn’t finish it bc it was gender locked to male.)
And if I’m forced to play as a heterosexual character then I prefer to avoid romances.
One thing that I love in COG games is that I can play a lesbian character without all the judging which I get in real life.
Yeah see if a game is gender locked male I just can’t do it, I walk away as soon as I confirm that. I get a lot of crap from my coworkers (who are all straight guys that game) about how I won’t play games unless I can play as a female. I also agree with being forced to play hetero, I will simply sidestep all romance if at all possible.
Now the judging part I semi disagree with you on, I actually like a game that will bring up that I’m a lesbian if it’s well done like with Monsters I was actually a bit disappointed that one of the characters didn’t say something because @Shawn_Patrick_Reed wrote him in such a way that it would have worked.
While I am less harsh about that than @Lizzy games with only female protagonists have to either meet a much higher standard for me to play them or cater very specifically to some of my other niche interests (and still be very good) and to date there have just been three, two of those are from over here, Seven Kingdoms, Guenevere and the Beast in the Castle.
Mostly I agree with this, while I grew up there simply wasn’t any other choice but to play games locked to straight male protagonists, so I simply tended to avoid most romance sub-plots. The only exception there was with Knights of the Old Republic, I believe.
One thing I’m wondering with male-locked or female-locked games, is what happens if you decide to view your character as transgender? Just not open about it? Like playing Study in Steampunk as a transwoman who’s never been able to present the way she feels herself to be, or playing Guenevere as a transman who’s similarly in a restricted position. I’m considering trying the latter once I get to Guenevere (I have a big reading list queued )
99.9% of Western history in the last several centuries… there’s more complexity in the rest of world history as a whole…
I also play games which deal with gender and sexuality in a realistic way and my character gets judged the same way as I get IRL. But sometimes it’s nice to escape from all that. In my experience most of the COG games are like a dream world where it doesn’t matters what gender you were born as or if you like your own gender.
Edit: I’m not sure I ever answered to the OPs question: I think it’s important for the MC to have a gender (gender locked or allowing the player to choose that depends on the story) that’s like the first step in character customization which allows the player to create a character which they can relate to.
I think contemplating this question was part of the goal of Creatures Such as We… At least insofar as it considered whether the artist’s or consumer’s interpretation of the art was the more meaningful one.
^blink^ That’s… not what I said? You were saying they’d be judged in 99.9% of history, and I was saying that only applies to the case in Western history over the last several centuries.
You’d see more cultures where people are expected to marry someone of the opposite sex, but not condemned for also pursuing same-sex relationships. And some cultures where even that wasn’t the case. There’s a lot of variety, and describing 99.9% of history as the last several centuries in the West is far too limited.
As i recall, there was actually a post a while back that, I waaaant to say @FairyGodfeather ended up linking something about homosexuality in the Wild West.
We interpret history as a lot harsher in some ways than it was.
However, from my limited understanding of world history (considering that even if i dedicated my life to it, I wouldn’t even begin to grasp it all), women have always been considered lesser once civilizations progressed past tribalism. In some cases, even while still in a tribe.
I can sort of understand hoe that came about, sociologically, with women needing to be careful for nine months at a time and often being out for the couny during monthlies (after all, no pain medicine!). Still stands, though, that across the board, once tribalism past, women were second-class citizens.
I actually prefer when games nod to real-world sexism like that, except in cases where it’s obviously not based in the real world.
But with games like COG, it’s literally a matter of adding a few extra lines of code at the beginning of the game. It isn’t some magical, more difficult form of writing. You don’t even have to design models.
For me, unless there is a specific, story-based reason for the character in a text-based game to be one gender or another, it’s just laziness and kind of insulting.
The entire point of these games is to play as “you” ir an idealized version of yourself. Gender is incredibly important to so many people.
To not do it on the basis of “coding it is too complex” or really any reason other than lore-based or story-based…it’s just lazy and insulting.
Only in the old world. In the Native American cultures more power resided in women’s hands in a lot of tribes. Men nominally lead, but only after women appointed them to the roles, which they could revoke. And Navajo culture (and probably a lot of others, but my knowledge is mostly about Navajo) is primarily matriarchal at the family level. Men leave their families to go to their wives and women own property most of the time.
For me, whether gender matters depends on the game I am playing. @Loba19, if you want to see a game that does a good job of not specifying the PC’s gender, take a look at The Fleet, by Jonathan Valuckas. The PC’s gender does not matter in this game because it takes place entirely in a military context and the PC is in a position of authority. It has been a while since I have played it, but I believe other characters address the PC by military rank, which does not change according to gender.
In games like Choice of Broadsides and Choice of Romance—I never played Affairs—gender roles are so embedded in the setting that giving your PC an unconventional gender rewrites (or at least re-skins) the universe. That might be why the result struck some players as uncanny in a way that other early games like Choice of the Dragon and Choice of Vampires did not.
I’ve been picking away at a choice game about witches, which will likely be completed after my death by my grandchildren as a precondition to receiving their inheritance. I plan to deny players a gender choice because femininity is crucial to my concept. Whether and how gender matters depends on the story, the setting, and the archetypes you are working with.
If a man wears a robe and pointy hat while waving his hands over a steaming cauldron and muttering incantations, he is a wizard. He probably lives in a tower, which may or may not be part of the king’s castle. He is renowned for his wisdom, respected at court, and if he plays his cards right he can influence the king.
If a woman wears a robe and pointy hat while waving her hands over a steaming cauldron and muttering incantations, she is a witch. She probably lives in a hut, far from any castles or towers. She is feared for her power, respected by the peasantry, and if she plays her cards right she can ignore the king altogether.
I don’t want to lose that, so my game is gender locked.
You know what I absolutely adored? Equal Rites. The book, the Discworld book where a girl discovers her magic is that of a wizard’s, not a witch. But a female wizard is unheard of; female magic-users are all witches in Discworld.
I hate the constant, boring, useless gender binarism that is enforced by cis writers in their depictions of magic users. If there have to be witches, why can’t they be the broomstick-flying, dusty black-hat type, and wizards are the mumbling arcane incantations in pristine robes type, regardless of gender? Why do all these stories assume binary genders or binary roles? Witchcraft is not about that, or at least, the real stuff isn’t.
Why isn’t there questioning of typical gender roles and identities in magical society? Why don’t writers use this to explore something: traditional witch culture vs young person witch culture, transphobic witches vs trans witch culture, nb glamour witches competing with binary glamour witches’ shops across the street, familiar discourse, “dear I think it would be safer to transition using hormones than using gramma’s blood ritual”.
I love the thing in Hustle Cat where everyone is a witch, regardless of gender. There’s no “I’d rather be called a wizard” or “witches are for girls”, everyone, male, female, nb, goes around calling themself a witch. There’s different types of witches, of course, culturally, but there’s no “black pointy hat, long nose” stereotype which is so obviously rooted in medievalantisemitism mentioned or granted any weight.
I’m nb. I’m a witch, a second-generation witch on my mother’s side. Never really understood most of the herbs but I know a good amount of basic-to-middling spells. My fave one has to be a circle of fire.
I’m out of likes, so @Bagelthief, please take this
I think that Equal Rites provides a nice model for how you can write a society that does have that kind of binary social role expectation, but shows a character challenging this. Why not write a character who strives to be one thing while facing these challenges?
And it could be very interesting to explore transgender characters in this setting. If you’re locking a character to a single sex, why not consider what happens if the character doesn’t identify with that gender?