So I haven’t ever really posted here before, but I’ve been noticing a recent trend amongst some hosted games and I was wondering if anyone would like to weigh in.
Some recent games, Path of Light and Gangs of Old Camp for example, are gender-locked and/or have predetermined sexual orientations.
CoG is a brand. Part of that brand is the truly immersive experience of CoG. The games are able to achieve this immersion largely because of how inclusive and open the creation of characters are. This allows the reader to progress through a storyline with an avatar they are actually invested in.
It seems to me that certain elements of the CoG brand are not extended to hosted games, and understandably so. It definitely can hurt productivity to force free-lance writers into a template they are unmotivated by. Furthermore It would probably harm the quality of writing to force someone to write from a perspective they don’t understand, and therefore cannot write from with depth.
While we cannot expect writers to be able to convey the perspective of every person playing a game, we also should be aware that at the same time, customers may not be able to derive the same immersive experience that they have come to associate with CoG; when they are forced into a storyline they either do not feel comfortable in or have no meaningful experience with.
At the end of the day, hosted games cost money, and hosted games essentially draw their customers based on the ethos of CoG. A large part of that ethos has been until very recently, completely open choices with regards to gender and sexual orientation. When hosted games deviate from that formulation, they are deviating from what one usually expects from a CoG game, and therefore from the general brand.
That being said, it should be made very apparent to prospective customers when games are gender locked, or have predetermined orientations, and I mean outside of the individual threads for each game. In this way, CoG can avoid inadvertently misleading people as to the content of hosted games, as well as prevent a certain level of buyer’s remorse.