POLL - What types of Protagonists/Main Characters are you open to playing in a Hosted Game?


With these sorts of quizes I pretty much always end up feeling like my answers are a little more complicated than the poll options, so…

It’s not just that “I’d feel guilty that others can’t play as their own gender,” but also I tend to be wary of male-locked games to begin with, because I will be suspicious of the motivations for it being male-locked. It basically means the game would have to pass a higher bar of proof for me to get into it.

Female-locked games would also have to pass a higher bar for me, just because I like playing as male, but I am rather curious about Guinevere, for example.

At that far a remove from the humanoid, I don’t feel attached to playing as male. I’ll just copy this comment I just made about playing as dragon…

You know, I’d kind of question whether aliens fit in with the rest of the examples here, being not really supernatural, and also being quite often far less human-like than the others.
But basically, if it’s a human-like character, then my answer on gender choice is the same as the first two; wary if male-locked, less-interested if female-locked, but could overlook those if the game is just that good.

I realized I’m not even sure what my answer to this question is… I’d have to see what the game would look like. More Visual Novel-style? (Is Guinevere like this?)

Basically yes, but I also enjoy romantic sideplots, and if there’s one of those, I’d darn well better get to be gay. I don’t need a romantic sideplot, though. I just like them.

I’m fine with a game where MC gender just isn’t ever specified, rather than being locked or being a coded choice. I’d just find it rather tricky to write :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m also curious whether the poll results would look different if we broke it down by player gender :thinking:

Well, ghosts and vampires are basically ex-humans, and demons are still often humanoids with a supernatural origin and powers and stuff.
And with aliens we’re probably still under the assumption that we’re talking about a sapient being… there’d be a question of whether the player character is capable of using language, I suppose :thinking: like if you’re playing a talking animal, that might be a different matter as well? Probably would be for me, anyway. Use of language does open up stories a bit :stuck_out_tongue:

Really un-humanlike aliens could complicate the gender question as well, given how much writers can play with gender dynamics in alien species… there might be some with only one reproductive type, or more than two, which could make concepts of gender rather different, for example :thinking: (I realize that’s a matter of sex rather than gender, but it would certainly affect things.)

Sapience, really. The question being “Can the character meaningfully consent?”

At least, that’s my boundary for what I’d feel okay with… if you want my boundary for what I’d be into, then basically needs to be very close to a human, maybe with like horns, or elf ears, that kind of thing, but even an animal/human hybrid would be too out there for me personally unless they’re very far on the human side.

But if we’re talking just romance, then, say, dragon-dragon is still fun.

Depends on the monster, really. In Monsters of New Haven High all the monsters are pretty close to human, and I have fun playing as any of them, though I do have preferences, and romancing those as well. I guess if it’s a monster I could be potentially interested in, then the romance interests me as well, but if it’s romancing, say, a literal blob monster, it’s gonna fall a bit more flat :man_shrugging:t2:

A lot of times I do like getting to play as “the ordinary person” in a setting with lots of extraordinary/supernatural types, though :thinking:

Yeah. Well, it happened a bit by mistake in Creatures Such as We… there was one guy I wanted to romance, but I preferred to be all professional with the idea that we could get to the romance stage once I was no longer positioned as his tour guide… but no such option materialized, so I had waited too long :disappointed_relieved:

But also more by choice in The Sea Eternal, where, while I liked the gender-choosable RO, I didn’t feel the romantic connection so much.
(Huh, both by the same author.)

That’s fine, generally. This is something where the MC doesn’t know, right? Like, say, romancing someone who’s a shapeshifted dragon, and then finding out only later that they were in human form rather than being human? :thinking: That would just be exciting drama, really.

I mean, as long as it’s still meaningful consent and stuff :sweat_smile:

It sort of depends on what would reasonably come up :thinking: if they’re basically presenting as human, that’s what I’d be into anyway…


Feedback: Your idea will work because like Watership Down and others of the anthropomorphic nature, the story evolves through exploration of an idea tied to our human society. The Lion King is not just about a lion pride, Moreytown is not just about rats and rabbits … your exploration of the law would be a huge draw to many.

Commentary: I am not participating in these polls because polls do not take into account all influencing factors that play into a whole when dealing with the “gender-in-games” issue. There is just too much to discuss and talk about to boil down to a series of questions and then draw conclusions that determine gaming development. The #Metoo social movement in the US is not something you can boil down to questionaries and so is #girlgaming.


I can understand that… I bought the game and I’m pretty sure I did a playthrough but I don’t remember much of it. For all I remember it would have been a game without romance.


I actually expected it to be not so popular option, since yes, gender locked game is a deal breaker, BUT when the story is catchy, vast, with interesting characters and all, having a gender locked MC is not that bad. Some games are even better than the other with different genders.

But even tho, imagine your fav gender locked game being non locked! Immediately it gets way more interesting. :heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

So ya, i think that most check out the demo, and if they like it, the fact that you are a male or female without your choice can be pushed aside, as long as it is not so noticeable and not written on every three pages. Cuz, it is a shame to miss some gems! And after all, that’s why we have imagination. Mostly i get so into a story that i have already imagined myself there without noticing that the MC is not even my gender!


One other question that could’ve been asked is what people think of games that don’t specify gender or sexuality at all. Personally, I dislike it when they do that, but I’m interested in other people’s opinions on that and whether it effects their decision to buy a game.

(Apologies if this point has already been raised here. I’ve read the entire thread but I’m rather unperceptive. I suppose the sixth poll question is close to this, but that’s not how I interpreted it when I voted since it specifically mentions issues.)


Well, I’m used to not getting representation, so I spend those games searching for any hint that reenforces that. This means I’m not relaxing and enjoying the game properly. As much as I would like not to, it’s not something I can control.

Even when I know that the game is written like that on purpose, and it won’t suddenly tell me I have boobs, or something like that, It still feels weird.
I feel like I’m cheating somehow, like I’m using a blank slate to play as a character I’m not really supposed to, getting representation I don’t deserve, representation I have to cheat to get.
Which is not great.

And I know this is all in my head, about my issues.
But that doesn’t make the feeling less real. :slightly_frowning_face:


Gender’s already a huge factor to some people on here whenever they consider if they want to play a game or not. I imagine some of those people would probably pass over a game that kept it out all together, but I could be wrong.

At the very least it would make it all the harder to relate to characters there. Speaking for myself, I need at least that much to even begin investing myself in the story. It’s not all of what I need, but it makes it easier for my mind to grasp just what they’re about, I guess is what I mean?


I don’t like it as well. I think this was the reason why I didn’t bought one of the recent games that was released earlier this year. I love the concept but upon playing the demo further, it feels like it is missing something for me since I value being able to choose my gender.


I’m a girl and I typically play male MCs so a game being gender locked to male doesn’t bother me in the slightest as long as the game seems fun (Study in Steampunk is one of my favorite games, for example).

I actually might be less interested in female-locked MCs since the stories would probably revolve around “woman problems” and I deal with women problems all day so I don’t need them in my games too.



Ok, but seriously. Now you have me intrigued…


This is very intriguing! I hope this is as fun as Ace Attorney series.

@Mewsly The reason why I love CoG and HG because I get to be a female rebel, a female samurai etc. with romance as a subplot. Unlike most of the VNs and dating sims I played, I get to do other stuff than my end goal is to have a boyfriend in the end.


That’s actually not quite right as the only thing they do. Particularly since some animals are highly intelligent (re dolphins, chimps, some parrots, octopus etc) and some have complex social interactions and group structures. And that’s without anthromorphising.

You could even do some really interesting things like telling a wolf hunt primarily through scent and hearing, bird migration with the sun and magnetic fields, humpback whale songs and echolocation. Playing from the side of a predatory animal or the prey. The options are really boundless. Perhaps less familiar/relatable than a human, but would make you think. I find that half the fun. (I’d actually love to write an atmospheric one about humback whale migrations now, but I really need to not start another wip)


writing a Hosted Game about: 1) an owl protgonist, 2) with a set personality, 3) who isn’t interested in sex or romance, 4) who is gender-locked female, 5) and whose story is told from third-person POV,

But no one’s ever done it here. It could turn it very well :slight_smile:

That’s a good example of a complex animal based storyline :slight_smile:


Cool. I like doing that stuff with a male MC. To each their own.


I tend to dissociate myself whenever playing so I don’t usually have a problem with the gender choice aspect of some games. Rather than create characterized version of myself, I like to create characters based off the story and what would be the most interesting/fun to play as.

But most of all, I absolutely enjoy games with human-like or even fully non-human protagonists. It’s just so fun imagining being an animal/dragon/hyrid/alien/etc.! Just eish there were more games like that.


I love the idea of some different types of games, and would happily play as a vampire cat or zombie manatee - but I don’t really need to “relate” to a protagonist to enjoy a game as long as I like them.

I almost always play as female because growing up, there was rarely any option to do so in the games I played, and a lot of fiction too had the protagonist-with-agency being a guy. So getting to actually play as a woman still feels kinda awesome to me! That said I won’t refuse a game with a male protag, in the same way as I will consider reading a fantasy novel with a male protagonist, but I’m a bit more wary. TBH, a female writer makes it more likely I’ll buy it because I feel like it’s less likely that the MC is male as default and more likely to be a considered choice. I personally really love Study in Steampunk and think the genderlock works well. But like, I’m ok with it because there are so many games that aren’t genderlocked, having a few that are is fine by me. If every game were male only I’d check out in a hurry.

in general I think more variety is good and I don’t have a lot of hard “will never play it”, just thinks that raise my interest level up or down.


I don’t like this either. If they do this approach then the MC doesn’t even feels like much of a character.

What exactly do you mean when you say “woman problems”? I would like some clarification before I write a reply.


Depends on the time period, I guess? That could be anything from having babies and managing a household to… having babies and managing a household?

Man I don’t know that much about historical stuff. LOL.


Lol. And did you ever see a game about that?

To each their own anyways so I don’t want to discurage @Mewsly from taking the male route. I just don’t think a female genderlocked game would necessarily revolve around “woman problems”… that is of course if we are thinking about the same things, hence why I asked for clarification.


Can’t imagine I actually have, hahah. Which is good, 'cause I think that’s grounds for most depressing game ever.

((Unless it were handled really, really, really well. And even then that’s a bit of a stretch.))


I think in general people are going to be attracted to stories in which they can relate to the protagonist. It could be something like “I’m a dude and the dude I’m playing is a dude, I like this.”, or like, “Animals are hella rad, if I get to play as one I feel happy inside.” But like, at the same time, people really don’t like being forced to slog through a story with a character they can’t relate to at all, y’know? I mean, like, some people are into that, but that’s when they do it as a choice, right? What I’m like, trying to say is like, the only way to keep everyone happy would be to include options for every possible thing, but like, that can take away from the story in its own way. If you care about satisfying everyone, then go for that totally inclusive we’re all in this together stuff, but like, you don’t have to, y’know? If like, the story you want to tell requires the protagonist to be a certain way, then make them that way. Sure, it’ll like, turn some people away from your work, but like, it’s your story, y’know? Reading through these posts, it’s evident most of the folks here have got a solid amount of writing ability. If they aren’t happy with how you’re doing your work, that’s cool, they can go do their own stuff. That’s what I did when Twin Flames tried to force me into a heterosexual relationship. With a HERETIC. I just went and wrote my own romance story that didn’t involve a woods-dwelling devil-worshipper. I guess like, if you’re putting what gets you the most readers ahead of what you want the most, you’re kind of selling out. Don’t sell out. If you need money, go get a job or something. Writing shouldn’t be something you do to pay the bills, it should be something you do because you love to do it. Like any form of art, really.

That… went on way longer than I meant it to. Uh, the last time I made a post this long, I got into an argument that ended up getting me banned from this forum for six months, so like, I feel like I should just like, preemptively emphasize that I mean well? Please don’t verbally abuse me?