Where are the aces (asexuals)?

I was just playing a demo for one of the games I don’t have, and I was reminded of one thing that tends to bother me about the games: “I’m not attracted to anyone” isn’t an option, that I can remember, so I can never play as myself or anything close.

Where are the ace options, whether of spades (asexual + aromantic) or of hearts (asexual + romantic)? We exist. (I’m ace of spades, myself—and that was true even as a teenager.)

I’m including those kinds of options in the game I’m working on, but do any have those kinds of options already?

8 Likes

How do you talk about a character who is asexual? He? She? It?

That kind of thing can get pretty confusing sometimes, and that is one of the main reasons why I don’t have it as a choice.

(Aromantic is easier to do, since you can simply hide the romance options.)

I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I’m fairly sure at least a few COGs have both a non-binary as well as an asexual option.

I believe Choice of the Dragon allows you to be asexual and aromantic

@ballmot “Asexual” doesn’t mean you don’t have a gender or a gender preference. It just means you’re not all that interested in sex (the definition is a little more complicated, and different aces have different feelings on the matter, but that’s the cliffnotes version). Changing pronouns and gender options wouldn’t be necessary. For an aromantic ace, like you said, you would just hide the romance options. Romantic aces would want romances without sex (though some are ok with it–like I said, different aces have different feelings on the matter). I guess people get confused because most people equate sex with romance, so they assume that “aromantic” means no love or sex, and if that’s the case then “asexual” must mean non-binary gender or something.

Personally, I’m a romantic ace, so I like having romance options. I just hate when we’re forced into a romance, or the game keeps saying how attracted I am to a person and how much I want to bang them when I actually just want an emotional attachment. That was one of my biggest problems with Heroes Rise.

Game: You’re so attracted to Black Magic. You want to have sex with him/her so bad.
Me: Um, no I don’t…
Game: Quiet! Yes you do!

14 Likes

I think it’s difficult to write something that you don’t really understand, or have no personal connection to. When I am reading/writing things that don’t resonate with me personally I tend to lose interest, and while that is a great reason to try and include everybody in reality a bored writer writes crap.

So in my opinion, while in a perfect world we could include every possible group. In the real world a writer writing from a place of inexperience is going to be wooden, and quite possibly offensive to the very people we are trying to include.

10 Likes

It is difficult to write something you don’t understand or have no personal connection to, but that sort of reasoning kind of fails when you have a ton of straight people writing about homosexuals and men writing about women or vice versa…

If you don’t understand something, you research it. If then you can’t bring it in you to connect to what you’ve learned, then you write about it anyway and try your best.

You don’t have to be asexual to write about asexuals, but this type of reasoning is pointless as well in regards to people who simply don’t feel comfortable or motivated enough to document asexuality.

Hey, OP, you’re right to say that ‘we’ do exist, but we’ve yet to be fully realized. All we can do is continue to build on our presence through a lot of writing, exposure and persuasion instead of questioning why we we’re in the shadows.

I’m including asexuality in my own interactive novel. And I think there are other games on here that make an effort to do this.

5 Likes

For the benefit of the discussion, I’m going to post some articles to help explain asexuality to the non-asexuals here. I found these particular articles really helpful while figuring out that I was ace, and I think those who aren’t asexual will find them informative, too.

This one’s really long, and there’s three parts, but it outlines what it’s like to be an asexual very well:
Part 1: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/possible-signs-of-asexuality-part-1-about-you/
Part 2: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/possible-signs-of-asexuality-part-2-about-sex/
Part 3: http://www.asexualityarchive.com/possible-signs-of-asexuality-part-3/

This one is a shorter and snarkier version of the above group of links. One of the few occassions where Cracked.com was informative: http://www.cracked.com/article_21988_6-weird-ways-world-looks-different-when-youre-asexual.html

And this is kind of the official asexuality website: http://www.asexuality.org/home/

4 Likes

I’m a “she” and have been told outright I can’t lack sexual interest in others because I’m incredibly attractive. –_– Some asexuals are male. Some are intersex (which means they have biological features of male and of female—which is more common than you probably think—and then whichever pronoun they want to use applies). The pronoun “it” indicates an absence of sentience, which makes it particularly poorly suited for people.

Asexuality really would not be hard to include in most games I’ve seen, especially if you’re already bothering to go non-binary. You have a character of gender X, and your character wants to have sex with… Female, Male, Both, Neither (which has to do with romantic attraction). Your character might also—or instead—want a relationship with… Female, Male, Both, Neither (which has to do with romantic attraction).

Thanks for reminding me of that. I’ll have to play again, because I don’t remember if that let me play as asexual orientation while biologically female.

snicker Word. :smile:

While I think this is true to a degree, it’s often used as an excuse. Freelancers and ghostwriters not infrequently have to write things they dislike, and good ones can produce interesting product even when we dislike what we’re writing about. Key is finding something to enjoy about it, even if all you’re enjoying is a logic puzzle.

You say that as if asking why is in opposition to writing/exposure/persuasion, rather than being one of the legitimate ways to bring up the topic. I was asking if/which games already have ace options, which was both for my sake (for finding a game to play) and to open discussion. :slight_smile:

Thanks for posting those links. :slight_smile: I’d forgotten about those, and they are helpful.

I’ve always appreciated aesthetics, myself, but for me, there’s no difference between looking at an attractive landscape and looking at an attractive person. None whatsoever.

6 Likes

Ohmygod, same here! My big “I’m asexual” flag was when some guy walked up to me at a jazz concert, told me I was pretty, and asked me if I wanted to go out. I was completely dumbfounded because I couldn’t figure out the connection between thinking a girl is pretty and wanting to go out with her. I know this sounds completely laughable to most people, but I was genuinely confused.

To answer the question of the thread, some of the games on this website leave out asexual options, but just as many try to include them. A lot of people just aren’t aware of it or don’t understand it enough. Here’s a list of the games I’ve played with ace options:

  • Guenevere (WIP)
  • When in Rome (also WIP)
  • Choice of Deathless
  • Choice of Kung Fu
  • Choice of Broadsides
  • Tin Star
  • Apex Patrol (ace is kind of the default since there’s only one romance, and it’s entirely optional though very interesting)
    There’s plenty more, but those are just off the top of my head.
6 Likes

I’d suggest keeping an eye out for the official beta-tests, signing up for them, and then providing appropriate feedback, in regards to the romances, and how asexual/aromantic characters can be implemented. I’d also suggest telling the authors why it’s important. They may or may not choose to implement it, but they will at least listen and it may influence any future writing.

There are games without romances. There are games where you can skip the romances. I know it’s not the same as being able to identify explicitly as asexual and/or aromantic though.

I think the main reasons for not including asexuality as an option is that authors generally don’t even think of it. They may also feel that removing any romance actually removes a chunk of the game. Or it removes character motivation. And sometimes, the romance is the story they want to tell, and removing that would be like removing all the violence from a war game.

With Black Magic, I always assumed that part of Black Magic’s reality warping powers was an aura of “I’m super-sexy and look like your dream person you want me so badly.” Even if you wouldn’t normally, even if you weren’t at all interested in sex, their mind-control powers trump that. If I recall though you can say you don’t want to have sex with them (unfortunately the sequels then assume it was just a “it’s too soon” as opposed to a “not ever.”) You can also just leave, and I think other than Black Magic you can ignore any future relationships.

9 Likes

I’m going to attempt to add in asexuality in my WIP. Nothing major or as complex as the sexuality is in reality, but I will have an option for the main character to say to certain romantic options “I’m not interested in having sex ever, but let’s have a relationship,” or “I’m not interested in sex or relationships ever,” or “Let’s have sex but no reletionship” and so on.

I disagree with writers including it if they don’t want to. I think people should create the games they like and are passionate about. Nobody is obligated to include anything in their games. Although representation is nice nobody is obligated include representation just as nobody is obligated to play a game that doesn’t include representation. Sexuality in reality is a very complicated matter, and to try to represent and integrate all aspects of it may be beyond what a writer WANTS to do. It’s unfair to expect every game to include all representation.

I do hope the trend of including alternate sexualities and identities continues, and I do invite aces and aros to give feedback on the implementation of ace and aro in my WIP when it reaches that point.

8 Likes

I think many people just don’t include aces and other groups because they just didn’t know they exist to begin with. I am Spanish and in my culture, language where there is nothing that includes them, nor info about there existence at all.
We are really a friendly country for transgender people, operation are free here, same with hormonal treatment, and you could have a identity as girl legally even if you halfway sex or the opposite, here even children have support for that. But we have no idea about asexuality being a problem, maybe is because we are a catholic society were celibacy exist. Here you just say no I am celibate, and people just accepted it , maybe is not well understood in young people but people just get along many man or woman just never have relationships or full romances . We have no neutral gender our language is based on gender all words have one except machines. So for me is weird, so What’s is like? It means people don’t wanted have any sexual organ or just want mixture both? Sorry if I sound racist or something it is not clearly what I am, I just want to understand it :frowning:

I said that to be hopeful! And also because anytime I see someone questioning something that’s lacking, it tends to rub me the wrong way. But that’s just personal.

My next game has an “I’m not attracted to anyone” option. People have suggested that a few times, so it’s being noticed.

3 Likes

After reading some of these articles, I think I might have made the Main Character of my game asexual without noticing it :open_mouth:

The more you know…

1 Like

Mirabella already mentioned this, but my WIP Guenevere allows the MC Guen to specify that she’s not interested in sex while still having romances, including the option of a no-touching-at-all courtly-love romance with Lancelot. Guen is never required to have sex, ever (though some characters may encourage her to for the sake of having children), and not having sex does not detract from the romances – at least, it shouldn’t. I’m always glad to have suggestions on how to make the asexual paths feel more cohesive and fulfilling for the reader.

8 Likes

Here’s the thing, Choice of Games is about inclusivity, so, I do actually think this is an extremely important discussion to have. Representation is important.

For the official games, there are some things the authors are obliged to include. If your protagonist has a gender then you must allow for at least male and female. (Some games you can go through without gender being relevant at all though). Ideally I’d like to see a gender-neutral protagonist be allowed as well, and no assumptions made that negate the possibility that the protagonist is trans.

If there are romances, then you need to cater to both gay and straight characters. Ugh, I’ve worded that awkwardly. Ideally I’d like to see bisexuality be an option, (and one that’s not immediately shunted into you have to pick one or the other), and asexuality (as something more than a ‘well you failed to romance who you wanted to’.).

5 Likes

@poison_mara

It is a bit more complicated than what I’m about to explain but I’m going to try and keep my explanation simple.

The word asexual in reference to humans, is different than when used in a scientific context. Asexuality has nothing to do with gender identity. It’s a sexual orientation, like heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual.

I think it’s a matter of desire and attraction.

Celibate people may still desire sex, they may be sexually attracted to people. They just don’t have sex (for whatever reasons).

Asexual people do not desire sex and/or experience sexual attraction.

1 Like

The inclusivity is why I like cog. I don’t mean to come across like I don’t think it’s important or not a valid discussion. It’s very important. I’m coming more from a more general writing and game creation viewpoint than the official COG games, and responding specifically to the idea that writers in general are obligated to include anything even if they don’t want to. People should really create what they want to create.

Anyway, I’ll bow out and just listen to what is said. I’m not ace or aro, so I don’t want to derail the thread. I support COG’s mission statement of inclusivity and am always happy to see it. I agree that there could be more asexual representation, which is why I chose to put it in the game I’m working on.

6 Likes