Why are there so many HGs genderlocked to male?

I just browsed to gender-locked male tag and looked at the summaries of some of the WiPs and most of the genres aren’t to my taste (wanted to revisit if the male-lock was the main reason why I wasn’t playing these WiPs). Turns out… I’m not really interested in deep space sci-fi, of playing a game set in WWII, playing in a medieval military, or in the wild west.

None of these pitches hooked me.

I can get my wild west craving fulfilled by playing Tin Star for instance, so I’m not interested in searching for the next Tin Star - especially if it’s gender locked. I’d rather watch a documentary about WWII instead of playing through that setting. Deep space sci-fis are either a yes or no because I like fantasy more than sci-fi and I’d rather play as an alien rather than a human if there’s sci-fi WiP. And playing in a medieval military/setting is kinda lackluster to me unless there are dragons.

Edit: If I’m given the option to pick between having a choice and not having the choice even offered regarding a gender lock male, I’ll pick having the choice every time - no matter how superficial it is - because I appreciate having the choice.


Hey, nothing wrong with being super picky. I spent the first six or seven years of my life subsisting almost exclusively on Kraft and hot dogs.


Sounds yummy~ :yum:

But back onto topic, upon reflection having a gender-lock or not isn’t as important to me as it once was and the context in which the gender-lock is pitched is probably more important when I decide if I want to play a CoG or HG.

If someone made an IF WiP where I could play as an eight foot tall space lizard bounty hunter - that just so happened to be gender locked -, I’d be up for that because hooray lizard people! (Krogan are awesome and they’re pretty much all I played as in the ME3 multiplayer).


Sounds like a good attitude to me. Especially as it pertains to Urdnot Wrex and his friends.


If you include romance then gender and preferences are inevitably going to come up, as will many of the other romance tropes. Now in 2018 and beyond I simply refuse to waste time on romances that are not male/male, with some effort I can relate, sure but it is just not worth my ever more scarce recreational time.
In addition it is hugely, hugely liberating to be able to play a non-stereotyped, unashamedly and unabashedly gay hero, villain or heck any other protagonist role the mainstream media and AAA videogames will just not grant to gay men. Particularly if we’re not heavily stereotyped.
I like that in my entertainment, I deal with enough anti-gay bullshit in real life, I don’t need to let it into my entertainment too, particularly not my interactive entertainment. Non interactive is easier, because I’m not nearly as invested in it, nor likely to spend tens or even sometimes hundreds of hours on a single product.

With effort I can imagine and probably write down some non-gay smut too, but that’s an awful lot like work and not particularly fun for me. Unless I ever make a labour of love CoG myself it is something I would like to be paid for and definitely not something I do for fun.


:slight_smile: Maybe so. But I’d thought that your comments I responded to were steering the conversation back in the direction of “what’s the point of gender choice unless it gives significant variation in code/gameplay?” which is I suggest only a step or two removed from “should stories offer gender choice?”

Binary choices that offer significant variation in code (i.e. beyond pronouns and flavor text) aren’t easily implemented. If gender choice had to be as significant as (say) the helot/aristo choice in Rebels, authors would rightly think twice before including it.

Happily, it doesn’t; and the “pronouns alone” choice of gender shouldn’t get the disdain that it too often does. Jason said it more concisely than I ever have: “The fact that these qualities don’t matter [in CoG games] is a feature, not a bug. Instead, character and story are determined by the player’s choices, not by the random lottery of their genetics.


I’m not saying there’s no point. It makes people happy, and at very little cost. Besides, if I considered it pointless, I would not have featured gender choice in both my published story and my WIP. But if people know the option is little more than window dressing in most cases, it seems like the vitriol that the lack of it inspires is disproportionate. To dislike not having the option is one thing. To outright reject or even hate an offering for this alone is something else again.

I may just have to accept that I can’t understand, though.

You do seem to be saying there’s very little point, though, no? That’s what language like “window dressing” and “lip service” points to; if it doesn’t change the written story, it’s just window dressing. By contrast, the reasons why a choice of pronouns, ethnicity, etc. makes people happy seem both clear and reasonable to me, as is the reason why it’s more important to them than most other gameplay features. I don’t think it’s window dressing at all.

When a genre has been created that gives people something they’ve been hungry for their whole lives–the ability to be the hero of the story, no caveats or second-class citizenship–I’m not surprised that the lack of it is clearly noted in reviews, including a minority of reviews that I’d agree are “vitriolic.” People get their enjoyment from much less significant things, after all, and those show up in firmly-worded reviews too.

Hating any piece of art is hard for me to get my head around–I’m a “disagree without hate” kind of guy in general–but it doesn’t baffle me if it’s grounded in a criticism I understand, especially if I can see how it hits someone personally. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of my fellow people of faith get vitriolic about the umpteenth piece of art that takes for granted the total irrelevance of religion. So it’s not hard for me to grasp how a game that takes for granted the impossibility of women, PoC, LGBT people, etc. being protagonists of an adventure would evoke a reaction that goes beyond mere disagreement.


They do matter in the romances of course and at least in your game in how (characters from) more sexist and gendered societies, like Halassur might (initially) view the mc.
And there is the matter that for Helots being gay is de-facto forbidden or at least very heavily stigmatized, even if that is more due to the nature of the blood economy than religious prejudice per-se. Though the less tolerant Ecclesiasts, like Zebed, were and are certainly trying to turn it into a religious prejudice, at least for the lower classes.
The mc themselves and their followers are, fortunately, quite free to go against that. But I’d say in your game gender and sexuality do matter somewhat, particularly since they are to some extent tied up in that choice between the helot and aristo backgrounds. I could speculate more on it, but that is perhaps better saved for the XoR2 thread, once that comes around.

In summary, while gender choice in XoR may not be as significant as the choice between the helot and aristo backgrounds I certainly wouldn’t label it entirely insignificant either.


I have been away from this thread for some time, because I had the feeling, it only circles around. But I made up my mind, that posting might actually a not so bad idea.

I want first make clear, that I am a straight, White, female. So to make clear that my point of view is based on this.

@hustlertwo I want to explain to you, why to me personally, a choice about the gender is more important than about heritages and ethnies. It may be this way, because I am white, but I think it is more based on the fact, that the gender is a fact and trait, that is in the game very offen. The age of the mc is mostly not clearly stated, so I am free to Imagine it, the way I want to. Same is with ethnies, as long as there is no choice about this, I could be black, or tanned, if I like to see myself that way. In my mind e.g. Jaime and Woody from ZE Safe Haven are black, nothing in their description, at least for me as a foreign reader, contradicted that. But the Game made totally clear, that both are male.

So by reading a male MC, it is always repeated. That is what makes the difference for me. You just can’t unread the gender, because it is always present.

I have been a gamer Girl, now more a gamer mum or granny, since I was about 10. Aside from RPG there were near to null games featuring a female MC or the possibility to choose. So I went along because I wanted to play.

But now in most games I can choose, so I so, and stop “wasting” time on Games, where I can’t. I am one of the people saying I would certainly not buy a genderlocked male Game, I would not give a bad review, but tend not to buy it. Funny thing is, I play often as a male.

I don’t want to be horrible to any author who wants to genderlock their Games. But everytime I read the excuses made for genderlock Grüße, they might be good Arguments, I will not Argus, but to me it feels Like an instant: I do not care enough about you. So I decide to care not enough for the Game, either.

Of course this is based and probably unfair. But feelings are not about being fair. But I have to state and also agree with you that reviews should not be based on feelings. In stores I never leave bad Reviews or Scores, because I don’t want to harm the author.

Puh I think this was the longest post I ever wrote from my German autocorrecting mobile. :yum:


Doesn’t that depend on the story? I mean a story largely going in first person or second person, especially with fewer characters, can easily make it just as present as ethnicity or religion. Or I can just as easily add some other group that would be ever present in the story or even more so.

For example in a game where you decide, it would be easy to avoid a description to leave it to the viewers imaginations, or having a one size fits all description, and the only difference being a pronoun or title.

1 Like

@Kaelyn Biased, maybe. But certainly not unfair. If you have a personal preference but don’t use it to smack the author over the head with a bad review, you’re being pretty fair indeed.


@Dark_Stalker you are totally right, in certain games where you are adressed in 1st or 2nd view that is right. But I also mostly play games with romance options, this is a genre where gender comes to play eventually :grin:.

Although having romance/friendship parts is important for me, I sometimes buy games without this, Like @hustlertwo s Game when they Sound cool.


Well see, now you’re my favorite person in the thread. I’m easily swayed like that.


It still doesn’t sound that prominent in games without explicit genitalia describing sex, and even less with a gender flip option, if it doesn’t get into any issues involving gender, than it sounds to me like I can easily make another group more prominent, like coloring mc’s thoughts with prayers and such and treat the gender of the mc and the ro like “you got in the bed together, ummmm let’s see… you grinded for a bit and… stuff yeah! And! And!.. ummm… you did stuff in the dark… lots of stuff! Like ummm… you know what just draw in your own conclusions!”

As you can tell I’m a hardcore smut writer.

Anyway, in a more concise way, if everything still sounds neutral the same way you play it, making another group important seems easy.

Or if it does affect things, you can have gender make the other group more important.

Flattery get you everywhere nowadays :blush:


I’ve meant to say this since a while: I think the great thing about forums like this is that we can say stuff like “I won’t play a game if it has … in it” or “I don’t like if a game has … in it”, but we don’t have to go on the google stores or whatever elses review page and leave a bad review bc of this. The author can read what our opinion about their game is and still we don’t ruin the sale of their game which could be ruined or at least decreased if for example all the people here who said they don’t feel comfortable with playing a game with male protagonist would say this on the Infinity series review page and give it just 1 star.


Okay I’m really curious which you guys prefer. I think logically a game with an MC whose gender is nowhere stated so it’s entirely up to the players imagination should be the same as where we can choose the gender, but the difference is only an s as @MadMinnie put it. I wonder if I’m the only one to whom there still is some difference and would rather choose the MCs gender even if thats the only difference it makes.

  • Gender choice for the MC
  • MC with nondefined gender
  • Both is equally fine

0 voters


I’m not saying you are advocating for this position, but I never understand this “only an s” business. It seems odd to talk about the letters. It’s like saying the difference between a thousand and a hundred is “only a zero”; why do you care about a zero so much?

Or saying that you defeat the dragon with a word as opposed to a sword. It’s just an “s”! I mean, all we have are words here to create the narrative for us. Which words get used make a big difference.


It is not only an s, it is far more than that it is the posssibility of imagine new sort of characters from a shy chubby girl To a sassy guy… When I was kid only table top give me the opportunity to express myself as a charismatic powerful woman free of stereotypes due media only portrait of women was damsel of distress or meat sex toy. A weak submissive coy blushing creature putting there to catter cis hetero male fantasies. I am not hetero cis male I am sick tired of be forcing role playing as one due 99% of movies books videogames are gender exclusive male …It is easy say oh dont buy it when you are a cis man So thenlike saying don’t buy absolutely any entertainment . I play genderlocked games and some are my fabourites but I vastly find better could be free to role play as mara and see my mara in my mind is far more enjoyable to me It is not just a letter is a open window to my imagination and a posibility to be a warrior not stereotyed


I do hope my post about “just an s” didn’t come across as me downplaying it as meaningless as that definitely wasn’t my intention and I apologize if that’s how it came across.

To clarify: I meant that the bar for making people seriously happy is really low.

Personally, I would prefer it if your creation choices made some difference (though preferably not just in a negative way). For example, I’ve heard (but I’m sure it varies) from numerous gay people that they feel like they can comfortably be themselves more with other gay people than with straight people because they feel safer and get them better than straight people. Having a gay character open up to a gay MC faster, for example, seems like a cool way to make that MC feel a little more alive and meaningful and adds variety to the different MCs. To me at least.

But underepresented people often don’t dare ask for that sort of content because even just asking for a gender option (the extra s) in a game where gender doesn’t even play a part and where nothing additional is being requested is already considered unreasonable and asking for too much by some. So imagine what responses you’d get asking for anything more than just a swap from he to she. That’s what I consider sad sometimes.

Hope that was a little clearer. :disappointed_relieved: