I think you’re conflating race and culture. While someone from a different culture can adapt the cultural and national identity of their adopted homeland, that doesn’t change the physical characteristics of that person as pertains to their race, and while race is an arbitrary category based on a series of relatively minor biological traits which inform how other people treat us, so is gender.
Although a setting may exist in a place where we are told that racial discrimination doesn’t exist, that doesn’t mean that setting is unmoored from our real world, especially one where the presence of certain ethnicities (like my own) as “protagonist” groups in certain genres (like high fantasy) are vanishingly rare. Personally, I do feel uncomfortable at times playing in and working with settings where “humans” as a whole are coded to a vague western european standard, and “everyone else” is either “foreigners” or replaced by some kind of non-human species.
Phenderson Djeli Clark writes a lot about this (though obviously the sidelining of black people in fantasy is different from the sidelining of east asian people) and I do see the idea of “racelocking” to a white default to be accepted more prevalently among WIPs here than say genderlocking.
Obviously “racelocking” isn’t a gamebreaker for me. I’ve made my own “western european fantasy” setting where I play around with the “humans are white” and the “non-human PoC” tropes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem when accepted uncritically.
I have to accept the fact my straight female Ronin appreciate other people’s body regardless they are the same gender or not. Though at least it was not that prevalent when your Ronin was not perverted I think.
I think that goes for more of us, I mean I first came here because I could have nice, escapist stories with gay protagonists that didn’t end badly and/or didn’t resemble bad 1990’s sitcoms.
Of course there’s odds that such a society is also highly sexist against gay or “effeminate”, trans or other guys who don’t exactly fall in line with its prevailing notions of “masculinity”, it may also be highly discriminating against its poor and unfortunate. So (some) guys get to experience a lot of discrimination as well.
Get a better razor then TSSL. The bad shaving job wouldn’t score you much first impression points with real-life me, I like either clean-shaven or a well-groomed beard or mustache.
Then again you did once say:
Mine just tend to be better looking, to the point where they can really pull of leather pants, which is a bit of a problem with my short legs, and maybe richer.
Aww…nobody is generic even if they don’t take very good care of themselves.
Thanks for that, cause that describes a lot of what I used to be aged 15-27, after that I just mostly got rid of the insecurity.
Except with the VN and to some extent JRPG genre it is the exact opposite, from what I’ve noticed.
As somebody who very much likes to play cute tall-ish guys in his escapism, it depends there are some really huge women, they aren’t the norm however, unless you make a tribe of super-amazons or something.
If the setting is relatively normal I prefer the good lady to be dragging, rather than carrying my tall male out of danger, for example. Unless, again, she’s a superstrong superhero or something like that.
Ideally that would depend on mc sexuality, for example just like it is in real-life for me, describe female characters by their distinctive features or accomplishments/fame (provided the mc knows of the latter) while describing male ro’s by how cute/attractive they are and mix that up for bi and straight. That is a lot of extra work though, so in a non-dating game I can forgive such transgressions rather easily.
That is a good approach, didn’t his other game “Wise use of time” also do this? Or am I getting confused here?
This is highly annoying, particularly if the mc’s in-game supposed “friends” are the ones who are doing this since they should know he absolutely isn’t into women.
I think @iris Beauty and the Beast game came close in that I believe the main character is required to identify as female, but they can be a trans woman. Would help with disguises in certain situations, I suppose. Oh, and you can be a trans man in the “Dream Daddy” VN or romance one.
If it is a game where dating and romance is totally optional, it depends on the writer’s skill and the quality of the game for me.
Oh, I agree. Maybe write a gay dating one for the upcoming Heart’s Choice label, though I don’t know if such a restriction would fit within their guidelines.
By the way, in case anyone is curious, here is my list for Male Gender Locked games on Hosted Games. I’m going to include games in the same series as separate entries. I also admit I may be off on a couple.
Sabres of Infinity
Guns of Infinity
Lords of Aswick
A Study in Steampunk: Choice of Gaslight
The Great Tournament 1
The Great Tournament 2
Treasures of the Forgotten City
Tale of a Kingdom - Swamp Castle
Doomsday on Demand
Path of Light
The Sons of the Cherry
No Proper Thief (responses like ‘Puff out your chest, muscle man’ help solidify that)
Ones, I am a little uncertain about (I haven’t looked at them in a long time)
Factions: Raids of the Divided - This doesn’t allow one to pick gender but all the leaders of other factions are male, so it feels like the MC is male.
The Gangs of Old Camp
I was thinking pretty much the same thing. Plus… That character wasn’t shy about what they had going on from what I remember, so. I’m pretty sure most Ronin would’ve taken notice at the very least. LOL Mine did, at least. (And my main playthrough is that of a gay male Ronin.)
The Infinite Sea series has already been covered.
Somme Trench and Marine Raider are both historical fiction, so I’d at least put that in terms of acceptability. Lords of Aswick is basically trying to be historical fiction with less actual historical baggage, much like early Game of Thrones. No Proper Thief is trying to emulate testosterone-overflowing heist films, so it’s still shaky but (marginally) understandable.
The rest, I don’t get. In Sons of the Cherry in particular, you’re a friggin witch in a secret society. You’re already outside of societal norms through that alone.
Also, that is a lot. About a tenth of the catalogue if you include the main label, closer to half if you don’t.
And yet almost all of them could have included a female gender option at some point.
You want to talk American Civil War? Deborah Sampson, disguised herself as a soldier
Games set in World War 1/2? Admittedly, if you are focusing on trench warfare (Somme Trench), then it couldn’t be done. But it was mentioned time and again of Russian female troops, someone mentioned other countries like Finland, and as well as resistance fighters.
Hell, one reason I think Divided We Fall was a great game is that it explored some of these issues, at least in the Spanish Silver War.
Actually, you can play as a female in Marine Raider. Allen Gies did engineer the situation to include it, even if you were essentially a special observer/agent.
This is where I will have to disagree. This is honestly a case where I don’t think a female robber, say thriving on violence, would be a problem. I can easily think of 2-3 female gangsters who would work fine in this situation.
I still say @Cataphrak’s game would be stronger with a female in that role but at least he can eloquently defend his stance. It also helps that he mentioned making a female gender locked series afterward…if he does, then I would consider it all one big series, then.
And I will forgive Lords of Aswick since the sequel will allow for playing as a female as well, though in a church environment. If anything, that actually excites me more since it will be covering ground different than most games.
You know, I actually thought the same thing a while ago, but it turns out if a narrative is well-crafted, and its characters are well-done, gender doesn’t matter quite as much as you’d think. The meat of a war story isn’t necessarily the fighting and killing, but the effect that fighting and killing (and boredom, and administrative incompetence, and privation, and so on) has on the human beings who have to go through it, and humans dealing with that sort of trauma and adversity doesn’t have a gendered appeal.
There’s a reason that (for example) the Hornblower novels and miniseries have such a large female following.
I working on trying that out atm. Tho once again I wouldn’t do this if the first game wouldn’t be free. I admit that I just tend to skimread then I have to remind myself that I probably shouldn’t do this bc I could miss important details.
when it comes to compare somehow cyoa with a book or novel it changes it all, since people that play a game want to immerse more in the game and choosing the gender help them, atleast for me, when i read a book or a novel i just read it and enjoy the writing from a different kind pov.
also since you are a writer, im sure people are more critict toward cyoa writers than book / novel writers…
The traveling part was interesting I admit. I don’t think I saw that done this way in any other CoG/HG so far. But I was annoyed when I had to restart the game bc I won the tournement even tho I wanted to lose. Lol. Not happy about winning a game kinda funny xD
How about downloading GT 2 and directly select a “New game”. There is a choice which asks you, “Did you win the tournament”. You can select “You lost”. You have to read the GT1 once to get to know the characters. Now that you have done that, U can as well select New game in GT2 and start the route instead of playing GT 1 again and losing.
EDIT: Aaaaand there was 20+ new replies while I wrote this…
Personal history stuff, to explain my point of view
I’m DFAB nongendered/genderfluid/trans-male, and present completely as female.
This was never a problem for me growing up, as my parents are of the school of children being people, not their gender, so I was allowed and encouraged to like whatever I wanted, regardless whether it was considered a boy- or girl-thing.
In school I was pretty much treated as a non-human, much less a gendered being, by my “peers”, and the few friends I had doing those years were never really very feminine or masculine, they were just people, and we did children stuff, not boy-activities or girl-activities.
There was some creeps on the internet trying to sexualise me, when that came around, but I pretty much just ignored them.
It wasn’t untill my late teens and early twenties, that I started experiencing being treated as a female.
Usually this came as being excluded from guy-activities, being treated “courteously” instead of friendly, being included in broad statements about “how girls are”, and having total strangers expect me to want to get married and have children.
Then there’s the whole body/gender dysphoria, annoying hormones and body stuff, that I won’t get into.
All in all, being female is - to me - just a negative addition to my fairly genderless existence.
As for the rare female side to my fluidity, she’s very much the least feminine part of me, kinda a toomboy, really.
The type of character I like and identify the most with, is the “effeminate” male.
I like him to be intelligent, intellectual, confident and affable.
It is so, so rare to find a character like that in any media. If they are intelligent, they are clumsy/shy or evil/not very nice.
I don’t like playing as female characters, but if the other option is a macho man, where I constantly get told how manly he is, you can bet I will be playing the woman, no matter how uncomfortable that might make me feel.
Of course, if the female option is super feminine and sexualised, I’d just throw that game in the never-play-this pile.
When it comes to romance (a part of games and stories I enjoy very much), I am extremely uncomfortable viewing it through a female POV.
On the other hand, I also don’t feel right being the one pursuing a romance, and female RO’s are just less likely to be a type to interest me, so I will join the others wishing more male RO’s would initiate, and wanting more M/M options.
I guess that’s why I enjoyed Choice of Romance and A Midsummer Night’s Choice, for the exact same reason I see others complain about them. For once I got to play androgynous males put in the traditionally female role of pursued in a romance.
In the end it all boils down to this:
When I can’t play the gender-expression and personality I want to be, or can’t get the type of romances I enjoy, it sends the message that what I want is wrong, which feeds into my general complex of being different, and wrong, and some kind of unforgivable abomination that shouldn’t be allowed to exist.
It really hurts.
And that’s why it’s important to show diverse gender representation in all media, and why I will always be on the side of more customization in these games.