Why are there so many HGs genderlocked to male?


It’s the same with some of the male locked ones if you scroll through the reviews. “male locked. one star review”.
People are just gonna do that no matter what, male or female, doesn’t matter to them it seems. And those people are free to do so if they feel like that’s valid criticism.

This whole “issue” is so much deeper than “straight males” being biased towards male locked games(if that’s what you’re saying, correct me if I’m wrong on that). Which I don’t think most are btw. It really has nothing to do with the person who reads it and everything to do with the person who writes it. People can take issue with that, that’s completely fine, as with everything. I just think you’re wrong if you believe that.
From what I can tell, every single male OR female locked HG is written by a male. This discrepancy could exist because of two reasons.

  1. There’s simply more HGs written by males(overwhelmingly in fact).
    And, 2. Male writers have a harder time genuinely writing from the point of view of a female.
    This does happen, a valid excuse, no deflecting there. Actively making the choice to do this shows you care about the quality of the character you are putting the most care in to, which is the MC… you, if you so wish.
    As for the 2nd point, I honestly think this is a weakness of some of the ones written by a female writer, where the writer has either felt the need to include a male option or simply felt they were comfortable with writing from a male characters point of view, or some other reason I wouldn’t know about. Often these are written in a very… gender neutral manner, resulting in, imo, the choice being fairly useless. Where the only real differences when you pick male or female are pronouns and the word “male” or “female” on the stat page. I know a lot of people will disagree with me on that…

And as I said, this comes from someone who genuinely couldn’t care less to play a male character in a game or story, it frankly just doesn’t interest me. The exceptions are few and far between.


Adding my two cents, I saw there was a bit of conversation on why historical realism isn’t a good excuse to gender lock a game. But that argument presupposes that the author would need an excuse as to why they gender locked their game, when they don’t.

In the end, it’s the authors decision, one they don’t need to justify. If they want to write a male protagonist, they can. People are free to criticize this decision if they don’t like it but they’re under no obligation to listen to them if they don’t want to. It’s no more excluding to women than a book with a male protagonist is.


diman, the first ‘bad because girls’ “review” was done, iirc, not even five minutes after release…

Show me ONE genderlocked male game that received that treatment


You will always get reviews like that if you chose to gender lock games. I hear authors talk all the time about the ridiculous reasons people give them low ratings. What do you expect when you publish a gender locked CYOA game? All I’m trying to do is point out that the majority of low ratings are not due to the gender locking but due to other factors. As for male locked games that receive that treatment, I’d wager to say that the majority of people who play games like Lords of Aswick, the Infinity series, and the Great Tournament are males so the gender locking to male is less of a factor to them. At the very least they know from the get go what they are getting into so if they don’t like it being gender locked they just won’t buy it. That being said, just a quick search on the Google Play Store shows that somebody gave a bad review to Sabres of Infinity for being gender locked to male.


not. even. 5. minutes.

C’mon. Show me ONE genderlocked male game.
Just one.

Sure, you can know after 5 min of playing whether or not it’s locked if you didn’t read the description, but I haven’t yet seen one where people gave a gl male game such treatment


And all I’m saying is what do you expect? Its the review section of a game. You are turning something into a gender issue where it doesn’t need to be one. You will always get these kind of people. You aren’t going to change them. If your game truly has merit the positive reviews will outshine the negative ones. If you take this kind of stuff to heart you will only make yourself miserable while making them feel good. Trying to fight against jerks in a reviews section is not the hill you want to die on.

Either way its the authors choice in the end. If they want to gender lock their game let them. If they want to take the potential heat that comes from it, let them. Its their story and their labor of love.


verily, the threat about why a lot of HG games are GENDERlocked has NOTHING to do with gender issues. Truly, how could it?


I’m talking about the game reviews, not the topic itself. Both female and male gender locked games get negative reviews for being gender locked. Its not a problem that just one group has.


I think it’s time that each one step back a little. Each one has presented their case and this might turn into a circular argument.


I think it is time to step back as well. The thread may end up getting locked, which may or may not be for the best, depending.

Regardless, I see it a lot with all kinds of games getting silly reviews. They can’t be stopped and it says more about the individual than anything else.


I think it hasn’t been anyone’s intent to silence the authors who do not feel comfortable writing female MC’s. They indeed have every right to write their stories purely from male PO if they so wish.

However, these kind of topics are important to ponder on, because some writers may be in the misconception that their target audience is just white straight males 'cause no other groups exist in the gaming world. Or that other players may happily settle for playing as a man because it’s “always” been so.

For many, many years game companies have thought that they don’t even have to think about making MC other than white straight male, because there are no other type of gamers. Well that’s proven to be a moot point, because there are a lot of people who’d like to be immersed into their games and are not the said target audience. Many companies have the money and the resources to make this happen but they choose not to. It’s been pissing people off for a long time. Thus these kind of topics will raise strong, frustrated emotions.

So what about the writers of interactive stories, then. Ofc there are times when one’s story absolutely requires MC to specific gender. That’s fine. Maybe it adds too many variables, maybe the writer doesn’t feel comfortable writing any other gender’s PO but his own. But please, do not make up excuses for your choices (whether it be historical accuracy or what not). Stand by your creative choices and be prepared to lose some of the audience unless you’ve given them a good reason for them.


I can’t believe I missed the Crusader Kings discussion. That’s my favourite game of all time :pleading_face:

But, while I can play a genderlocked game and it’s completely your choice to make a genderlocked game, it’s kind of frustrating because it just limits my options. I love replaying these games dozens of times with vastly different characters, and gender choices can really help just make similar ones feel a bit different, haha.


I tried not to involve in this topic but i felt that perhaps i need to defend some of the male genderlocked author so that they are not being perceived as writing such stories out of personal gain or agenda…

Swamp castle and Great Tournament 1 by @Jerieth

And Doomsday on demand by @Myst were initially published as Free download game for those who are interested in their creative story , by doing so these author gain “nothing” in term of money or “fame” except for the shared passion with those who love their game… i join the interactive fiction community and the forum last year , without purchasing any of the paid game yet … DoD , swamp castle and Great tournament were 3 of the games that invoke my interest of the genre , when i was still a “noob” then, i had shared my interest and discussion in DoD and Great tournament in the forum by discussing the story and the possibility with fans who enjoy the game … it was a genuine surprise when the authors replied and even joining our discussion back then about their games, i can sense that they wrote the game out of their own passion by sharing with us without getting any monetary reward … and it was during the constant pleading from us fans who long for a sequal that both authors decided to try for a sequal… during the past conversation , i fully believe that it was out of their sheer passion that they continue to develop games for their fans , and even when the sequals were published , they were among the cheapest HG … hence to threat these authors with comment like " be prepare to lose audience" was not fair to them at all :slight_smile:

In @Jerieth case, he had even implement alternative route that allow female protagonist to be feature in Great Tournament 2 even though it was done in lots of difficulty since the original MC from GT 1 was male, to implement a female MC the author had to implement a separate story where the original MC was “killed” , for those who didn’t understand it, GT2 had received it fair share of criticism because some who felt the story was “disjoint” …

In the end , i do think authors who write genderlock games did so out of their own passion of writing a game which they felt comfortable with , instead of with intention of appealing to any group of readers :slight_smile:


I’ve had no intention of threatening anyone and I’m sorry if that’s how it came across. It’s just a fact that if you write from a certain POV, you’ll alienate people who’d like to play from different POV. If I were to write a story purely from a female POV, I’d alienate the audience who’d like to play as some other MC. And my intention was to explain why some might react strongly to this debate.


Tell authors things is DEFINITELY important. It remind me of BioWare and romances for the female audience. Writers at BioWare had to be told about how much female players were tired of the “dead wife” trope in male LIs.

Because writers where convinced female players liked a mature male romance, and to make him feel mature and capable of love, used the dead wife trope, but didn’t realized how overused the trope was in BioWare games, until they talked with their fanbase.


Is that really a thing? Gosh.

One minor RO in my story has a dead wife / daughter which gives context to his loneliness and single-mindedness in his pursuit of his passions. Is that a huge cliche I’m falling into?


That’s fine. Just because it’s overused doesn’t mean it can’t work as long as you put effort into it.


If you have played BioWare games, I fear so…
At least four male LIs in BioWare’s four almost consecutive games had the guy with the “dead spouse” or as it’s called by BioWare’s fandom “Carth’s Syndrome”.

Of course it all depends on how you develop it. Having an adolescent child to take care of who’s angry at the surviving parent is half the trope, tho.
The other half is that the dead patner was basically a saint, perfect in everything and the LI still pine after them.

As long as there are other guys to choose from, I think you are safe.

And maybe your players would not even know it’s a tired trope if they aren’t into BioWare games.


“Woman/family dies so that man can do something” is a plot device you see everywhere.