Why are there so many HGs genderlocked to male?


Rolling back for a second here, because I feel the need to address this, seeing as I’m the one whose works these reviews seem to be “targeting” in a lot of cases:

Genderlocking is a creative choice. It should be as open to criticism as any other creative choice. I have no problem with people buying my stuff, taking issue with the creative choices I made, and deciding to opt for a refund or ding their reviews scores because they disagree. There has only been one such review I’ve ever had issues with, and that was specifically someone who cited an obvious falsehood (that the characters were exclusively white when uh, hey, Cazarosta is right there on the cover, and so are half a dozen other Tierrans who are obviously not white) in their review of Guns of Infinity. People who take issue with one creative decision I made (genderlocking) shouldn’t necessarily be seen as sources of feedback any less valid than people who take issue with say, my writing style or my worldbuilding.

Reviews are subjective. A bad review doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t like it. There’s plenty of badly-reviewed “trash” I’ve had a blast with, and reviewers should have the freedom to say “thanks, I hate it” if they genuinely didn’t find it enjoyable.

However, there is a difference between reducing a score as a result of a creative decision and review-bombing a title because of a genderlock, and specifically for that reason. A lot of the reviews cited dinging male-genderlocked titles are still two or three, or even four stars out of five. That’s an acknowledgement that those reviews are informed by something other than an axe to grind. If I’m getting one star, that’s because someone doesn’t like my writing more than anything else. There’s a world of difference between “I can’t play as [gender], I’ll take a star or two off my review”, and “genderlocked female, one star.”


I know UnNatural started out as a choice of Male and Female because of my limited knowledge of transgender people. I mistakenly assumed a trans male would pick male and a trans female would pick female.

I never even heard the term nonbinary until these forums. So it was one of the reasons I was receptive to the suggestion to add a nonbinary MC by my editor for my rewrites.


I don’t know about that. I think it’s actually easier to write a tight quality story around a preset MC than the countless possible MC’s that can be produced from a blank slate during character customization. I think the Witcher series is a good example of this. Not everyone can get into playing Geralt of Rivia, but if you can then you’re in for an extremely tight, highly immersive story of the like that Bioware’s Dragon Age series can only dream of. Bioware typically juggles dozens to hundreds of customizable variables that mostly get dropped and are never seen again much to the disappointment of its players. CD Projekt Red had far fewer variables to deal with and so was able to impart far greater significance and meaning to them in the story.


I hate the witcher with all my soul and Gerald is probably the most hatred in a bad way i had for a character ever. I felt dirty racist and terrible playing the first game. And as woman i felt terribly insulted. Third was better i liked 3


@OdicHastings Cursed lady and weakest knight has 2 preset characters, one female MC and one is her fiance Male MC…
Both Male and female MC is with respective of their own narrative as in the eyes of a male or a female… which i found quite intriguing , since i can also play the role of the cursed lady and experience what is her narrative to the weakest knight :slight_smile:


I can understand the insult a woman might feel from the first game in the series. The playing cards with pictures of Geralt’s conquests were a terrible idea. They received plenty of well-deserved criticism for that and they listened since they did not carry it into the sequels. I disagree with your racism argument however. The game intentionally demonstrates just how ugly racism can be and gives the MC the opportunity to make a stand against it. Furthermore, as a mutant, Geralt himself is at times subject to racism. While the game doesn’t force the player to do so, it certainly encourages the player to make a stand, and that choice is arguably the most significant in the first game because of its vast consequences for the rest of the game.


I think in first game they missed the point as I saw Gerald like a bully that only objective in live was collect women and insult elves. That’s because I mistook a choice and he instead of help an elf he denounced him It was my mistake but that joined his behaviour with woman in general I return game next day. Second i play ten hours after that i rage quit Third i ended it. Still I would kill to be ANYONE except Gerald. Roach Jen . Ciry Avelarch … The tax man …


Indeed, despite even otherwise non-gamer colleagues at the firm raving about it that game definitely wasn’t for me. Be a fantasy racist, homophobic, misogynist and bang girls for this “fun” collectible card game and achievement, ugh!


Yep. I always had Geralt stop the racist thugs from assaulting his dwarven friend, and I also had Geralt stop the Order from massacring the elven villagers in a fit of racist extremism.

I should point out that Ciry , Triss and Yennefer are all very strong and highly lusty female characters as well. Sorceresses are no more known for monogamy than witchers. Triss and Yennefer play the field just as much as Geralt does.

As I’ve already said to Mara, the game doesn’t in any way make you play a racist character. In fact it gives you plenty of reason to take a stand against racism, whether its in defense of one of Geralt’s dwarven friends who is being abused, or in preventing the massacre of an entire village of elves. As for homophobic, I wasn’t really looking for it at the time so maybe I missed it, and it’s been several years since I’ve played it so my memory is a bit foggy, but why do you consider the game homophobic?

Anyways, I already acknowledged that the story is not for everyone, and certain decisions they made like the playing card CG’s were boneheaded, but that doesn’t take away from the tightness of the narrative and the way the choices you made always felt meaningful and had consequences. I wish Bioware, which is a bigger company than CD Projekt Red, could write a story that tight, but by trying to be all things to all people they have far more variables to juggle and they’re forced to play a sort of triage in determining which variables actually get worked into the story. I’m still ticked at them for the way the god-baby went out with a whimper…


I prefer bioware to be forced to be a male than lust for women by pure only option. If i want read the witcher and play a fixed story i will not buy a rpg. For me role play means more than be pre set male in this and preset male x on that . In witcher 3 they add more player agency and sweet Gerald assness. I have never said sorcerers are better I only say I didn’t enjoy gerald I liked ciri or even emperor far more.

Most preset character in role playing are stereotypes In fact more stereotypes that blank ones. Still i understand the appeal in the 1% i like of them


CD Projekt Red has certainly evolved from the plucky little Polish start-up it once was, and while they’ve made some sizable mistakes, they’ve also been extremely responsive to customer feedback, which is why there was significantly more player agency in Witcher 3.

The more money a company sinks into a project the more risk averse they tend to be and the more likely they are to stick to existing stereotypes and cliches. On the plus side that leaves room for smaller companies to step in and reap the benefits of any risks that pay off as CoG is doing.


That’s leaving out the idea that it’s, well, not hard-coded, but is like software rather than hardware… not innate, but something picked up from the social environment around them. That’s what people who are talking about subconscious biases are usually referring to. And that makes it something that people can work at unlearning and compensating for—which is work, yes. It also makes for something that people can strive to improve in the world.

The usual big bodybuilder physique is more of a power fantasy than a sex fantasy. It’s projecting an appearance of strength. That’s really not the same as what I’d be attracted to (at least not at the extreme).

I thinked Slammed! does? I don’t think it always changes, but I think there’s an option unlocked for female characters to challenge a sexist male character. Which I think works as a way to include a plotline dealing with sexism without forcing it on all female main characters.

Would that fit for a trans man/nonbinary option as well? :thinking:


You’re not forced to play anything. That choice is on you. Just like the choice whether to genderlock or not, is on the author.


I would agree with you in this particular game. Mechanically, winning the world title as a woman isn’t no different than a man.

There are definite text changes in the latter part of the game commenting ‘first woman to challenge for a title’ or ‘there are higher alto voices in the crowd.’ Such changes would probably qualify for @Eric_Moser’s question.

And @TSSL is right that Paul Prototype is a misogynist, and his words change if the player is female.


I wouldn’t play them if forced to play as a straight male mc. The draw here for me has always specifically been that I can play as a non-stereotypical gay man in the protagonist roles that us gay men never get to fill in the mainstream media and AAA games. If that were no longer possible this site would quickly lose its attraction to me.


I think what they are trying to say is that if the game is gender or orientation locked, and if you have an issue with that, nobody is forcing you to buy or play that game. You could just ignore it. At least thats how I read it. Forgive me if I’m mistaken.


Oh, yeah, well then I agree. No one forced me to play the Witcher and so I didn’t because its protagonist (among other things) did not interest me in the slightest, for example.


Yeah. I can usually get over it in games that have preset characters like the Tomb Raider games for example. But in stories where I make my own character like Knights of the Old Republic, The Elder Scrolls, and most games on this site I really have a hard time getting into games that gender lock me to female. But then again I am a shameless self insert so its not that surprising haha.


No, no, you’re doing it wrong, bdsm gear. Mostly on twinks. Twinks in general. Or point out the camera. Or a bulge. To this point I say Voldo is clearly the hottest male in video game history.

Unless it’s Japanese, they’re used to twinks, so you can argue swoll Dante is fanservice.

I generally like set characters more than blank slates. I mean blank slates are meant for me to project on them, and I never get to do it the way I want to anyway.

I remember bugging @Lucid before TLH3, hoping that gender would affect us because of a pregnancy and being disappointed that it wouldn’t affect anything.

I in general like different experience based on stuff like that. I don’t feel like any effort was put into inclusion if inclusion is just an extra or swapped around word. Though I am speaking from as a person who’s group that he holds most dear does need effort to include in the first place. And as someone who generally doesn’t care all that much about it in the first place and views it as an added bonus as opposed to mandatory for me to play the game (I mean honestly despite being black, I’ve only ever decided to play as non white in games when I hear the game’s different)

Honestly as an albino Geralt would have problems anyway irl. I want more albino in games, give me more tombstones from Spider Man. More colored albinos! Or vitaligo!


If it’s any consolation, as someone who read the books before playing the first game (well, some of the books, they weren’t all translated in my language at the time) and generally liked them (not flawless by any stretch, but pretty solid), I felt the same way. The first game is… pretty terrible, and Geralt in it is awful.

It’s especially bad because Geralt’s main source of conflict in the books is that he’s essentially someone with somewhat modern values thrust into a world with firmly non-modern standards. He died trying to protect non-humans from a mob lynching, FFS!