Why are there so many HGs genderlocked to male?


Literally all of them. The story only exists insofar as it is being experienced by the reader. Anything that changes the reader’s experience (from a negative one to a positive one, from a restrictive one to a permissive one, from an excluding one to a validating one, from a generic one to a unique one) – by definition changes the story.

If you didn’t experience any change in the story… well, have you considered that maybe the story wasn’t written with you in mind?


A written story objectively exists, regardless of whether or not you read it, or I read it, or anyone on the face of the earth reads it. Does this post exist? Yes, it does. Does the existence of this post hinge on whether anyone reads it? No, it does not.

You are talking about the reader’s reaction to the story, and yes I would venture to guess that every person on this entire forum would agree that the reader’s experience is important. I don’t think anyone is saying, “Let’s disregard the reader’s experience.”

So yes, the gender selection option may change the reader’s experience, and yes I agree that’s an important thing to consider, but it does not change the body of the story. It does not change the MC’s stated worldview, or actions, or experiences. It does not change how NPCs respond to them. It does not impact central story elements: setting, tone, inciting incident, conflict, resolution, anything. It basically treats gender as a ‘skin’ (as another poster pointed out) that can be slapped on the MC (much like hair color or eye color) that doesn’t objectively change the MC’s journey in any quantifiable way.


Hmm. But assuming you are right about that… Isn’t it an argument to NOT genderlock the story? If it doesn’t change anything to the story and the writing itself and the journey itself, but is a potential disconnect factor for the players, then you should NEVER genderlock the story, because the only result you achieve by that is a negative one.

Mind you, I’m not entirely agreeing with your rationale. Or more to the point, I think it shouldn’t be true - in that sense, I really like games that try to make differences, even minor ones, depending of your gender, to create a more complete experience. Though I acknowledge it means more work for the writers.


That was me. Yay, I was pseudo-mentioned! :smiley:

And yes, I believe it’s just a matter of identifying potentially differentiative content, which would/may require more than just a simple pronoun flip.

Example: Will a gay character be written the same as a straight character?
Maybe. But maybe not. It depends on how you write it.

Elaboration: “The sun is warm. The grass is green.”
Question: What kind of character is speaking here? Nonbinary? Female? Male? Gay? Straight? A computer program?
Answer: We have no way of knowing from that sentence.

Example 2: “When I was twelve years old my breasts started to grow, and I felt uncomfortable at the boys staring at them.”
Question: What kind of character is speaking here?
Answer: It would appear, at least from a surface examination, that this dialogue is within the realm of “female” (at least from my perspective).

Example 3: “It wasn’t until I was 18 that I started liking girls. I think it started senior year when we all shared lockers together.”
Question: What kind of character is speaking here?
Answer: (General question open to everyone - what is your answer?)


Conclusion: In the type of writing where it is 100% unclear as to what kind of character is speaking, i.e. Example 1, a pronoun flip should be fine. However, when it is less than 100% clear as to what kind of character is speaking, then this may be that potentially differentiative content I was talking about. This may require more than just a simple pronoun flip.


Oh I think we have a lot of agreement.

To your second point first, yes I’d also be interested in seeing games where gender was both recognized in the story and played a role in the narrative. It’s my understand that CoG’s new romance/erotica line will do that, so I’m super interested to see how it’s executed.

To your first point, yes business wise I totally agree. I mean, if adding 2 minutes worth of code that won’t require any additional work could potentially double the size of my audience, I see it as a no-brainer. I did it with CCH. But that’s obviously contingent on the “no additional work” part. If gender actually played a factor, or if the main character was set, then obviously that wouldn’t hold true.


UnNatural has variations depending on the gender of the MC. The story does change slightly. But never locks someone out because of it.

Examples: during the school section you can go to a party the guy at the door will let a girl right through but tries to stop a another guy who is helped by another character.

Likewise when in the srt at the start the guy who trains you gives you different training sets depending on gender and is a creep if the MC is feel and the player can ignore it, call it out or even knee him where it hurts.

There are a few other scenes. Nothing major just adds flavour to the scenes.


I’ve seen a lot of people talk about set characters/ pre-set characters, is there a thread for his? if not it could be good to create one and discuss about it, make polls and see people opinons, this one covers genderlock, but there could be another type of set, as in personality etc


To be honest, I would be interested in having some small variation from gender, but the way it’s usually presented makes me wary. It often seems to go: male=basic/neutral experience, female=ADDED DISCRIMINATION

Sorry to use your example @Nocturnal_Stillness, but like this:

Even if you really want to have a character displaying gender discrimination, why not switch it up a bit? Have him be harsher on a male PC because he thinks ‘men must be tough grrr’. It doesn’t just harm women, after all.


5 posts were merged into an existing topic: GaaaaaMeeeeees


Let’s keep on the topic–take general video games discussion to the appropriate thread: GaaaaaMeeeeees


was gonna ask if you could do it…thnx! and sorry! :sweat_smile:


A post was merged into an existing topic: GaaaaaMeeeeees


This is the most interesting thread that is almost impossible to respond to, because it moves so fast that the posts you want to address are always buried about forty or fifty back by the time you can.


He is harsher on the Male MC they do get tougher tasks during the training bit. I’m not by my computer at the moment but I’ll post the code.


That’s good that it’s not just a case of female MC getting the short end of the stick. I didn’t mean to single you out like’you’re doing it wrong!’, honest! It was just a convenient example :slight_smile:


That never stops me from replying anyway :stuck_out_tongue:


This topic pisses me off so much. If you don’t like the fact that the author has made the decision for the MC to be male, try this revolutionary tactic and don’t play the game.


You’re wigging me out with your name. My best friend is also a Chris Wells. Pretty sure you’re not him though.


That’s what people do, right? Lots of people already mentioned not playing the game. The topic seems more about discussing why it’s a big enough deal to pass up a game, which can be very useful for authors to know. I know I’d want to know if I were selling something and my actions lead to reduced sales.


“Just don’t read it” could have also been said for you and this topic, or me and your post. People talk about things they don’t like all the time when they could just ignore it, and I’d say this topic has more than enough insight and value to justify its existence (as if it needed to)