Why are there so many HGs genderlocked to male?


I was replying to this part…

you said it was ‘‘Strange’’ that it has so much value when it just a reskin .

that something should have value ONLY if it has an Impact . Which isn’t true at all .

it’s a Personal TASTE thing . I don’t care if my Ethnie isn’t in a game , but I be super butthurt if I can’t play as a women at least .

it has Value to me . It may not have Value to anyone else . But to me , it has value . Just like someone else will find something else more valuable to them .

Just like writer will value certain critics more then others . They will love the ‘I love your story!! and I want Moar!’’ but they will also find value to those reviewer who take the time to point out fault , spelling errors…and such . They won’t go out of their way and tell those reviewers that the Gushing review are just Love and don’t help anything but one ego . But they gonna take it all…the good…the bad…the only review that say ‘Muh…its ok’ and soak it all as a learning experience and grow from it .

well players are the same . They are different , they values thing differently and hence even a bizzare ‘reskin’ can be worth alot more from individual to another .


Jumping off of @E_RedMark, you kind of hit the nail on the head of the issue and then just moved right past it

That’s it, that’s the whole issue. I’m tired of being marginalized in entertainment, as you say, and having found a space willing to cater to me as much as the hypothetical straight white guy, I’m much less willing to compromise on what media I consume. I’m not really interested in more stories from a male perspective, especially now that I know there are just as many good stories of equal quality where I don’t have to read the story through that lens, I’ve lost interest.

I honestly find the discussion of “why do people care of stories are genderlocked” somewhat frustrating just for that reason. It’s because marginalized folks are sick of being marginalized, and if we can find entertainment where we aren’t, we’re on the whole going to stick with that. Saying “I don’t know what it’s like to be marginalized in entertainment” and then going on to try and reason out why it does or doesn’t or should or shouldn’t matter because whatever text is changed or not changed is really missing the forest for the trees. No, it doesn’t necessarily matter to the text itself whether or not there’s a gender choice, but it matters deeply to the players it matters to, and I don’t think the situation is really any more complicated than that.


I wish we cared Chris. I really wish we cared…

While i agree with you in this one, the title of this thread is “WHY are there so many HGs genderlocked to male” so people are saying why they think that is. It’s a discu. Now, of course we all can have different thoughts on why there are so many HGs genderlocked to male which can be influenced by our personal opinion (like/dislike) of such genderlocked, but everyone posting here and reading these posts must take this into consideration so i think all is well.

Authors usually want to know if a certain choice they make drives away potential buyers. These topics are a way for authors to see what the masses want. No one is going to torch an author for making a male genderlocked game, but it’s in the author’s best interest to know these things in order to appeal to more people if they wish or choose not to.

Discussing about these topics (while still remaining respectful) never harmed anyone, but rather helped either by letting people’s voices be heard or giving authors an insight into what potential buyers want


I apologize for having a caustic tone. That wasn’t my intent. And as an argument for stories having gender choice, that’s a great one. But was that really an issue under debate? It feels like at this point, this is not a discussion about whether stories should offer gender choice (spoiler alert: they should, barring very few legitimate exceptions) so much as it is the reasons one might not, or most recently, the acceptable ramifications for not doing so. And then the acceptable ramifications for calling out those who don’t offer it. And the acceptable ramifications for calling out those who call out those who don’t offer it. And at this point I think we’re at calling out those who call out those who call out those who don’t offer it.

@HomingPidgeon But does the mere presence of the genderlocked stories somehow detract from the majority that are not? The fact that locking is a poor choice doesn’t really change that authors should be free to make it. And that hopefully their stories would still be capable of getting a fair judgment rather than immediately being struck down on that basis alone, as so many reviewers seem to have done.

If the presence or absence of the letter s from the word he makes enjoyment of a story impossible, then not buying it seems a good idea. But that still just seems sad, to be so self-limiting. I hate to think of a world where I refused to consume media with non-white or non-male protagonists. The amount of great stuff that would then be missed is mind-boggling.

Of course, the mere fact this thread is over 900 posts long shows there are no easy answers. But the questions remain interesting in spite of (or perhaps because of) the lack of concrete resolution.


No, it shouldn’t. Those authors are absolutely free to do that and no amount of users commenting in this thread that they aren’t interested in playing a genderlocked male game is going to stop them, nor should it. But it might make authors who are considering writing genderlocked stories re-examine their motivations, and consider whether or not it serves the story in the way they thought it did, which is worthwhile. Because, as you said, while it might not matter to you whether or not a game has variables for race or gender, it can matter deeply to other people.

There’s a difference between a trend of folks saying “I’m less or uninterested in a game genderlocked male” and Hosted Games having a policy change with regards to gender choice. I think reading this thread and turning the discussion into a question of authorial freedom is misrepresenting the points being talked about. Writers can write whatever they want, and me saying that I don’t want to spend my money on a game I’m not the target audience of will have no bearing on that. But there’s still a trend of games being locked male rather than any other gender, of female locked games getting trashed in reviews in a way that the male games aren’t, and that’s worth examining


You missed the next line down from what you quoted.

“And that hopefully their stories would still be capable of getting a fair judgment rather than immediately being struck down on that basis alone, as so many reviewers seem to have done.”

I don’t think we need to examine the difference in negative reviews between male and female locked games. That’s easy: there were a couple of knee-jerk misogynists who had their review in mind well in advance of the game’s release. The bigger question is why anyone of any gender feels it’s OK to tank a game’s score by taking off two, three, or even four stars solely because of pronouns. Because make no mistake, Steam does their reviews the way they do for a reason. The five star thing is a fallacy. If you don’t 5-star something these days, you are essentially saying it sucks. And if that’s not the intent, too bad, because that’s how the public takes it (one reason I deeply enjoyed Bryce Dallas Howard’s Black Mirror episode; it was prescient in a way only sci-fi can be at times).


I agree that it’s sad, though for a different reason.

I think it’s sad that something so small as just adding an s is enough to change people’s minds about buying a game. That they don’t even expect more, just one lousy letter to include them is enough. I think it’s sad that so many people feel so starved for seeing themselves or playing as themselves that that small amount of effort is already enough.

Sure some love it that there’s no difference, but lots of people would love some specific stuff, yet they’ll settle for a single letter.

Not directed at you specifically, it’s just something I’ve seen coming up before and this might be a good thing to consider when thinking about this discussion


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.


@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.