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Pardon me, but I like things the way they are

femshepYes, yes, I know I’m going to get in trouble for this. After all, it just isn’t right for anyone not to jump onboard the “evil game developers/gamers/publishers” bandwagon. We have been hearing loud and long all the complaints about how gamer boys are harassing female players and how there aren’t enough good games out there for females or non-normative sex (or whatever) players. Sorry, but I think the problem is much smaller than those folks would have us believe.

I’m not denying that there aren’t idiots out there who like to measure the size of their favorite part of their anatomy by behaving like idiots while online. But I don’t think they are the majority of male gamers the way those screaming allege. Not that I’m going to debate the issue with them right now.

No, what started me thinking about this was going to my games library last night to find something to play. I don’t do MMOs and rarely do Co-op. However, I have been a gamer for years. I started playing when my son was young and he wanted his first console. Our deal was that I got to play any game he wanted first and my word was the final word. It became something we did together and even now we compare notes on games and what is coming out when.

So, as I said, I went to my games library and started looking for something to play. On my Steam library, I have a number of games. Of the ones I play most often, all eight have female playable characters. One of them allows me to “romance” other characters. I can choose to romance or not as well as to have a gay or straight romance. Actually, it also allows me to have a cross-species romance because not all the characters are human.

liaraOn Origin, I have the Mass Effect series. Commander Shepherd can be male or female. As with Skyrim, you can romance male or female — or Asari. Hmm. What about some of my other games? Well, the Dragon Age series also lets me choose to play as male or female, human or elf or dwarf or even Qunari. I can be gay or straight. I can romance or not.

And all six of those games have a plot that keeps me wanting to play and have a high replayability factor, at least in my opinion.

I will admit that Bioware is one of the leaders when it comes to letting you play as male or female and it has had gay characters as part of its games for quite some time. But other publishers are starting to do the same — not that you would know it to hear the naysayers.

For me, it really doesn’t matter unless the sex or sexual preference of the character has some impact on the storyline. Of course, I feel that way about the books I read and the movies I watch. Unless it is germane to the story, don’t beat me over the head with it. Sure, I get wanting to have characters you can relate to in a game — or a book or a story. But not everything has to be right there and in your face. That is why we have been gifted with this wonderful thing called an imagination.

So, instead of complaining about what isn’t in a game — unless it is good mechanics that have been left out — put forth a little effort and find games that have what you want. I have a feeling you can find them. They might not be by the top tier publishers and designers but there are some gems out there coming from indie developers that far outshine the big company games.

Now excuse me while I go play Dragon Age: Origins. I am interested to see how Bioware is tying all three of the DA games together.

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About Amanda

writer, mother, owned by a cat and not necessarily in that order.

11 comments on “Pardon me, but I like things the way they are

  1. […] way. I’ll get to that in a moment. But let me start by noting that I have a post up over at Otherwhere Gazette this morning and a snippet up at Twisted Writers. All I can say is thank goodness for the ability […]

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  2. One thing ironic to me is that during the “end default binary gender” brouhaha over on Larry Correia ‘ s blog, some of Larry’s detractors cited gaming and male gamers playing female characters as “exploring alternate gender roles” (instead of “if I’m going to spend hours staring at an ass it’s going to be a nice ass”). Noe, however’ male gamers are the enemy so that’s forgotten.

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  3. Or, instead of complaining about what isn’t in a game, learn how to mod and put it in yourself. Half the joy of games like Skyrim and the two recent Fallouts, for instance, is mixing and matching the literally thousands of game mods that other players have created, or that I tried creating myself, everything from new clothing and weapons to new characters and questlines to full overhauls of the game mechanics.

    That’s the real weirdness of it all to me, that so many people are complaining games aren’t what they want them to be when so many games today are actually so customizable.

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    • I know, especially since there are those that allow for a wide variety of gameplay experience and customization without having to mod them. Those who sit around bitching and moaning about what is wrong with the games remind me of the Mayor’s wife and her friends from the Music Man and the song “Pick a little, Talk a little”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZPLtZQlLqg

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  4. Fallout 3 and New Vegas have the options to play and romance who ever you want.

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  5. ACtually if my computer wasn’t being strange lately I’d probably be binge playing Bulletstorm again. For the theraputic effect of killing people in any number of imaginative and gruesome ways that I get to indulge in.

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  6. As for “gamergate” the weeping pussy willow crowd can shut the hell up and sit down. Because they bored the hell out of me, and their voices grate on my nerves

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    • I agree with you but I would rather see the spineless fools in the management position of certain gaming companies step aside and let someone with a bit of backbone take over. I’m tired of seeing game creators and publishers giving in at the last minute and adding touchy feely stuff just to keep some small group of loud mouths happy.

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