I recently read an interview online about how BioWare won’t make all of the characters in Dragon Age: Inquisition bisexual. I’ve had friends who were opposed to the idea because they claimed that it didn’t favor inclusion and it robs players of choice. However, there are some who fall in the other end of the spectrum. I fall in the latter category and it’s not because I don’t support LGBT inclusion. Like many others, I think that giving characters a “solid orientation” represents the LGBT community with more respect.
This certainly isn’t the first time BioWare included LGBT especially bisexual characters in their video games. We’ve seen them in the past Dragon Age and Mass Effect games.Should a character’s sexual orientation be influenced by a player’s choice to romance them? Read on for my thoughts on the topic.
In Dragon Age II, all of your romance options are bisexual since it didn’t matter what Hawke’s gender was. I’ll admit that I think it’s cool to give players the option to romance whoever they want, but I feel like it makes the game’s world less diverse. It’s like only having straight characters too.
I felt like making all of the romance options bisexual made their sexual orientation rely on the player’s decision to pursue them. I like how Mass Effect 3 made it possible for characters to put their foot down and say, “nope, I’m gay” or “I’m straight.” It makes me think of the characters as people instead of a bunch of pixels. It was strange when Kaidan suddenly expressed desire in men only when Shepard declared his interest. It’s kind of ridiculous and unrealistic to make everyone susceptible to your character’s charms. It makes me not think of them as bisexual since their orientation seems to depend on the gender of your character. Other characters like Isabelle and Leliana give us hints that they would go either way, while some don’t at all. However, there are exceptions to keep in mind.
If Dragon Age’s universe were meant to be a world where everyone was bisexual, then I wouldn’t have a problem. However, the characters in the games seemed like it was mix of people with different sexual orientations. Thus, it’s great that the developer will be making the party member line up more diverse in the upcoming game. I do applaud BioWare for making the universe not give a crap about people’s sexuality too.
I think that Liara and the Asari species serve as a great example of how sexuality can be explored. She comes from are a monogendered race that can freely romance and reproduce with either gender from different races. There’s reason, history, and background to her sexuality. BioWare could have easily just gone with the stereotypical hypersexual female alien that’s always ready to have a threesome, but they added substance behind her decisions.
I feel like video games have a long way to go in terms of portraying romances realistically. However, developers like BioWare are certainly moving onto the right direction with what they plan to do. In order to create immersive experiences, we must create characters like they are actual human beings in scenarios that players can relate too.