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Slightly off topic but...

Has anyone played silent scope ex (I think its on X-Box Silent Scope Complete). I find that almost all the bosses in this game are flamboyantly gay. There is the Russian-like weightlifter (who by the way, flexes his pectorals in a deeply disturbing way.) Then there is the cross-dressing, piano-playing-to-end-the-world final boss. Who thinks bad makeup and transparent shirts makes hisself looks more evil?

Anyways, has anyone else noticed this?


Has anyone played silent scope 3 ex? I think many of the bosses (especially the end boss) are somewhat dubious in their heterosexuality.


I've heard some developers say that games take no moral stance because it's up to the player to choose what they do. The inclusion (and exclusion) of gay characters in games is a good counter example.

Games really are a form of (cultural/political/social/etc) expression. The makers choose what actions are available and allowed by the game mechanics (and the writing in the case of RPGs). In addition, the makers choose what rewards or punishments there are for player actions. By leaving out the possibility for success/happiness through homosexual relationships when hetero relationships are plainly represented, game developers present a certain view of the world, one that excludes even the possibility of gay relationships.

Often, in games, a relationship isn't a critical mechanic and so this kind of thing isn't so bothersome, but as more and more games center around narratives (of many kinds... witness The Sims, Temple of Elemental Evil, etc) the relationships will be more critical to gameplay. The choices available to the player will often rely on the genre of the game. In simulation/emergent narratives, where the choice really is up to the player, limiting the choices that the player can make is actually limiting that player's view of the game world, just as books and movies show a limited view of the world. That limited view is one way that traditional media express the biases and opinions of the author and so it seems to be in games. Through the inclusion of gay marriage in the Sims 2, the developers are (in theory) saying that it is possible to be successful and happy as a gay couple.

As more developers build games that cater to different (and as yet underserved) communities, games will begin to evolve into the mass medium that we all see the potential for.

Wow... I didn't see that thought getting that big... I'll leave it at that for now.


I just wanted to point out that marriage _is_ different from a civil union in a legal sense. I've read a story in particular where a lesbian couple artificially conceived a child in a civil union, but quickly realized that without many of the benefits of a legal marriage, they could not use one partner's more beneficial insurance plans, particularly medical insurance. This made caring for their child an over-wrought and overly-expensive, out-of-pocket affair that they could but barely afford. And if the mother died, the partner would have no legal right to a child she had raised since birth; likewise, if the partner died, the mother was entitled to nothing she owned. There are lots of legal nuances to a marriage that have a powerful impact on how people live their lives. Is that sort of thing important in the Sims? Doubtful, but it is to a lot of people in America. I for one support gay marriage, but I'm likely biased because of a lot of my family is gay...or at least think they are (I'm not so sure about the last one, but that's another story).


Rejoice! Brodi is still in SSX 3, or at least his appearance is. From GameFAQs:

1. Select options while in the main menu.
2. Inside options, select cheats.
3. Type in zenmaster (case sensitive).
4. Press done on the keyboard.
5. The cheat has been entered.

Sadly, his voice set isn't there (which was the best part about him). But his voice set wouldn't have been in the Sims 2 either.


Both my fiancee and I like Brodi the most also. Yeah, he is in SSX 3. I didn't know his voices weren't in though.

I'm still not sure if I like Tricky or 3 more. Hmmm..

I'd be happy if The Sims 2 allows gay marriage. I'm not a homosexual, but it's a video game, so why not?!


Gay characters and situations aren't uncommonn in some Japanese games. And, of course, there's always the stereotype characters in games like Brave Fencer Musashi. However, I think the important thing is to move past that.

That may be the problem culturally right now. In a society where we praise "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Will and Grace" as shows that promote gay rights, while they actually just stereotype game males as free-loving, upper-class whites with design skills, we'll have a problem. Much of American society still largely treats gay men as a novelty act. I don't know if it'd be wise to translate this to games.

I don't think the Sims 2 will be much different than the Sims, which did allow gay relationships. This is mainly because it simplifies them the same way it simplified straight relationships.

Now, will games ever really portray gay relationships in a series, story-driven, and complex manner?

Probably as soon as games can do the same for straight relationships.


Isn't there a gang of mincing queens in the original Grand Theft Auto 3?

On a different note, it was certainly possible to come up with a queer reading of Shenmue, the very boyish lead character was utterly unable to make a move on the girl who clearly loved him, preferring to spend his time searching for rough-looking sailors down by the docks.

Games are only just beginning to grapple with the notion of women being something other than a damsels-in-distress or a voluptuous fantasy amazons, so we can't expect them to represent alternative sexualities with much conviction. Just as race has also become a sticking point.

Its no surprise that you have to get pretty far away from conventional genres to find minority representations. The potential open-ness of The Sims makes you realise how closed-off and conservative, traditional 'action and fantasy' gaming really is.


> [Xander:] Isn't there a gang of mincing queens in the original Grand Theft Auto 3?

Probably. There were more than a view unfortunate minority portrayals in GTA3. I was glad that got toned down in Vice City.

The coming San Andreas both excites and worries me. On the one hand, assuming San Andreas is San Francisco, the landscape's gonna be great. And if they do it right, there should be plenty of gayness. I just hope they handle it well. I'm not saying there's no room to mock mincing queens. It's about the fine line between flat-out degrading whole groups of people, and making fun of the stereotypes.

On that note, Mike, you nailed it in your assessment of the state of gays on TV. As a fashionably incorrect gay man, I've had my fill of the "magic minority" epidemic. If GTA San Andreas happens to, say, drop a quintet of fey fashion "gurus" into the game, I'll be sorely tempted to run them down myself.


Not wanting to be gratuitously contrary but:

>Probably. There were more than a view unfortunate >minority portrayals in GTA3. I was glad that got toned >down in Vice City.

I'm not sure the Haitians would agree...


Did I type "got toned down"? I meant "was made marginally less blatant." :-)>


Quite a turnaround then. Didn't the programmer of "Sim Copter" get sacked from Maxis for including some gay content? Does anyone know the full story behind that?


Quite a turnaround then. Didn't the programmer of "Sim Copter" get sacked from Maxis for including some gay content? Does anyone know the full story behind that?


The Sim Copter story goes like this: one of the programmers at Maxis who happened to be gay was annoyed that there were instances of heterosexual affection in the game, but no homosexual affection. He worked out some code so that every once in a while when two "buff surfer dude" Sim Citizens bumped into each other, they would play a kiss animation (which I presume he also created himself). Anyway, so the story goes that the animation had a one-in-ten-thousand chance of playing when the two guys bumped into each other, but that something happened so it became more like one-in-one-hundred. Nevertheless, nobody caught it at Maxis, but consumers certainly caught it in the marketplace.

He lost his job for sneaking code/content into the game, not necessarily because of the specific content.


When I worked EA tech support, I heard that someone on the Maxis line took a call from an irate father who had purcased The Sims for his son. He saw that man-on-man action was permissable in the game, and called up to complain that we were exposing his son to inappropriate content and that he would sue EA if his son "grows up to be a fag".

Of course, this is only hearsay, but judging from some of the calls I received, I'm willing to believe it.


i'd heard that the whole gay Sim Copter story might have been a hoax, but these folks have convinced me:



Hey, I didn't see if anybody mentioned this, but in The Sims you can play now, same sex relationships start out anyway. In a House full of people it is likely that a Man/Man or Woman/Woman will fall in love. I think the gay marriage in The Sims 2 is just fixing the "mistake" the developers made with that gauge.

I don't agree with homosexuality, but in games, why not.


Actually, Jebus, if I'm not mistaken, Sims in Sims 2 are still totally capable of falling in and out of love with each other without player intervention, right along with their usual disregard for traditional gender pairings. In Sims 2, however, unlike the original Sims, Sims that love each other can "get married" by getting a Wedding Arch object (or something like that), and using the "Get Married" command from it. Sims 2 simply doesn't restrict any gender pairings from using that function.

When I was at Maxis, I used to sit next to one of the designers whose job was to work out what sorts of behavior Maxis wouldn't allow Sims to perform. From what I recall, they focused mostly on forbidding incest and pedophilia.


Isn't playing THE SIMS for more than, say, 1/2 hour pretty much an admission of having caught The Gay?

I mean, we ARE talking about a game that's basically a computerized dollhouse. ;)


What, no mention of Vagrant Story?


It was hardly the most subtle of relationships, nor the most long-lived, but two of the main characters in Fear Effect II were a lesbian couple weren't they?

And don't even get me __started__ on the subtext in Xena .... ;-)

I think if it weren't for the current controversy in the "real world" around gay marriage, this might have just slipped in with little notice. Might have been great ... tolerance is bred by exposure, so it might have made _my_ wedding a lot more likely ;-)


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