Thursday, 3 March 2011

Dragon Age Origins - playing and musing

Other than WoW (my eternal obsession and addiction) I don't blame a lot of computer games. But the brief forrays I have had into gaming have convinced me that there are few things in the world as heteronormative as computer games (I think advertising and children's programmes come close).

I admit that this is the only reason I bought and played this game. It's a genre of games I like a lot, but I don't normally have time (other games mean less WoW time! Uh, I mean less time with Beloved. Of course. *ahem*) to play computer games. But a computer game with a same-sex relationship? It was so rare and special that I went out and bought it (which should tell you a) how rare and special that is and b) should tell the computer games industry something. Yes, gay gamers – ugh, do I have to use the term gaymers? It's so cutsie – do want to see games with us in them).

So in the most part I am squeeing. Squeeing because it's an excellent game (even aside from the bisexual characters, it is a really great game and worth it on that alone) and because it has actual same-sex relationships!

And because it is trailblazing (in the 21
st century. Really, that's depressing) I have to give it a lot of free passes and jump up and down for joy and glee and happy happy fun fun :) So yes I have to say this is a wonderful thing, it's positive and amazing and excellent

Not only is it GBLT inclusion but it's *gasp* more than implied, more than stated – it's KISSING and actual sex (of course not explicitly shown, but still). This is an omg squee moment!

Yes, there's a “but” coming

But before we get to the “but” can we please emphasise that this is a wonderful and good thing. I don't want the “but” to counter that – because it is a wonderful and good thing and a great game.

Got that? Wonderful and positive and Sparky is HAPPY, yes yes he is. And so far I've only played as a male character in a male relationship so I wish to test the other possibilities as well and see how it compares.

But let me emphasise, Sparky is dancing the happy dance.

Now, the “but”...

But – did the bisexual male character have to be an Elf? Y'know usually stereotyped as “feminine” “lithe” “pretty” and when he strikes poses in the camp and loading screen there's a lot of stereotype there

But – did he have the be what seems to be the only character who lays out the welcome mat for all and sundry? Seriously, the guy tried to kill me, I decided to spare his life and we're rocking the tent come nightfall. I walk on constant egg-shells to get Morrigan not to rip my skin off, and despite being with me waaay longer, it was much much harder to creep into Leilana's affections. But Zevran? “Hello there stranger. Let us now have sex.”

But – did the bisexual man have to be the character that makes constant sexually suggestive innuendo and comments and double entendre (and not even double-entendre – they're single entendre and proud of it)

But – did the bisexual man have to be the “amoral” one, the assassin, the seducer, the murderer? Wynn, Alistair and Leilana are goody goody. Sten and Morrigan, while not goody-goody, their disapproval of our “goodness” seems to be more based on not being goal orientated (look, do we have time to solve a village argument when there's an evil army massing?!).

But – did the bisexual man have to be the one with the tortured, abusive childhood?

Also – petty niggle – did he also have to be one of the more useless characters? Leilana, Wrynne and Alistair would make a much more balanced party *grumble*

Oh and I totally wanted Alistair *pout*.