Raythe says …
I recently read a Kotaku article titled Let Queer Characters Be Happy. The article’s premise is that gay people in games often end up dead or in tragic circumstances. They are rarely, if ever, given a happy ending.
There seems to me a lot of truth in this article. Oftentimes, it seems as if the gay character (or person of color, too) will often be sacrificed in some way (the movie Get Out stood that idea on its head which was so awesome) or have some tragic backstory always regarding their sexuality.
Why Do Many Games Portray Many Gay Characters’ Stories as Tragedies?
I think it has a lot to do with creators choosing the most obvious “challenge” a character has in life. And being gay has been – and still is – a great challenge, to put it lightly. Therefore, it’s a rich vein to mine and, oftentimes, creators simply don’t look deeper.
Some would say that even having gay characters in video games is a big deal and shouldn’t be discounted. And I do get that. That’s why I am a fan of Bioware games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc. that offer gay romance options, and I am so looking forward to CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 that will also allow you to romance all genders.
But in my opinion, a person’s sexuality shouldn’t always be the defining aspect in media about them. It is a part of them, a big part, but there are far bigger things that should matter. Let’s about ourselves. What defines us? Who we sleep with? Or who we are? Society tells us who we sleep with is far more important in many cases, but the reality is quite different.
I have no problem with wanting to delve into the difficulties of being gay or even having tragedies occur to the gay character. But I’ve come to realize that subconsciously when I see a gay character games (or movies or TV), I am excited, but then I fear for them. I immediately assume something terrible will happen to them because that is the common arc. So I agree with the author of the Kotaku article that while I’m thrilled to have gay characters in games and books and movies and television shows, I want to stop dreading it, too. Give them a happy ending every once in awhile.
What do you guys think? Do you think the concern is overblown? Are you seeing happy endings for gay characters in games? Please let me know your thoughts below.