LGBT Representation in Gaming - should it be proportional or equal?

Oct 27, 2017
305
Isn't it 5% of people are LGBT, not 10%? Regardless I'd lean more towards proportional and I think progress has been made on this front. Especially in Western RPGs iirc. Straight sexually active women are probably even more underrepresented as main protagonists in gaming. To be fair I mostly play older games and indies these days so sexuality in gaming isn't something that comes up much for me.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,085
Probably proportional if it means you get characters who actually get to be gay and it doesn't have to be theorized about or swept under the rug as a reference. Proportional to me means the amount of game devs who would respectfully incorporate gay character in their games without any pushback.
 
Aug 31, 2018
35
Talking with LGBT+ and allies: We need good representation and that doesn't mean everyone should be gay but to see an increase would bee nice.

Talking with prejudiced people whom I know will not change their mind: EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE SHOULD BE GAY.
 
Apr 10, 2018
1,453
I mean...if it were TRULY proportional then there would hardly be any gay characters at all.

Current metrics estimate that only 5-10% of the population identify as LGBTQ, and those numbers are on the high side.

Now obviously the numbers are going to be skewed slightly, they're based off of a Galup poll, so some people in the closet may not admit to being LGBTQ, but even accounting for that margin of error, the numbers can't be much higher than say 10-15%.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,539
I mean...if it were TRULY proportional then there would hardly be any gay characters at all.

Current metrics estimate that only 5-10% of the population identify as LGBTQ, and those numbers are on the high side.

Now obviously the numbers are going to be skewed slightly, they're based off of a Galup poll, so some people in the closet may not admit to being LGBTQ, but even accounting for that margin of error, the numbers can't be much higher than say 10-15%.
What's the number in games atm ? 1% ? 2 maybe ?
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,171
Talking with LGBT+ and allies: We need good representation and that doesn't mean everyone should be gay but to see an increase would bee nice.

Talking with prejudiced people whom I know will not change their mind: EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE SHOULD BE GAY.
I'm deeply hoping this is sarcasm.
 
Mar 11, 2019
59
I'm assuming, OP—you mean in situations where being gay or straight even factors into a game? Which isn't THAT often, is it?

In any event, I say make them all gay. As a straight male that's so used to being catered to, if it means this much to the LGBTQ community, take it all.
Yeah, that's what I meant, sorry.

Anyways, thinking of making a new topic to address how we can give creators more freedom to include LGBT characters/themes (i.e. not force them to include them, just turn the gaming business climate into how we can have creators who WANT to make them not get shut down or pressured to change to cishet). Sound good?
 
Sep 3, 2018
8
make all video games gay. all of them.
^

Hard to visualize lgbt without stereotyping.
Like, you're creating a character, what type of facial features and clothing do you give them to be lgbt without having to spell it out to a user?
I'm not sure this is necessary. There's no real reason something like Uncharted couldn't be done with Nathan's love interest being another guy, the same goes for any given war game where the protag's wife is mentioned/shown in flashbacks.
 
Yeah, that's what I meant, sorry.

Anyways, thinking of making a new topic to address how we can give creators more freedom to include LGBT characters/themes (i.e. not force them to include them, just turn the gaming business climate into how we can have creators who WANT to make them not get shut down or pressured to change to cishet). Sound good?
Empowerment is always the ideal way forward, yes (though powers that be may sometimes get in the way). Sounds like a fantastic thread idea though.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,557
North Vancouver, BC
I'm not sure this is necessary. There's no real reason something like Uncharted couldn't be done with Nathan's love interest being another guy, the same goes for any given war game where the protag's wife is mentioned/shown in flashbacks.
Just trying to think if it's possible to show someone's sexuality, through character design,
instead of through scripting, without being stereotypical.
Showing through story is the easy way,
but there's lots of games that have no story or are light on story.
Just thinking of how to tackle those.
 
Just trying to think if it's possible to show someone's sexuality, through character design,
instead of through scripting, without being stereotypical.
Showing through story is the easy way,
but there's lots of games that have no story or are light on story.
Just thinking of how to tackle those.
Level 1 - Citrus Manor

*fade to black*
*fade from black*

you are gay

*fade to black*

BEGIN!
 
Oct 29, 2017
137
User Warned - Thread Whining
I don't know if there's anything I could care less about than the sexuality of a video game character.
 
Oct 28, 2017
448
It should be whatever the developers want. They shouldn't be forced to alter their narrative to fit a gender percentage.
Cool cool cool. So have you tried asking yourself why straight is the default? Or whether or not being straight is an integral part of most game narratives (it isn't)? Or how orientation even factors in to a majority of game narratives? Like how would Uncharted be any different if Drake were gay, or bi, or ace because his orientation is not actually all that critical to the narrative.
 
Nov 2, 2017
2,501
I think the real answer is more LGBTQ game creators. And I'm not saying it should be mandated as being 50/50, but there does need to be a lot more representation in the industry.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,874
Elmore
"Creators should do what they want" seems a pointless little platitude. It both reflects some idea that people are lobbying for creators to be "forced" to do any particular thing -- they aren't -- and sets up a convenient excuse for when they only reflect a culture of homogeneity.

It's hardly a stone's throw away from shouting "artistic vision" when some tripe's blatantly offensive and inappropriate content gets removed. It's just being defensive.
 
Oct 28, 2017
448
When we stop thinking of representation as filling a quota, we will have succeeded.
I don't know if there's anything I could care less about than the sexuality of a video game character.
It should be whatever the developers want. They shouldn't be forced to alter their narrative to fit a gender percentage.
Don't care about catering to anything, I believe that the original story and characters should fit the vision not just cater to demands to be politically correct.
Creator's choice.
Quotas is not something I’d be in support of at all. More diversity is great but bad gay stereotypes is not something I want more of.
It shouldn’t be a factor at all. I don’t like this forced “collect the whole set” tickbox attitude. It shouldn’t matter whether somebody’s gay or black or whatever, but rather a coincidence.

I think it’s exploitative. Being a black lesbian should be as normal as a white straight male. That’s equality.
I think the developers should just stick with their vision of said game. I don’t want something that’s forced just for the sake of it.
Then someone creates controversial LGBT characters and they are panned because "minority characters should only be written by the minorities themselves!"

Let the creators decide. No one creates anything worthwile if they are forced to shape it exactly as a group of individuals wants it.
Neither of those. Just let the creative minds at the studio chose.
A quota would be the death of creativity.
I am all for any LGBT in my games but something I am not for is forcing it on devs in quota. let everyone tell their story the way they want to tell it IMO and if that is a 100% straight or 100% not I really don’t care as long as it is a good story.
How about you just let people make what they want to make? Boiling it down to some quota thing is fucking weird.
No RePrEsEnTaTiOn QuOtAs! LeT tHeM mAkE wHaT tHeY wAnT!

 

Lackless

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Oct 27, 2017
4,137
Cool cool cool. So have you tried asking yourself why straight is the default? Or whether or not being straight is an integral part of most game narratives (it isn't)? Or how orientation even factors in to a majority of game narratives? Like how would Uncharted be any different if Drake were gay, or bi, or ace because his orientation is not actually all that critical to the narrative.
No, I have not asked myself because they're not my stories. It's the writer's stories so ask them. I treat people who write for games the same as people who write books. Their story. Their rules.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,224
Oh surprise! Dog whistle homophobia shit on this thread! Because the LGBT community have devs and writers chained to their unfair representation needs!!1!1
 
Oct 28, 2017
448
No, I have not asked myself because they're not my stories. It's the writer's stories so I ask them. I treat people who write for games the same as people who write books. Their story. Their rules.
YOU are the one in here making an argument, so I'm asking YOU if YOU have asked YOURSELF these questions. You are trying to weasel out of the question here.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,621
I really wish people would stop going "Yeah well I don't care about the sexuality of game characters".
That's the most obvious example of "Fuck you, got mine" if there's ever been one.

There have been plenty of LGBT+ people in this topic, trying to explain why representation is important to minorities such as myself, and yet white cishet people are trying to tell us what is or should be important to us as a minority.
You don't get to decide that. You don't get to say, from your position of having everything catered to your specific tastes in 99% of all cases, "Yeah well it isn't so bad anyway, why do you care?".

Look all I want is for Nintendo to make Fox and Wolf date canonically in the games.


Is that so hard?
Sakurai seems to think at least Wolf's gay. Both his Smash-original portrayals are as leather daddy. :p
 

Lackless

Banned
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Oct 27, 2017
4,137
YOU are the one in here making an argument, so I'm asking YOU if YOU have asked YOURSELF these questions. You are trying to weasel out of the question here.
Yes, you did ask me that question. And then I answered it. You didn't like it. That doesn't me I didn't answer it. But I'll answer it again for you.

No, I have not asked myself because they're not my stories. It's the writer's stories so they need to be the ones who should be asked. I treat people who write for games the same as people who write books. Their story. Their rules.
 
Oct 28, 2017
448
Yes, you did ask me that question. And then I answered it. You didn't like it. That doesn't me I didn't answer it. But I'll answer it again for you.

No, I have not asked myself because they're not my stories. It's the writer's stories so they need to be the ones who should be asked. I treat people who write for games the same as people who write books. Their story. Their rules.
This is just a mealy-mouthed way of taking a stance while giving the appearance of not taking a stance. It's nothing but a dog whistle.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,018
No RePrEsEnTaTiOn QuOtAs! LeT tHeM mAkE wHaT tHeY wAnT!

For anyone who doesn't see an issue with all of that above quoted nonsense, just replace LGBT with black. or jewish.

When you're underrepresented, you want representation, and you want it to be good and not a caricature. Would you prefer it to be handled someone who can relate to you? Sure. As a black person, it'd be cool if more black people were in charge of games making black characters. But do I absolutely care that it's a middle aged white dude writing a black character if he portrays them well and not as some cliche ass thug, token, or red shirt? Fuck no, the fact that they put someone in the game that looks like me is good enough.

The fact that this is even a thread means that these types of characters, whether they're trans, a PoC, and so on, need increased representation.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,621
Yes, you did ask me that question. And then I answered it. You didn't like it. That doesn't me I didn't answer it. But I'll answer it again for you.

No, I have not asked myself because they're not my stories. It's the writer's stories so they need to be the ones who should be asked. I treat people who write for games the same as people who write books. Their story. Their rules.
Perhaps instead of trying to be a smartass, you might wanna ask yourself those questions.
And then you also might wanna ask yourself:
Why would someone trying to find their identity want to have a role model or hero to look up to? Why would a marginalized group of people want characters depicting their group as being good and normal people?
 

Lackless

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
This is just a mealy-mouthed way of taking a stance while giving the appearance of not taking a stance. It's nothing but a dog whistle.
Respecting the author's vision is not a dog whistle. When I read a book and I don't like it. You know what I do? I stop reading it. The same with video games. I don't demand for it to change. I just stop playing it. Why? Because it's not for me but you know what is worst than a video game that you hate? A video game that a developer is forced to make.

If you want to call me a dog-whistle, mealthy-mouthed, weasel, or whatever new label you want to throw at me, we're just going to have to agree to disagree because I'm going to continue supporting the creator of art (books, video games, movies, etc) to have as much freedom as possible to do whatever they want with no pressure. The more art is like that, the better.
 
Oct 28, 2017
448
Respecting the author's vision is not a dog whistle. When I read a book and I don't like it. You know what I do? I stop reading it. The same with video games. I don't demand for it to change. I just stop playing it. Why? Because it's not for me but you know what is worst than a video game that you hate? A video game that a developer is forced to make.

If you want to call that a dog-whistle, mealthy-mouthed, weasel, or whatever new lable you want to throw at me, we're just going to ahve to agree to disagree because I'm going to continue supporting the creator of art (books, video games, movies, etc) to have as much freedom as possible to do whatever they want with no pressure. The more art is like that, the better.
"Respecting the author's vision," is horse shit. How many of these works hinge upon their chars being straight or cis? Virtually none. They go to cishet as a default. There is no "vision" for all these straight characters, no vision of exploring straight romance.

Also, do you not think it slightly odd that the entire's industry vision is straight apparently? And if the vision of virtually the entire industry is straight at the exclusion of everyone else, MAYBE THAT ISN'T A VISION WORTH SUPPORTING.

Some visions are not worth supporting.
 

Lackless

Banned
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Oct 27, 2017
4,137
"Respecting the author's vision," is horse shit. How many of these works hinge upon their chars being straight or cis? Virtually none. They go to cishet as a default. There is no "vision" for all these straight characters, no vision of exploring straight romance.

Also, do you not think it slightly odd that the entire's industry vision is straight apparently? And if the vision of virtually the entire industry is straight at the exclusion of everyone else, MAYBE THAT ISN'T A VISION WORTH SUPPORTING.

Some visions are not worth supporting.
Okay. that's your opinon. You know mine. The more freedom an artists has, the better is something I strongly believe.
 
Oct 27, 2017
11,111
There's a massive jump between proportional and equal. I think they could and should definitely do better than proportional, given how underrepresented LGBT people are in games, but expecting every game to have equal numbers would just be ridiculous
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,621
People need to get this idea out of their heads that there's some sacred aspect to a creator's vision we should not interfere with or try to influence, especially in a highly collaborative and group effort like games. First off these ideas change and are "compromised" a thousand times during the creative/development process, very little is sacred or unchanged in any creative process. And secondly a character's race, gender and orientation are rarely ever that important to either the story or the creator, let alone something that is ever really given a great deal of forethought or consideration, especially for non-leads. Unconsciously defaulting to white cishet men is a real thing that even minority creatives sometimes fall in to.
The entire post is worth reading, but this quoted paragraph in particular, should be like, pinned on top of every page.
This is such an important thing, and every "respect the writer's vision"-person should take a very good look at this.

Did you know that Ocarina of Time originally was supposed to have a Light Temple, and that the Ice Cavern side-dungeon initially was going to be the Water Temple? Would you consider it an infringement on the creators' vision that they changed these things, too?
Or how about Star Fox Adventure. It originally was a completely different game, no ties to the Star Fox brand, and Krystal wasn't a damsel in distress but a fully realized playable protagonist. Yet, with the changes they made to the then Dinosaur Planet, they heavily sexualized Krystal - they removed the diversity they initially had so that white cishet people who think more minority representation is forced would be more willing to buy it. How's that for infringing on an author's vision?
 
Feb 25, 2019
37
ITT: People who are okay with games being 90% straight and white, but if too many LGBTQ+ get put in, then that's a problem. Trans/gay/genderfluid people just aren't living a valid lifestyle apparently? Pretty disgusting the stigma around having non-straight or non-white characters in the media. It shouldn't be about equal representation, it is about minorities being treated like human beings and not having any stigma around their race/gender/sexuality. 50/50 sounds good to me, if not 100%, because being straight ISN'T any better than being gay/trans/genderfluid. And that's how it should be shown in games and media.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,586
Let's cut to the meat of this.

There's almost never a true "author's vision" with games that are even decently sized. You've got the whims of publishers, multiple higher-ups with their various inputs for the story, focus testing, etc.

You're only going to find a vision of a singular author in games that literally only have a handful of people working on them. Trying to argue that every game with cis white heterosexual male lead was a product of the "author's vision" is naive at best.
 

Lackless

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,137
So you're saying that sometimes the creator's vision is shitty and not worthy of respect?
Yes. I even said that if I don't like a video game, I just stop playing it. I don't want to force the developer to do anything. I just ignore them. That's what's beautiful about being an individual. What's not beautiful is forcing artists to lose their individuality because you or even most people disagree with it. It all worked itself out for Rape Day since it was pulled from Steam so I fail to see how that helps your argument that game developers should be forced to alter their story to fit gender percentages or anything similar.

The more representation game developers have, the better off they will always be. Closing down that representation is a horrible idea.
 
Oct 28, 2017
448
Yes. I even said that if I don't like a video game, I just stop playing it. I don't want to force the developer to do anything. I just ignore them. That's what's beautiful about being an individual. What's not beautiful is forcing artists to lose their individuality because you or even most people disagree with it. It all worked itself out for Rape Day since it was pulled from Steam so I fail to see how that helps your argument that game developers should be forced to alter their story to fit gender percentages or anything similar.

The more representation game developers have, the better off they will always be. Closing down that representation is a horrible idea.
Do you or do you not respect the sacred vision of the creator's of Rape Day. This is a yes or no question.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,621
Yes. I even said that if I don't like a video game, I just stop playing it. I don't want to force the developer to do anything. I just ignore them. That's what's beautiful about being an individual.
So what you're saying to minorities here is "Tough luck, I don't give a shit about you, if you don't like that an overwhelming majority of video games star white cishet protagonists and have no meaningful representation of your marginalized group, then don't play them. Stop complaining and just take it, you don't deserve jack."
 
Oct 28, 2017
448
Don’t be dense. Fulfilling a quota is dumb and for the wrong reasons. Developers should add more representation because it’s good for games.

fUlFiLlInG A QuOtA Is dUmB AnD FoR ThE WrOnG ReAsOnS.

Meanwhile, in this industry, we apparently have a quota of 99%+ cishet chars and that's totally fine. Author's vision and all.
 
Aug 4, 2018
942
California
The whole "authors should write they want" or "respect the authors' vision" rubs me the wrong way. Like, i get it; when you involve non-LGBT folks to write LGBT stories things can go horribly wrong. But also, saying it's incumbent on a marginalized community to create their own representation seems like sweeping a very important issue under the rug. Like, the LGBTQ community cannot simply wish representation of ourselves into existence--at least alone. Sorry, but there isn't enough of us in positions of power to do that because gaming is still a cishet dominated industry. What "respect the authots' vision" sounds like is so long as cishet men are in power, they can do what they want, and if they want to have an erasure of lgbtq characters from their games I just need to live with that. Do you get how shitty that sounds?

Like, look, I don't know what the solution looks like beyond a "make games gayer" (which is something all developers can take to heart), but the specifics are beyond me.

Also, something I think a lot of cishet folks aren't getting here, there isn't a magical library full of great queer games--and like, look, the queer reprensetation is honestly a bit shit. Nearly every game with queer representation has their caveats, (e.g. too many dead partners, no narrative substance, avoids the word "gay" or any language explicitly confirming sexuality, etc.); a very real issue with telling people to go find a queer game to play is realizing that game may simply not exist.