Vice: "Fire Emblem Doesn't Just Need Gay Characters, It Needs Queer Life"

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,979
This is a terrible take. Now, in that entitlement thread, I disagreed that devs should be mandated to provide equal representation, but that doesn't mean that consumers shouldn't fight for it. Entertainment plays an important role in the normalization of social constructs, which subsequently affects the quality of life for minority classes whose concerns are not being addressed due to the lack of exposure/acceptance.

That you think it's selfish for oppressed minorities to be vocal about building a more tolerant and inclusive society that improves everyone's well-being speaks volumes about how privileged and selfish you are.
thank you for saying all this without swearing, which i probably could not have done. garbage post (you replied to). "how entitled that you want things to cater to you", says straight boy who is catered to 99% of the time. now this whole thread is derailed by one single homophobic concern troll. every single time, i swear to god.
 
Jun 2, 2018
650
Northern Ireland
More options for people is good.

As an aside, getting used to hearing queer in a positive context is weird for me. Might be a generational thing, but it was always used as an insult when I was younger. It's good that the word seems to have been reclaimed.
 

kitchenmotors

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,128
Illinois
asking too much from people who won't let Zelda be the lead in her own game
I don’t think this is a fair comparison and straight women leads with their own stories have been told countless times. Yeah, Nintendo is late to the game with giving Zelda her own title but what does that have to do with queer life? I want a game where the setting or story revolves around a queer character and their experiences, not heteronormative plot points with a queer character inserted here or there.

This is an industry problem as a whole, there aren’t any major queer voices that are directors or writers. Like I’ve said before, I want genuine queer people to be writing these stories but it’s not as easy as some people make it out to be. “Just hire a queer writer, they obviously have the money.” You also need the talent available. Not just anyone can write a genuine story that gives justice to a community that hasn’t had a voice before and integrate it with a form of media that is also interactive. Honestly, I feel like Cyberpunk would have been a great game to introduce something like this but CDPR is not the company to take that on, but the setting is PERFECT for a queer lead character.

And despite shading Nintendo about Zelda, BOTW had a really forward thinking section with the Gerudo Village and the acceptance of Link as a woman with masculine features. Gerudo Village is a wonderful part of the game and I hope the sequel embraces more things like that as well as Zelda being a main playable character, which might happen if the trailer is any indication.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,947
Houston
Nintendo is late to the game with giving Zelda her own title but what does that have to do with queer life
that one (Zelda being playable in her own game) is infinitely easier request to fulfill for this Japanese company that seems to have a problem with it the longer it is ignored. As compared to this from the same Japanese company

all this to say people expect to much from Nintendo Japan. They are usually behind on things and Japan itself isn't on the best food on queer life to begin with in the broader sense (legalities)
 

Funyarinpa

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
7,871
I don't understand some things about the first point, they might be basic questions though.

(I haven't played FE3H.)

Should every representation of queer relationships make that a part of the game's overarching story? In the absence of the game's other problematic aspects, would queer and heterosexual relationships being written similarly be problematic? Does the real-world context of queer relationships being viewed differently than opposite-gender relationships need to be carried into fictional works? Do queer relationships inherently need to have (more) story focus if heterosexual relationships in the same game (hypothetically) don't?

To summarize, all the other issues about unit counts and the available queer relationships aside, would writing queer and opposite gender relationships similarly be inherently bad representation? (If queer relationships are inherently different due to homophobia, does that context have to exist in a fictional work?)

(I'm not trying to invalidate criticism of FE3H as it even in my limited understanding has many questionable aspects, this is more so something I'm curious about regarding queer representation in general.)
 

kirbyfan407

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,472
What is "queer life"?


I think the idea is rather than just writing queerness as a "moment" (like, with a marriage decision at the end of a support), the ask is to have characters be queer throughout their stories, have queer characters and identities as part of the world and context (rather than only existing in the romantic bubbles around the main character), and writing storylines that involve queerness. Something else that could be said, which is disputing the image you quoted (not that there's anything wrong with the image in my view, as it was and still is important to normalize and humanize queer people), is how queerness does affect and impact lives outside of romantic moments. In my experience as part of the LGBT community, I know my queerness framed many events in my life differently than had I been not queer, and the conversations and interactions I have with my queer peers are different.

I don't know if the author of the article is advocating for all of this to show up in Fire Emblem, but I think dipping into this well to make queerness a part of the Fire Emblem world and not just a player input might be what they're asking to see in the future.

I haven't played the game yet, but for example, if lineage and royal bloodlines are part of the game's themes, how does someone having same-gender romantic interests play into that? My understanding is that the queerness in this game is isolated to the player experience and choices through supports.

(Since I haven't played it yet and am not confident I fully understood the article when I first read it, others please feel free to correct me.)
 
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yepyepyep

Member
Oct 25, 2017
598
Do games need anything? What’s up with this new trend of criticizing media for not lining up with personal desires? I’ve said it before, but it just seems so selfish to want things to cater to you. Yes, Fire Emblem (and the whole industry) can have better representation—I think it’s lame that there are only 3 gay male options—but don’t slam something just because it doesn’t live up to some idealized notion of what an entertainment product should be. Support the ones that make you feel good and ignore the ones that don’t (unless they are truly heinous, like that GamerGater’s Xbox game). It basically feels like the ultimate version of identity as consumer. You people are more than what you consume!

I do agree that support dialogue being the same for both genders is dumb as fuck.
As a homo I agree with this take and am not sure why he has a week long ban? Seems arbitrary and oversensitive to me. There is a weird thing where people want their identities to be pandered to by the things that they consume, it's a valid thing to be critical of. Its almost instead of being critical of consumerism, they want consumerism to validate them. And really, its literally just a game. This is a tiny minute baby issue to get worked up over.
 

HotHamBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,101
This.

Adding queer experience with people who don't know how to write it is a bad idea.
This is what makes the whole issue so complex. While we all want and strive for more representation we need to acknowledge that proper representarion doesn't just mean seeing those characters and scenarios but but having the game/media itself be created by the very people meant to be represented. Whether that's a woman, a POC, a gay man, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans, handicapped or any other marginalized group. It's the only way to portray the authentic experience. I don't think people want a story about the gay experience from a straight perspective, the black experience from a non-black POV, the female experience as understood by a man, etc.

Representation in media is not just what's on screen but who is working behind it. To be truly inclusive means hiring passionate people who know what it's like and what people want to see. That basically calls for an over-haul of the entire industry as it means giving the big jobs to minorities.
I think the idea is rather than just writing queerness as a "moment" (like, with a marriage decision at the end of a support), the ask is to have characters be queer throughout their stories, have queer characters and identities as part of the world and context (rather than only existing in the romantic bubbles around the main character), and writing storylines that involve queerness. Something else that could be said, which is disputing the image you quoted (not that there's anything wrong with the image in my view, as it was and still is important to normalize and humanize queer people), is how queerness does affect and impact lives outside of romantic moments. In my experience as part of the LGBT community, I know my queerness framed many events in my life differently than had I been not queer, and the conversations and interactions I have with my queer peers are different.

I don't know if the author of the article is advocating for all of this to show up in Fire Emblem, but I think dipping into this well to make queerness a part of the Fire Emblem world and not just a player input might be what they're asking to see in the future.

I haven't played the game yet, but for example, if lineage and royal bloodlines are part of the game's themes, how does someone having same-gender romantic interests play into that? My understanding is that the queerness in this game is isolated to the player experience and choices through supports.

(Since I haven't played it yet and am not confident I fully understood the article when I first read it, others please feel free to correct me.)
This is also where I feel having every NPC be a blank slate of sexuality is a bullshit cheat. You can argue that sexuality shouldn't be a defining trait of a person but when it comes to romance that's an aspect of one's character that is undeniably important in shaping who that person is. It affected how they grew up, their relationships, their perception of how others see them, etc.

Ideally that translates into a game in such a way that some characters are hardline straight, gay, bi or even asexual and the player character's sexuality is going to affect who they can romance.

People aren't just looking for a power fantasy where they can project their desired sexuality onto any character. They are looking for characters that authentically represent their experience and give them someone to relate to.
 
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data

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,151
This is what makes the whole issue so complex. While we all want and strive for more representation we need to acknowledge that proper representarion doesn't just mean seeing those characters and scenarios but but having the game/media itself be created by the very people meant to be represented. Whether that's a woman, a POC, a gay man, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans, handicapped or any other marginalized group. It's the only way to portray the authentic experience. I don't think people want a story about the gay experience from a straight perspective, the black experience from a non-black POV, the female experience as understood by a man, etc.

Representation in media is not just what's on screen but who is working behind it. To be truly inclusive means hiring passionate people who know what it's like and what people want to see That basically calls for an over-haul of the entire industry as it means giving the big jobs to minorities.
Not just that.

If its not written with the experience, all it'll do is check off a checklist and that in my opinion is worst since it shows that theyre appealing the lowest common denominator without putting much effort into it.

I believe this is more dangerous as well get misrepresented versions told from a different perspective from someone without the experience and it could propogate misleading ideas.
 

Vulkar59

Member
Jan 16, 2019
59
There is a point touched on in the article that I think is an ignored aspect of this situation. The three male S supports for a male character fulfill stereotypes that the straight community has about gay men. Be it that gay people ruin straight relationships or are effeminate. I am in no way trying to say those things are the same, or to speak to anyone's person or situation in a pejorative sense. Rather, it shows the mentality of the writers when it comes to LGBT people.

I believe representation in media for all kinds of people is important, even more so in a video game that children may pick up. Showing someone young that there are people of all different types or in other cases, people like them is a powerful tool. Nintendo has failed in that respect and they deserve to be called out on it in every way possible.

I'm going to look up Doug Bowser on linkedin and send him a message.
 

kitchenmotors

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,128
Illinois
Not just that.

If its not written with the experience, all it'll do is check off a checklist and that in my opinion is worst since it shows that theyre appealing the lowest common denominator without putting much effort into it.

I believe this is more dangerous as well get misrepresented versions told from a different perspective from someone without the experience and it could propogate misleading ideas.
And that’s the biggest problem, by having someone who is not queer write these stories, it can either become a caricature or play off stereotypes even if written with the best intentions. It’s important that queer people direct and write these stories, that are also part of the creative process and not just hired help or contractors.

There is a really good example that I want to bring up with television and portrayal of queer people. Up until 1975, there had no been a normal depiction of a Drag Queen in mainstream media. They were always used as (poorly written) comedic jokes or a point of negative tension in a story. CBS’ show All In The Family changed that.

The character Beverly La Salle was played by Lori Seymour, an openly gay man and drag queen performer and was featured in 3 episodes, giving her character substance and development. The care that the writers took with the way Beverly’s queer experiences made her a dimensional character was unheard of in the 70s. And having an actual gay man act out as this character was a huge step forward in progress for queer representation.



It is important that care is taken with our culture and community. Don’t push for straight people to just throw these things in, we need real progress from our own.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,637
And I think that’s what will bother me more with FE, the heteronormative aspect of it. I haven’t purchased the game and I wasn’t as upset about the lack of male with male options, but listening to this podcast and understanding now how heteronormative the world is in this game is extremely off putting to me.

I’m not really going to blame the developers for this because it makes sense, a Japanese developer with straight people working on this game isn’t going have a lot to say about the queer aspects of a world because it’s not something they know. It just makes me realize that there are hardly any queer voices in this industry. I’m in my late 30s and I’m ready for that to come through and appeal to me in my games. But we still have this issue in a lot of media, right now it’s a huge problem with anything Marvel or Star Wars. Even on TV there is very little that appeals to my queerness, except for Pose. That show is all me and I love Ryan Murphy for it.
Not to pick on your post specifically, as I’m really addressing several here, but... there are LGBT people in Japan just like anywhere else. It’s a little silly to frame it as if it’d be impossible for a game coming out of Japan to handle these things well, y’know?

So I feel like going “well, it’s Japan...” is still excusing - or at least, tempering criticism - too much even for things like this. There are certainly people/organizations they could consult even if they have no one (that’s out) on staff. And though obviously representation among the developers as well is the ideal goal, it is obviously still possible for there to be media - and Japanese media - that handles this well due to research and care. Totally understandable to think “I don’t want them to try if they’re just going to make it worse”, of course, but still.

I don't understand some things about the first point, they might be basic questions though.

(I haven't played FE3H.)

Should every representation of queer relationships make that a part of the game's overarching story? In the absence of the game's other problematic aspects, would queer and heterosexual relationships being written similarly be problematic? Does the real-world context of queer relationships being viewed differently than opposite-gender relationships need to be carried into fictional works? Do queer relationships inherently need to have (more) story focus if heterosexual relationships in the same game (hypothetically) don't?

To summarize, all the other issues about unit counts and the available queer relationships aside, would writing queer and opposite gender relationships similarly be inherently bad representation? (If queer relationships are inherently different due to homophobia, does that context have to exist in a fictional work?)

(I'm not trying to invalidate criticism of FE3H as it even in my limited understanding has many questionable aspects, this is more so something I'm curious about regarding queer representation in general.)
The thing here is that the “overarching story” doesn’t necessarily need to be where this kind of thing would mainly appear? Because - though I have not reached them myself - that’s not where the straight relationships play out.

At least where I am now, maybe 1/3 through the game, most of what you learn about characters is in Support scenes; I know in the back half characters will fight each other, so there’ll be some more in the main story, but Supports are still probably gonna be where any bonding/romantic implications happen. These are distinct scenes between two characters, which can be gated by story progress but are only unlocked by increasing a hidden (at least numerically, you just see when it increases) stat through them aiding each other in battle or some of the various activities you can do at the monastery. These aren’t inherently romantic; the main character has Supports with every character, and everyone else has their entire house + a few others. If a character has Supports available with another character, they’ll at least have scenes for ranks C and B. Some have A rank as well, and only the main character can get the romantic S ranks (which are apparently not actually romantic for the m/m pairings described in the article). There’s some more stuff to it (some pairs have 2 scenes for a rank), but basically these scenes are entirely optional and separate from the main story.

Since these Support scenes are where the real meat of the direct interactions between characters happen, there’d kinda be more or less no additional focus on learning these things or exploring relationships compared to straight characters/pairings. The only thing is that I believe that except for the main characters, the game doesn't even show anything explicitly romantic for pairings till the ending due to them not having S ranks. But even then, that wouldn’t be an obstacle for showing this through Supports if the character was only gay, or otherwise if they were acknowledged as being bi even when not in a same gender pairing. In my opinion the game actually provides a good structure for exploring this stuff, but... it doesn’t.
 

Bobcat Fancy

Member
Jul 21, 2019
149
I don't understand some things about the first point, they might be basic questions though.

(I haven't played FE3H.)

Should every representation of queer relationships make that a part of the game's overarching story? In the absence of the game's other problematic aspects, would queer and heterosexual relationships being written similarly be problematic? Does the real-world context of queer relationships being viewed differently than opposite-gender relationships need to be carried into fictional works? Do queer relationships inherently need to have (more) story focus if heterosexual relationships in the same game (hypothetically) don't?

To summarize, all the other issues about unit counts and the available queer relationships aside, would writing queer and opposite gender relationships similarly be inherently bad representation? (If queer relationships are inherently different due to homophobia, does that context have to exist in a fictional work?)
That some W/W relationships can fall a little flat because they’re mostly identical to M/W ones seems like a nicer problem to have than MLM do in this game. I’d definitely rather have it than not... I wouldn’t say this problem is an issue solely when it comes to queer relationships. In a lot of games where the player can influence the narrative, events can seem tailor made to your situation improve the experience for you. It can sometimes be deflating when you find out they’re not. Will this necessarily make them less meaningful to the player? It depends. I don’t mind the idea of the same cutscenes and character interactions having different slants depending on your cutscenes and I suspect it’s less of an issue for me because... I always do the same thing generally. I liked Isabela’s rivalry in Dragon Age II and the way Hawks seemed to successfully push her to be a less selfish person at crucial points. Other players can get to a similar point by developing a more cordial friendship with her, which didn’t initially make sense to me. But you know, it’s fine.

I am not waiting or asking for groundbreaking queer narratives or specificity in Fire Emblem, personally. I don’t actually think a bit of content referencing queerness is so hard to develop, even by straight people, but I’d definitely rather have several identical S-Ranks with important, compelling characters than... the same with Linhardt. My understanding is that some character’s queerness is more explicit than others (Dorothea?) even if the Byleth romances are the same by gender.

As far as I’m concerned, ConcernedApe did just fine with Stardew Valley. Some people don’t like that some characters don’t realize they’re queer until your farmer flirts with them, but, personally, they’re all like 19. (little weird, actually) I don’t think of casts with large bisexual casts as “playersexual” and actually find that kind of an annoying lense to view them through, but whatever. (do people think characters in games with relationship elements don’t actually have, brief similarly sized character arcs because they don’t experience them in their playthroughs and/or that’s very uncommon in real life?)

As far as in universe homophobia in games where players can create queer characters? I don’t mind it... if queer relationships can still be central to my play experience. Not interested in a game where straight players can date anyone they’d care to (this one, especially for guys) and one where queer players can... get turned by the same characters because their relationships won’t produce children and/or “gross.” Definitely rather have nothing than that.

What I want out of Fire Emblem is what I think many straight people want and get: to hang out with fun, attractive animes and make them kiss. I would like my awesome player character anime to stand next to my favorite NPC anime, derive maximal combat benefits from that, and get a nice cutscene confirming that They Would. That’s not all the game is but there are enough other games at this point that satisfy on that front that I feel comfortable skipping this one as it exists now.
There is a point touched on in the article that I think is an ignored aspect of this situation. The three male S supports for a male character fulfill stereotypes that the straight community has about gay men. Be it that gay people ruin straight relationships or are effeminate. I am in no way trying to say those things are the same, or to speak to anyone's person or situation in a pejorative sense. Rather, it shows the mentality of the writers when it comes to LGBT people.

I believe representation in media for all kinds of people is important, even more so in a video game that children may pick up. Showing someone young that there are people of all different types or in other cases, people like them is a powerful tool. Nintendo has failed in that respect and they deserve to be called out on it in every way possible.

I'm going to look up Doug Bowser on linkedin and send him a message.
The article also touches on this, but: two of those options are not romantic. I wouldn’t say their existence as S-Ranks for guys had anything to do with considering queer men - they just extended the sole platonic S-Ranks in the game to both genders. I don’t think the fact that Byleth marries a random, different-gender spouse was a malicious trick played on queer guys, the devs just weren’t even thinking about them, even stereotypically.
 
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kitchenmotors

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,128
Illinois
Not to pick on your post specifically, as I’m really addressing several here, but... there are LGBT people in Japan just like anywhere else. It’s a little silly to frame it as if it’d be impossible for a game coming out of Japan to handle these things well, y’know?

So I feel like going “well, it’s Japan...” is still excusing - or at least, tempering criticism - too much even for things like this. There are certainly people/organizations they could consult even if they have no one (that’s out) on staff. And though obviously representation among the developers as well is the ideal goal, it is obviously still possible for there to be media - and Japanese media - that handles this well due to research and care. Totally understandable to think “I don’t want them to try if they’re just going to make it worse”, of course, but still.



The thing here is that the “overarching story” doesn’t necessarily need to be where this kind of thing would mainly appear? Because - though I have not reached them myself - that’s not where the straight relationships play out.

At least where I am now, maybe 1/3 through the game, most of what you learn about characters is in Support scenes; I know in the back half characters will fight each other, so there’ll be some more in the main story, but Supports are still probably gonna be where any bonding/romantic implications happen. These are distinct scenes between two characters, which can be gated by story progress but are only unlocked by increasing a hidden (at least numerically, you just see when it increases) stat through them aiding each other in battle or some of the various activities you can do at the monastery. These aren’t inherently romantic; the main character has Supports with every character, and everyone else has their entire house + a few others. If a character has Supports available with another character, they’ll at least have scenes for ranks C and B. Some have A rank as well, and only the main character can get the romantic S ranks (which are apparently not actually romantic for the m/m pairings described in the article). There’s some more stuff to it (some pairs have 2 scenes for a rank), but basically these scenes are entirely optional and separate from the main story.

Since these Support scenes are where the real meat of the direct interactions between characters happen, there’d kinda be more or less no additional focus on learning these things or exploring relationships compared to straight characters/pairings. The only thing is that I believe that except for the main characters, the game doesn't even show anything explicitly romantic for pairings till the ending due to them not having S ranks. But even then, that wouldn’t be an obstacle for showing this through Supports if the character was only gay, or otherwise if they were acknowledged as being bi even when not in a same gender pairing. In my opinion the game actually provides a good structure for exploring this stuff, but... it doesn’t.
You did pick out my post and glazed over any point I tried to make about representation and how it’s important for the community to be involved. Kinda lame, sis. Actually, really annoying.

No one is saying gay people don’t exist in Japan, but they have to be involved in the process to get proper representation. This industry is so heteronormative, I don’t trust developers anywhere to get it correct by just consulting.
 

Madjaba

Banned
May 16, 2018
90
User banned (permanent): Threadwhining, downplaying concerns over queer issues, prior serious infraction
Are video games now supposed to portray whatever x or y wants ?

What is a "queer life" ???

My brother is gender fluid, plays the game and seem to have no issues with it.

He's not queer enough maybe ?

Sometimes I just cant understand this world anymore...
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,637
You did pick out my post and glazed over any point I tried to make about representation and how it’s important for the community to be involved. Kinda lame, sis. Actually, really annoying.

No one is saying gay people don’t exist in Japan, but they have to be involved in the process to get proper representation. This industry is so heteronormative, I don’t trust developers anywhere to get it correct by just consulting.
Genuinely sorry to have been annoying. I was mainly addressing:

“I’m not really going to blame the developers for this because it makes sense, a Japanese developer with straight people working on this game isn’t going have a lot to say about the queer aspects of a world because it’s not something they know.”

But I think I misread it and focused too much on “a Japanese developer” when you were obviously getting at more than just that. I should have quoted someone else who said only that more directly instead of you if I wanted to discuss this.
 

boy power

Member
Jul 29, 2019
52
As a homo I agree with this take and am not sure why he has a week long ban? Seems arbitrary and oversensitive to me. There is a weird thing where people want their identities to be pandered to by the things that they consume, it's a valid thing to be critical of. Its almost instead of being critical of consumerism, they want consumerism to validate them. And really, its literally just a game. This is a tiny minute baby issue to get worked up over.
Straight people who run the media and decide what belongs in entertainment and what doesn't, and as long as they are happily enforcing heteronormativity in their products, and therefore pandering to the identify of a straight person, I don't think your comment is really fair.

Also, saying things like '' it's just a game '' isn't very thoughtful. Most people are daily in touch with media and entertainment, and popular media that defines generations, brings them together and creates important cultural moments is a very big part of us growing up. And 99% of this generation, culture defining media is heteronormative, whether it be movies, games or TV shows. And LGBT people are often left to wonder about their own existence because they don't see themselves reflected on what they are surrounded by daily, which then can cause trouble for one's self-esteem and mental health. Media is never '' just '' something, because it will always enforce some kind of ideology or mindset. I think..?
 

demondance

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,407
Fire Emblem has always struggled with making characters feel like more than one-note pieces that don't really fit together in a way that creates the impression of a living world. Mass Effect, which does LGBT representation at least a bit better than FE games do, also has that vibe when you engage with the romance mechanic. You just answer the "right" way and it culminates in sex and that's the end of it.

The suggestion in the OP would help bind the game's lore and characters together much more definitively. Adding a few more LGBT characters would be nice, but isn't as thoughtful a suggestion as considering how it all fits together within the context of the world.

It'd only be a better game if they considered things like this. Three Houses really upgrades the lore compared to many previous entries, yet a lot of it ends up feeling like the disconnected backdrop of a more interesting world than the one you actually engage in. Sort of like a post-Morrowind Elder Scrolls game.
 

Glio

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,575
Spain
When I was looking at a video that introduced all the students and gave a short backstory for each, my friend who overheard some of it came up to me and said half-jokingly "wow, this is one of the most heteronormative games I've ever seen."

I couldn't disagree. It felt almost off-putting. I'm glad this article goes in-depth about that.
Genuinely, I don't understand this. I don't know how the two or three lines of description that the characters receive can draw that conclusion.


Especially compared to many other games.
 

alpha

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,143
I didn't play Fates (because it completely did not appeal to me with its aesthetic and the pandering) but that's actually fucked up that you lose a unit you would have otherwise if you play as a gay Corrin. They couldn't have even made like an adopted character that's the equivalent of the child or something?
 

Poltergust

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,946
Orlando, FL
Genuinely, I don't understand this. I don't know how the two or three lines of description that the characters receive can draw that conclusion.


Especially compared to many other games.
Well, what prompted that was when I was looking at one of the female Blue Lion students. One of the few lines given about her was that she “was bad in the kitchen”. No hint of self-awareness there.

Not LGBT+ related, but it still was about how pervasive “traditional” roles of men and women in society are presented in this game, and that extends to the lack of queerness in the game.
 

kitchenmotors

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,128
Illinois
Are video games now supposed to portray whatever x or y wants ?

What is a "queer life" ???

My brother is gender fluid, plays the game and seem to have no issues with it.

He's not queer enough maybe ?

Sometimes I just cant understand this world anymore...
Queer life is referring to the world around those of us who identify within lgbtq, so basically we just want portrayal of our life around us.

You can’t understand why people who aren’t straight want some aspects of their life and experiences in the media they consume? Your straight privilege is showing.

I can’t speak for your brother but plenty of people who are lgbtq don’t have an issue with the status quo, Trump, eating at Chik-fil-a. Some people are fine with the heteronormativity in media. I’m personally tired of it and playing as the straight white guy doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

The world hasn’t changed, the platform for queers to speak out has. Our voices are louder now more than ever. This rally for progress isn’t new, we’ve always been here pushing.
 
Oct 27, 2017
154
SoCal
I would fully support this. It's pretty baffling to me, honestly. Dorothea and Brigid have a ton of romantic tension in their paralogue, yet they can only go up to B-rank support? I would have loved if they could be fully paired. Sometimes I wonder if the writers were held back by some restrictions from on high, since in general, the characters feel extremely well-realized thus far, and there's definitely some pretty explicit sparks between same-sex pairs that aren't able to be fully realized.

EDIT: Ingrid, not Brigid.
 
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Glio

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,575
Spain
Well, what prompted that was when I was looking at one of the female Blue Lion students. One of the few lines given about her was that she “was bad in the kitchen”. No hint of self-awareness there.

Not LGBT+ related, but it still was about how pervasive “traditional” roles of men and women in society are presented in this game, and that extends to the lack of queerness in the game.
I understand it, but I don't see it worse than ... practically any other game with very few exceptions.
 

MrSaturn99

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,187
I live in a giant bucket.
I would like to read the article but at the beginning there's a spoiler warning so I hesitate (and I would like to S-Rank Edelgard in my BE playthrough next too)

In any event, I read the key quotes and well yeah, I agree, any game featuring romance/dating mechanism should try to be as inclusive as possible, especially when published by a gigantic company like Nintendo.
Having only done the Black Eagles, there's nothing to worry about aside from confession scenes. (Although it uses Edelgard's confession as a springboard.)

I didn't play Fates (because it completely did not appeal to me with its aesthetic and the pandering) but that's actually fucked up that you lose a unit you would have otherwise if you play as a gay Corrin. They couldn't have even made like an adopted character that's the equivalent of the child or something?
That would be difficult considering Kana, the child in question, inherits Corrin's dragon powers and has an entire Paralogue recruitment chapter where said powers go berserk and the party needs to protect him/her.

Not that I don't sympathize, but at that point you'd have to create another character available via only two romantic options. (Of course, there could've simply added more S-supports, but there's still the workload of another character/map to consider.)

I would fully support this. It's pretty baffling to me, honestly. Dorothea and Brigid have a ton of romantic tension in their paralogue, yet they can only go up to B-rank support? I would have loved if they could be fully paired. Sometimes I wonder if the writers were held back by some restrictions from on high, since in general, the characters feel extremely well-realized thus far, and there's definitely some pretty explicit sparks between same-sex pairs that aren't able to be fully realized.
You mean Ingrid?
 

ckareset

Member
Feb 2, 2018
3,786
I support the inclusion of more queer options but it's kinda telling the most important thing about fire emblem these days is its dating choices
 

Harlequin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,346
This is also why I'm an advocate for player sexuality because no one should be able to play a power fantasy and not be able to go after the character they actually like. Unless the story is explicitly going into the sexual background of a character I believe you should be able to romance who you want because otherwise it's only a power fantasy for some, and not all.
If the story is going to at all delve into a character's backstory and the setting includes any kind of homophobia, chances are their sexual orientation will have shaped them in one way or another and if it has, the character really should be written with that in mind. Honestly, there are very few instances where I feel like writing a character as playersexual (not bisexual) is preferable. For example, if your game's writing or exploration of its romanceable characters is so shallow to begin with that this sort of thing would never come up anyway. I would rather have fewer romance options in each "category" (male LIs interested in female protagonists, male LIs interested in male protagonists, female LIs... you get the gist) that are fully fleshed out, well-written and where the same-sex options are actually representative of LGBTQ people than have everyone be romanceable by everyone without any exploration or mention of their orientation. I feel like playersexuality in some ways isn't full representation. Unless it's actually presented as the characters in question being bi or pan but then that's not playersexual, I'd argue. And, of course, not all games are meant to be power fantasies (though if we're talking about the kinds of big RPGs that often tend to feature romance content, yeah, those generally are).
 

Arthsuhtaraz

Member
Nov 20, 2018
12
I think this is a problem with queer representation in games as a whole. romantic options are typically lazy copy pastes for both genders or none existent. if youre going to make gay/bi options exclusive to a few characters, then it should be represented in the character in some way, otherwise why not just make every character bi if its the same dialogue anyways?
 

Tochtli79

Member
Jun 27, 2019
277
Mexico City
Really good article and I'm glad to see the issue getting some media attention.

FE has been jokingly referred to as Nintendo's gayest franchise, because the series has long teased gay relationships between characters but never explicitly confirmed them. And maybe that's because of the times or whatever, but the article makes a good point in saying FE should be comfortable by now in having gay, lesbian, bisexual characters and fully embracing it. Three Houses comes close, but it's because it comes close that it's really disappointing they couldn't commit. Dorothea is quite upfront about being bisexual, but (at least in the A supports I've seen) she never outright confirms romantic feelings for another woman. I've been less impressed by the m/m A ranks, which have tried even more to be ambiguous as to whether the two are just best friends or in love.

And why shouldn't there be a few characters who are only romanceable by the same sex? Why not feature a broader spectrum of orientations in the support system? I have a feeling the avatars have a lot to do with their apprehension. The gays are used to getting the bare minimum if anything at all, but imagine if Johnny couldn't S rank Edelgard because she's only into women. That said, it can't be the only reason. They've come very close to all but confirming Ike and Soren, for example, but for some reason still hold back on saying "they're gay", and there was no avatar in Tellius.

It's really sad that the series hasn't improved on this issue after 16 games. I'm still holding out hope the DLC will add more options for both sexes.
 

Zetetica

Member
Jan 5, 2019
26
It's a little unfortunate that they would write an article like this that outright ignores the same-sex relationships that don't involve the player. There's a lot of the game's content I haven;t seen yet, but the A+ support between Shamir and Catherine involves a literal marriage proposal. But neither of them are interested in the female player character so I guess it didn't come up in their research? That and the other explicitly homosexual relationship I've seen, Dorothea + Petra, are both between two women, so that point about inequality is definitely still huge.

Some of the epilogues do require some reading between the lines, like Felix/Sylvain and Annette/Mercedes, which is more in keeping with the series' roots, and I haven't seen enough to see if the same gender imbalance exists there.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,637
Aren't all the characters in this game underage?
The students are roughly 15-20 while at the school, and there’s no romance till after the 5 year time-skip anyway. Your character is actually also in their age range fwiw; going by what your father says near the start, you’d be at least a few years under 20 (their age is listed as “??”).

I’m admittedly still early on, but the only romance stuff I’m expecting to actually be kinda sketchy in practice is anything with the other staff, since some of them seem decently older than you + the students...
 

Pata Hikari

Member
Jan 15, 2018
1,694
. Dorothea is quite upfront about being bisexual, but (at least in the A supports I've seen) she never outright confirms romantic feelings for another woman.
I mean to be fair I don't think any of the A supports are explicitly romantic because you can have multiple A supports on a character, so for non-Beyleth supports any actual confirmation of romance would have to come from the paired endings which are based off a mix of total support points and priority system.
 

Bit_Reactor

Member
Apr 9, 2019
1,392
If the story is going to at all delve into a character's backstory and the setting includes any kind of homophobia, chances are their sexual orientation will have shaped them in one way or another and if it has, the character really should be written with that in mind. Honestly, there are very few instances where I feel like writing a character as playersexual (not bisexual) is preferable. For example, if your game's writing or exploration of its romanceable characters is so shallow to begin with that this sort of thing would never come up anyway. I would rather have fewer romance options in each "category" (male LIs interested in female protagonists, male LIs interested in male protagonists, female LIs... you get the gist) that are fully fleshed out, well-written and where the same-sex options are actually representative of LGBTQ people than have everyone be romanceable by everyone without any exploration or mention of their orientation. I feel like playersexuality in some ways isn't full representation. Unless it's actually presented as the characters in question being bi or pan but then that's not playersexual, I'd argue. And, of course, not all games are meant to be power fantasies (though if we're talking about the kinds of big RPGs that often tend to feature romance content, yeah, those generally are).
Right it's always going to change on a case by case basis.

I just feel like things like Mass Effect where one of my best friends is still mad to this day that she can't romance Tali without mods is something that always lingers in my mind with stuff like that.

For example Dorian in Dragon Age Inquisition I would argue is a character that could definitely NOT be playersexual because it's integral to part of his plot and subplot depending if you romance him or if he romances Iron Bull and other stuff. But I think too often "representative" can put writers in a corner where they either write something that's stereotypical or they write something that isn't "good enough" when I think that they can barely handle straight romances as it is.

I think a good romance is a great romance regardless of what sexuality it is. If it's well written, if there's chemistry, etc. I think it works regardless. Things like Tali not being able to romance Shep still bums my friend out to this day, and honestly aside from some pronouns there wouldn't be a lot of work in the game to make that happen (technically).

I think if we start limiting the existing romance options even further, by then splitting them up into even further groups (bi, gay, straight, etc) we then create even more restrictions on the players. I think if you're going to play a video game you're probably not playing it to fall for a character and then be told because you chose a specific gender representation in a video game with 1's and 0's that you can't romance the character you like the most based on their personality or physical traits.

I agree that it's all contextual depending on the story being told though for sure, but most of my perspectives are from games like Fire Emblem, Bioware RPGs, and Persona where there's no REAL reason to limit the players in that way because it's never a story being handled (or being handled well in Persona's case most times).
 

alpha

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,143
That would be difficult considering Kana, the child in question, inherits Corrin's dragon powers and has an entire Paralogue recruitment chapter where said powers go berserk and the party needs to protect him/her.

Not that I don't sympathize, but at that point you'd have to create another character available via only two romantic options. (Of course, there could've simply added more S-supports, but there's still the workload of another character/map to consider.)
That actually makes sense to me, given the context. But I'm a straight dude so I can't claim to speak for a gay person to say it they would buy it as a legitimate excuse.
 

Xero grimlock

Member
Dec 1, 2017
703
As a homo I agree with this take and am not sure why he has a week long ban? Seems arbitrary and oversensitive to me. There is a weird thing where people want their identities to be pandered to by the things that they consume, it's a valid thing to be critical of. Its almost instead of being critical of consumerism, they want consumerism to validate them. And really, its literally just a game. This is a tiny minute baby issue to get worked up over.
i've noticed this trend in general not just with lgbtq, but others and could never think of a phrase for it, but the phrase wanting consumerism to validate you is exactly it.

It is pretty damn stupid how few gay options there are in 3 houses though.
 

Zetetica

Member
Jan 5, 2019
26
The students are roughly 15-20 while at the school, and there’s no romance till after the 5 year time-skip anyway. Your character is actually also in their age range fwiw; going by what your father says near the start, you’d be at least a few years under 20 (their age is listed as “??”).

I’m admittedly still early on, but the only romance stuff I’m expecting to actually be kinda sketchy in practice is anything with the other staff, since some of them seem decently older than you + the students...

Mercedes, at 22, is the only student likely to be older than Byleth. Although the age is not officially listed, the protagonist can be assumed to be slightly older than 21 since that is how long ago their mother is said to have died.
As for how that lines up against monastery staff, Catherine is 27 and Shamir is 25 which are just as close as some of the students. But yes, the others are a bit out of range, weird magic shenanigans aside.

I mean to be fair I don't think any of the A supports are explicitly romantic because you can have multiple A supports on a character, so for non-Beyleth supports any actual confirmation of romance would have to come from the paired endings which are based off a mix of total support points and priority system.
Many aren't, but some are. I haven't been actively looking them up to avoid spoilers, but Ashe and Petra's A is definitely romantic and Shamir and Catherine's involves a literal marriage proposal.
As for the other side of it, even the S support with Byleth, if you choose one, technically happens after the war ends.
 
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Mib

Member
Nov 16, 2017
177
Having not played the game, if all the gay S-Ranks are basically just a few lines of dialogue off from their straight counterparts, that makes the whole thing even more baffling. So little effort and there's seriously only 1 MLM S-Rank?

What is "queer life"?
Even though we live our lives like everybody else, things like race or orientation do still have an impact. It changes how the world see us, and that informs how we act and see ourselves. Like the first example in the article, expressing romantic interest in someone is a different experience for a lot of LGBT+ people; how negatively if not outright hostile the environment is and all the possible consequences are things a lot of us have to consider. Those lines hold extra weight to a queer person that they otherwise wouldn't to most straight people, because it's a reflection of our own experiences as queer people in a world that doesn't see us the same.
 

Harlequin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,346
Right it's always going to change on a case by case basis.

I just feel like things like Mass Effect where one of my best friends is still mad to this day that she can't romance Tali without mods is something that always lingers in my mind with stuff like that.

For example Dorian in Dragon Age Inquisition I would argue is a character that could definitely NOT be playersexual because it's integral to part of his plot and subplot depending if you romance him or if he romances Iron Bull and other stuff. But I think too often "representative" can put writers in a corner where they either write something that's stereotypical or they write something that isn't "good enough" when I think that they can barely handle straight romances as it is.

I think a good romance is a great romance regardless of what sexuality it is. If it's well written, if there's chemistry, etc. I think it works regardless. Things like Tali not being able to romance Shep still bums my friend out to this day, and honestly aside from some pronouns there wouldn't be a lot of work in the game to make that happen (technically).

I think if we start limiting the existing romance options even further, by then splitting them up into even further groups (bi, gay, straight, etc) we then create even more restrictions on the players. I think if you're going to play a video game you're probably not playing it to fall for a character and then be told because you chose a specific gender representation in a video game with 1's and 0's that you can't romance the character you like the most based on their personality or physical traits.

I agree that it's all contextual depending on the story being told though for sure, but most of my perspectives are from games like Fire Emblem, Bioware RPGs, and Persona where there's no REAL reason to limit the players in that way because it's never a story being handled (or being handled well in Persona's case most times).
I agree that many of these attempts to create LGBTQ backgrounds and stories for characters don't turn out particularly well (you need look no further than Mass Effect: Andromeda's Gil for an example of that - though at least they tried, I suppose). And it's also true that many same-sex romance arcs don't actually feature LGBTQ-specific issues or themes at all. However, I'd argue that they should. Not that it should always be super in-your-face (I do not want every same-sex romance to turn into a preachy "gay rights are human rights" cringefest) or the focus of the romance arc but the characters and their stories should be written with it in mind. My logic here isn't "ah well, the writing is shitty and shallow, anyway, so might as well make them all playersexual" but "the writing is shitty and shallow, it needs to be improved". Now, better writing is harder to achieve than "just" switching around a few pronouns, recording the same dialogue twice, adjusting the animations and flipping a switch in the code but I do think it's worth striving for. Part of the problem is probably how romances tend to work in these games to begin with. They are often far too gamified and mechanical which probably makes it more difficult to write them well.
 

Bit_Reactor

Member
Apr 9, 2019
1,392
I agree that many of these attempts to create LGBTQ backgrounds and stories for characters don't turn out particularly well (you need look no further than Mass Effect: Andromeda's Gil for an example of that - though at least they tried, I suppose). And it's also true that many same-sex romance arcs don't actually feature LGBTQ-specific issues or themes at all. However, I'd argue that they should. Not that it should always be super in-your-face (I do not want every same-sex romance to turn into a preachy "gay rights are human rights" cringefest) or the focus of the romance arc but the characters and their stories should be written with it in mind. My logic here isn't "ah well, the writing is shitty and shallow, anyway, so might as well make them all playersexual" but "the writing is shitty and shallow, it needs to be improved". Now, better writing is harder to achieve than "just" switching around a few pronouns, recording the same dialogue twice, adjusting the animations and flipping a switch in the code but I do think it's worth striving for. Part of the problem is probably how romances tend to work in these games to begin with. They are often far too gamified and mechanical which probably makes it more difficult to write them well.
I disagree with your take on my perception simply being "it all sucks so just make them all playersexual," but it seems like we want to strive towards the same end.

I'm not saying "just make them" because it's bad I'm saying that to please more players of various backgrounds and preferences it is (to me) the objectively better solution due to enabling more players more preferences versus shoving them into a box.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,637
Mercedes, at 22, is the only student likely to be older than Byleth. Although the age is not officially listed, the protagonist can be assumed to be slightly older than 21 since that is how long ago their mother is said to have died.
As for how that lines up against monastery staff, Catherine is 27 and Shamir is 25 which are just as close as some of the students. But yes, the others are a bit out of range, weird magic shenanigans aside.
Ah, I didn’t know Mercedes was that much older, huh. But also, I’m pretty early as I said and have been dodging spoilers, but...

Hanneman does say your (supposed) mother died before Jeralt left the monastery 20 years ago, but early on Jeralt says something like “a few years after I left” to describe when you were born, and Hanneman only brings up the death as a contradiction. Maybe the former is actually the case and you were secretly born before then, but... I dunno yet.
 

Zetetica

Member
Jan 5, 2019
26
Ah, I didn’t know Mercedes was that much older, huh. But also, I’m pretty early as I said and have been dodging spoilers, but...

Hanneman does say your (supposed) mother died before Jeralt left the monastery 20 years ago, but early on Jeralt says something like “a few years after I left” to describe when you were born, and Hanneman only brings up the death as a contradiction. Maybe the former is actually the case and you were secretly born before then, but... I dunno yet.
My bad. Considering you have to finish the game to see the S support, I assumed non-path-specific main story spoilers would be fine in this thread.


Even though we live our lives like everybody else, things like race or orientation do still have an impact. It changes how the world see us, and that informs how we act and see ourselves. Like the first example in the article, expressing romantic interest in someone is a different experience for a lot of LGBT+ people; how negatively if not outright hostile the environment is and all the possible consequences are things a lot of us have to consider. Those lines hold extra weight to a queer person that they otherwise wouldn't to most straight people, because it's a reflection of our own experiences as queer people in a world that doesn't see us the same.
That is acknowledged, at least for romances between the other characters. I assume that was easier there since they didn't have to write two versions
 
OP
OP
Hours Left

Hours Left

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,420
On the topic of Fates and bloodline inheritance, etc. There is no need to use “realism” to explain why certain things must remain heteronormative. The series is filled with magical McGuffins that can do anything, so that’s no reason to deny queer gamers content.
 

Bobcat Fancy

Member
Jul 21, 2019
149
From what I know of reproduction in the Fire Emblem universe, the people are like asari and children inherit basically everything from one parent. Hair color, stat growths? Irrelevant. A matter of epigenetics. The primary parent is just looking at someone with purple hair at the moment of conception so that’s what their kid has.

Two wolves inside me...

Wolf 1: They could definitely just introduce mpreg.
Wolf 2: I mean, no need for anyone to get to pregnant, lots of magical altern-
Wolf 1: I’m not demanding mpreg, only better haircuts for queer guys, I just don’t think it’s a huge stretch and wouldn’t mind.
Wolf 2: I completely agree.

I’m personally not that compelled by people breeding in games and was happy to hear that wouldn’t exist in Three Houses.