In today's Gamasutra feature
, we present an investigative report looking into the current acceptance and future outlook for gay content in games, considering the most surprising result of the discovery of gay content in Rockstar's Bully
was its basic lack of controversy. Is gay content in games more acceptable now, and will we see more in the future? We interview Peter Molyneux, Brenda Brathwaite and others to find out.
, of course, wasn't the first recent mainstream title to include an option for homosexuality, with Peter Molyneux's Fable
offering players an opportunity to choose partners of the same sex, which, Molyneux explains in this excerpt, wasn't at first a deliberate design:
"“It was not so much a question of overt inclusion as a reluctance to remove something that occurred naturally in the course of creating our villagers' artificial intelligence,” he says. “Our villagers each had a simple concept of 'attraction to the hero.' We'd have had to write extra code to remove that in the case of same-sex interactions. This seemed like a ridiculous waste of time.”
Once the option was “discovered,” however, Molyneux and crew embraced it, despite their reservations as to how the gaming industry and the general public would respond.
“While not everyone in the gaming industry is heterosexual, it was always a question: ‘Will this cause us problems?’ We knew there were some parties—those who frequent the online boards in particular—who would be violently opposed to such content, and would make their personal bias known in the most vocal and negative way possible,” he shares. “We considered the impact of such reactions, and far from discouraging us, it made us realize that a positive decision could be seen as an important stance and support of tolerance. Microsoft said from the beginning that they'd countenance almost anything we saw fit to place in the world, as long as it fit into the world! They were true to their word.”
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, with more on the surprising reactions to that content in Fable
and in Bully
, a look back at an infamous prank that perhaps brought gays in gaming to the fore, and more on what the future holds (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).