A person who is bigoted
Thanks google… now define bigoted:
having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others.
The inspiration for this post came from the response to one of my previous posts, regarding the romantic options in BioWare games. Some made valid points and disagreed with me which I appreciated tremendously, and some even agreed with me and explained why. However I received a monumental amount of replies calling me a bigot who doesn’t understand sexuality and just wants fewer “queer” (their word, not mine- but more on that later) characters and wants everyone to be straight.
Because this blog is all about breaking things down, let’s do just that to determine whether or not I am in fact a bigot, and we will use the previously established definition of the word to determine as much.
"I have seen an awful lot of posts from fans demanding that DA3 include homosexual romances for all love interests. I implore you that you do not do this."
Broken down you can see that there was a definitive word used, the word “all" to refer to the total number of love interests available in the game. This means that my post was specifically referring to all characters being able to romance either in a straight fashion or a homosexual fashion, effectively meaning that each romancable character in the game is bisexual. Note however that it didn’t say that no characters should be bisexual, nor did it say that no characters should be strictly homosexual.
"The believability of your characters drives the games and makes them beautiful, and within that believability there must be a romantic standard set by the characters"
This is referring to the characters themselves, with the given premise that the writers want us, the players, to believe their written characters to be as real as the people in our real lives. Given that premise, and the constraints that we are talking about a video game, everything about the characters in question needs to flow beautifully for us, the player, to believe the character is real. This includes sexual preference.
Following this was a list of examples from both Dragon Age titles and the Mass Effect trilogy. Within it I made the following distinctions (and note that when I say “meshed” I mean it flowed and was expected/easy to foresee):
- It meshed with Alastair’s history and dialogue that he would be straight.
- It meshed with Zevran’s history and dialogue that he would be bisexual.
- I was surprised that Anders was not strictly gay and was instead bisexual.- I will concede however that I never bothered to get to know him because I wasn’t interested in his idea of freeing all mages and he annoyed me. A commenter alerted me to the fact that he later says he is attracted to people for what is inside them (IE their works) rather than any other traits being the dominant factor. For this I will say OK, his sexuality is in fact established and I was wrong.
- It meshed with Isabella’s history and dialogue that she would be bisexual.
- I was surprised that Merril was bisexual because again it seemed her dialogue didn’t really establish it. Because we don’t know what the elven specific views are (as I’m sure there are some) I can only say I half expected her to be asexual simply because she was so consumed by her love for her people and restoring the Eluvian. XD That said, I imagine pursuing her as a romantic partner sheds more light on all of it, which I did not do.
- I was surprised that Fenris was bisexual because his history and dialogue seemed to indicate otherwise.- And to clarify to one angry commenter, he spent enough time with the Qunari and knew extensively about the Qun that I believed, without saying it directly, that he was effectively “raised in it”. That is why I used it as an example to why I was surprised.
- That despite the frustration in Mass Effect 3 and the LI options if you hadn’t already established a relationship as a Femshep, it worked with the characters and so I applaud the writers for it.
- In a response to mail I received, I commented that in Mass Effect 3, Samantha Traynor was one of my favorite characters. That she was a lesbian didn’t bother me one bit, and in fact made her that much more interesting. I wouldn’t have changed her at all.
Nowhere in those distinctions did I demand that there be no homosexual romantic options, and nowhere in those distinctions did I demand there be no bisexual romantic options.
To those who demand that I am a bigot because they believe that one’s history and dialogue have absolutely no bearing on sexuality, I’ll show you my train of thought.
Personality, as defined by google: the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character. That means in essence what makes them unique from one another.
So how does one establish such characteristics? There are two answers to this: The religious one which says we bring much of who we are from heaven, it’s our spirit; The non-religious one which says it is the culmination of events which transpire throughout our lives and how we handle those events.
Because the spiritual answer is difficult to tackle, because there is no definitive proof one way or the other, I will instead address the second answer which involves the events in our lives.
I have heard too frequently the tragic story of a woman who was beaten daily by a man, molested by her father, or otherwise hurt by a male, who resorts to being a lesbian because she cannot fathom the idea of another man touching her. I have heard the converse, a man being hurt by a woman sexually or otherwise, who becomes gay for the same reason. Note: This is not the only way someone becomes homosexual or bisexual, it is merely an example. Would you not then say that someone’s history does effect their personality and in turn, their sexuality? And when on the topic of the opposite sex, would that person not have very clear cues as to their aversion?
Granted, this example is relying on trauma which is rarely the case, but it is through a radical example that I can make my point. Yes there are shy and introverted homosexuals and bisexuals, there are partiers of the same sexuality, and devout religious church goers again of the same sexuality, however their history and their dialogue reflect that whether it is subtly or not. Personality is often a reflection of sexuality in some sense, because sexuality is a large part of us being human, and we should embrace that. That is why I said that the personalities of the characters did not quite mesh with them all being bisexual.
But I digress…
I concluded the post thusly:
"So I ask you to, instead of bending to the will of the community, stick to what makes sense. Make strictly straight or strictly gay characters, have characters that could do either, but make sure that it works with their personalities. If you want your characters to be as believable as the person sitting next to you, make sure that their personalities endure through their romantic profile."
Within that paragraph I say word for word that there should be homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual romantic interests to suit all player types. I follow that by stating that it suits immersion to do so, because it allows for the diversity we see in our own lives to be reflected in a game that others such as myself enjoy for its immersion.
Referring back to the established definition of bigot, I have broken it down for you: Not once did I say my opinion was the right and only opinion, not once did I have a prejudiced or intolerant view on others. Ergo, I am not a bigot. My views may not be yours, but I am not a bigot.
And just to comment on an observation… those who thought it necessary to attack me with hatred did so be referring to the bisexual and homosexual community as “queers”… why is that?
Strange; Odd; Spoil or ruin (an event, agreement or situation).
I do not at all believe that homosexuals or bisexuals are queer… I believe them to be beautiful people whose views simply differ from my own. They most certainly do not spoil or ruin anything. In fact I believe it’s queer to call those of alternative sexualities “queer”…. Perhaps statistically they are “odd” but ultimately, we are all different but none of us are less for it.
So I conclude this post by saying that I am not a bigot by the strictest or most lenient definitions. I had an opinion, I believe that character diversity reflected in good writing adds immersion to the story. I stated that I’d love to see straight, bi, and homosexual characters in the upcoming game Dragon Age: Inquisition and that having all characters be bisexual took something from them for me, as a player. However I am just a player, and if I am in the minority I expect BioWare will ignore me and do as they will (or quite possibly what EA tells them to do).
And that regardless of this internet and social debacle, I value all of you, your opinions, your varying views on the world and all that entails. You’re all beautiful people <3
As an aside, it would be wonderful if in the future people would realize the real meaning of the word bigot and not be so hateful. Let’s not misuse the word, shall we?