Tempest’s Downpour – Bring On The Lesbians!

Posted on Feb 24 2010

One of the most frustrating scenarios has greeted me at every turn with my recent choice of RPGs. Here is an example:

While exploring a dungeon in a video game:

Girl A refers to everyone in the group as her princes: including her female best friend, Girl B. Girl B is confused and embarrassed at first. Girl A insists Girl B is her prince because Girl B is always looking out for her, taking care of her and making sure nobody hurts her. They proceed to have several more intimate moments as time passes.

Later on in the game, I (with my male avatar – mine’s named “Buttface Jones”) get to learn more about the members of my party and develop friendships with them. Girls A and B are still very close, but suddenly become rivals for my affection.

Stop. Stop stop stop. …Why? Why are we doing this?

What is so important about me that I can pull apart a friendship-or-more just by sitting quietly and listening to them?

What if I don’t want either of them to hook up with me? In all honesty, it would be more compelling to watch them hook up with each other.

Within said game, I have my choice of any girl with whom I trade words. There’s a girl who starts off hating me; I can ask her out. Meanwhile, there is an out gay character, we’ll call him Guy A, and there isn’t even the option to date him.

In fact, I’ve noticed lately that there is an abundance of out gay male characters, while in RPGs the females seem to only exist to be my soul mates (ex: .hack//G.U., Persona4, etc.). At least .hack//G.U. had the bollocks to allow me to marry the one male character who expresses interest in me, but I found him to be rather unappealing and creepy.

Gay themes are on the rise in media lately, and not just in Japan.

It seems to be the current hot topic and many shows are considered racy and edgy if they contain gay themes. Why, then, are Japanese RPGs – which often tend to be designed like dating sims with action/adventure plots – so afraid of lesbians? After all, I’ve heard that there are a few Western games that allow the player to choose a female avatar and offer the option of hooking up with female characters.

Perhaps it is a cultural difference.

In Japan a little over one hundred years ago, it was an acceptable practice for older samurai to take on younger male lovers. It was such a beloved part of the culture that the middle class adopted similar practices.[1] But practices like that between women were not regarded with the same pride. Perhaps these older practices opened the Japanese audience’s minds toward yaoi, but not so readily towards yuri.

These days, Japan offers feed to a ravenous yaoi market comprised almost entirely of women. Surely there must be a market for yuri, and with gay themes on the rise, an open-minded audience shouldn’t shun lesbianism. I’m sure some players would find it more appealing to watch a relationship between two characters unfold, rather than live a one-dimensional romance vicariously through their male avatars.

Therefore, I challenge Japan to bring on the lesbians.

Fighting games like “Dead or Alive” have garnered audiences using sex-appeal.[2] Why not go the extra mile for its fans? It would certainly bolster sales.

Give me your opinions and please feel free to discuss this in the IRC. I’m curious to hear your view on all this.

Source 1
Source 2

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  • dbull620 February 24, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    And let’s not forget how this same male avatar can also drive a wedge between the out gay guy and girl C who initially disguises herself as a male… wtf.

    Back on topic, that’s an interesting point. Actually, I’m curious to see what they do with Persona 3 Portable since that will replace the male avatar with a female avatar. Will they completely change who you can get together with or will there be an option to hook up with a female, particularly a certain female who has a phobia of men?

  • kagra280 February 25, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    I have nothing against lesbians. I dont care if i become a lesbian or not. I think they should have their own choices. Lesbians in video games tho… not entirely weird but sorta creeps me out. XD

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