Far Cry 3 Writer Lucien Soulban Can’t See a Gay Videogame Protaganist Happening, Not For a While at Least

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As videogames grow in popularity and importance, at least to the as-of-yet non-gaming public, the debates surrounding protagonists, antagonists and themes become further polarized, more widespread and increasingly intense. The writer of Farcry 3, Lucien Soulban, has kicked off – or at least reignited – the debate about gay characters in videogames, suggesting that we won’t see one “for a while,” because “of fears that it'll impact sales” on the official Ubisoft blog.

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"So either we'll see a bait-and-switch like the original Metroid with Samus Aran where we'll find out damn near after the fact (PS: And Dumbledore was gay), or it'll come out of left field with Rockstar, Valve, Naughty Dog or Telltale, perhaps. But when it happens, I hope it's a serious take on it and not played up for jokes."

The future isn’t bleak for equality in videogames, adds Soulban, who lists a plethora of games that at least open up the debate. He doesn’t go as far as to mention The Last of Us, though, which – slight spoiler – contains a lesbian/bisexual character within its Left Behind DLC.

"We'll definitely see more" gay characters, he said. "I think it's happening quietly. Look at the choices offered in Mass Effect 2 & 3, orFable 3, or Dragon Age 2 or Skyrim, the gay characters in Borderlands 2 who mention it without much fanfare, etc. Videogames have stopped 'announcing' gay characters. They're introducing them without much fanfare in an effort to say, Yeah, it's there and pretty normal. Call it: We're here, we're queer, and we're busy working."

The buck, of course, doesn’t stop with videogames; Hollywood too, according to Soulban, has failed to portray the gay community in anything like a realistic light. "I think the real question is, When are going to get a gay/lesbian AAA hero(ine) who isn't a one-off joke?,” he says.

"You look at Javier Bardem in Skyfall, his character's sexuality was total shtick to satisfy one scene. Otherwise, he was a narcissist with mommy issues, and a pedophile to boot. His 'seduction' of Bond was nothing more than vanity because Bond was his reflection, the new 'him.' Yay. So it bothers me when I hear people using his performance as a benchmark for diversity in entertainment, and I have heard it being bandied about."


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Stan Rezaee's picture

Stan Rezaee

I disagree as I feel Lucien Soulban may have underestimates how progressive gaming culture has been regarding the depiction of LGBT characters. That statement may sound out of place given the stigma about gamers being homophobic thanks to 'Call of Duty'-fanboys. But looking back and comparing it to social progression of Hollywood, gaming culture has done a better job of better representing LGBT characters in a positive manner. This op-ed goes into better details about what I mean - http://www.gamersprogress.com/opinion/2014/1/16/gamer-culture-is-more-progressive-about-the-depiction-of-lgbt.

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