“Gaming leads the way in equality”

“Fallout 2 was rightly praised for its sharp wit and biting satirical depiction of a radioactive America, but it was also a game about choice. You could choose to be an idiot savant, a physical powerhouse, a mechanics genius, a charismatic speaker, or just an all-round Joe.

You could also choose to be gay. If you decided to play as a female, your character could later sleep with and marry a girl called Miria, in that run-down church under a burnt orange sky. “Do you take this woman as your lawfully wedded, uhm, other?” the preacher asks, with typical Fallout tongue-in-cheek.

It was a small moment in a story full of branching possibilities, but it also signalled the beginning of a change for gaming. Role-playing games, in particular, started to address the issue of same-sex relationships more openly, offering players the choice to date or sleep with members of the same sex.

It wasn’t an immediate or encompassing change, nor was it always handled with taste, but a statement was being made nonetheless — gaming was taking a stance on diversity. In the 17 years since, there have been dozens of examples of gay and even pansexual relationships in role-playing games. Japanese titles, especially, touched upon simple, broad-stroke representations of sexuality. Star Ocean: The Second Story allowed people to play as either a girl or boy, and subsequently have relationships with party members of either sex…”



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