video games

Dragon Age 2 Lets Players Go Gay, But Is It Making Us Look Like Sex Predators?

It’s not just breeders who have a problem with Dragon Age 2‘s man-on-man action: some gay gamers also think the BioWare title is not only stereotyping homos, but making us out to be predators.

If you’ve been following along at home, Dragon Age 2 follows its predecessor in allowing players to make their characters gay, and even lie down in bed with members of the same sex. It had at least one schmuck calling for a “no homosexuality” option — which drew a rebuke from the title’s senior writer David Gaider.

But Gaider isn’t just making enemies with bigoted straight players. He’s also drawn the ire of The Gays for the way Dragon Age 2 can, supposedly make us look bad. Writes one gay gamer in a petition to have Gaider fired:

As a homosexual playing Dragon Age 2, I’ve witnessed the worst stereotype homosexual characters in this game. If you refused to make your moves on a gay character then you are received rivalry points for not wanting to be gay for the character. This is completely wrong, homosexuals do not approach people and force them to kiss us, the person that wrote this game should be fired for stereotyping homosexuals in such a disrespectful way, as well as creating the worst writing in characters, plot and everything else in DA2.

It felt very odd that my male companions kept making passes at me, when I never found any interest or even flirted with them. This sort of thing shows that gays are unable to be normal people and think nothing about sex. This is the type of garbage that has people believe that gays shouldn’t serve in the military. We are human beings that are the same as everyone else! Please sign this petition if you wish that Dragon Age senior writer David Gaider should be fired.

That assertion has been rejected by GayGamer‘s VorpalBunny, who writes, “In my estimation, considering one male companion does this (Anders) and yet another does not (Fenris), this shows that the ‘gays’ in the game are capable of being normal people after all. They are capable of flirting and not flirting. You know, as people do.”

Continues VorpalBunny:

As regards the portion about the military, let’s look at it this way: the stereotype of homosexuality needing to be something that is shoved back into a closet because it makes other people uncomfortable is one about being tolerated on other peoples’ terms. It is not about being accepted, and politely denied. It also mistakes that all gay men want to have sex with straight men, and cannot take no for an answer–an erroneous assumption, and it is that assumption that should be combated, which Dragon Age 2 does not perpetuate.

The petition writer does bring up the fact that the in-game mechanics do have Anders gaining rivalry points if you rebuff his advances. There are two ways I would like to respond to this. The first, from yesterday’s post on such, is directly from David Gaider himself: “I doubt I would have Anders make the first move again– at the time, I thought that requiring all romances to have Hawke initiate everything was the unrealistic part.” Second, from the demo of the game, we already knew Isabela would shamelessly flirt with us.

Some have made the point that the self-proclaimed straight male gamer to whom David Gaider responded now knows what it’s like to be a woman in our society: someone who receives unwanted and unsolicited passes. This is only partially true, and only on the most surface level. Anders might earn rivalry points, but one can earn friendship points afterward. Had he been overjoyed at rejection, I would likely be in a more critical mindset (if anything, the time details of losing his lover and not really addressing his grieving would bother me more…). After that rejection, Anders does not call you a ‘whore,’ ‘slut,’ or any other colorful epithets women in our society can expect from turning down an advance. Even rivals in the game respect Hawke.

Therefore, while I doubt the internet petition would really gain much traction, I did wish to offer an opposing viewpoint. There are many things to criticize in the game, but a game that solely depends on stereotypes to conduct its same-sex relationships? With that I will strongly disagree.

There’s a big difference between a video game pretending to embrace sexuality — as Heroes Of Newerth did with its faggy voice pack — and what Dragon Age 2 offers, which is the ability to assume a character with a certain sexuality and then act like a regular person. Do some gays try to make moves on “straight” dudes? Sure. But most of us stick to down own kind, and we’ll flag down another player that plays for our team. And, perhaps, even a larger portion of gay gamers will play the game to play the game, not have weird virtual sex with a CGI representation of a human being.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #dragonage #sex #videogames stories and more


  • Polyboy

    The lying dirtbag who put up that petition isn’t even gay.

  • rickh710

    I’m 2/3 of the way through Dragon Age 2, and this “controversy” is overblown. A male character and a female character both make passes at your avatar, and you are free to rebuff their advances or take them up on their offer. As in real life, if you rebuff them and still want them to be your friend, you have to do a little damage control to make sure no one comes away from the encounter with a bruised ego.

    Seriously, as a gay man I am not turned on by advances from the saucy, big-breasted pirate Isabela, but that hasn’t caused me to erupt in a fit of rage over BioWare’s “agenda”. Sheesh.

  • RJ

    I just finished playing Dragon Age 2. I did a workup on my conclusion on my site, but recognized this:

    While I pursued the Hawke (you) / Anders romance, none of it felt forced or inappropriate. The “sex” scene took quite a long time to build up to and, as you see from the video, resulted in a fully clothed make out session on Hawke’s bed (unlike the full on thrusting sex scene from Dragon Age: Origins).

    If you played a female Hawke, the Anders romance was also present with the same options (Anders being the only player to initiate romance with the player).

    I’m unsure about what the hype is. If you play a male or female Hawke, you have the option of 3 male or 3 female romance opportunities.

    None of them involve portraying gay men in a stereotypical way.

  • RJ

    Having just finished playing Dragon Age 2, the gay player you quoted is completely off base.

    Whether you roll a male or female Hawke (main player), the Anders character is always a romance and is the only controllable character who initiates the romance option with the player.

    Whether you roll a male or female Hawke, you have romance opportunities with three female and three male controllable characters – flirt options with a number of male/female (prostitute) non-playable characters.

    The entire controversy is based on the assumption that all people will be playing a male Hawke, which is not the case.

    The Anders character romance option, as seen in the video, is fundamentally PG-13. They roll around on a bed in their clothes, unlike the bump and grind we saw on Dragon Age: Origins.

    As a part of the Anders sequence, Anders from DA:2 has lost a great deal and is looking for validation/love. His negative rivalry points earned by rejecting his advances, whether you’re playing a male/female Hawke is because of the rejection of the opportunity for love, not the rejection as a gay man to a straight man.

    Roll a female Hawke and everything remains the same… only Anders is now “straight” rather than “gay” (The Dragon Age universe, however, is inherently pansexual). This is a non-issue.

  • Tony

    This is stupid, seems like you can’t win w/ anyone. For fucksake they makers of DA2 created a product that many use and enjoy and the straights (can you make a no homo option) and the gays (makes us out to be predators) take exception. Opinions are like assholes everyone has one. Also Queerty, way to not even attempt to mediate an inteligent conversation regarding these 2 consumers’ concerns, your just baiting…. I am ashamed as a raging homo that I even took the time to type this down, this is totally obvious, people will always find something to complain about.

  • Scott Bonzitski

    Just because I’m gay does NOT mean I want to go to bed with EVERY other dude! There MAY be some “str8” folk who would want to but, not me. I have to feel something for the other individual and not just the “in my pants” feeling. People have been pushing their lust for others for QUITE a l-o-n-g time now. Just because gay people are finally being able to be heard does NOT mean we are pushing/throwing/shoving* things down peoples throat. [*Disclaimer – unless they WANT it] Things have been that if you are a man with a women or, a women with a man, you are able to push/throw/shove your sexuality around with ease. Gay people have been condemed and even the slightest bit of affection appears to the others as forcing the lifestyle. I WAS born this way. WHEN did the “str8” people get their questionaire and “CHOOSE”??? Let us question THAT? SB

  • Scot Bonzitski

    Oh, and by the way… when you may ask someone who IS “str8” when they got their questionaire, most will answer “I didn’t ~or~ I WAS BORN THIS WAY”. Try it and you will see for yourself…SB

  • Chris

    I played gay and Isabelle practically raped me.

    There was nothing wrong with the game’s romance.

  • Jeffree

    @Chris: I’m glad you’re safe. That Isabella sounds scary — keep your distance !

  • jason

    I think David Gaider ought to be congratulated for showing a range of personalities. Face it – we aren’t all Rebeccas of Sunnybrook Farm. In fact, some of us are downright mean, nasty people. It’s a personality thing. Gay people have the same range of personality types as everybody else.

    As for the “gay” gamer who complained about David’s depiction of gay/bi men in Dragaon Age 2, why is it assumed that he’s actually gay? He might well be a homophobic impostor pretending to be gay in order to give credence to his position.

  • Jimmy Fury

    The other problem is that you *can* avoid the flirting completely you just have to choose the right dialogue options. So the entire complaint is illogical to begin with because nothing is forced or unavoidable.

    More importantly, Anders is an epically fucked up guy. It makes sense that he would not be happy about being rejected. Hell, most sane people dislike rejection. Someone with his cornucopia of issues will certainly be unhappy even if you let him down gently. He is a character in his own right and it’s GOOD to give him a personality that isn’t entirely dependent on the player’s choices.

  • niles

    what a bunch of silly gooses.

  • Marky

    Swooping, is bad.

  • Vivi

    This hype is utterly retarded. Agreed with all the comments before, since I have played this game as both sexes and it wasn’t forced upon me, neither did it appear as anything more than a beautiful romance.

    Additionally, as long as people continue lashing out at gay characters in movies/games being too sexual etc, it will enforce any existing cliche or expectation of it being so. Not to say criticism shouldn’t be handed out where it’s due – but this is pointless. In the same game there is an utterly overboard sexual woman(not to say I don’t love her character, because I do :3) and yet people complain about the men-on-men stuff being intense?!

  • Mimi

    The worst part is Gaider’s statement that he won’t try it again. Honestly, he hsaid himself that it’s unrealistic that Hawke would make the moves every time, and we do know that the moves that Isabela puts on the player is far mor overt, not to mention that Hawke is something of a Shrödinger’s cat when it comes to sexuality. It’s almost impossible not to see this as Gaider caving in to the bigots, which could mean that they might not only halt progress made but also make even more concessions in the future.

  • Madison

    Hello all I was just wondering whether it would be politically correct to introduce an idea such as the opportunity to take on a challenging role as a dominating male escort who will work for someone looking to regulate a problematic situation where an otherwise and seemingly respectful member of the community is carefully concealing their homosexual behavior and is using the practice to victimize other innocent header asexual individuals of their family and those they come in contact with at a criminal level this individual raped and continues to rape their teenage daughter and profess their willingness to continue doing so, the police cannot do anything because allegedly no crime has been committed so the individual is and has been smart enough to evade the law thus far, we would like we the victims who came forward would like to stop this victimization and we are willing to be creative in order to bring this violent criminal to justice or judgment by paying large sums of money for services rendered to that effect which would be to apprehend and bring this individual out of the closet. Hala back if interested.

    Thank you

  • Loki

    This is ridiculous, if you don’t want a gay relationship with anyone then just don’t pursue/accept it in the game. I was really pleased to see that it was an option, for both female and male, to be able to be in same sex relationships (which by the way, there weren’t any complaints about girl on girl). I’m a girl, and I’m pan sexual, I honestly have only ever seen same sex relationships as being natural, and think you should love someone for them, not their gender. And example of another game you can date in, different console, different company etc etc is Persona. While I don’t know about the new ones, you weren’t able to date the same sex (even if you can’t choose your gender) which was a little disappointing. I feel it’s refreshing to be able to in DAII, and the relationships with the characters were believable and didn’t feel too forced. I don’t think it’s really a matter of pleasing anyone, more for the fact everyone should have a choice to be homosexual or not, in game or out.

  • Shale

    You don’t gain rivalry points for rejecting a character romantically approaching you when you are the same sex. You lose rivalry by being any sex because they don’t like being rejected. It’s sad to think one of the LGBT community is so narrow minded…

  • Zach

    People tend to forget that Anders isn’t the only male romance option, Fenris is also there (though he’s naturally harder to romance due to his semi-emo nature).

    It’s also just as easy to just reject the former.

    I mean, there IS an option to do just that after all.

    My only problem with Anders is that he became a terrorist at the end of the game.

  • Terence

    The comments in this article represent the entitlement of the gay community.

    “Stop what you’re doing and look put for MY interests or you’re a bigot!”

Comments are closed.