Gays Up In Arms Over Gamer’s Gay Guessing

A group of gay gamers are taking on Games Radar over the website’s preposterous article, “Are They Gay” in which they dissect a number of video game characters to find out what makes them, well, gay.

For example, the game-obsessed geeks take a look at Kratos from the video game, Gods of War:

Sure, he’s violent, full of rage and enjoys pleasuring generously breasted ladies, but he’s still a buff, bald-headed, semi-naked Greek Adonis that isn’t shy of flashing an inch or two of thigh. He also ‘accidentally’ killed his wife and daughter. Which probably means he’s got a grudge against women. Or something.

Sure, it’s a bit offensive and perpetuates negative stereotypes (are there really any others?) that gay men hate women, but it’s not really that disrespectful. It’s just plain absurd.

Though ridiculous, their analysis of Kratos doesn’t rival the writer’s summation of Marcus Fenix (pictured below) from Gears of War:

As a soldier, Fenix obviously enjoys the company of other men and probably enjoys some healthy, hetero-male rutting with his comrades back at the barracks during R&R. He’s also spent a stretch in prison and we all know that prison is a non-stop orgy of man-on-man love. Oh, and he also wears a bandana. God only knows what he’s got on under all that macho armour.

So, he may be gay because he went to prison and wears a bandana? That would certainly increase our ranks, to be sure.

While we don’t really care what these geeks have to say about their virtual friends, some more zealous queer defenders are up in arms. UK’s editor Hassan Mirza griped:

While it’s reassuring to know that gamers are interested in the sexual orientation of digital superheroes, Matt Cundy’s ‘Are they gay?’ article relies on a series of juvenile stereotypes and clichés.

I can’t imagine any homophobic intentions, but it can be dangerous to suggest that looking “camp” [as they described a Zelda character] means gay, or worse, that gay men hold violent grudges against women. It’s a completely misinformed suggestion.

Sure, it’s misinformed, but, more importantly, it’s moronic.

First of all, who cares if a video game character’s gay? Seriously, they’re not real. Yeah, it’s nice to have gays represented everywhere, but it seems to us that since the characters are fake, all you have to do is use your imagination, something you should really be doing anyway…

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  • AKN

    Having read the Games Radar ‘article’ in question, I’ll agree that it’s moronic in execution. But I was slightly bothered by your question (which seemed to be echoed by the other media outlets that covered this), “…who cares if a video game character’s gay?”

    Well, a lot of people, I imagine. Okay, so many people still see gaming as a fringe degenerate subculture that produces legions of couch potatoes and, allegedly, isolated, deluded and violent teenage criminals. But a lot of dedicated gamers consider video games a legitimate art form, and are often just as obsessive about the plot and/or characters of a videogame as TV viewers can be about the plot and/or characters of their favorite shows. Put another way, if a TV fan site posted an equally ham-fisted “is-he-or-isn’t-he” assessment of TV characters whose orientations were unclear, would you likewise be questioning the intention of that hypothetical piece?

    RPGs (role-playing games) in particular, which often take hundreds of hours to beat, draw heavily on characters’ personalities, personal histories and emotional lives. And while a character’s sexual orientation may not directly affect the outcome of the game in all cases, I think it’s highly understandable why gamers might speculate on it.

    For a more exhaustive and inclusive (lesbians! trannies!) list of queer or queer-ish game characters — one that was compiled by actual live queers, more importantly — try this:

    And keep up the good work.

  • Alex Blaze

    People get upset over this? They seem to like it when I do it, to the comics at least.

  • Casey

    I don’t even disagree that the original story is a bit of a tempest in a teapot–game journalism isn’t always the most sophisticated in the world. But I’ve seen GLAAD go into apoplexy over even more minute and absurd comments on TV and radio. To disregard video games as a media because you view them as too immature is just misguided: the average video gamer in the US is about 29, and top titles outreach big budget Hollywood blockbusters. And sure, there’s as much dreck as there is quality in video games out there, but then wasn’t Norbit #1 at the theaters last weekend?

    I can also appreciate that Queerty’s focus isn’t fictional media representations. (Except when they involve multiple stories about Evan Ross’ package, which, granted, isn’t fictional either.) So by dismissing a story you don’t usually cover, I’m left to believe that the point of this story is to insult your audience that plays video games by calling them obsessive, immature and unimaginitive…?

  • A Gay Gamer

    I agree with Casey’s statement above. This blog has presented similar views in the past, insulting gamers for enjoying and being involved in “fictional” pastimes. From a blog that deals in gossip which is often untrue and misleading, I find it particularly insulting.

    So, drooling over pictures of David Beckham bent over another soccer player in the middle of a game is dealing in reality? Give me break. This is one of the main reasons I have pretty much stopped reading this blog. I’m sure the editors think it’s cute and funny to be so glib about something they obviously know nothing about, but in the end it just makes them sound like extremely rude and bitter individuals.

    Following their “logic” then, we shouldn’t care about gay characters in movies or television or literature. I mean they are all just “fake” anyway, right? Take Brokeback Mountain for instance. Neither of the lead actors were gay, so why should we care about their story or what the film was trying to say? If we used our imaginations we could probably come up with something better anyway.

    I will removing this blog from my RSS feeds until the editors of this blog wake up and realize that their petty, condescending, hypocritical rhetoric isn’t appreciated by everyone.

  • Phil

    Those kids at Game Radar shouldn’t use the word “camp” if they can’t use it properly…

Comments are closed.