Opinion Staff Editorial

Video game breaks barriers with same-sex relationships

Like many popular video games, the mature-rated, sword and sorcery video game Dragon Age: Origins has received praise for its complex character interactions, enjoyable fighting system and state-of-the-art graphics. However, BioWare’s latest game has attracted praise for another bold innovation.

Dragon Age players have the option of directing their characters to form friendships and romantic relationships with other characters in the game.

Flirting between characters of different sexes is actually rather common in modern games, but Dragon Age has incorporated something new — players have the option of directing their characters to flirt with members of the same sex.

While some video games have done this before, this depiction of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender themes is a measure of respect to players who rarely see same-sex relationships treated with the same care and representation as their heterosexual counterparts.

Disappointingly, the media has tended to focus on heterosexual relationships while sweeping same-sex attraction into the background.

It’s true that many television shows feature LGBT characters, but they often play supporting roles to heterosexual heroes or heroines.

The entertainment industry also has yet to master the art of creating gay characters. Too many LGBT characters fit stereotypes such as the tough-as-nails lesbian or the fashion-obsessed gay man.

It’s time for members of the LGBT community people to have their stories told.

This is partially why the media has looked favorably on Dragon Age’s same-sex flirtations. Not only do players have the option of starting LGBT relationships in the game, but the characters that are able to flirt are well-rounded with accomplished and colorful lives as mages, assassins and warriors.

Seeing positive representation of same-sex relationships is refreshing, especially in a society that still shies away from giving them the same attention as heterosexual relationships.

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