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Are you ready?

I was thinking about videogames and representation earlier. I can literally remember when Pokemon Ruby was released where I lived (crystal never got popular so this was the first time that you could be a girl character) and all the guys were getting upset over the fact that there was a girl character.

You didn’t need to play female, you could be a male character. You wouldn’t even have to think about it after the iconic “Are you a boy or a girl?” question. But it pissed them off endlessly, and I never understood why.  I loved it, I no longer had to pretend that the male character was just a tomboy.

When people realised that you could have LGB Sims, all my friends were grossed out. “Why would you want that? That’s just annoying.” Since then, every videogame that’s allowed same sex relationships has had people commenting “why would you want that? that’s just pandering” and I come back to the same point.

You don’t have to play the game that way if you don’t want to.

Nobody forced dudebros to play female in Pokemon, nobody’s forcing you to make a gay FemShep, nobody’s telling you you have to use these options. They are options. I can only think of one game I’ve played where the character you played as had to be gay, and that was Ellie in the Last of Us in a DLC. There are more games obviously where you have to play female (Tomb Raider classically) but it’s pretty easy to avoid them. I take player genders and sexualities into account to a small degree when buying games and I’m still nowhere near a 50-50 split in gender, despite deliberately choosing games where I can be female. I own 1 PC game where you can’t play male. I own at least 30 where you can’t play female. I have 0 games where you have to be gay.

My point is, if female characters and LGBT characters bother you for some reason, you don’t have to use those particular mechanics. And if you have to in a game, then just don’t fucking play that game.

Or do what I’ve done in the last 18 years: suck it up and deal with it.