"Why Would I Do That?"

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Robert Yang designed a Half-Life 2 mod – and sneaked in a gay couple. Oh, my.

It’s the age-old stereotype of the annoyed husband and the nagging wife, except the therapist clearly doesn’t say “wife” or “husband.” She says “partner.” Other than the use of masculine pronouns for both spouses, the therapist’s utterance of “partner” is the only word in the only line of dialogue in the entire game that directly suggests a gay relationship. There are no references to rainbows, Stonewall, Lady Gaga, Project Runway, Broadway musicals or how “beer tastes icky.” Why, if you had happened to miss the word “partner,” you may have missed the fact that “Handle With Care” is about a gay relationship at all.

You might have, as some players did, invented a female persona for your player character and assumed it was the same young “lady” dating Dylan from my previous mod, “Polaris.” And then you would find out, whether from seeing the name “James” so often or from reading forum posts - that I had managed to “trick” you into playing as a homosexual male. Perhaps that made you angry enough to go to my website and, with the proud honor of being the first to post a comment on my work, you may have hastily written the following post: “Re relese [sic] the game without the GAY!”

My response, then and still now, is: “Why on Earth would I do that?”

Maybe because of the fact that there are almost no gay characters in the gaming worlds as a whole? That’s just what Alice Bonasio argues in an another article in the same issue of the escapist.

Indeed: the whole argument whether one would play a game with a gay character spawned easily 18 pages on the discussion forums – which basically proves a point in itself.

Gays in Games? Yuck. The unspeakable can only be hinted at (and has to be subverted with a lot of heterosexual sex, just like they did in Nip/Tuck).

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