It’s 2018, it pains me that I even feel compelled to be writing something like this, and I will likely veer off on a thousand different tangents but I want to address the gay elephant in the room…
Before social media
Being part of a generation bought up having no social media to then bombarded with every social media platform by the time I was 12, I’ve seen both sides of life when it comes to the internet. Before I turned 12, I knew what being gay/straight/lesbian was, I’d have read the occasional article in a newspaper, seen a news reports or heard word about a celebrity ‘coming out’ as gay, it was a bigger deal back then, as it was a taboo subject but we were coming out of the other end, it wouldn’t be long before people started to accept it, gay marriage was made legal and the LGBT community would take the floor. But before social media, I’d not before witnessed the toxicity toward sexuality other than hearing the odd person in the street or in a shop, make a rude comment about seeing a gay couple, even at a young age I could put that down to ignorance and just having a shitty personality, However with social media, it’s easier to be an ass hole to people when you have something to hide behind, in my eyes. So in the past years the internet has been rife with opinions on sexuality,
Movie & game franchises have started to put woman as protagonists, antagonists, superheros… to me, personally, It never bothered me that women didn’t play a leading role, I didn’t sit through Batman furious that it wasn’t Batwoman, or sit through Deadpool wondering why it was yet another damsel in distress story, it didn’t cross my mind. I didn’t start playing Battlefield 1 one day and wonder why the character on the loading screen was male and not female, but yeah it was cool when I’d noticed they’d switched it, however I didn’t sit and rejoice as if we’d got justice, because it wasn’t something I felt came across as offensive.
Sexuality in the gaming industry
When it comes to homosexuality it was never an issue for me personally when I was younger, as I used to play The Sims heavily, and as you will know if you did too, you could have a gay couple and even adopt children, this is over 10 years ago, EA were doing it right back then. So I have never sat and thought to myself “Hold up, there is NO diversity with sexuality in gaming and never has, this must be changed” but in the same breath I’d welcome it, it’s just not something that keeps me awake at night. What does keep me awake at night is the fact Fallout 76 is online, not wondering if Bethesda have decided to put a gay couple in the story line.
Leading onto the main subject, The Last of Us 2… Neil Druckmann has indeed confirmed Ellie from TLOU is gay… *huge massive gigantic gasp* … really? What made me want to right this piece was the reaction from the majority. “No, she cant be?” … “No she isn’t she’s just confused” … “It’s a plot twist” … “Why did she need to be gay?” As much as it would not bother me if she was as straight as can be, I also do not give two entire shits that shes gay, because *Cliche incoming* love is love guys, Druckmann wrote a story and in that story two people fell in love and they both happened to have vaginas, but for some reason this makes people freak the F out, why can’t she be? Why is she just confused? Why did she need to be straight? WHY DOES IT BOTHER YOU? If these are the sorts of issues that keep people up all night, it’s not the game developers and writers you need to be hurling abuse at, it’s you. Sitting at your computer/on your phone writing angry tweets to your beloved developers about how they didn’t need to be “Shoving it down peoples throats” … well considering this is one of the first games in a while to take this edge on a story, I don’t think it’s been shoved anywhere.
What i’m trying to say is, why does this make people so angry? Why do they care? For one… it’s a game, two, people would happily watch a lot worse on PornHub, three… if you loved these franchises and developers so much, why not embrace what path they want to take a story? It doesn’t make that story any less powerful or the game any less of a journey, The Last of Us had people on the edge of their seats, crying, feeling every emotion of the character, so trust them to do it again, who Ellie falls in love with is just another part of the journey, the same for any game taking this route, in life there is love, plain simple love, putting that into our favourite games should be a step in the right direction. People are happy/un-phased to see non-human, extraterrestrial love gay or straight in games, but not human? Enough said.