I think it was a year ago when I had lots of free time and I asked my fellow readers / bloggers / online friends of a good PC game to play. Gauss Jordan back then suggested Mass Effect. I got Mass Effect 2 and I loved it. Thanks for that by the way. I never thanked you for the suggestion.
Since I liked the 2nd game, it was only natural that after I read some very good reviews about it, I got the recently released 3rd instalment of the game. Thank you so much for the birthday gift JJ! Since Skyrim was getting a bit old and after I spent many (way too many) hours playing it, I’ve now started devoting my free time in ‘Mass Effect 3’. And boy was I for a treat?
The game takes place in the future, in space. There’s an evil alien invasion and you, Commander (I think) Shepard of the spacecraft Normandy are trying to save the Galaxy. It doesn’t sound like the most original story ever but the details, subplots, graphics and action make it a really interesting and captivating game. While Shepard’s trying to unite the various species against the new common threat, he (I’m playing a male character) interacts with his ship’s crew, gets to know them and finishes missions provided by them.
One of the crew members is Stephen Cortez. He’s a Lieutenant and pilot for the good guys. While I as Shepard was visiting the deck, I was told that I need to speak to Stephen, so I headed down to the Armoury. There I find a crying Stephen, so I asked him what’s wrong. Do you know what he said? His husband died on one of the evil alien invasion? I’ll repeat that: ‘his husband’! I was like wow, that’s cool!
Cortez crying over his husband
So, I did my research. I don’t want any spoilers for the plot of the game, so I was cautious on what I could find. Apparently, Stephen is the only opening gay character of the game that was actually even married. There’s also the possibility to have ‘intimate’ moments with him if you are a male Shepard. You can select the gender at the beginning of the game. So, I’ll see what the future holds.
Shepard and Cortez
This development is not something completely new. In Skyrim as well a male character could marry another male NPC (that’s Not Playable Characters for the non-geeks). This option was also allowed in the ‘Sims’ series and these are only three widely accepted games that I just thought of. Compared to the Sims though, both Mass Effect and Skyrim are considered to be violent action packed games which I believe have a different (male, younger, heterosexual) target group than ‘The Sims’. So, are gay characters in video games becoming mainstream? There’s even apparently a gay sex scene later in the game if you decide to make Steve and Shepard an item. I’ll definitely make that happen…
On the other hand, I have found some online forums where this option is condemned and homophobic hatred comments are posted. I’m not going to comment on them and decide simply to ignore them. I do love the existence of gay characters in video games. People from various backgrounds should have this kind of incentives. It’s even nicer to have a gay Commander fighting to save the whole galaxy! Gay characters shouldn’t follow stereotypes.