Renowned LGBT Characters
This week we focus on some of the LGBT characters celebrated in the recent decades of video gaming. We’ll examine the ruins of Jackson County, Wyoming circa 2033, dive into the underwater city of Rapture, and we’ll explore some fictional characters from Glenwood. Many of these characters’ back-stories were untouched by censors and just left to be who they were meant to be. In earlier games, it was very common for LGBT characters to be given villain roles, tragic events that forever changed their lives for the worse, or just being snuffed out at the prime of their existence and existential happiness. The characters being focused on in this edition of Censored or Celebrated have had better days than some of their antecedents.
- Ellie & Riley – Lesbian characters from The Last of Us series. Ellie is the playable protagonist in a majority of the titles. Very brave at her young age she realizes quickly how to take care of her own survival but being under quarantine has made her naïve about the real world. Ellie meets Riley in the Boston quarantine zone and as Riley is the first to ever befriend Ellie, she develops trust for Riley that eventually leads to a personal relationship. Unfortunately, this couple comes to a tragic end.
- Sorey & Mikleo – Gay Couple in Tales of Zestiria. Sorey is the main protagonist and Mikleo being the deuteragonist for this visual novel. The game implies greatly that Sorey and Mikleo are in a relationship that is more than just them being besties. The games’ own producer, Hideo Baba, has said in interview that Mikleo is Sorey’s “One and only.” Although it is never mentioned in the story about their relationship the affection between the two strongly reminiscent of affection between heterosexual relationship is other games of the series.
- Morpheus Duvall – Gender-queer Umbrella agent in Resident Evil: Dead Aim and the main antagonist for the game’s plot line. Morpheus believed that he was “the portrait of perfect beauty”, already using age defying products from Umbrella Corporation he was able to maintain a youthful facade. Wanting to be a more like the form of his ideal self Morpheus undergoes a series of gender augmentations to physically change his appearance.
- Mad Moxxi – Bisexual hostess who provides missions in Borderlands. Mad Moxxi is summed up with just a few words, “sadistic, lustful, alluring, and dangerous”. Not-so-modest Moxxi is one to give too much information about her sex life, and in doing so she reveals that she has had many partners, several husbands, and is not too concerned with gender. This seductive master of ceremonies has somewhat violent tastes when it comes to the fights she enjoys, but can be also very compassionate and caring when she is off the clock.
- Sir Hammerlock – Homosexual hunter and host who provides missions in Borderlands 2. Physically maimed by a thresher that goes by the name of Old Slappy, Sir Hammerlock has been outfitted with futuristic prosthetic limbs that resemble steampunk style mechanisms. This non-player character is the first nice human you come across in the game. You learn about his ex-boyfriend Taggart while on a side-quest in search of missing ECHO recordings. Sir Hammerlock has plans to use the information in his book, the title of Hammerlock’s book is currently unknown.
- Dorian Pavus – Homosexual human Mage in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Dorian Pavus was born with an interest in magic, showing impressive skill with spell craft at a very young age. This lead to jealousy and envy of Dorian’s power by his peer group. Dorian would grow up to be a broken mage thanks to his father, who sent him to Minrathous to attend a school run by the Order of Argent and tried to ‘correct’ his sexual orientation through blood magic. After an unsuccessful three months Dorian left the school and was found much later, and very worse for ware. Taken under the wing of a great magister who tutored Dorian into becoming a seasoned Enchanter in the Minrathous Circle.
- Anthony “Gay Tony” Prince – Homosexual multiple club owner in Grand Theft Auto 4: The Ballad of Gay Tony. Tony Prince is written as an openly gay character, who came-out-of-the-closet when he was 27. With a very impressive backstory Tony has worked in many nightclubs before opening up his first club as a rave using a renovated mortuary and named it PUDDLE. In 1985 the rave was shutdown due to tax evasion which Tony was incarcerated for the first time and imprisoned for three months. After leaving prison Tony would open his first gay club and name Thunder, but then later rename it to Backed Beast.
- Erica Anderson – Transgender waitress in Catherine. Only appearing in the ‘Catherine True Ending’, Erica works at a bar called the Stray Sheep where she is likes to serve the tables and engage the customers, oftentimes joining the ongoing conversations around the bar. A young regular customer has been vying for Erica’s attention and she is well aware of Tobias’s crush on her. How could he not? Erica is incredibly outgoing, a shameless flirt, and lights up any room with charming attentive ways. Erica enjoy Toby’s enthusiasm and cute face, which also leads her to choose him at the end of the tale.
- Brute Splicers – ‘Closeted’ High level enemy in Bioshock 2. Splicers are the most prevalent enemy in the first two games. Brute Splicers speak with cockney vocal accents as you’ll hear them blurting out intolerant slurs towards homosexuals. In one instance claiming that the female character was not his “body type”. However, when the player hypnotizes the Brute Splicer, Brute will begin to change his tone, and come across as desperate for male attention. Becoming very flirtatious and complementing wardrobe aesthetics. It’s speculated that the Brute Slicer is a representation of a frustrated ‘closeted’ LGBT male.
- Veronica Santangelo – Lesbian Companion Character in Fallout: New Vegas. Veronica lives in a community with strict relationship ideals that obligates her to only seek out and maintain procreative relationships. You discover her disappointment with the community when she is asked about ever being in love. Veronica tells of a time when she did love someone and how the conditions within the community affected their homosexual relationship. Veronica spoke up about her beliefs and challenged the ideals of the community to be more inclusive. Unfortunately, this causes irritation among the other community members resulting in longer jaunts away from the Brotherhood community.
The world of gaming only gets better with the addition of strong characters who represent diversity and an extensive range of inclusion abroad. Video games are influencing and shaping our physical world at an unexpected rate. An estimated growth in revenues of $143.5 billion globally by 2020, with smartphone users gaining the most downloads. “With great power comes great responsibility”, and it is our responsibility as video game consumers, to ensure every type of individual gets to enjoy being a fictional video character, by letting developers know you want more diversity in their games. We hope you have enjoyed this installment of Censored or Celebrated.
Please let us know about any LGBT characters of diversity that you feel may have been overlooked or possibly not yet featured on Scholarly Gamers, we are always happy to hear from you!