Chapter 14, in which Adam comments on the articles he found interesting.

Putting the Gay in Games: Cultural Production and GLBT Content in Video Games
Shaw, Adrienne

I liked this overview of the issue of GLBT representation in video games, but I was really hoping she would answer "What do we do with this?" This is most problematic when we get to the final section before the conclusion, (pdf pg. 17-21) where she dismisses games like Sims, Bully, or Fable as a "path of least resistance" to GLBT content in games by making the content optional. I'm not sure how those games, Dragon Age, or Mass Effect, could not be seen as a step forward. The GLBT content is "optional" but so is the heterosexual content, since none of those games actively rely on your character's orientation one way or the other to drive the game. At the same time, Shaw is dismissive of the game designers who say that being gay in the field is a "non-issue." This seems tough to deal with too, since I'm trying to think of more games where being explicitly heterosexual is an issue anyway. So we end up going in circles, and the article offers a lot of problems without any idea of a way to move forward. So...let's just ignore Shaw and take both of these as steps forward. One, games like Sims, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, etc. where having homosexual relationships are allowed alongside heterosexual ones. This could be expanded to MMOs, where more could allow same-sex marriages to better represent the desires of their players. Two, you have to allow for characters where their orientation is a non-issue, or part of their character in context. Some of the game designers referred to this as "natural" growth of a character's story or personhood, and seems like it would be a good step forward instead of being dismissed as not enough. Like Shaw mentions, video games have difficulty portraying relationships of any orientation, so I think we should welcome these steps forward instead of dismissing them.