Friday, July 19, 2024

Dragon Age 2 is a game for the bisexuals

There is a very good reason why my mind translates the title Dragon Age 2 as Dragon Age 2 Bisexual Heaven. One) everyone in this game is ridiculously attractive and I hate their stupid faces and two) barring one companion, everyone is bisexual.

And no we don’t mean player-sexual, a frankly insulting term that should never be used ever, we mean that they are 100% bisexual.

When Dragon Age 2 first released back in 2011, it was met with a fair amount of criticism (mostly due to reused assets and a map that soon turned stale), some that were just and some criticisms that can only be described as belonging to those who have always had the opportunity to see themselves represented in media.

Dragon Age 2 is still the best Dragon Age, sorry

Yes, we’re talking about the Straight Male Gamer. This isn’t our own words, but they describe the situation perfectly. Back when BioWare forums were around, a user described that Dragon Age 2 was a game that catered to “women and homosexuals”. In reply, the lead writer of the Dragon Age series, David Gaider, responded with the following:

“The romances in the game are not for “the straight male gamer”. They’re for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention. We have good numbers, after all, on the number of people who actually used similar sorts of content in DAO and thus don’t need to resort to anecdotal evidence to support our idea that their numbers are not insignificant… and that’s ignoring the idea that they don’t have just as much right to play the kind of game they wish as anyone else.

The “rights” of anyone with regards to a game are murky at best, but anyone who takes that stance must apply it equally to both the minority as well as the majority. The majority has no inherent “right” to get more options than anyone else.”

David Gaider’s quote was found through Kotaku.

Dragon Age 2 said bisexual rights!

While Gaider was and still remains correct, there’s something I’d like to add: Dragon Age 2 should be considered a game for bisexuals because of how accurate they portray the bisexual companions. They are equally a mess when it comes to their lover, your protagonist, Hawke, regardless of gender, and as much as they may not like one another, they stick together like glue.

Of course, it isn’t all that shallow as these characters simply liking both men and women. Isabela and Anders are two bisexual characters with preferences, something that I’ve yet to see another game truly express. There is a unique dialogue between Isabela and female Hawke, and Anders is the one who initiates flirting with male Hawke in a way that is different from his female counterpart.

They even have a token straight friend called Sebastian Vael. If that isn’t a perfect representation of a friend group full of bisexuals then I just don’t know what is.

Dragon Age 2 was a game that, despite its faults, appealed to the LGBT community in a way that Origins, and arguably Inquisition, just couldn’t. The romances were equal parts messy, adorable and well, romantic! It let us dream of our own friendship groups being so tight-knit and beautifully bisexual.

And for that, I’m grateful.

Looking for more Dragon Age content? We’ve got that in spades here at Gayming Magazine.

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One thought on “Dragon Age 2 is a game for the bisexuals

  • “Isabela and Anders are two bisexual characters with preferences, something that I’ve yet to see another game truly express.”

    At least in this commenter’s personal experience, gobs of other peops have self-reported as “bi” or “pan,” but so far not one has specifically indicated a particular lack of preference, some way or other, and prolly a majority have mentioned having _some identifiable_ preference in terms of gender ior sex, even if often a mere velleity. To be fair, though, how often do video games “truly express” any intimacy orientation, and how often do any of us expect it to happen?

    For what it’s worth, at least for this person in that big overlap of “gay,” “ace” and “pan,” the phenomenon called “erasure” is felt most keenly in those overlaps: can easily self-report and be seen as belonging to any of those broad categories, but the “default” assumptions as to what those labels mean are only marginally better than the presumption that this person is hetero, and almost no one we meet can be expected to parse “lesbiish pancake” without returning an “out or range” error.

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