Attention: This is Not Safe For Work! With all the negative hoopla surrounding Infinity Ward's grenade spam video I was beginning to lose all faith in gays being shown in a positive light in the world of gaming. I got a treat when I spied this clip of Dragon Age: Origin's gay romance. Read: Spoilers! Here we have what has to be one of the most well-realized representations of gay sex in a video game to date. The scene walks us through a dialogue tree that leads to a graphically romantic tryst with the male protagonist and Zevran the assassin.
After hearing about BioWare's inclusion of a gay relationship, I'm sure many were prepared to be bored by some half baked, heterosexist pandering a-la Mass Effect's alien/lesbian rendezvous. Here it feels deliberate and respectful. In fact, while there are differences between the straight love interests and the gay male option, the romantic scenes of both orientations are given equal diligence.
With this bare-chested and unflinching portrayal, it feels as if the depiction of gay sex in video games has reached a new level of equal treatment. This is more than just a mincing gay pirate (Temple of Elemental Evil) or an evasive fade-to-black: there's choreography, tenderness, humor and even an element of sexual politics to Zevran's post-coital conversation. Kudos to BioWare for adding a bit of a gay storyline to their game and for dealing with gay romance as even-handedly as they do the heterosexual options.