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Frontierville Expanding Same-Sex Horizons

Bess 'n' Fanny sitting under a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Now for the baby?

Zynga's Frontierville has been offering same-sex marriages since it started last year, being among the first Facebook games to allow such a pairing. It's one of those instances where it's very easy to bring out the line, "If you don't like same-sex marriage, don't have one," so I was pleasantly surprised that it was an option.

It's come to my attention that the game is adding Valentine's Day Romance quests. What's particular about them is that you bring together some of the in-game characters. NPCs deserve love even when you don't shower them with it, after all.

As I've been told, one of the couples you can bring together to go kiss under the kissing tree (their emphasis on kiss, which makes me wonder about that old K-I-S-S-I-N-G schtick) is that of Bess and Fanny. The missions themselves have three characters: Bess, Fanny, and Hank, and the pairing can be between any two of them.

Some of you will likely notice that there isn't a second male for whom Hank can profess his inability to quit. If this were a case of a game that completely erased male same-sex relationships, I'd probably be of a much more critical eye; as I can create a male avatar and then pursue marriage with another cowboy, it's not as if the designers are trying to deny that option.

Given that the stereotype of Facebook games is largely that women play them (as for actual numbers, I'd be fascinated to see), it does bring up some questions of what this means in a larger sense--it doesn't appear to be a case of just providing that supposedly titillating lesbian romance for oversexed straight men. From the sounds of it, that's not the point of this romance in the slightest. If we were to go by the above stereotype of women Facebook players, however, it begs the question of why there weren't more male options. Puzzling.

As I have yet to actually get far into Frontierville, I will just make sure to let all my friends who do play know of the option. Options are such nice things when one has more of them.

3 Comments

snott said:

Yay for positive lgbt content in social games. This is how we will change hearts & minds.

epenthesis said:

I started playing yesterday and got very close to being able to get married...and then the quest glitched. Apparently it's a known issue and it's gone forever, and I can neither get my gay husband nor get any of the quests that depend on being married (and it looks like there are lots of those), and I permanently lose the energy spike. And you can never restart a Zenga game with the same Facebook account.

Not that I care about a Zenga game or anything...

I'm a "straight but not narrow" male, far-too-active gamer, looking forward to watching Fanny and Bess share their first kiss.

I second Snott's comment, "Yay for positive LGBT content in social games.

I suspect the reason there's not a gay male couple available is the lack of plausible partners for Hank. Jack? Doc? I don't think so.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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