Archive for the ‘Feature’ Category


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December 19
2014

A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

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Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest.

Characters who are members of marginalised classes often get a raw deal when it comes to personal storylines, narratives and histories. Gay characters, for example, often occupy a very tricky position in media: focusing too heavily on the fact that the character is gay can make them seem trite, stereotyped or farcical; however, downplaying, dismissing or outright ignoring their sexuality and its impact on their lives can be detrimental for wholly other reasons, making them “gay enough” that the character counts for some token diversity, while not being “too gay” to cause any boredom, discomfort or disgust in bigoted audience members, who can then relish the character as one of those character who’s gay, but like, it’s not even a thing, and that’s some real good gay representation there. Or, y’know, maybe not.

Dorian is the first companion in Bioware’s Dragon Age series who was specifically written for, and will only romantically engage with, a male protagonist. Although this may seem like just a cursory piece of programming – a “rainbow” flag, if you like – the inclusion of a gay male character whose sexuality IS totally, like, a thing, is powerful: even moreso when the storylines that focus on their sexuality are impactful and meaningful, but at the same time not a trope-laden rehash of irrelevant, inappropriate or misunderstood aspects of gay identity as we’re so often obliged to be thankful to receive.

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2014

Review: Coming Out On Top

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You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody two-shoes, the dark-haired bad boy (as bad as they’d let a boy be in a board game targeted to preteen girls), the captain of the most culturally relevant sports team, and so on.  After bedding three of the five datable characters in Coming Out On Top, it struck me as a lot like those games, except that it’s more engaging and it’s got a lot of dicks in it.  Like, a lot of dicks. After two nights of my playing it before bed, my husband started calling it “that porn game” and just stopped pretending that he wasn’t craning over my shoulder for a better look.  He was especially fond of Ian, which is good as I was too and I like to think we have similar taste.

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December 9
2014

A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

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Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest.

Iron Bull was claimed by dozens of eager Dragon Age: Inquisition players before he even got an official screenshot.

A piece of promotional concept art from Bioware was all it took for the towering mass of scars and slowly softening muscle to be the center of some voracious fan attention. The lead up to the latest fantasy role-playing game from one of the industry’s leading interactive romance studios was an opportunity to tease the fans with a new epic romantic conquest, and the campaign was by all measures a success. His towering size, his apparent expertise with two-handed weapons, his almost comically large horns, everything about this grey behemoth was big and brazen. The Iron Bull looked to be a size queen’s dream, a hulking brute of few words and fewer inhibitions.

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November 21
2014

Preview: Read Only Memories

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MidBoss‘ upcoming cyberpunk adventure game Read Only Memories – or ROM – is due for release next year, and, to give would-be players a little taste of what’s to come, they’ve released a playable demo over on their website - and we’ve taken a look to tell you what you can expect from this teaser.

In ROM, you find yourself on the cusp of a story of intrigue and secrets as a cute personal helper robot which has broken into your home informs you that his owner, a former friend of yours, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. As a journalist in Neo-San Francisco in 2064, you are best placed (according to Turing, the aforementioned robot casually disregarding property laws) to find out what happened to your friend.

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November 18
2014

Nintendo: Toad and Toadette May Not Have Set Sexes, Genders

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Turns out Toads, the fungus-like denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, don’t have any clearly defined genders. At least not according to Koichi Hayashida, producer of the upcoming Wii U exclusive Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. During an interview with Gamespot, Hayashida shed a bit of light on how the development team views the species’ sexes and opened the door to some interesting interpretations.

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November 5
2014

Help Flame Con Light Up Our Lives!

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Our buddies over at Geeks OUT have just launched a massive Kickstarter campaign to create Flame Con, New York City’s first LGBTQ comic convention! But it’s not just comics, because their release describes the event as “a one-day comics, arts, and entertainment expo showcasing dozens of creators and celebrities from all corners of LGBTQ geek fandom, including comics, videogames, film, and television.”

Since 2010, Geeks OUT has been hosting events for the LGBTQ geek community and establishing queer-positive spaces for fans at comic conventions. (I volunteer at their New York Comic Con booth every year!) But for 2015, they want to invite everyone to Flame Con!

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November 3
2014

GG on GG: The Problems with GamerGate

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[Editor’s note: Given the touchy nature of this article’s subject, and the very real instances of harassment that have been connected to those involved with it, comments will be disabled. While normally we encourage a wide variety of viewpoints, including ones we may not agree with, to be shared on our posts we do not want to risk the safety of our readers, community members, or contributors. However it would be irresponsible of us to not comment on the issue at all, both as an LGBT-focused gaming site and as a gaming site at all. For anyone who has been lucky enough to avoid the GamerGate story thus far, here is a recap via the Washington Post that manages to cover things.]

I want to open with a nice, objective statement that I can be sure won’t dissuade specific groups of people from reading on ahead, taking the time to read what I’m saying, and critically engaging with the points I’m raising: but to be honest, fuck GamerGate, and fuck the people who choose to align themselves with it in spite of all the horrendous things it’s been responsible for.

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