Should Video Games Have Same-Sex Relationships?

Welcome to another community article here at Cross Console Gamers, which is now a part of Geeks Under Grace! This week, instead of a shallow topic like “Do Graphics Matter?” I decided we needed to look into a heavier subject. Should video games have same-sex relationships or not? Once again, I rounded up a few other writers and we all gave our own personal opinions that do not necessarily represent the views of Geeks Under Grace.

Francis King Jr.

Should they? That’s up to the personal stance of the writers. But they most definitely should have the ability to. I won’t fault a game for having homosexual characters. Just like in real life, I don’t have to agree with their lifestyle to find them interesting or engaging as a character. I’m generally not a fan of including characters simply for diversity’s sake. However, for games to be respected as an art form, real things like homosexuality cannot be ignored. At long as it takes a backseat to the action, I have no issue with it.

Steve Schoen

In sci-fi or fantasy games, we are presented with a world full of things that are fictional in nature. Fantasy games give us magic and dragons, while sci-fi games are full of aliens and super-advanced technology. So, it’s not far-fetched to think there might be some same-sex relationships in these digital worlds. Additionally, homosexuality might been seen as perfectly acceptable or normal in the context of those worlds. Even when your personal beliefs do not tend to support such practices. It’s not likely that those same beliefs approve of the language, nudity, violence, and drug & alcohol references that often appear in these kinds of games either, but you play them anyway.

Let’s use Dragon Age: Origins as an example. You are given the option of a lesbian relationship with Leliana and a gay relationship with Zevran. However, each of these characters “goes both ways,” and can be enticed into heterosexual relationships as well. So, neither option is forced upon you. I have not played many other games that include these kinds of options. Although I can’t imagine that a game company would design a game in such a way as to force a particular type of relationship on your character. On the other hand, individual game companies decide for themselves what they want their image to be. They have to bear the consequences, both good and bad, from the work they produce. If the notion of same-sex relationships in video games bothers you that much, don’t pursue one in the game you’re playing. In the unlikely event that isn’t possible, just don’t buy the game. There’s a veritable bonanza of other games to play.

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Wesley Wood

This is a rough subject because while it isn’t biblically sound, neither is the violence, language, or sexual related things in video games. I personally  am not a fan of having same-sex relationships in video games. They typically come off feeling forced and unnatural. To me, game developers need to focus on having different protagonists than the average middle-aged, strong, generic, white guy that seems to lead 90% (my rough estimate) of video games. The following verses show that same-sex relationships are not what God wants for us: Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; and Romans 1:26-27. However, the Ten Commandments also says “Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not commit adultery, and Thou shall not steal.” Almost every video game features killing, many M-rated games have some form of adultery, and stealing is prominent in games like Skyrim. It is a rough subject, but I am not a fan of same-sex relationships in video games.

Casey Covel

The Bible says that homosexuality is against God’s Word. Scriptures such as Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26-27 speak against homosexuality labeling it as sin. As a Christian, and a gamer, I strive to ensure that the video games I play are God-honoring. This is because what I do is a reflection of God to others and I don’t want to misrepresent Him. Some Christians may feel that it’s alright to play a game where homosexuality and other anti-Biblical ideas are prevalent, and I respect that decision. All I ask is that these Christians remember 1 Corinthians 8:9—“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.” Young Christians look to us as role models, and what we do before them could become a stumbling block to their own faith.

My general rule of thumb is this: if the game forces me to do something I don’t like, I don’t play the game. For example, if a part of the game involves killing an innocent person in order to progress the story, I’ll put the game down. When I was a kid, I owned every Sonic game. I was a huge fan and I loved Shadow, too. But when the game Shadow the Hedgehog came out, and I was forced to play through all the evil modes in order to get the “true ending,” I finally set the game aside. I just couldn’t get through it. The same goes for homosexual relationships in a game. If the relationship is necessary to advance the story, I won’t play the game. To my knowledge, I’ve never played a game with this sort of relationship in it. If the relationship were minor and didn’t directly involve the main player, I might play the game, but even then a lot would depend on the explicitness and directness of the content.

That being said—please allow me to preach a little here—I don’t hate homosexuals. I personally know several and count some of them as friends. But I also see homosexuality as a sin. That’s not to put me on a pedestal, because God knows I’m as big a sinner as anyone else. Just like the rest of mankind, homosexuals are sinners in need of a Savior. Once, I was also a sinner in desperate need of repentance and forgiveness from the Savior. I still fail–daily–and I still sin, but God is always there to forgive me when I ask. My sins are washed away by His grace, and God offers this grace to any that believe on Him.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Wesley Wood

Wesley Wood is an aspiring film director. He would love to make GOOD films to help spread God's word and help Christians grow.

19 Comments

  1. Victoria Grace Howell on January 8, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I agree with Casey on this matter. I don’t approve of homosexuality games nor playing games that to advance the story you have to commit and evil act in the game. It’s why I had to stop playing Skyrim, because all the plot lines I hadn’t played had to do with Deidric quests with no option to do the right thing. Homosexuality is a sin as much as any other. Killing monsters in defense of the innocent I am more comfortable with, but adultery, thievery and homosexuality I’m uncomfortable with.

  2. Wisknort on January 1, 2015 at 10:39 am

    “I’m generally not a fan of including characters simply for diversity’s sake.”
    “I personally  am not a fan of having same-sex relationships in video games. They typically come off feeling forced and unnatural.”

    This. I don’t see anything wrong with homosexuality in games, for much the same reasons as covered above by everyone, but I feel like a lot of homosexual characters in games developed recently aren’t there for the sake of the story, but for the sake of going “look, we put homosexuals in our games!”
    Bioware is somewhat let off the hook, since they’ve been doing this for a long time, as noted with the Dragon Age: Origins example. That’s been a thing they do for longer than it’s been a big social issue. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioWare#Games Then again, I think KOTOR may have had homosexuality in it, I don’t remember…) At the same time, it still prickles me to realise that most of the discussion I’ve heard about DA:I has been regarding homosexuality. C’mon guys, it’s a Bioware game…

    • Wisknort on January 1, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Dummy post testing something. Test.

  3. Meshach on August 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I disagree a bit with the last response. I think it is not fair to say homosexuals are automatically sinners because of their sexuality, it only becomes a sin if they act on it and proceed with that lifestyle.
    They are born as homosexuals for a reason, and that reason is only for God to know. I know homosexuals who are Christian, and choose to abstain from sexual activity because they know that that kind of homosexual ACT is a sin.
    It’s not their choice to be homosexual, it’s God’s. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it certainly isn’t fair to generalise and say homosexuality is a sin in itself. It is there for whatever reason God chooses.

  4. Chris Cullum on July 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Let’s just get right down to the bottom line. When we are in a video game, we are seeing, in a way, a reflection of the human condition. The sad reality of the matter is homosexuality is on the rise. Now, it’s important to realize, like many have already posted, that sin is sin. Murder is just as big a deal to God as a relationship between two people of the same gender. Therefore, if we’re alright with murder being a part of our games, homosexual relationships should be included as well. Please don’t misunderstand me in this, for I DO NOT believe homosexuality is by any means acceptable nor should any Christian. The fact remains that it’s just as sinful for a man to lust after a woman or a woman a man as it is a man to man or woman to woman scenario. I think if homosexuality is a part of a game, it should be purely optional and never as an integral part of game progression. The fact that homosexual relationships are beginning to be included in games is a sign of the developers personal views and the views of a secular world and should come to no surprise to us as the world continues to spiral into more and more sin, leading to inevitable self-destruction. I pray we as Christians take a bold stand against this downward spiral but do so in a way that shows the powerful love that God has extended to us through Jesus, in the hopes that others would come to know Him in the intimate way we have come to recognize Him.

  5. Ken on July 6, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Wonderful responses and discussion.

    As Christian gamers, we are faced each day with decisions in games that are not biblical. This is the struggle I have faced the last 30 years as a gamer – tabletop, console, and PC and one of the reasons I didn’t think we could be a Christian and a gamer. I only recently decided we can be both and not hide it from either our Christian brothers and sisters and our fellow gamers.

    Homosexuality is only one sin we are faced with in game. I won’t stop folks from playing the game the way they want. Developers are free to choose their path both for the gaming community and to the ability to make money. We have to make our own decisions and pray on what we should do.

  6. Sarah on July 5, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    I like Casey’s reasoning the most. It really challenged me look at the games I play. It made me relook at Assassains Creed and most shooters. Homosexuality is a sin, isn’t greater or smaller then any other, people don’t blink twice at killing in video games, but anything else and they do. I totaly agrees with Casey, I’m not going to do anything bad a video game trys to force me to do. But putting homosexuals in video games just seems, to me, to be stepping over the line. If there ever was a line.

    • Casey Covel on July 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. I’m glad that my thoughts challenged you to look at your own personal gaming experiences. 🙂 I really appreciate you reading and leaving feedback. It’s a blessing to me.

  7. Jeremy Russell on July 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I have absolutely no problem with a video game having the option to have a gay relationship. Think about a franchise like The Sims, there are a good number of Sims players who are gay…and in a game like The Sims, in which you can create anyone you want, even yourself, why shouldn’t a gay gamer be allowed to make themselves as a homosexual in a game. Also, I agree with Steve Schoen. How could a sci-fi game have aliens or a fantasy game have dragons while not having something much more believable, like a homosexual. Also, if you are one who likes to relate to a character, it helps you do that sometimes. I have an aunt and a cousin who are gay and, though I don’t have any gay friends, I may in the future, so you could relate to character if there are other characters in the game who are homosexuals and you have gay friends and/or relatives. I don’t play many games with gay characters (unless you count NBA games in which Jason Collins and/or John Amaechi are playable or college football games with a generic form of Rams rookie Michael Sam) but I’ve always wanted to get more into the Mass Effect games (I want to play them in order and my 360 broke before I could get even a quarter of the way through the first one and I’m waiting until the Mass Effect trilogy drops under $25), and I’ve played games where it is an option (like Fable for the Xbox and PC and The Sims games), and I’ve never once seen a game where a same-sex relationship was an absolute requirement. The only issue I have are “fan-made” non-canon same-sex relationships between characters, which is, unfortunately, more common than you think, but I have an issue with those kind of relationships even when they’re between a man and a woman, because the artwork and fan fiction is usually extremely pornographic in nature, but that is a different GUG article.

  8. Michael Morejon on July 1, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Great article, I really liked the various opinions. Casey Covel, Shadow the hedgehog was just a BAD game, that’s why I personally put it down lol. I love Sonic myself, but man, that game was…sad. When I saw Shadow with a gun, that did it for me. I knew a nightmare had been created.

    • Casey Covel on July 6, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Lol, well said 🙂 Shadow the Hedgehog was just downright BAD! I think SEGA took Sonic in the completely wrong direction in trying to appeal to a darker, more adult fanbase. Fortunately, the game was a flop, and no serious “sequel-like” attempts were made. Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts. I appreciate it 🙂

  9. Michael Garrett (Linclemill) on June 22, 2014 at 4:19 am

    I live by the rule a sin is a sin, a person practicing homosexuality goes to hell the same way a liar goes to hell. I was talking to one of my cousins and i feel like he put homosexuality a great way, he said (not verbatim) “You may or may not be born homosexual, i don’t know, but God doesn’t say your going to hell for maybe being gay he says that the act of it is a disgrace. So all you have to do is repent and you will be tempted but just keep the faith fight the good fight.”

    • Meshach on August 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      I completely agree, that was put really well.

  10. Michael Anthony on June 21, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I don’t understand why there is no line. Why is it OK for us to say, “Oh, I played a game with some stealing in it so killing isn’t that bad.” or “This game has some killing, so nudity isn’t that far off.” Or strong language, mass murder or same-sex relationships. I’ve read a lot in my Bible, trying to pin down a line of how much, as a christian, I should partcipate and expose myself to in video games. My pastor’s view is that you simply play video games, because of the reasons I stated above. It’s to easy to leave a line undrawn and just say “Oh, well, I’m still going to heaven right?” Also, just for the record why does everybody say that God looks down on violence. If you believe that then you need to read some more of the Bible. All of this to ask where does it stop? At what do we say “That’s enough, I can’t play this game because of ……….” Thanks for reading.

    • Michael Anthony on June 22, 2014 at 12:03 am

      There is a typo in my comment above. My pastor’s view is that you simply don’t play video games.

  11. Chuckleluck on June 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Well written. If only the homosexual community could be as accepting of developers’ decisions (re: tomogachi).

    • Wesley Wood on June 21, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      Agreed.

  12. Drew Koehler on June 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I think all of the answers were well thought out. Games being such an important medium to us should reflect reality to a point. Lots of games force people to do things they wouldn’t normally do, if you don’t like them don’t play them.
    I also think Steve made a great point, in fantasy and sci-fi the rules are different. Our God doesn’t exist there, and therefore the same rules don’t apply.

  13. Bruce on June 21, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Well said Francis King Jr.

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