In the article “Why I’m Sad There Are No Aliens to Romance in Starfield | Reality Check,” you’ll discover why the author feels disappointed about the lack of romance options with non-human characters in the game Starfield. The article dives into the history of romance in video games, starting with visual novels dating back to 1982. It praises BioWare games like Baldur’s Gate and Mass Effect for their extensive romance options, while also highlighting other games like Dragon Age Inquisition and Fallout 4 that offer diverse romantic encounters. The article explores the prevalence of non-human romances in mythology and literature and delves into a study on attraction to monsters in media, revealing a significant LGBTQ+ identification among respondents. It also examines the connection between queerness and the desire for non-human relationships in video games. The author particularly discusses the depiction of relationships and romance in Mass Effect 3, the lack of diversity in romantic options in games like Skyrim, and the inclusion of more diverse romantic choices in games such as Dragon Age Inquisition and Baldur’s Gate 3. This thought-provoking article concludes by highlighting the importance of finding safe spaces in fictional worlds to explore sexuality and desires, referencing the historical use of manga by women to engage with sexual fantasies. The author expresses their enthusiasm for continuing to play Baldur’s Gate and enjoying the diverse romantic options that it offers.
History of Romance in Video Games
Visual novels and romance in video games
The history of romance in video games dates back to 1982 with the introduction of visual novels. These games allowed players to engage in romantic relationships with virtual characters through text-based interactions. One notable example is “Lolita yakuken,” in which players would play a rock-paper-scissors game with a girl until she was naked. While this game may seem crude by today’s standards, it was one of the earliest examples of romance as a game mechanic.
Praising BioWare games for their romance options
BioWare games, such as Baldur’s Gate and Mass Effect, have been praised for their inclusion of romance options for players. In Baldur’s Gate, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion introduced flirty side quests that culminated in romantic encounters. This added depth to the gameplay experience and allowed players to form emotional connections with the characters.
Mass Effect, in particular, became known for its romance options. The first game in the series introduced players to the charismatic turian squadmate, Garrus, who quickly became a fan favorite. The enhanced version of the game even expanded on the romance options, allowing players to pursue relationships with characters like the hunky half-orc, Dorne. BioWare’s dedication to providing diverse romantic options has earned them a devoted fan base.
Diverse romance options in Dragon Age Inquisition and Fallout 4
Other games, such as Dragon Age Inquisition and Fallout 4, have also offered players a range of diverse romance options. Dragon Age Inquisition, another BioWare title, goes a step further by including non-human romantic options. The game challenges the traditional boundaries of romantic relationships, allowing players to form connections with characters outside of their own species.
Fallout 4 takes a similar approach by allowing players to romance whichever romanceable character they desire. The game’s definition of romance is not confined strictly to a monogamous relationship, giving players the freedom to explore multiple romantic connections. Additionally, romance options in Fallout 4 are not limited to human characters, adding another layer of diversity to the game.
Romancing Non-Human Characters
Prevalence of non-human romances in mythology and literature
The concept of romancing non-human characters is not a new one. Throughout history, stories, myths, and literature have depicted relationships between humans and non-human beings. In Greek mythology, for example, Zeus assumed the form of an animal on numerous occasions to seduce various characters. Similarly, during the Middle Ages, there was a belief that witches engaged in sexual encounters with demons. These stories highlight the long-held fascination with and attraction to non-human romantic partners.
Attraction to monsters in media study
A study conducted by writer and researcher Ella Galago explored the attraction to monsters in media and pop culture. The study surveyed over 2,000 respondents from various backgrounds and identities and discovered that a significant percentage of them identified as LGBTQ+. This finding suggests a connection between queerness and the desire for relationships that deviate from the traditional heterosexual variety. It appears that the portrayal of non-human characters as “monsters” provides an alternative avenue for exploring non-normative relationships in video games.
Queerness and desire for non-human relationships in video games
The expanded identity of non-human characters in video games offers players the opportunity to pursue relationships that deviate from societal norms. For LGBTQ+ individuals, this can be particularly significant, as it provides a space for exploring their desires and identities in a virtual world. The ability to romance non-human characters allows players to connect with fictional beings without the constraints of real-world expectations and societal norms.
Analysis of Mass Effect 3
Depiction of relationships and romance in Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3, part of the acclaimed Mass Effect series, depicted relationships and romance in a complex and engaging way. The game’s protagonist, Commander Shepard, had various romantic options, including the popular character Tali. However, the depiction of Tali as a human in a picture in the game caused controversy among fans. Tali’s alien identity was an essential aspect of her character, and the decision to portray her as a human in the picture went against her established lore and identity.
Critique of Tali’s depiction as a human in a picture
Critics argue that the portrayal of Tali as a human in a picture diminishes her unique qualities as an alien character. It reduces her to a more familiar and relatable image, stripping away the intrigue and fantasy that comes with exploring a relationship with a non-human character. This missed opportunity to celebrate diversity and non-human romances in video games highlights a need for more thoughtful representation in the industry.
Lack of diversity in romantic options in Skyrim
While games like Mass Effect provided diverse romantic options, others, like Skyrim, fell short in this regard. Skyrim, a highly popular open-world fantasy game, offered a plethora of marriage options, but all of them were limited to human characters. This lack of diversity in romantic partners limited the range of experiences available to players and missed an opportunity to explore relationships with non-human characters.
Diverse Romantic Options in Other Games
Dragon Age Inquisition’s inclusion of non-human romantic options
Dragon Age Inquisition stands out as a game that embraces diversity in romantic options. The game allows players to pursue relationships with non-human characters, challenging traditional notions of romance. This inclusion of non-human romantic options provides players with a richer and more diverse experience, allowing them to explore relationships that transcend traditional boundaries.
Baldur’s Gate 3’s diverse romantic options
Baldur’s Gate 3, another game developed by BioWare, continues the tradition of offering diverse romantic options. The game allows players to romance a bear, among other non-human characters, providing unique and unconventional relationship experiences. This commitment to diversity in romantic options sets Baldur’s Gate 3 apart and offers players the opportunity for personal exploration and expression.
Comparison to Skyrim’s lack of diverse romantic partners
In contrast to the limited options in Skyrim, games like Dragon Age Inquisition and Baldur’s Gate 3 showcase the importance of providing diverse romantic choices for players. These games recognize the desire for non-human relationships and cater to a wider range of interests and preferences. By offering a variety of romantic options, game developers can create more inclusive and engaging experiences for players.
Safe Spaces and Personal Exploration
Finding safe spaces through fictional characters and monsters
For many players, finding safe spaces to explore their sexuality, desires, and fantasies is essential. Video games provide a medium through which individuals can engage with fictional characters and monsters to fulfill these needs. By immersing themselves in these virtual worlds, players can explore aspects of their identities in a safe and controlled environment, free from real-world consequences and judgment.
History of women using mediums like manga to explore sexual fantasies
Women, in particular, have a long history of using various mediums, such as manga, to explore sexual fantasies. Manga, with its diverse range of characters and narratives, offers a safe and taboo-free environment for women to engage with their desires. This form of media allows for the exploration of diverse relationships, including those with non-human beings, further emphasizing the appeal of non-human romances in video games.
The importance of safe and taboo-free environments
Safe and taboo-free environments are crucial for individuals to fully explore and express their desires. Video games provide a unique platform for creating these spaces, offering players the freedom to engage with non-human characters and form meaningful connections. By removing societal constraints and expectations, games can foster inclusivity and allow players to embrace their individuality in a controlled and supportive setting.
Video games have come a long way in terms of embracing romance and diversity. From the early days of visual novels to the expansive worlds of games like Dragon Age Inquisition and Baldur’s Gate 3, players now have more options than ever to explore non-human romantic relationships. These games provide a safe space for personal exploration and offer a means to connect with characters and stories on a deeper level. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it is essential to prioritize inclusivity and diverse romantic options, allowing players to fully engage with these immersive experiences. So, let’s continue to enjoy the diverse romantic options in games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and celebrate the progress that has been made in the representation of non-human romance in video games.