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Same gender romance discussion

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Same gender romance discussion
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Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
02.12.2013 , 05:55 PM | #161
Would romances with individuals who fall outside of the binary gender system* come under the umbrella of this thread's discussion purposes? As I'd like to approach the idea of having companions and/or NPC romance options who do not fall into the stereotypical male/female sexes and genders. This can apply to those who fall anywhere within the gender spectrum or those who find themselves outside of it and would also be applicable to those who are members of existing species, and hopefully not only to those who are magically created to somehow fit the idea that gender binaries** are ingrained into genetic code, or something.

Also, non-organics.

I only ask because there is no where else on these forums where romances can be discussed so freely and in-depth, whilst still being safe from being going "oh em gee pixels trolololol", but it is also specifically about same-sex romances. This topic is so maligned by the majority on the boards that anything that's even remotely "weirder" than it will become mired down in trolls and "why did this need another thread by Palpatine BALANCE PVP", that the creation of a thread devoted to the discussion would be deemed as inciting a flame war. And with this being a science-fiction game, wherein future possibilities not only of technology but also society are explored, I think it would be remiss to not at least be able to approach the idea.

That and I don't want to be accused of spam but just jumping head first into the topic.

*though still the staple of most people's ideas of gender and sex, I think it's safe to say that this will slowly but surely go the way of the dodo
**that is, extra-humanoid species who have multiple sexes and/or genders, so that the standard humanoid species are without this expression

stuffystuffs's Avatar


stuffystuffs
02.13.2013 , 12:00 AM | #162
Quote: Originally Posted by SirGladiator View Post
I would love the chance to romance Ashara also. I don't know what it is about her, but she's just awesome.
I agree, but it seems most don't like her.
Node guarder

Lent_San's Avatar


Lent_San
02.13.2013 , 12:05 AM | #163
Tatile, I wouldn't mind talking about it at all but maybe we should ask mods if it's considered off-topic? Would spare us some pain in case posts get deleted.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
02.13.2013 , 05:16 AM | #164
Quote: Originally Posted by Lent_San View Post
Tatile, I wouldn't mind talking about it at all but maybe we should ask mods if it's considered off-topic? Would spare us some pain in case posts get deleted.
Yeah, but none of them talk to me anymore, so I made an open letter. Frankly I'm surprised it's still there.

Path-x's Avatar


Path-x
02.13.2013 , 04:04 PM | #165
I would love to romance Risha with my female Smuggler. I think that besides Jaesa she is the hottest companion in game. It would be fun seeing the end of this fairytale romance.
Jedi: You won the day, Sith. So, kill me if you must.
Warrior: I must.

Lent_San's Avatar


Lent_San
02.13.2013 , 06:36 PM | #166
Quote: Originally Posted by Tatile View Post
Yeah, but none of them talk to me anymore, so I made an open letter. Frankly I'm surprised it's still there.
I guess if it's at least related to SGR, it should be in order.

Lent_San's Avatar


Lent_San
02.14.2013 , 06:54 PM | #167
Quote: Originally Posted by Tatile View Post
Would romances with individuals who fall outside of the binary gender system* come under the umbrella of this thread's discussion purposes? As I'd like to approach the idea of having companions and/or NPC romance options who do not fall into the stereotypical male/female sexes and genders. This can apply to those who fall anywhere within the gender spectrum or those who find themselves outside of it and would also be applicable to those who are members of existing species, and hopefully not only to those who are magically created to somehow fit the idea that gender binaries** are ingrained into genetic code, or something.
I will pick up on this. As I've said before, I'd really like to have a companion that's not coded into a certain sexuality, if you will. I won't say transsexual or androgynous since for me these are real life descriptions that don't really fit either way.

Someone who doesn't have a defined sexuality, or a defined sex, maybe that somehow describes it. Herosexual is not what I mean necessarily either, since that's just focussed on your char but not really taking the companion him/herself into account.

Having chars represent the fluidity of gender and sexuality which we do see in real life sometimes, that would be great and rather rather interesting. Still not sure though whether it's necessarily an MMO they'd fit into.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
02.14.2013 , 07:08 PM | #168
Quote: Originally Posted by Lent_San View Post
I will pick up on this. As I've said before, I'd really like to have a companion that's not coded into a certain sexuality, if you will. I won't say transsexual or androgynous since for me these are real life descriptions that don't really fit either way.

Someone who doesn't have a defined sexuality, or a defined sex, maybe that somehow describes it. Herosexual is not what I mean necessarily, either, since that's just focussed on your char but not really taking the companion him/herself into account.

Having chars represent the fluidity of gender and sexuality that we do see in real life sometimes, that would be great and rather rather interesting. Still not sure though whether it's necessarily an MMO they'd fit into.
I'm not so much talking about SWTOR here, but rather the romance system that Bioware has - that is the continued conversations that occur during the game process.

And also it's not so much sexuality or preferences, though that comes into it, but gender, sex and gender presentation (though the latter hinges on what specific gender presentations are and that's a massive whole other topic which is entirely related on the cultures of the peoples in the games and not something that can be identified in a vacuum). It's like: if your character is female and you have a female-bodied/assigned-at-birth companion who considers themself to be agender/bigender, does that qualify as same-gender romance (the purpose of this topic) or same-sex romance (though admittedly we use these terms interchangeably, but only because we're working under the umbrella of the gender binary). Because the mentioned would not be a same-gender relationship (one identifying female, one identifying agender) but would be a same-sex romance.

Now what if our companion is a tertiary sex and gender? Where then do our definitions for the discussion stand when we no longer have opposites?

And I believe this is a perfectly reasonable scenario to expect in a universe where there are multiple sentient species who do not necessarily fit the stereotypical human "two sexes/two genders" rule and wherein we can encounter non-organic sentients in the form of AI.

Does the AI have to identify as a either male or female in order to "qualify" for romantic relationships?
Do those of a tertiary sex or gender have to justify themselves to someone coming from a binary-gender system in order to "qualify" for romance or are they immediately disallowed because they fall outside of the binary?

I suppose I'm asking "are we restricted and if so, why?"

Remember that not all relationships necessarily have to be sexual in nature.


And another, actually on-topic question this time, is when/if Bioware allow for same-sex/gender companion romances, will those couples be allowed to have marriage as an option? Children?

Kioma's Avatar


Kioma
02.14.2013 , 08:10 PM | #169
Quote: Originally Posted by Tatile View Post
I suppose I'm asking "are we restricted and if so, why?"
I won't comment on the whole conversational gist because I just got up but I believe the two answers to this are "Yes," and "Mostly for simplicity's sake."

Be aware that gender identity issues are still so very unfixed that people who've studied them in universities around the world can't sort them out. There's an awful lot of content to get into with any study of gender identity, gender roles, sexuality and the like, and all of it lays well outside the scope of ordinary game designers.

Including same-sex relationships in a game where the framework for relationships already exists (and is utilised by heterosexual relationships) is relatively easy. If you start throwing in other points along the gender spectrum (including but not limited to transgendered, intersex and genderless identities) then you vastly increase the amount of work needed (mostly for the writers, I believe, but also for the voice actors and the lawyers).

Anything that changes models (I mean REAL changes, not just reskins) is going to cause a leap in work again. If you want a companion to have a unique head then you need to get concept artists in, they need to collaborate with modellers, they need to collaborate with writers and so on; with SWTOR there's also a requirement for alternate appearances.

I got this thought recently when I was looking through a book called The Art of Alice: Madness Returns. I was actually looking for Julie Dillon art (of which there wasn't much) but I was startled at how much content they designed (and even modelled and put in the game) but didn't make functional because they ran out of time. Arguments over things like Alice's basic look and even her blue dress went on for ages. They changed the weapon system (and all of the outfits) about halfway through, which would have taken a complete redesign.

My point is that there's an awful lot that we don't see (though personally I'd quite like to) and what seems simple and obvious to us might be an absolute PITA to actually implement - due to interpersonal clashes amongst the creativity staff alone, not to mention everything else. In each case of every companion we see you can bet there have been arguments over what they should look like, how they should talk, what their values should be - and that's all before getting to sexuality and gender identity.

How many people wanted Kira tougher or Tharan more flamboyant? How many staff hated Holiday's Digital Valley Girl act? We have no idea. And you can imagine how much more confusing and aggressive it would be to throw in more gender identities. Maybe 'time and budgeting constraints' actually means 'we kept arguing for way too long'. There'd be arguments about how to write such characters, warnings and disputes over what is and isn't stereotypical, considerations over what kinds of species could suit for companions that don't fit into the binary gender model (and whether humans fit into such a model in any case).

That's not to say I wouldn't love to see that kind of content. Heck to the yeah, I would. I'd LOVE it. But a lot just doesn't go into games that would otherwise be great additions because people can't agree in time, or because time really DOES run out, or because there's no way to attain a particular look or physics functionality.
::Please Stand By, Signature Assessment Probe Commencing Analysis::

Advocatis's Avatar


Advocatis
02.14.2013 , 09:25 PM | #170
Quote: Originally Posted by stuffystuffs View Post
I agree, but it seems most don't like her.
I just wish they would fix Ashara to the point my female Inquisitors could get normal gift affection, much less romance.