Video games give a fascinating insight into our ever-changing ideas about sex and sexuality. Since the industry exploded with the launch of the NES in the 80s (coinciding with the growing visibility of LGBT communities), games have always given some kind of comment on sexuality - even if they were initially crass, offensive, and occasionally downright despicable. Gamers will never forget Ash from Streets of Rage 3, the limp-wristed boss with crotchless chaps who daintily tried to stomp you with his high heels, or Dubois from Deep Fear, owner of the worst camp voice in video games, but the medium has moved with the times, reflecting society's gradual embrace of the normalcy of homosexuality by integrating it smoothly into their narratives. The results have obviously been mixed, but here are 9 video game icons who you probably didn't notice were romantically inclined towards those of the same sex.
9. Jacob Frye (Assassin's Creed: Syndicate)
At first, the male half of AC: Syndicate's protagonist pairing fits the mold of a typical hero of the series. He embodies that classic masculinity, carefree spirit, and leanings towards being a pack leader that we see in Ezio and Edward Kenway, and we assume that - like them - there'll be a serious hetero romance (heteromance?) along the way. But the Syndicate writers tried something a little different this time, as Jacob develops an unlikely bond with rival gang leader, Maxwell Roth. Nothing is made too explicit, but Roth's dangerous, destructive attitude means he's overt in his feelings towards Frye, determined to "have a little fun with the bravest man in London", as they go on a series of murderous dates together. The goal of all this isn't particularly relevant to the main plot, and seems like more of an excuse for the two to gallivant around together and grow closer. Watching this unlikely couple's relationship evolve is fascinating, and gives a whole new dimension to Jacob's character. All of this culminates (SPOILER WARNING) in a tragic ending where Jacob kills Roth, and just before Roth breathes his last he gives Jacob a full-on kiss on the lips. The whole scene poignantly portrays Jacob's conflicted feelings towards Roth, showing him to be distraught - dare I say heartbroken? - at the bloody (but inevitable) end to their courtship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WychMzHrCX4
Gamer, Researcher of strange things.
I'm a writer-editor hybrid whose writings on video games, technology and movies can be found across the internet. I've even ventured into the realm of current affairs on occasion but, unable to face reality, have retreated into expatiating on things on screens instead.