Gay-Nerds.com’s Top 10 LGBT Video Game Characters list is finally over. The GN staff scoured video game history, searching for characters who best represent the LGBT community in all of its forms, break conventions, and pave the way for future characters. The choice was not easy.
In case you missed any of them (you slackers), we’ve gathered all ten articles into one place just for you. Don’t forget to join the discussion in our forums and share your thoughts on who should have made the list!
10. Crassius Curio – The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
RPGs seem to come in two types: the kind where everyone falls in love, has interspecies sex, and sees ten seconds of blue alien side boob, and the kind where the world needs to be saved NOW, leaving no room for the softer side of life. Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series definitely falls in the latter group, especially Morrowind. With the threat of blight from Red Mountain always in people’s minds, and a mysterious cult springing up all over the island, romance seems quickly forgotten…
9. Oerba Yun Fang and Oerba Dia Vanille – Final Fantasy 13
Final Fantasy 13 made necessary changes to tired JRPG conventions, using a freely flowing battle system and proving that engrossing RPGs can still come from the East. Alternatively, it was a death knell for Square-Enix’s decade old domination of the RPG genre, leading players by the eyes around beautiful, but mostly inaccessible environments and restricting the ability to explore and have fun. Gamers are never going to agree on FFXIII, except that the characters Fang and Vanille are big old lezzies.
8. Arcade Gannon – Fallout: New Vegas
I honestly had no idea that Arcade was gay until I read more about his character. It’s not that there weren’t hints or that Obsidian were afraid of exposing him as sexual; it’s just that Arcade was simply a guy who happened to like guys. Unlike some other role playing games with gay characters, Arcade’s raison d’etre wasn’t his gayness. He has a very intricate backstory and personality produced a very ethical and likable man who could serve you very well if you decide to interact with him, and who could also stand his own ground if you act against him.
7. The Sims – The Sims, of course
Somewhere deep within the Maxis compound more than a decade ago, Will Wright proposed the idea of smashing a doll house and a God Complex together into one video game where players lead in-game people throughout the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Players would be in complete control of what their little people did, if they succeeded, and who they worked with towards whatever goal they wanted. The creator of Sim City was giving players to do effectively whatever the wanted through vicarious living, and the world of gaming was forever changed.
6. Vamp – Metal Gear Solid Series
LGBT characters rarely get the chance to be badass. Stereotypical representation often relegates them to sidekick or useless party member roles more suited for running away from action than straight into a gunfight. But not every limp wrist is afraid to shed a bit of blood (and then maybe lap it up). Vamp, from the Metal Gear Solid series, shows how LGBT characters can be ruthless mercenaries, just like everyone else. Yay equality!
5. Birdo – Super Mario Bros. 2
Everyone has that annoying friend that likes to try to show how smart he/she is and how “hardcore” of a gamer they are by pointing out that Super Mario Bros. 2 was actually a reskinning of a game called Doki Doki Panic. Sometimes they realize that everyone under the age of 30 40 50 who has ever played Pong knows that bit of trivia, so they jump this next gem:
“Well, did you know that Birdo was actually a guy in Mario 2 and then later he was changed to a girl to be Yoshi’s girlfriend, but sometimes in Japan they still call him a girl, and that his name is Catherine WHY CAN’T YOU SEE HOW HARDCORE I AM!?!1?”
4. Venom – Guilty Gear X
Surprise! Expecting another character from Guilty Gear, maybe one in a nun habit? While Bridget may be the go-to-guy when it comes to LGBT representation in fighting games, a look under the skirt will show that he doesn’t really belong. He’s just a kid in a dress whose entire time as a bounty hunter serves to prove his masculinity despite his choice of clothing, and he is not a homosexual or transgendered person as so many are quick to assume.
3. Jimmy Hopkins – Bully, also known as Canis Canem Edit
At some point, we were all snot nosed, street rat children, running around thinking we knew everything about everything and talking about how gross girls/boys are. It’s okay, we all were, so you can stop calling yourself “mature for your age.” But eventually, something downstairs tingles in the right way, and suddenly those icky girls/stupid boys seem a bit more tolerable.
2. Kanji Tatsumi – Persona 4
The Shin Megami Tensei series is no stranger to mature content. Over the past 20 years, the series has seen teenagers fight manage wars between gods and mankind, face the deepest corners of their psyches, and kill their best friends in order to restore peace to the world. It’s fitting that they are also one of the few series in gaming that can create a character who is not defined by his or her sexuality, but who uses them to grow as a person. Persona 4?s Kanji Tatsumi may be the most believable not-entirely-sexual-or-gender-normative character we have seen thus far in a Japanese made game.
1. Bioware, the entire company – Uhhhhh, Canada?
Yes, Bioware won our illustrious #1 choice as the best overall LGBT video game character. Someone reading this right now feels a little butthurt about Gay-Nerds “dodging the choice.” Well, no, we’re not really dodging anything.
Don’t worry, there’s a total recap discussion in the forums, too. Check it out here.