Asexuality Was Once the Default Orientation for Video Game Characters

Gameranx recently featured an essay about someone who had their Shepard play through the game as an Asexual character. The writer wanted to make a point about gaming and how it is okay to be Asexual, but it seems he has missed many years of gaming. The romance options were only tacked into games recently. The old 8-bit and 16-bit games did not have as much plot as the modern games that a person plays on a PC, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 do. It did not matter if Sonic the Hedgehog had a love interest in the Sega Genesis games. Mario probably never did anything more than kiss Princess Peach. Much like cartoon characters are assumed not to have sexual orientations, video game characters were assumed not to be sexual either.

If Bioware had not decided to put the romance options into Mass Effect, the gamers would still assume that the character was whatever the player wanted them to be. The programmers may not have attempted to try to put a specific Asexual plot in for Shepard, but they assumed they did not need to include such a plot in the first place. The romance plot, unlike the plots in Dragon Age, was an afterthought and an add on.

While it would be nice to suggest that choosing to make a character that is Asexual shows that Asexuality is okay, that does very little. If the poster wanted visibility in video games, the poster should have lobbied for adding Asexual options to each character.


My Shepard is Asexual and That's Okay

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