Because many people, including myself, are not part of the gender binary and are more comfortable to have an avatar in a game with a similar gender identity as ourselves. There is little to no representation of nonbinary character, especially in the way of protagonists, in many many games, and other forms of media, and when we’re not represented, it adds to our erasure across society - that is to say, people do not think we exist. But when the option is here in FL, it’s a breath of fresh air. We can be represented. We can be ourselves. And for crying out loud, it’s incredibly closeminded of you to assume nonbinary persons cannot have sex. Excuse you? If we so choose, we are perfectly capable, thank you very much. If someone wants a character who is strictly homosexual, great, make a binary character who only shows attraction to someone of the same gender. It’s that easy. Don’t pick the nonbinary gender option for your character. But for us, who are so scantly represented everywhere else, Fallen London is a goddamn oasis where I can be a genderqueer person who sleeps with whoever the hell they want and gets called sir and ma’am and is confused for each all the time. It makes me feel like I have a place. It, dare I say it, gives me empowerment.
We exist. And we like to have a place in media just like binary people. Good day to you.
Yeah, exactly this. I don’t see any way that giving people a nonbinary option to utilize if they so wish is a problem. Some people are fine calling themselves (or their characters) men or women. Some people, however, exist in a world where everyone everywhere is telling them they have to choose, from what pronouns they are referred to as constantly to nearly every single silly Internet site they sign up for telling them they have to pick between male and female regardless of if it has anything at all to do with the function of the website, and it’s frustrating and exhausting to have to pick between one lie or another every. single. day. I cannot begin to tell you how I felt a few weeks ago when FL had a survey for the demographics of its userbase and the options for the player’s gender were male, female, and “I don’t feel comfortable with either of those labels—not everyone does”. Because that is the essence of the reason for that option—not everyone is male or female, and not everyone wants to have to choose between those two, and that is okay. I’ve known several people who started playing FL just because that option is available there when it is available hardly anywhere else. Isn’t that reason enough?
Another result of my lazy blogging that I should have put a bit more effort into. It may interest readers to know that I’m currently a female on Facebook in protest of the removal of the “unspecified” gender - which I would choose, though identifying as male.
It was (is) only an issue of the physical gender of the PC - player character. I’ll assume “gender identity” is what’s acceptable these days to refer to one’s gender that they best identify to. So, in terms of sexuality, we’ve got a character (not PC) in the game who is homosexual and only wants to lay with a man.
It’s not about StoryNexus, and that’s important. I’m asking on related tags because I’ll be creating something similar (and very different) to StoryNexus soon. In this application - this game engine - we’ll have the ability to create characters (not PCs) and assign them various attributes. Homosexuality, bisexuality, and hetero will have to be included in this, because it is possible for the PC to have a relationship with every character. Like The Sims. Some of these will be romantic, and I do think we’ll be tending to bisexuality much more often than not. But it should be said that some characters will want absolutely none of a certain gender; homosexuals and heterosexuals. For this, it is unrealistic to have a character of ambiguous gender. There is either a penis or vagina on this person.
My solution (thanks to you both, so far) is that I’ll keep physical gender at m/f. As far as the engine’s “gender” is concerned, it will just be considered no more than something to check against. Meaning they can be dynamic, in case we need a third, fifth, or a single gender. There will be a gender identity setting as well, proposed with character creation alongside the physical gender. Think bubble check boxes. This should satisfy the pronouns and related issues. Unfortunately I have a feeling this will not satisfy you. Tell me what you think.
Alright, I’m reading over this a few times and obviously I don’t have any experience with your game, so I might be misunderstanding a few things, but I’ll do my best from what I am understanding.
So one of your problems with having a gender-neutral character is that they will not fit in with the binary labels of hetero/homo/bisexual, and it would make things like 1) choosing a sexuality for this character out of those offered rather difficult/impossible, and 2) figuring out how others and their sexualities will perceive the character and whether or not they will be attractive / potential dating material.
One way that you can accommodate a nonbinary gender option is, instead of making you checkboxes “heterosexual” “homosexual” and “bisexual”, you have an Interested In set of boxes where you offer the options “men” “women” “nonbinary genders / other / ??? [I am not quite sure what to label this box, but hopefully you get the idea and other people can offer suggestions if you are interested in going that route]”. Allow people to check as many or few boxes in that section as they wish. An “uninterested” option would be neat for asexuality/aromanticism’s sake, but that is a whole other can of worms that I would rather not touch on deeply without more than the most barebones knowledge of what your game is going to be like. But with those options, everyone’s characters (presumably) will be identifying as either male, female, or otherwise, and therefore will all have the ability to be a gender someone is attracted to, while neatly sidestepping the ickiness of binary sexuality labels (I understand that they have their place and are very useful labels for many people! but as we can see here they become next to useless for anyone with a nonbinary gender involved in the scenario).
I am slightly sticky about how in your post you seem to be elevating physical sex over gender identity in regards to importance—I understand that for a lot of people in sexual relationships, the actual bits in someone’s pants are often important in one way or another, but your post read to me as “They may be a woman, and be able to check a box that says that they are a woman and will be pronoun’d as a woman, but every dateable character is going to base this character’s dateability on what is in their pants, so straight women will be attracted to her and gay men will be attracted to her” which is…kinda weird and a little transphobic, because you’re still kind of equating man with penis and woman with vagina. Is your game actually going to go through the motions of having sex where you have to know the pantsbits of the character to write your sex scenes? or is most of the onscreen stuff just the dating, with the sexual content implied? Because I am not very sure that there are very many situations where the pantsbits of a character are actually relevant in a game and in scenes unless you are actually writing out sex scenes, in which case…someone else may have to step in to help you, because that is far out of my jurisdiction.
Hopefully the checkboxes idea is a little bit less complicated than the other way you were thinking about, and this makes some sort of sense?