So far E3 2018 has been an incredible showing for representation. Several AAA games and known franchises are showcasing diversity in its purest form. Whether its Ellie in The Last of Us Part II or the female protagonist in Gears 5, representation in video games is finally improving. The last couple of years have already seen some improvements, characters like Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn have proved that the gaming community is finally mature enough to handle strong female leads.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is going to take representation one step further. Not only can you play as a woman for the first time in the series’ console history (Aveline in the Vita was streets ahead) but you can also engage in same sex relationships. Nothing changes if you choose male over female or vice versa. All the dialogue is slightly tweaked but story and choices remain identical, this includes the relationships. There will be many choices of this game that evolve and impact the story, romances included. Ubisoft has taken the decision akin to Bioware to include same sex relationships to ensure that no content is locked from any players.
Considering that most gaming plots are still dominated by white, middle-aged male protagonists then it is incredibly important to diversify player options. Only then will the audience attracted to gaming start to expand. It’s excellent to see a company like Ubisoft step up, as it is also excellent to see Naughty Dog reaffirm Ellie’s sexuality in The Last of Us Part II. As we still have homophobic attitudes in the gaming community, ranging from claiming that homosexuality is a choice to downright hate speech, representation from developers like this is incredibly important to ensure that anyone feels welcome in our gaming community and our hobby.
Here at thelootgaming.com, we are a totally inclusive website. Anyone is welcome and no one will be judged for their choice of sexuality, identification, religion or race. Congratulations to Ubisoft, Bioware, and Naughty Dog; hopefully other developers begin to follow suit!