Video games have struggled with some of the same issues as pop culture at large when dealing with homosexuality; some characters have been described "campy" at best and offensive at worst, and lesbian relations at times exist primarily for titillation.
Also challenging is the reaction to such characters from gamers themselves. When commenters criticized 2011's "Dragon Age II," whose characters essentially operate as bisexuals, for not appealing to the "straight male gamers," a senior writer of the game David Gaider took to the forum itself to respond:
"The romances in the game are not for 'the straight male gamer'. They're for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention."
The "rights" of anyone with regards to a game are murky at best, but anyone who takes that stance must apply it equally to both the minority as well as the majority. The majority has no inherent "right" to get more options than anyone else."
It's seemingly appropriate then that one of the most mainstream game franchises, "The Sims," developed on pace with public opinion at large on gay marriage. In "The Sims," released in 2000, same-sex couples could move in together but could not "marry"—which was more of a singular action for heterosexual couples rather than a formalized permanent relationship anyway. 2004's "The Sims 2" featured formal marriages for heterosexual couples, but called them "joined unions" for gay pairings. By 2009, marriage was on option for both straight and gay couples in "Sims 3," and with the "Generations" expansion, gay teens could even take one another to the prom.
No matter how the Supreme Court rules on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, many believe that there is no going back for marriage equality. If they're right, and nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage is only a matter of time, and reality will finally catch up to virtual attitudes towards same-sex relationships.
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4/5/13: A previous version of this article misstated the publishing date of “Fallout 2.” It was published in 1998.