Tracey John recently interviewed some people at Bioware and among the questions asked included one about the lack of homosexual relationships in Mass Effect 2. The article had a quote from Casey Hudson, the Mass Effect 2 project lead, “We still view it as… if you’re picturing a PG-13 action movie. That’s how we’re trying to design it. So that’s why the love interest is relatively light. …”
So, does that mean that homosexuality is R rated? I saw the implicit claim here that heterosexuality is PG-13, normal, but homosexuality is “dirtier” and deserves a stronger rating. I find that claim offensive. Love is good no matter the gender of the individuals. But the problem with this comment goes further than simply implying that homosexual sex is only acceptable for more mature audiences than heterosexual sex. A large problem with this quote is that Mass Effect as well as Mass Effect 2 are M RATED games! These games already have the equivalent of an R rating for movies. So, is he implying that gay sex in video games deserves an even stronger rating? Is it seen as deserving of an Adults Only rating? It was possible to have a male Grey Warden character in Dragon Age Origins have a sexual relationship with the male party member Zevran. This Bioware game was rated M, just like Mass Effect 2. Bioware has already shown that they are willing to have homosexual relationships in M rated games. So what makes Mass Effect 2 different and why the PR spin? Is it simply because they felt Mass Effect 2 would be purchased by more people than Dragon Age Origins and they did not want to offend some of those consumers? If that is the case then I would like to remind Bioware and other companies that some of their consumers are gay. We are gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, pansexual, queer, male, and female and we all count as gamers.