Offended Gay Gamer Wants Dragon Age 2 Writer Fired

Offended Gay Gamer Wants Dragon Age 2 Writer Fired

Last week we lauded BioWare writer David Gaider for his eloquent defence of the inclusion of love interests for players of any sexual orientation in Dragon Age 2. Now one gamer has started an internet petition asking that Gaider be fired for his poor portrayal of gay men.

You can’t please all of the Dragon Age 2 sexually all of the time; eventually you’d get tired, but David Gaider and the rest of the writing team for BioWare’s Dragon Age 2 tried their best, filling the game with enough men, women, and elves to please any sexual leaning they could imagine. There are men for women, women for men, men for men, and women for women.

Such was the variety that the developer was attacked last week in its forums by a player that felt the company had strayed too far from its core demographics: The straight male gamer.

David Gaider’s well-written response to this ridiculous claim left a warm fuzzy feeling in the hearts of many a gamer.

So why are more than 250 players calling for him to be fired?

The internet petition in questions claims that David Gaider is guilty of stereotyping gay men by creating a dynamic through which the player loses good standing with male love interests by not responding to their advances.

From the petition:

It felt very odd that my male companions kept making passes at me, when I never found any interest or even flirted with them. This sort of thing shows that gays are unable to be normal people and think nothing about sex. This is the type of garbage that has people believe that gays shouldn’t serve in the military. We are human beings that are the same as everyone else!

Of course gays are the same as everyone else. There are gay men that quietly keep their affections in check. There are gay men that approach relationships cautiously. And there are gay men that flirt. Some of them might even be offended if their flirting is taken poorly.

As GayGamer’s VorpalBunny points out, only one of the male characters acts this way, and Anders had issues to begin with. He’s pretty much got another man inside him all the time. He’s insatiable.

Is this a serious petition, or just a joke? Well I suppose any internet-based petition is a joke, but I doubt Mr. Gaider is currently shaking in his books or speculatively packing his things into cardboard boxes.

At the rate things are going, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dragon Age 3 was filled with featureless androgynous companions with nothing more than a passing interest in your characters’ penis or lack thereof.

Fire David Gaider for Stereotyping Gays [Bureau of Petitions via Escapist]


  • I hate to say it, but these petition-writers (which I’m assuming are genuine and have the best of intentions, ie. supporting gay rights etc) are going to do more damage than good with this sort of thing.

    What we have is a writer/staff of writers in an extremely hetero-centric, male dominated industry (cf. assumptions of that original poster mentioned before) attempting to be inclusive. Whether they get the balance right or not isn’t for me to say. But if you FIRE someone for it, what does that teach other writers?

    Writing sexuality is hard, whether its straight, gay, bisexual or things I don’t even have the capacity to imagine. So if you (the gay community in this case) backlash so hard that you fire someone over their attempt, that will only send the message that it is dangerous and job-threatening to try this sort of thing. Better stick with the stuff we’ve already established as safe. Ie. Lara Croft.

    By all means be critical, but voice your concerns in a constructive way. Not by trying to get some guy who IS TRYING TO HELP YOU fired.

    /golf clap gay petitioners.

    • Agree. David Gaider is just about the only writer I can think of who would even consider putting in gay/lesbian/bisexual romance options. Ditto goes for Bioware as a studio.

      This is counter-productive.

    • There was NOTHING “hetero-centric” about the game.

      People are only getting pissed off because a minority is shown as SLIGHTLY less than perfect.

      Is anybody complaining about the straight people that are shown as lushes or lechers?

      EVERYBODY gets hurt when they’re rejected. ALL the characters get jealous (even menacing) when they are engaged in a relationship (Isabella threatens to cut off your [email protected]$ if she finds out you cheated on her.

      Are gay people supposed to be portrayed as machines?

      The people who are complaining are selfish, and insecure with their sexuality.

  • Fing oversensitive people. Its a Fing game and the writers are entitled to write the way they like it. just as there are billions of Homo-erotic games in japan, if you dont like what you paid for – find something else.

  • Ugh, I am sick of people complaining about this. Bioware’s audience is literally unpleasable.
    Anders makes a pass at the main character, regardless of gender, because he’s desperate for someone to support him, and he’s lonely. This is fairly well established through his dialogue and actions – and hell, what is more isolating that being a possessed apostate in the world of DA?
    He also does this regardless of your gender, so I think it speaks more about the character’s needs rather than gay stereotyping. And there is more than one gay or bisexual character in DA2. They don’t all do it.

      • God, that’s an excellent point. Your gender really doesn’t affect Anders making a move on you. It really is just about his character needing affection.

        By the way, I feel the need to mention that when you very first meet Isabela, she makes a pass at you with that “I have a room at the Hanged Man if you’re looking for company line,” also regardless of your gender. So as a straight female, should I be offended that David Gaider thinks that’s how all straight females act? I’m already a little irritated that she’s able to carry a rack that large and get away with it, but I’m not gonna go and try to get a great writer fired because of one little thing I don’t appreciate about a character.

  • I’m still trying to figure out when it is that it became unacceptable for anybody to ever offend anybody in any way. Ever. We live in a free society where we enjoy freedom speech and freedom of expression (R18+ rating for games nowithstanding, of course). What that means is that people are going to say/write things that offend you. What you’re do is suck it up, or write/say something (hopefully) kind of intelligent in response. That’s the price you pay for being able to hold and express your OWN opinions which some other people might find offensive.

    But it seems somewhere along the line that’s gone out the window and instead whenever somebody gets offended by what somebody else has said or written they just p*ss and moan about it and demand apologies or demand people get fired etc etc.

    It seems to be due to people getting lazier and lazier – it’s a hell of a lot easier to just whine about something than to actually engage in some kind of intelligent debate or discussion about it. People who are ineffectual nothings most of the time get to feel like they’ve actually influenced something if they’re able to extract an apology or even get somebody fired from their job.

    That’s the Friday morning rant taken care of. Roll on the weekend!

    • A hundred times this.

      Just because you happen to be offended by something does not necessarily mean it is offensive.
      And if you are, deal with it! You can’t expect everyone else in the world to conform to your own opinion and sensibilities.
      I really think a lot of the western world needs to stop demanding bubble-wrap security blankets and have a cup of cement.

  • All Bioware companions are unable to be normal people and think nothing about sex (or should that be “think about nothing but sex”?), what makes the gay characters so special in this regard?

  • Build a bridge, get over it. I’m not gonna lose any sleep over the fact an elf tried to hit on me… IN A VIDEOGAME.

  • The thing I love about people complaining about Anders, is that he is a gay/bisexual man and is a single example of a such a character not a representative of all gay/bisexual people. His character is flawed, confused, needy and torn but that not because of his sexuality but because of a certain spiritual condition he is afflicted with.

  • The petition was started by a poster who complained about the same sex content and got nowhere. He also made several other accounts to add support to his claims on the forum.

    Regular posters were pointing out the same language, written style and post format between the straight poster, outraged “gay” poster and the several other new accounts that all agreed. and many others then took to twitter to show their support for David Gaider who eventually stopped by their site to thank them back on March 28.

    The online petition to support Gaider created in response to the one requesting he be fired apparently has twice the number of signatures.

  • Why not just sue whoever allowed Bioware to be brought out by EA – Resulting in a game developer who is as soulless as the Australian Christian Lobby?

  • Similar to what Meresti said, from everything I’ve read David Gaider has many, many more supporters than critics among Bioware fans.

    For people on Bioware’s forums arguing for greater diversity in their other games, especially the Mass Effect series (and I’m more than occasionally one of them), he’s very literally lauded for his commitment to non-straight characters in games and the intelligent way he responds to critics. Blasting a supposed supporter – especially one as unique as Bioware in this industry – is silly. There are far worse alternatives.

    I don’t understand the view of the petition at all: one character isn’t a commentary on all gay people; it certainly wasn’t intended that way and shouldn’t be interpreted as such.

    There’s a propensity for people to get offended easily (I do this more often than I’d like), and I get why – but arguing for someone to lose their job is ridiculous.

  • I hope that these ridiculous hate comments towards the writer and his work are not taken into consideration in the next game.I felt that this game was intended for as many as possible. When I played a female you had no indication that the male characters would be homosexual while they were together and it felt just as real as the counter homosexual side.

    It is great that both sides of the coin are available for everyone and it should always be that way.

    Those resistant to support companions being more diversified are holding the world back with nothing more than unnecessary negativity.

    I loved the game and I loved it for the story and characters. Thank you to all those who created this!

  • Or Maybe… JUST MAYBE
    They wanted to give the player flexibility so that if the first couple of chances were skipped butthen they decided later on they wanted to pursue the romance subplot, then they could.


  • Really, my biggest concern with DA2 is how cheaply its been made. Recycled dungeons? Stupid bugs (isabela’s boon for one… my rogue has been screwed over by being permanently slowed due to the accrued permanent 5% slower bug. This is literally a game breaker, I can’t beat things on CASUAL because of this, and there’s no fix without restarting. GOOD JOB BIOWARE)
    The writing is the best part of the game.

  • As a gaymer, I find it amusing that this is such a big deal to so many people.

    Just play the f’ing game. Sheesh!

  • This is shit. Why is everyone getting so hot and heavy over this thing.
    There are male flirts and female flirts.
    You’d think people would rather argue about gay rights in the real world… Not how 1 of them acts in a video game. U want to get pissed off about how gay people are portrayed go watch ‘ Pinapple Dance Studio’ now that’ll get you pissed off more than this

  • Gaider is the one giving gay people bad stereotypes.
    People are starting to get irritated that so many gay people are playing victim all the time.

    If he wants to be treated like any other person like he claims, then he has to take everything that comes with it…including being made fun of like everybody else.

    • Sorry my mistake.

      Rephrasing “Gaider is the one giving gay people bad stereotypes.”..

      to “The petition starter is the one giving gay people bad stereotypes”…

      Gaider is the good guy here.

  • I can’t believe a fellow gay man is seriously trying to petition Gaider to be fired. Yes, I personally found Anders to be a whiny flamboyant character that graded my nerves, but I also have met many gay men that are whiny flamboyant stereotypes that grade my nerves. That is his personality. He did add and interesting dynamic to the game.

    I want to state that flirting does not always mean sex. People flirt all the time, in many ways it’s a human pass time. Flirting with someone who gives you the cold shoulder always leaves a bad taste in your mouth whether your gay or straight, man or woman. It’s realistic to loose points for rejection. Arguing against that is simply ignoring reality. Grow up, grow some balls and start representing yourself instead of worrying about stereotype portrayal.

  • that’s SUCH a stupid petition, gay men making passes all the time, REALLY?

    such a stupid reason, anders in fact is not even GAY if you actually listen to him he falls in love for PERSONALITY not based on gender, therefore making him not gay & even if he was, so what? the writers were not like “ALL GAY MEN ACT LIKE THIS” they made a character, him liking both men & women played a small part in a huge picture

  • >>It felt very odd that my male companions kept making passes at me, when I never found any interest or even flirted with them….//snipped//

    um. ..Anders acted that way toward me and I’m female (playing a female character). I liked the depth of characterization in the story and felt Anders very well portrayed someone fanatically driven yet also desperately seeking approval. WELL DONE to the writers.

  • As a gay guy I was just thrilled that I actually had options. SO many games dont have anything like this at all so I usually play as a female just so I can get in a relationship with the guy I want.

    To have the freedom to choose (almost) anyone in my party was awesome. I spent 95% of DA:O bitching about how I couldn’t get it on with Alistair & the only option was a man-whore I had zero interest in. I hope more game companies take this approach makes me want to play & more importantly BUY these games.

    Game has awesome game play & characters may just dl it. Game has awesome game play characters AND I can have a relationship with a companion of the same sex for me this is insta win & I will buy this to show my support for the company going out of their way to include everyone

  • Ummm…I played a female character with the intent of romancing women and Anders flirted with me and then got mad at me for rebuffing him. So it doesn’t only happen to the gay man.

    And for the no homo option, why can’t I have a no hetero option? As a lesbian I think I’m being underrepresented and now going to whine about it.

    That guy should go jump up a tree.

  • Holy batman! A game with gay people that are gay, not just stupid??! No way!!!! Where do I get this bit of magic? I love gaming and I am gay as hell, about time I get a gay icon and whip some ass…….um well….I mean kick some ass. Thanks Zander for opening the door for gay game icons! My hero!

  • Im a huge gay rights activist.
    But you know what?
    Not this time.
    The Anders character is clingy and needy and falls in love with you no matter what your character is.
    You get snide remarks about your love life whether its a straight or gay relationship.
    It seems people only play through the game as their own gender, and assume that these things are strictly directed at them, to offend them.
    They are not.
    I was not offended when Anders basically gave me the option to be with him, or to get rivalry points as femHawke. THATS HIS CHARACTER. And to be honest, I found him quite charming.
    FemHawke gets the same treatment from Isabella as she treats male Hawke. Merrill wants to sleep with you whether youre male or female.
    Come off it. Would you rather people pretend that gay relationships dont exist, and ban them from the gaming world? Or make one gay character that you can either be happy with or gtfo?
    They cant do everything. Unless you want a party of 500 people, each one a loose representation of something someone would be romantically interested in, then you can either deal with what they make, or dont play.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!