Virtual Same Sex Marriage Is Thriving In This Online Fantasy Game

You can play as an orc or dark elf in loads of massively multiplayer online games. But you can’t marry someone of the same gender in most of them. That's not the case in Nexon's Mabinogi.

The marriage guide for the cartoony role-playing game explicitly states that “a wedding can take place between two players of the opposite or the same genders.” That option came to the Korean-developed game in October 2012 and it’s proven to be a meaningful addition for the game’s players. Look at these stats from Nexon:

  • 30 per cent of same sex weddings have taken place between two male avatars
  • 70 per cent of same sex weddings have taken place between two female avatars
  • 9 per cent of all in-game marriages in total have been between two male avatars
  • 22 per cent of all in-game marriages in total have been between two female avatars

Same-sex marriage has become a trending political issue both in the United States and worldwide, with a recently passed law in France being upheld as constitutional. No such law exists in either North or South Korea and portrayals of homosexuality — while on the rise in televised dramas — are still relatively rare. So it’s fairly significant that Nexon ran counter to their home country’s relatively conservative cultural mores and added same-sex marriage to Mabinogi.

There’s one exception to the game's marry-who-you-want freedom, though: "However, because Elves and Giants oppose each other, an Elf character and a Giant character cannot get married."

Elves and giants, the Capulets and Montagues of our time.


    But what are the bets that the majority of female-female weddings have been between avatars both played by males.

      Isnt that the same thing in the end?

      I would hope that by the time they get to marriage, they've used voice chat at least once. Anything less, and the players are likely to be considering marriage on gameplay terms rather than as some meaningful relationship.

        and what does voice chat have to do with a meaningful relationship..

          It would usually clear up whether a person is male or female. It wouldn't do any more than that though.

        Marriage in F2P MMOs is not the 'bond' that you are thinking of. Most F2P MMOs, especially those from East Asia give some benefits to being married. I only have experience with MapleStory so far but a lot of 'couples' just get married so that they can have access to a party quest with really good rewards. Looking briefly through the Mabinogi wiki I see the main benefit would be access to the Family system.

        It looks to me that Mabinogi did the right thing by removing the pain in the bum barrier of having to find an opposite sex partner and just let you marry anyone.

      and then you have 2 sad sad men playing as female avatars beating off over the thought of their female avatars having lesbian sex...........

        Or 2 strange men, who know they are both men, and yet still find something to beat off to over the thought of 2 female avatars having lesbian sex.

    I would hazard to say the larger proportion of female to female relationships is due to Male players playing female characters marrying their female partners female characters. The proportion for male/female ratios considering the generally higher male demographics would indicate there is definitely a bias.

    Also the progressive gameplay benefit would factor into many people doing it for the stats.

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