A Brief History Of Gay Marriage In Video Games

A Brief History Of Gay Marriage In Video Games

The US Supreme Court wasn’t just copying Fire Emblem when it ruled in favour of same-sex marriage today. Gay unions have been around for quite some time in video games. Let’s look back at marriage equality’s rich history in the virtual world.

Fallout 2

A Brief History Of Gay Marriage In Video Games

Widely regarded as the first video game to allow full-blown gay marriage, the iconic 1998 CRPG Fallout 2 beat the real-world state of California to the bunch by a full ten years. Kotaku’s very own Patricia Hernandez wrote a wonderful essay about how the game’s same-sex relationships option impacted her personally, which you can read over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.


As Fallout shows, RPGs led the charge for marriage equality in video games. The next big step came in 2004 with the release of the original Fable, which got a lot of attention at the time for the many ways it seemed to allow players to indulge in incredibly realistic life-like activities alongside all the usual monster-killing and loot-grinding RPGs are known for. Looking back, adding gay marriage into the mix of domestic activities Fable offered was an ingenious way to seamless introduce it to gamers’ — i.e., by appealing to many RPG fans taste for having as much freedom of choice in how they create and play as a character as possible. Fable creator Peter Molyneux famously said that allowing for gay marriages in his game wasn’t even a big deal.

The Sims

While The Sims has always allowed players’ Sims to have gay relationships, it wasn’t until 2009 that the one-of-a-kind life simulator actually let same-sex-Sims tie the knot. The original Sims didn’t feature marriage of any kind, while The Sims 2 only let gay Sims have something called a “joining party.” I guess that was the civil union of video games?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Continuing the tradition started by Fable and Fallout, Bethesda’s legendary Elder Scrolls finally joined the party with Skyrim in 2011. I hope that at least one gay couple got married with buckets on their heads.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Real Reborn

Two years after saying that FFXIV would not allow players to get gay married, the developers’ views officially evolved at last year’s E3, when game director Naoki Yoshida confirmed same-sex marriages as a thing. A Realm Reborn players put on an in-game gay pride parade to celebrate the change of heart. Adorable.

Fire Emblem Fates

A Brief History Of Gay Marriage In Video Games

A year after disappointing fans in the U.S. for its refusal to allow for gay marriages in its weird-as-fuck sim gay Tomodachi Life, Nintendo revealed this week that its latest Fire Emblem game will provide the option. To the company’s credit, it responded to fans’ outcry about Tomodachi Life with a sincere apology that promised the developers would “strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players” if they decided to make a sequel. Gay marriage or not, Tomodachi Life didn’t make much of a splash in the US, so I’m not confident we’ll ever see a sequel. It is nice to see they listened and applied the same principle to another of their games, though.

A Brief History Of Gay Marriage In Video Games

That’s all for now. But given the enormous stamp of approval the US Supreme Court just gave to gay marriage, I’m guessing that we’re going to start to see a lot more gay-friendly games coming out soon.


  • Funny enough I’ve never played any of these or the series they’re from.
    Just not my kind of games I guess. =)
    I’m Gay and am glad gaming has been so supportive.
    I don’t make a fuss when it’s not included, it’s their vision and their game, they honestly can do what they want =) but yes it’s a bit odd when we’re told to be ourselves and who we truly are within a game but we have to be in a straight relationship or keep the player character single and possibly miss out on content depending on the game. Fire Emblem has handled it a bit oddly but it’s better then nothing =) kind of weird that the Character that you can be with (“Zero” I believe) is a bit of a sadist, reminds me of Raikov from Metal Gear Solid 3. rambling nonsense here sorry about all this but yeah, it’s completely up to the developer but good to see how supportive it’s becoming =)

  • Not marriage but you could get your gay on in Ultima VII.. from memory only if you.were female though.. might be wrong. You could have sex with a unicorn though no matter your gender… so it had that going for it I guess…

  • It’s easy to miss there but I think it’s worth drawing extra attention to this article on Rock Paper Shotgun written by Patricia Hernandez back in 2012. I give her articles criticism where it’s due, and this one deserves credit where it’s due. It’s a great read and a great insight. Check it out.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!