The kiss of Ellie in The Last of Us 2 and other gay relationships in video games

On the occasion of Ellie’s kiss in The Last of Us Part 2, shown during the Sony conference at E3 2018, we reviewed other occasions in which video games have treated gay relationships with maturity and respect.

One of the most commented moments of the E3 2018 was the beginning of the conference of Sony : the Japanese company decided to open with one of their most anticipated games for PS4, The Last of Us: Part II , and in a very, very special way: showing Ellie , the protagonist of the adventure, sharing a very tender moment with Dina (the new character in this installment played by the actress Shannon Woodward) that culminated in a romantic kiss.
While there have been certain voices that have opposed this demonstration of gay love (you have the door right there, close when you leave), this gesture is a milestone in the industry: that a giant like Sony open its conference at the fair of The world’s largest and most important video game with a demonstration of gay love, is an unequivocal sign that something is changing in an industry that has been stagnating for too many years, crying out for an honest representation of the LGBT community that flee from clichés and ridicule.

We want to celebrate the beautiful moment that the media is experiencing by reviewing some of the occasions in which videogames have treated gay relationships with the respect and maturity they deserve. In other words: we want to continue celebrating love in video games.

Mass Effect 3

With the Mass Effect saga, Bioware has been one of the companies that has given more prominence to same-sex relationships, being the game where more and better Mass Effect 3 shine . It is true that the thing is tricky, because we are talking about possible romances: it is up to us to choose who Maleshep or Femshep aresentimentally involved with .

In addition, they have had their more and less (shocks, above all, how bad they were taken the homosexual romances in Mass Effect: Andromeda launch), but his work when it comes to representing gay relationships in video games is undeniable. If we had to stay with one in particular, we would probably choose the romance between Shepard and Kaidan , because of the naturalness with which they develop their dialogues.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

We do not go far to talk about the Dragon Age saga, also Bioware, and specifically the (so far) last installment: Dragon Age: Inquisition , where we find Dorian, a homosexual magician who, despite the traditions involved sorcery, does not hide its orientation at any time and embraces it with all naturalness. Again, and as in Mass Effect, the Inquisitor maintains a romantic relationship with Dorian is only a possibility, but being the first fully gay character in a Dragon Age and considering how well written it is, we could not leave out.

The Last of Us

(The following text contains ‘spoilers’ of the first The Last of Us and its DLC, Left Behind).

Even though Ellie’s kiss is now only spoken of in The Last of Us 2 , the first The Last of Us already included LGTB representation. On the one hand, in the main campaign, we have Bill, a survivor who joins temporarily (and uncomfortably) with Joel and Ellie. The fact that he is homosexual is maintained in a semi-hidden way (if we do not discover the notes where his relationship with Frank is revealed can go unnoticed), so it is not the most remarkable example of a relationship. The one that deserves more attention is the one we see in Left Behind , the DLC for the original adventure where Naughty Dog made clear Ellie’s sexual orientation.

Throughout the DLC, we see that there is a mutual attraction between Ellie and her friend Riley, but none dares to openly express their feelings. Luckily, in the end both of them are sincere and share a kiss that we are sure would have led to a beautiful lesbian relationship … But the cordyceps interposed between them.

Gone Home

(The following text contains ‘spoilers’ of Gone Home).

The case of Gone Home is quite particular, mainly because at no time do we contemplate the relationship in a traditional way … Although that does not make it less beautiful. Instead, we discover it through the diaries that Samantha, Katie’s sister, has left in her old house. Through these writings, we discover a coming-of-agestyle story  that narrates the problems that Sam had to face to accept and be accepted, how he managed to find comfort in Lonnie’s arms, and how that consolation was transformed into affection and , finally, love.

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm

The first Life Is Strange gave us the opportunity to make Max and Chloe were romantically involved, though in a somewhat subtle form (to leave the door open to friendship; we are talking about a game that revolves around making decisions, the end of the day). And until Life is Strange 2 arrives , that this event is part of the canon or is not in the air.

In Life is Strange: Before the Storm , however, there is no subtlety: if we decide that Chloe and Rachel are to be together, both express their feelings openly and uncritically. And it is beautiful. Because Life is Strange reflects as few the insecurity, the joy, the worries and the awkwardness of adolescent love. And, honestly, although Dontnod came out now saying that in both games everything is a beautiful friendship, we have it clear: the gay option is the only correct option in Life is Strange.

The Red Strings Club

The Red Strings Club is one of the best Spanish games of recent years, and if you have not yet played this narrative adventure set in a future cyberpunk, you should stop reading right now and go for it. But besides being characterized by a magnificent script, which constantly invites us to question our perception and philosophy about many aspects of life, the game of Deconstructeam is led by a gay couple: the barman / information trafficker Donovan and the pianist / hacker / activist Brandeis. And it is a relationship treated with a tenderness, naturalness and awe-inspiring respect. It is also not the only case of LGBT characters that we find, and that is that The Red Strings Club is undoubtedly an example of representation in video games.

Night in the Woods

Night in the woods 4

We could give a thousand reasons to play Night in the Woods , starting with his great representation of mental illnesses and what they suppose (something we have also recently seen in the magnificent Celeste ). But the reason he is here is because part of his cast of characters belongs to the LGTB collective, starting with Mae, the protagonist, who is pansexual. But undoubtedly the most remarkable case is that of  Gregg and Angus , a homosexual couple that maintains a loving relationship.

In fact, we would dare to say that this is the best representation of a gay relationship we have seen in the world of virtual entertainment. Your secret? Standardization. At no time is their orientation used as a means to surprise or focus on this fact, as if it were something exceptional: they have a relationship full of bad and good times, fear and tenderness, anger and sincerity. Like any relationship, go.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

To finish, we will allow us the luxury of including a game that is not yet for sale: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey . For the first time, the popular saga of Ubisoft will allow us to choose the genre of the main character, being able to opt for Kassandra or Alexios. And, also for the first time in the saga, Odissey has a system of dialogues (in the purest Bioware style) that gives us the possibility, among other things, to engage in loving relationships with other characters, regardless of their gender (something that , in case there were doubts, it is faithful to the historical context of this delivery). Although in the past they had some missteps, Ubisoft continues to demonstrate that currently and in terms of collective representation, they are one of the leading companies.

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