FenCayne wrote:Christina - F - Welsh - Latent Bi (Character identifies as heterosexual but can be 'seduced' by a persistent and sincere Ann)
Neville - M - Welsh - Latent Bi (Character identifies as heterosexual but can be 'seduced' by a persistent and sincere Arthur)
While I am glad these characters now are open to more than one gender identity (someone was kind enough to show me the original chart), I have a slight problem.*
REALLY love the idea that you can 'turn' two of the characters with sincere persistence!
You see, there's a problem here. Queer identified people are often subject to a vicious myth that they are constantly trying to 'convert' straight people into their 'lifestyles,' and the idea of 'seducing' or 'persuading' them to be 'bisexual' feeds into another stereotype that bisexual people have been 'corrupted' from their 'natural state' by the influencing of other people.
There are an infinite
number of other ways of going about a similar story (of a presumed heterosexual person realizing they harbor feelings for someone of a similar or same gender identity) without falling into such tried, tired (and untrue) tropes - for example while I am not a huge fan of the 'Only if its You' idea, it can have some truth in it, without falling into the uncomfortable idea of seducing/'sincerely' badgering someone into 'turning.'
I appreciate where you're coming from, ChaosMorning, but I think I owe everyone an explanation about the origins and development of Christina and Neville's homosexual story arcs.
A while ago, j20019 posted elsewhere on these forums
“Remember Jade Empire (One of Bioware's best IMO)? In it, the Yuri path had a unique spin to it: As usual, the PC was the initiator, but the love interest was straight (or rather, she never was interested in women before meeting the protag).
It was (to me) wicked hot, as my female character seduced a straight woman (and a normally dominant straight woman at that). It was sad that Bioware never went down this path again. I was hoping for Ashley in Mass Effect 3, but the door was slammed shut on that one :p”
Although I never found this particular storyline in Jade Empire (having the digital dexterity of a three-toed sloth on Prozac tended to make my progress slow and painful on that one, despite loving the art direction and setting), I too thought this was quite a neat idea. And honestly, before I looked it up to make this post, I thought the original poster was a regular here voicing some significant homosexual (or at least lesbian) body of opinion. But perhaps they mostly lurk, and posted this siren call to lure me to my doom. Or something.
So I had j20019's post in the back of my mind, and from the original design doc I inherited from Jack's original Roger Steel writer we had Christina and Neville. Now Christina and Neville were always going to be foils to those sassy go-getters Ann & Arthur, because that's the way buddy stories go. At least in my experience. But then, what the heck do I know?
Anyways, when I came to write the script, they emerged as grounded, rather serious, down-to-earth characters who (because opposites attract, right?) had somehow forged firm friendships with the Trevelyans which had survived numerous long-duration and long-distance separations. As reserved, shy people – even, in Neville's case, a kind of high-functioning autistic – they were never going to make the first move romance-wise. Not heterosexual, not homosexual. No way. No how. Not ever in a million years. They value Ann and Arthur's friendship too much to take the risk of spoiling it by coming out with their feelings and risking rejection which would taint what friendship might remain.
And coming from the deeply traditional backgrounds they do, it's quite possible that they never even considered there were any other kinds of sexual relationship beyond that between man and woman. Whatever desires they have towards their same-sex friend have been sublimated into deep and abiding friendship.
Also, wearing my storyteller's hat (which is really quite fetching), I didn't want Christina and Neville to emerge as default romance choices. They are the only party members for the first couple of Episodes, there was a risk that players might feel 'pressured' to deepen the relationships with Neville/Christina to a point where, once the other party members appeared, it might smack of betrayal for them to begin exploring other romance options.
And, finally, I know that there are players out there who just want to play Roger Steel as a straight (no pun intended) explorin', fightin', lootin', craftin' steampunk RPG with a party of buddies without the mushy romantic stuff spoiling the whole thing. So they certainly don't want Neville or Christina coming on to them hot'n'heavy in the first few scenes of the movie, er, I mean game.
So those are the structural reasons why I made the Neville and Christina romances as I presented them above. To make it crystal clear, in story terms the homo and hetero story arcs for these characters are functionally identical
. Ann or Arthur are always going to be the front runners on these guys. If you want to romance them, you have to chase them.