As far as diversity in games goes, it’s hard to find one that allows options of gender beyond “male” and “female” and sometimes even ones where your options aren’t commented on in the world setting you play in. The Dragon Age series will have you facing sexism, attempted rape and fantasy-race racism (depending on if you choose any race that isn’t human, as the skin-tone of the characters plays no part in the story).
Choice of Games, a collection of text-based, multiple choice games for the PC and your mobile device, however, allows you to decide who you are and use these traits as an advantage, or at least let you be comfortable in playing the game as yourself or your own non-binary, bisexual jewel thief.
In Choice of Games’ large array of games to choose from – ranging from the zombie apocalypse, Anne Rice-esque vampire society, to superheroes or alien adventures – you take the seat as the main character of the story, and this character (in most games) is entirely up to you. Name, pronouns, race and sexual orientation can all be selected and usually only help to further the story rather than have someone quip about “a woman as a lawman in the wild west.”
Thieves’ Gambit: The Curse of the Black Cat is just one of these examples. In it, you are the world’s second-best jewel thief and just a few pages in you are asked about yourself with the usual options of “man/woman of many talents” and then… “A person of many talents.” And this isn’t a rare occurrence. Hollywood Visionary, The Hero of Kendrickstone, The Last Monster Master, Creatures Such as We, Choice of the Rock Star and Choice of the Dragon all have multi-gender options, or at least male, female or non-binary. Creatures Such as We even has the option to be trans, cis, non-binary or the ability to enter in your own gender identity!
While not all allow for gender diversity, most (if not all) allow for orientation and the option to romance people or not.
In one in particular, Choice of Broadsides, depending on which of the two gender options you select, the game will alter itself as either a more patriarchal society or a matriarchal one. The game is set in a fictional world, very similar to our own in most areas. If you select the female option, the world will instead be run by women and they will be the warriors and ship captains while the men stay behind at home tending to children and the household.
Among their titles they also host games made by those outside their staff that allow diversity as well.
While it’s hard enough out there to find a game that can give you a satisfying set of options when customizing your character, Choice of Games is there to help. Not only that, but if you’re interested in creating text-based games, they offer their ChoiceScript for free and then offer to host your game (giving you a share of the profits.)
Check out Choice of Games online, or download their titles on Steam, Apple iTunes, Android Market, Amazon Kindle or the Chrome Web Store!
Have you played any games from Choice of Games? Let us know what you think about them in the comments!