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Illegal Calculus

First Ever Confirmed Representation in Video Games

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Illegal Calculus

                 Before I announce this, I should first explain a few vital details.  In terms of representation for asexuality, there are two defining criteria: confirmed and canonical.  Canonical is simple, it essentially asks if the character is described in the true continuity as something that fulfills the criteria of asexuality.  To pass this, the character must be/have:

  • Human or of a species that mirrors our sexual orientation spread.  This excludes robots or species that typically do not have sexual attraction
  • Their asexual likeness must be fixed in place for the main continuity.  This excludes those tiny offshoot parallel dimensions where a character has different morals/values/genders/orientations/etc., Player choices i.e. naming Link "Steve" in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or simple headcanons that either have not enough support or are disproven
  • Their asexual likeness cannot be mental conditioning, powers, HSDD, Depression, PTSD, etc. symptoms.  This especially excludes characters that have an epiphany and are suddenly sexually attracted to others

We have had a few characters like these in video games like Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear, who in all canonical iterations has no sexual desire.  However none of these characters are confirmed.  Confirmed is when a character is directly stated by an accurate source to be explicitly asexual, think of Jughead Jones and Todd Chavez for examples of where they are explicitly mentioned to be asexual.  If a character is stated by themself; someone who was told by the character in question; an omnipotent reliable narrator; or a reliable supernatural/sci-fi being/machine with advanced knowledge to be asexual, then that character is confirmed within the media.  The term "asexual" can be substituted by descriptions or references to a lack of sexual attraction or desire that is not explained away by mental illness, superpowers, magic, willpower, mental conditioning, or any other detracting factor, however there is an absolute must that the mention is explicit.  The only other acceptable source is "Word of God" which is when a creator reveals information about the character outside of the media.  J.K. Rowling's description of Charlie Weasley being more interested in dragons than sex is canonical via word of god, however it is worded in such a way that reasonable doubt can be applied and thus Charlie Weasley's asexuality is not confirmed.

 

                Now onto the announcement, for the first time ever in all of video game history, we have a confirmed asexual character!!!  Unfortunately, this character is only confirmed asexual, not canonically asexual, as I would have hoped for this momentous landmark.  South Park: The Fractured but Whole features the option to define your character (named "New Kid") as asexual,  they explicitly mention not being sexually attracted to anyone and explicitly use the term asexual.  Since this is a player choice, and not a fixed continuity point, New Kid does not fulfill the canonical portion, however this is still an amazing progression considering how this is the first occurrence of a video game with a confirmed asexual character in all of video game history.  We actually managed to get this representation in 12 months before October 2018, the fiftieth anniversary of Video Games.  I unfortunately will likely not play this game because the South Park series has more gross, sexual, and insulting imagery than I am comfortable with.  To those who can stomach what I cannot and are interested in playing this, I hope you have a great time playing the first confirmed asexual character (supposing that is the orientation you choose if/when you play the game).

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OldSoul

Why does it matter that you can chose the sexuality? You can essentially do that in any RPG where you create your own character.  

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Omega the Shadow

That really is great to hear. Even if it is from a South Park game of all things.

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Chris Zulas
2 hours ago, OldSoul said:

Why does it matter that you can chose the sexuality? You can essentially do that in any RPG where you create your own character.  

I hear ya, but in those games it's not acknowledging that as part of your character. Sure, I can "roleplay being ace" in an RPG by just not doing things and not actually doing things - but it's not acknowledging anything. In say Fallout although I could twist it some other way for instance they'll acknowledge your character as straight, bi, or gay via perks. It's fine to roleplay as an ace but I and others aren't looking for the ability to just not access part of the game - we want the asexuality to be an actual thing referenced, maybe have ace or even aro alternatives to romance questlines. Nothing wrong with your opinion of course, it's fine, but it's always weird seeing people say that. It's pretty easy IMO to see why people would want confirmed acknowledgement of what they are in stuff. Todd could've just not dated or seemed awkward around girls but it was special seeing them use terms and be explicit.

Still not interested since this is South Park and there's a minigame where you as a (maybe asexual) child grind on an adult man's crotch apparently and if the SOUTH PARK guys included basically an obscure orientation like asexual I figure it might be intended as a joke option (maybe among others), a la this edgy memelord RPG on Steam that has 30-something genders, and lets you make your own. If you're cool with that, or if I'm wrong about the latter then hey, cool, I hope people enjoy it. Just not for me I guess. 'Sall good.

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Illegal Calculus
6 hours ago, Chris Zulas said:

Still not interested since this is South Park and there's a minigame where you as a (maybe asexual) child grind on an adult man's crotch apparently and if the SOUTH PARK guys included basically an obscure orientation like asexual I figure it might be intended as a joke option (maybe among others), a la this edgy memelord RPG on Steam that has 30-something genders, and lets you make your own. If you're cool with that, or if I'm wrong about the latter then hey, cool, I hope people enjoy it. Just not for me I guess. 'Sall good.

I read an article a trans person did on the game saying that they felt that there was not enough reference to their trans identity, so I am thinking that they actually don't make fun of the orientation and gender of the character as much as we'd expect.  I do know that some of the interactions will change dependent on this option, it is an rpg after all.

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OldSoul

I play fallout, specifically, and I feel like an Ace playthrough is very available. Romance is an option, I show no interest. Relations are an option, I reject.
If I can make them gay, or straight, I think it's just as fair to say they are asexual in a confirmed way, just as much as any other orientation.

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Illegal Calculus
19 hours ago, OldSoul said:

I play fallout, specifically, and I feel like an Ace playthrough is very available. Romance is an option, I show no interest. Relations are an option, I reject.
If I can make them gay, or straight, I think it's just as fair to say they are asexual in a confirmed way, just as much as any other orientation.

 

The canonical criterion requires:

On 11/5/2017 at 1:25 AM, Illegal Calculus said:
  • Human or of a species that mirrors our sexual orientation spread.  This excludes robots or species that typically do not have sexual attraction

Your example fulfills this criteria by being human or a species whose attraction possibilities mirror humanity.

On 11/5/2017 at 1:25 AM, Illegal Calculus said:
  • Their asexual likeness must be fixed in place for the main continuity.  This excludes those tiny offshoot parallel dimensions where a character has different morals/values/genders/orientations/etc., Player choices i.e. naming Link "Steve" in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or simple headcanons that either have not enough support or are disproven

Your example technically fulfills this because your role-playing character is fixedly asexual, the Fallout player character is not canonically asexual because there is no fixed continuity of asexual likeness for the character.  To put this plainly, the game does not have a canonically asexual protagonist, but gives you the option of playing as whatever you want.  

On 11/5/2017 at 1:25 AM, Illegal Calculus said:
  • Their asexual likeness cannot be mental conditioning, powers, HSDD, Depression, PTSD, etc. symptoms.  This especially excludes characters that have an epiphany and are suddenly sexually attracted to others

I assume since you roleplay as an ace, this part is not required.

 

 

From this, we can state that while Fallout has not created a canonically asexual character as the protagonist, you can play as one.  However, that was all of your evidence used and still no mention of the confirmed criterion.  The confirmed criterion requires only one thing from the game: for either a credible source within the game or the people with enough authority over the game to explicitly state asexuality or any other way of denoting this orientation.  Since Fallout does not, not a single character in Fallout is fulfills the confirmed criterion of asexuality.  The thing about the confirmed criterion is that there is no such thing as "feeling" it, you either have a quote of asexuality being specifically referenced or you don't.

 

 

On 11/5/2017 at 2:02 AM, OldSoul said:

Why does it matter that you can chose the sexuality? You can essentially do that in any RPG where you create your own character.  

The reason why this matters is because in all forms of media, there have been centuries worth of characters who fulfill the canonical criterion but not the confirmed criterion.  Literally any character who does not show any sexual attraction for the duration of the film fulfills the canonical criterion, so the canonical criterion is really just the way to weed out any obviously non-asexual characters while the confirmed criterion specifically grasps the few characters that are actually confirmed asexual.  This is the difference between a best friend movie and a same-sex romance movie: the best friend movie can have as many glances; hugs; and seemingly non-platonic closeness as it wants, however the same-sex attraction is still only a headcanon until we see evidence.  The only confirming evidence of asexuality is when asexuality is specifically mentioned, so that is why asexuality being specifically mentioned for the first time ever in video games is significant.

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OldSoul

It's just as confirmed as the south park game.

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Illegal Calculus
20 hours ago, OldSoul said:

It's just as confirmed as the south park game.

Several characters refer to the South Park character as asexual, you can open up a menu that tells you you are asexual, and all of this is available without ever having to write anything down in a suggested field.  They even have a short explanation of what asexuality is.  How in the world does that equate evenly to a game that does not mention asexuality once?  Unless you are just trolling and trying to use a word in a way that does not fit its context, I have absolutely no idea how you are achieving this conclusion.  Yes, you can make your character behave in a way that does not refute the possibility of being asexual in Fallout by never being interested in the romantic and/or sexual options, however that is far from what "confirmed" means in this context.  If Fallout explicitly acknowledges this, then it is "just as confirmed" as the South Park game, however Fallout does not.

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OldSoul

Your character can be just as asexual. A descriptive box with asexual checked isn't any better at all to me. 

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Illegal Calculus
On 11/8/2017 at 2:59 AM, OldSoul said:

Your character can be just as asexual. A descriptive box with asexual checked isn't any better at all to me. 

I have already stated that the canonical criterion is present in other games, what is significant about this is that the game actually acknowledges it.  To your own fancy, any character is as asexual as you want, but for the game to acknowledge it means that it is more than just your fancy.  I am not sure why you are trying to push this aside.

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OldSoul

Personal opinion bruh, I feel any game that acknowledges your sexuality in character and decision is 'confirmed'. Why would you assume that you can't choose asexual, just as you would any other preference.  Psh.

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Nowhere Girl

Such a situation would mean that an ace playthrough was likely not planned, just possible. An explicit mention of asexuality is already a level higher - it shows that the authors acknowledge asexuality and perhaps even want to raise awareness.

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caetxln

There is lot of representation in the video games even though we say it's not that much.Video games has much more representation than the media,tbh.I can give few examples: 

-Dragon Age (Origins,II,Inquisition) : You can create your character and chose to be with someone who sexually prefers you.For example there is only straight characters that you can be with if you are straight,there is gays and bisexuals and even a transgender character appeared in the last game.But also I think there is just one ace person too.Which you can flirt and talk to and have romantic things only.

-Life is Strange

-Mass Effect 

-Metroid (Protagonist is transgender.) 

-The Last of Us

-Final Fantasy (I remember there was a asexual people.) 

 

There is many LGBTQ+ representation in the video games.For ace people there is not enough representation because well it's simply hard to do that.For asexuality they can represent that but other spectrums of ace is hard to represent in the video games.For example it is hard for them to represent gray-a,is it impossible? Of course not,but generally LGBTQ+ characters are not the main characters.And it is hard to represent some sexualities without a story build-up and you can't really build a developed story with a minor characters.The list that I give in above was the main characters who are identifying something different than heterosexual except Final Fantasy because they were minor characters. 

 

So,there should be more LGBTQ+ representation in the video games. I agree on that but I also want to see an asexual -romantic or not- main character in the game because it's not yet simply done if it is not RPG and you don't chose who to end up with.There is few main characters who are openly gay like GTA IV : Ballad of the Gay Tony or Bill from the Last of Us,gay women as Ellie from the Last of Us or Chloe-Max from the Life is Strange,Transgender as I said Metroid.But any MAIN character who is asexual? Not that I know of.So I think video games should add full developed main LGBTQ+ characters to game.Which also not dies at the end because we all know how it goes.

 

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