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Dragon Age: The Veilguard and default bisexuality

Dragon Age: The Veilguard and default bisexuality

New romance options are here, but they raise a valid question

Sexuality, as we all know, isn’t a choice; some of us are gay, some bi, some straight, and so on. It’s normal for us to meet someone we’re attracted to, yet be unable to take the relationship further because they’re not part of the same community as us. But in the world of Dragon Age: The Veilguard, such realistic limitations have seemingly been removed, thus causing a heated discussion about default bisexuality.

In Dragon Age Origins, your character could be any sexuality your heart desired, however, your companions had fixed orientations, e.g. Alistair can only be romanced by a female Warden. But by the time Dragon Age 2 launched, the playing field had been levelled out and equalled; everyone was available to you regardless of your gender.

As someone who's a self-professed smutty gamer, determined to lay their way through the RPGs thrown at them, I welcomed having such a variety of choices. Yet not all fans agreed with the change. They argued that it wasn’t realistic; that the authenticity of representation was somewhat tainted by this free-for-all.

It's finally time for us to travel to Thedas for Dragon Age: The Veilguard

Whether that was the reason BioWare changed tactics again come Dragon Age: Inquisition, I can’t say for certain. However, romance options being locked out due to sexuality, and also race, reappeared.

I’ve never been one to shy away from playing as a male character. In fact, for years I favoured doing just that because it allowed me to explore my sexuality safely. Male characters became my beard; a way to better understand my abrosexuality without scorn or criticism. Truth be told, even without my personal reasons for preferring male characters, I've never felt frustrated when playing as a man. At least, not when I have the option to do otherwise. Still, I appreciate not everyone is as comfortable playing as the opposite sex.

Does this mean that default bisexuality, even if you never choose to act upon it, is the logical solution? I doubt anyone would want to see Inquisition’s Dorian with a female lead. Even if you remove the lore that has Dorian canonically gay, his mannerism, behaviour, connection with male characters comes far more naturally than it does with female characters; there’s a layer of romantic anticipation there. And yes, you don’t have to romance Dorian if you play as a man, however, Dorian’s essence remains unchanged.

In contrast to this, though, you have the issue of Cassandra, a character who many believed a lesbian, or at the very least bisexual, when first introduced to her in DAII. You could say that, similar to Dorian, certain stereotypes coloured our judgement of the character, ultimately enforcing a sexuality that was never Cassandra’s to begin with. Consequently, The Veilguard removes such risk because everyone is a blank canvas for us to explore and decorate as we see fit.

Such an analogy has its limitations, mind, considering that the new companions, while still not well known to us, have obvious personalities already. Nonetheless, by removing fixed sexualities, they become far easier for us to personalise, at least to some extent.

Personally, I take no issue with default bisexuality; previous DA titles, as well as Baldur’s Gate 3, did just fine with its come one, come all mentality. Many of us don't play these games for their realism, we play for the fantasy of it all. That said, perhaps some aspects of gameplay should have a ring of truth to them.

Featured Image Credit: Electronic Arts

Topics: Dragon Age, Bioware, EA, Features