Video Gay-ming: Part 2

14 Apr

Once in a while there comes a time when we must turn towards the super-nerds on this planet for direction.

And the nerds are saying yes to same-sex marriage. That is, at least the ones who are behind Runes of Magic are.

Runes of Magic is a MMORPG, a lengthy abbreviation which stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, a genre of video games wherein people from all over the world come together to play on the internet in an expansive virtual reality world. World of Warcraft is probably one of the best known examples of this genre, but Runes Of Magic is the one that’s been catching my attention lately.

"Too Bad I'm Into Men With Axes"

That’s because the makers of Runes are now releasing an expansion pack to the game, in which an additional feature of character marriage will be included. Now, a player can choose to be linked to another by tying the knot, a move that will provide players with in-game bonuses that includes wedding rings which allow for teleportation to your significant other.

There are, however, criteria for this virtual union. Runes is an advocate of monogamy, absolutely forbidding polyamorous relations.  But surprisingly, same-sex marriage isn’t outlawed. Yep, that’s right. If your male knight wants to wed my male druid, that’s okay. And if the warrior chick’s got a thing for the lady-priest, why not put a ring on it?

This establishes a peculiar dynamic for many of us gamers, who in the comfort of our  homes can now virtually wed whomever we please, but are eventually forced to step outside to the real world, where, inevitably we can’t.

Interestingly, Runes of Magic’s developer is the Taiwanese studio Runewaker Entertainment, but Taiwan itself does not recognize same-sex unions.  In addition, MMORPG-type games are great platforms for online interaction amongst people from all over the globe, and people playing this game will come from all sorts of countries in various phases of acceptance or rejection of gay marriage.  Excitingly, a youth playing from a country that wants to imprison homosexuals might bump into a virtual gay couple in Runes, made by players who live in a country where gay marriage is legal.  This has great potential to open up dialogue about same-sex marriage in the global online gamer community, and could convince many dissenters, who after encountering virtual gay couples in the game, might think that same-sex marriage in real life isn’t so bad after all.

These are my hopes at least, but nevertheless, Runes of Magic marks the first video game in which same-sex couples can tie the knot. And besides, I really want to live the life of a teleporting, sword-wielding, magical warrior who ALSO bagged himself a cute husband to boot. Shouldn’t that be what virtual reality’s really all about?

"Dad, Mom, I'm Gay. And Married."

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