Does ‘gay elf’ sex belong in videogames?

A secret 'gay elf' sex scene in the fantasy game 'Dragon Age: Origins' has some conservatives in a tizzy

Criticizing the content of video games is nothing new, but with the release of role-playing game "Dragon Age: Origins" on Nov. 3, which features a secret sex scene between two male characters (one of whom is an elf), a leading conservative website is warning its readers about the game’s unprecedented content. Are the site's concerns simply predictable talking points or has Dragon Age: Origins crossed the line? (See video below.)

The gay-elf innuendo is unacceptable: Here's the scene: During a fireside chat, says Chelsea Schilling at World Net Daily, "one character asks warrior elf Zevran, 'Can you join me in my tent?' The elf reveals he specializes in assassination, and the other character replies, 'I bet you're good at a lot of things.' The elf responds, 'Mmm, that's quite an offer, especially coming from another man.'" While "homosexual blogs" are praising this game's producers for including the ensuing sex scene, YouTube commenters are reveling, "Brilliant, just brilliant."

"Players have dirty 'gay' sex in hit game"

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Conservatives might have a point if the sex scene was at all erotic: In all seriousness, says Ryan Tate at Gawker, the game, with its "stilted dialogue, jerky body movements and elf ears," isn’t exactly "hot and appealing." So, there’s really no need for alarm.

"Let's fight about a gay-sex video game this Christmas season"

In its own way, this is a breakthrough for gay equality: Conservatives may find the sex scene objectionable, says blogger ROCsteady on But before Dragon Age, "I was beginning to lose all faith in gays being shown in a positive light" in video games. With Dragon Age's "bare-chested and unflinching portrayal" of homosexual relationships, "gay sex in video games has reached a new level of equal treatment."

"Dragon Age Shines Equality on Gay Love"

If you want to protest the game, focus on its depressing stereotypes: Dragon Age maker BioWare did an excellent job incorporating the sex scenes into its game's narrative, but it still promotes "parochial stereotypes," says Demian Linn at Bitmob. The female characters are "only interested in monogamous relationships," while the gay characters prefer to have "no-strings-attached" sex. Not exactly breaking the mold, now is it?

"Sex and the Single Dragon Age Hero"

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.