Totally unfounded, surely. Only an Internet forum could air such a wild notion. But wait...
That's from a recent PC gamer article 15 things we want to see in Mass Effect 3. For comedic value, I'll point out that the quote is an addendum to item number 5: "More convincing romances." Because presumably it's "convincing" when all the love interests aren't picky about the gender of their partners.
And please don’t close off all those options to players of the wrong gender. Great as it is, Mass Effect is not such a literary masterwork that it would completely ruin a delicately crafted character to check the bisexual flag. And we know that’s all it takes, because modders have already done it.
Personally, I would prefer zero bisexual love interests. It's not that I think it's such a rare phenomenon. Rather, it's the meta. It's the knowledge that the sole reason bisexual characters are being included is so that they can do double duty as love interests. That sort of thing bothers me, though I admit my perspective probably isn't representative of players at large. If it does turn out that all love interests in Dragon Age 2 are bi, I will probably skip romances entirely. Yep, I'll take my ardor and go home.
But I (like just about everyone else) have said enough about romances lately, and the larger issue here isn't about love interests per se. To illustrate, I'll throw in another thread from the Bioware forums, in which some players lobby for being able to select the talents and skills of their companions - even those that were logically "earned" before the character joined the party. After all (the argument goes), why should I be forced to turn away an otherwise desirable character just because his or her stats don't fit my party's needs?
In both cases, what players are really asking for is more power to shape the game world to their liking. In the case of bisexual love interests, players don't really want characters who go both ways, but rather characters who go their way. In the other example, they want control over a more humdrum aspect of the characters - their statistical makeup.
|This is how strongly I feel about it|
But honestly, this isn't about protecting creative turf. I've always thought of RPGs as collaborations between the DM (read: game designer) and the player. In fact, the ability as a player to help craft my own experience is what attracted me to RPGs in the first place. I just think that experience is much more satisfying when the characters you encounter have wills and personalities of their own. When designers give up control of those things - in other words, when the characters lose their integrity - then the game world no longer seems real enough to be worth visiting.
It feels a little strange to be making this argument, because in general, I believe the balance of creative power has recently shifted too far in the direction of the writers and designers - at least in Bioware RPGs. As Bioware has moved more deeply into console territory, game narratives have grown more and more rigid at the expense of player choice, to the point where pregenerated PCs have now become the norm.
But though it may seem contradictory to argue for more designer control in one instance and less in another, it's really not. What I want is a certain kind of balance - the kind that has always worked for RPGs, both computer and tabletop. In short, I want the player to have absolute control of the PC and the designer to have absolute control of the outside world. With a few rolls of the dice to settle everything else.