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Gay marriage in video games: My latest Slate column

Slate just published my latest video-game column — which is about the trend towards incorporating gay marriage into video games. It starts off talking about a recent Atari game, The Temple of Elemental Evil, which allows two male characters to wed. Then I ask:

Video games have long allowed players to experiment with new and often taboo identities. In online games such as Everquest, almost half of the women characters are actually men—guys who prefer to cross-dress when they play. In the ’90s, Tomb Raider and its imitators were so popular that for several years, American teenage boys played almost exclusively as buxom, wasp-waisted women. But for young men, the bulk of these games’ audience, experiencing life as an ass-kicking action chick is probably less threatening than adopting the role of a homosexual man. The new generation of gay-positive games presents an interesting test of how far role-playing can stretch. Will straight gamers want to play at being gay?

You can read the entire article online at Slate! If you have any thoughts to post here on my blog, take a few seconds and paste ‘em also into the Slate discussion area The Fray, where smart comments are always welcomed.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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