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The Last Of Us: Not Making a Big Deal Over Sexuality

Sean Halliday of Pixel Gate writes:

*Minor spoilers*

''The Last Of Us has swept up high praise from nearly every corner of the industry; critics love it, players adore it, and it’s proven to be a huge success. However, one part of the game that has gone somewhat unnoticed is how The Last Of Us dips its toes into something of a taboo topic, even in the modern day state of video games. That taboo topic is one of homosexuality. It’s so subtle and underplayed that the chances are most did not even notice it, and that commands respect to Naughty Dog and their writing team.''

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-Foxtrot1173d ago

Who would in that universe...I think they have bigger things on their mind like you know...being killed in one of the many threats in the post infected world.

Ezz20131173d ago

***SPOILER***

i can't be the only one who think Ellie is not Gay
i think that kiss was Ellie just happy that her best friend will stay with her

i don't know

XiNarutoUzumaki1173d ago (Edited 1173d ago )

SPOILERS!!!!

You are not the only one. We are in the mayority. In fact, those who think that she is a lesbian only because of a single kiss are the minority group of idiots. Ellie just did it by impulse; she did it because of the happy time she was having with her, and it was the only way she could demostrate her appreciation toward Riley. She doesn't even know about that stuff at her age.

I kissed Sasuke by accident when I was a kid. That doesn't mean me and Sasuke are gay.

dboyman1173d ago (Edited 1173d ago )

@XiNarutoUzumaki Tell that to the Yaoi fangirls who go gaga over Naruto x Sasuke. I should know, I have a older cousin who is like that O_O

jcnba281173d ago

Neil Druckman pretty much confirmed that she was gay on an episode of podcast beyond.

sonarus1173d ago

Spoilers...

Before left behind came out I already sort of felt she was a lesbian and was expecting to see more evidence in the game. If you place the kiss in the context of her tom boy personality it kinda makes sense in my opinion

TricksterArrow1173d ago (Edited 1173d ago )

*Minor Spoilers?*

I'm pretty sure Ellie is gay or at least bissexual. The same scene with two boys would be pretty clear that both had homossexual/ bissexual tendencies. Why people dismiss the same situation, but with girls, as them being simply "playful/ joyful" is beyond me and, IMO, a terrible double standard. Denial, perhaps?

Sevir1173d ago

I'm well you and who ever believes she isn't disagree with the guy who wrote her character... Lol Neil Druckmann said she is a lesbian on podcast beyond on IGN.

And if you paid attention to the main story it was hinted it in subtle exposition. ***SPOILER** That kiss she gave Rieley was more than a nod to that in "Left Behind".

I guess most just want to think that she's this innocent girl. Neil wrote some pretty real, authentic, layered, human characters with plenty of depth, Ellie is a Lesbian, you'd have to be dense or in denial to think otherwise, especially after "Left Behind".

And Ellie and Rielly weren't the only prominent characters that are homosexual in TLOU, Bill is too.

lashes2ashes1173d ago

The head writer for the charicter confirmed it was written with the idea ellie was gay.

Thatguy-3101173d ago (Edited 1173d ago )

Ummm well Neil already said that she is. He made the character and that's who she is. I guess the game is open to any interpretation but Ellie' character was made to be gay
http://gaygamer.net/2014/02...

Ezz20131173d ago

Ok thanks guys
didn't know about that article

Lwhit61173d ago

I can't be the only one that thinks Left Behind was a waste of time and a horrible dlc. I feel like I spent all that time to shoot water guns and not have fun.

Darrius Cole1173d ago

@Sevir / TricksterArrow

People who don't want to accept her as gay probably are trying to identify with her character and find a place for her in their own fantasy version of the game, but they can't if she is gay.

BTW,

Does anybody else remember when TLOU trailer was first released and Ellie look EXACTLY like Ellen Page, but they said that it wasn't her. Now that Ellen Page has come out of the closet, suddenly Ellie is kissing girls. Hmmmmm.....

Naughty Dog wouldn't tell us a lie would they?

spartanlemur1173d ago (Edited 1173d ago )

She probably is attracted to other women (otherwise why kiss and not hug?), but interestingly, there are around twice as many bisexual females (roughly 2.2% of the population) as there are homosexual, so there's more chance of her being bisexual than being homosexual.

But at the end of the day, why not simply imagine her to be what you want? It's somewhat open-ended in that way.

itBourne1173d ago

"I'm pretty sure Ellie is gay or at least bissexual. The same scene with two boys would be pretty clear that both had homossexual/ bissexual tendencies. Why people dismiss the same situation, but with girls, as them being simply "playful/ joyful" is beyond me and, IMO, a terrible double standard. Denial, perhaps?"
-- TricksterArrow

Is that really a double standard? A kiss is a nurturing attribute, and more of a feminine quality. People can say what they want, but guys and girls are inherently different. So it is much easier for a female to initiate this act on another female, rather then a male to another male.

That being said, in that world, I do not think sexual orientation matters one bit to people.

DragonKnight1173d ago

Who the hell cares if she's gay? That's not at all important and the fact it was shoehorned into the game is just the height of pandering.

She SEEMS more bisexual than anything, given that it's completely likely that she could have developed a thing for that black kid whose name escapes me at the moment.

Regardless, Neil just decided to gay it up for no real reason as Bill's homosexuality and Ellie's supposed sexuality do nothing for the game. All it does is incite the pointless "is she gay or isn't she" discussions.

What the hell does someone's sexual orientation matter in a post apocalyptic world? If anything, it's a detriment at worst, not a benefit at best.

Adrian_v011173d ago

@DragonKnight How is it shoehorned? If they make it obvious it's shoved down our throats, if they make it subtle it's shoehorned. It's not like they put it in out of the blue, there were subtle hints on Ellie's sexuality. It made perfect sense to me. And I like gay characters this way. If there's no reason to display their sexuality, leave it alone, if it fits the story, go for it.

rainslacker1173d ago (Edited 1173d ago )

I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and go against what the developers said about it, or at least insinuated.

But at the time of Left Behind, Ellie was 13 years old. At that age, I doubt she had a fully formed sexual identity to be able to determine if she was gay, bisexual, or straight based on the story we were given. Even if she were gay, children that age just don't really understand their sexual identity, and if it's not the norm, it would be confusing and make it even more difficult to understand.

The kiss was intimate, not sexual, and intimacy has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

Remember that Ellie never really had any kind of relationship before her arrival in Boston, and had trust issues likely due to not being close to anyone before her arrival in Boston. At Ellie's age, being able to trust someone can be exhilarating and obviously cause intimate feelings. This would make it even harder for her to understand her sexual orientation as she would have no one to rely on to help her work through it...which wouldn't be typical for a 13 year old girl anyways.

Later, in TLOU, she obviously has some interest in the male form as shown by the magazines she stole. Most likely curiosity given her age, but in one part of that scene she does take a decent look. Again though, due to her age, I doubt it's enough to form any conclusive determination of her preferences.

I don't feel her actual sexual orientation can be determined based on the story given so far, only her psychological state of mind when it comes to relationships and her underlying need to be able to trust someone. She thought of herself as a loner, but she was actually happy at times when she had someone to share her life with.

Anyhow. I don't know if she's gay, or what her preferences would be in the future based on the character development so far, and honestly it doesn't really matter. She is an amazing character regardless.

DragonKnight1172d ago

@Adrian: How was it shoehorned in? Its very existence makes it shoehorned in. Playing through the entirety of TLOU without any DLC, there are no "subtle hints" that Ellie is homosexual. If anything, they set you up believing she has, or could have, a thing for Sam. Sure, she talks fondly about Riley, but there's never any kind of hint that she's gay at all.

Then Left Behind comes out and it's for some reason important to make Ellie and Riley homosexual. It had no bearing on Ellie's character before in the main game, it has no real impact on the DLC save for being just another character trait of Ellie's (a poorly done character trait at that, even the way they introduce her as being gay is debated because it doesn't seem convincing), and it really serves no actual purpose except to prove that a character's sexual orientation literally doesn't matter.

That's how it's shoehorned in.

Adrian_v011172d ago (Edited 1172d ago )

@DragonKnight Rooting for the Sam team but discarding the Riley team is bullshit. She could have a thing for Riley just as much as for Sam, her emotions were only hinted at in both of the friendships so it's equal. Thinking of her as hetero was your personal preference. And her feelings did have an impact on the DLC's story, it added emotional value.

"...and it really serves no actual purpose except to prove that a character's sexual orientation literally doesn't matter."

And that's your own argument against you, cause that's how it should be. A character's sexual orientation shouldn't matter, and as long as it matters there's obviously a problem. Again, it's not shoehorned in, it just seems to go against your personal wishes/beliefs.

@Rainslacker A 13 year old boy/girl can very well know about their sexual preferences, especially if it's not the norm.

DragonKnight1172d ago (Edited 1172d ago )

@Adrian: "Rooting for the Sam team but discarding the Riley team is bullshit. She could have a thing for Riley just as much as for Sam, her emotions were only hinted at in both of the friendships so it's equal. Thinking of her as hetero was your personal preference. And her feelings did have an impact on the DLC's story, it added emotional value."

Spare me the Social Justice Warrior psycho babble B.S. Nothing in my comment suggested I was "rooting" for Ellie to be hetero, that's your transference, not mine. I said the game easily suggested it pre-DLC. If you want to remain ignorant of the fact that even Henry hinted at it, that's your choice to remain ignorant, but the game in no way implies, hints, or mentions Ellie being gay in any way, directly or subtly, until the DLC came out. Even then they portrayed it in such a bad way that people are debating the sincerity of it. That's not me, that's the game.

It added emotional value? Can you find one person whose perceptions of Ellie changed for the better because she was gay? If you can, I'll show you a person who doesn't understand what Ellie actually brings to the game, and game's for the wrong reason. Ellie's orientation added nothing. It was a character trait, one that can be altered to fit the exact same "value" you suggest was added simply by changing Riley from a she to a he or even to a pet. "Emotional value" is subjective, and thus doesn't add anything objectively good or bad to the game.

"And that's your own argument against you, cause that's how it should be. A character's sexual orientation shouldn't matter, and as long as it matters there's obviously a problem. Again, it's not shoehorned in, it just seems to go against your personal wishes/beliefs."

I reiterate about the SJW psycho babble B.S. Just because you can't accept the fact that Ellie's sexual orientation doesn't matter (ironic considering you try to say that it doesn't matter, which is what I've been saying from the start, yet at the same time showing that you actually think it does matter), doesn't mean that it isn't shoehorned in.

It's a character trait that has no impact, literally no impact on the game at all. It's presence doesn't make the game better or worse, it doesn't make Ellie's character better or worse, and it was added in such an unconvincing fashion that there is debate about its honesty. If it wasn't shoehorned in, there'd literally be no doubt. If it wasn't shoehorned in, there wouldn't even be the slightest hint that she could have had a thing for Sam at all because ND would have prepared in advance to squash that from being a possibility in game. Ellie's orientation was an after thought, added after the fact. It's plain as day and thus shoehorned in.

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cfc781173d ago (Edited 1173d ago )

It's not a big deal if Bill wants to drop anchor in poo bay that's his business I thought they did a great job with all aspects of the story this game will have a well deserved place in gaming history.

mogwaii1173d ago

And if you want to drop yours in blood bay thats your business.

Sevir1173d ago

Lmao!!! What a reply!!! 😭 😭 😭 😂 😂 😂 😆 😂 😭 😂... Bubz for the laugh!!!

cfc781173d ago

Nahh my ships always at sea at that time of the month.

wsoutlaw871173d ago (Edited 1173d ago )

@cfc78 hell ya thats gross lol

That was a pretty good reply

rainslacker1173d ago

Despite your rather offensive reference, that's what I appreciated about how they approached homosexuality in the game. I didn't even realize Bill was gay until Ellie was looking at the magazines, and even then it didn't hit me until the 2nd play through and I realized the bigger significance of when he found his partner.

The fact that he was gay was not an issue at all. He was a "friend" and helped you in the game. Just a regular guy. It wasn't thrown in our face, and sent a strong message without actually saying anything in dialogue. That message is that whatever your sexual preference, your still a human being.

Dirtnapstor1173d ago

TLOU was/is one of my favorite games period. I went ahead and bought the PS4 version also. So looking forward to a sequel!
That being said, I'm sick of all the overkill in analyzing "what's the real meaning of (fill in the blank)" a year later. It is a great game, well written, well executed, lots of things to discuss. Yes ND created a good balance of characters without politicizing. Kudos to them. ND simply kept it real...wish these journalists could without bandwagoning it.

GamerEuphoria1173d ago

How dare people praise a game beyond 'it is good' how bloody dare they.

P.s no one is claiming to be a journalist

rainslacker1173d ago

The fact that there is so much "what is the real meaning" and what is the significance debate just goes to show how well done the story is.

Lets face it, the fact that there are very few game stories get this much analysis over so many different aspects is a testament to ND's accomplishment in creating a great story.

Think how many games have been praised as having amazing stories. How many of them get this much analysis? None that I can really think of because those stories are actually pretty shallow, and they don't do a good job at being subtle. It's like those stories make sure you know the true meaning, and that isn't compelling drama IMO.

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