Homosexual characters might be making inroads in other media, but they remain rare--and thoroughly stereotyped--in the world of video games, writes the Globe and Mail.
"I recently found myself finishing up the last few missions in Grand Theft Auto IV and the character of Bernie--gay liaison to Liberty City's deputy mayor--got me thinking about homosexual personalities in games.
For those who haven't played Rockstar's latest interactive crime saga, Bernie pops up late in the game. We're told he served alongside the game's hero, Niko Bellic, during the Bosnian War. When the conflict ended he moved to America to get a fresh start and let loose his flamboyant side.
Personally, I was a little offended by Rockstar's depiction of his homosexuality. He is ostentatious, cowardly, and obsessed with his appearance. What's more, his apartment is covered in paintings of muscle-bound men wearing nothing but bulging codpieces. He's perhaps the most prominent gay character ever to appear in a blockbuster game, and these stereotypes could set an unfortunate precedent."