BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition and Naughty Dog’s Left Behind DLC for The Last of Us were both commended by GLAAD for depicting some of the most intriguing LGBT characters of last year.
In the LGBT organisation’s round-up of all entertainment media, the two games were praised for certain characters within their casts – including The Last of Us’ main character Ellie.
Left Behind’s scenes between Ellie and childhood friend Riley, in which the two express their feelings for each other, were the main source of praise for Naughty Dog. GLAAD reiterated that gay hermit Bill earned the full game a place on 2013’s list.
In its 2014 round-up, GLAAD’s director of entertainment media Matt Kane wrote: "[The aforementioned scenes] deepened Ellie’s story even further and made the survivor’s guilt she expresses later in the story all the more poignant. With a big-budget film adaptation in the works and highly anticipated sequel planned for 2016, Ellie is primed to become the most famous LGBT character in gaming."
Meanwhile, Bioware – no stranger to including LGBT characters – was commended for the fact that no less than a third of the nine party members in Dragon Age: Inquisition are lesbian, bisexual or gay. The transgender man in the supporting cast was also highlighted.
"There’s the puckish lesbian elf Sera, who is equal parts Robin Hood and riot grrrl, as well as the haughty gay mage Dorian who fled his homeland rather than be forced into an arranged marriage with a woman," wrote Kane.
"Tough trans mercenary Krem comes across as no-nonsense until he starts joking around with his boss, who might just be our favorite of the bunch. Standing well over seven feet tall with horns and a giant axe, the Iron Bull looks tailor-made to appeal to adolescent males fond of destruction, but underneath his imposing exterior he actually possesses a loyal heart and surprising enlightened outlook on gender and sexuality.
"Not only will he school the player on using respectful language if they misgender Krem, Bull is also openly bisexual and will end up dating Dorian if the player doesn’t pursue either of them for a romance. Iron Bull demonstrates that classic, masculine video game archetypes and progressive views on human nature are not mutually exclusive.
"These are just a few of several LGBT characters in the game."