Apr 10, 2014

Third Street Sinners and Saints

So, this is going to be an article that’s a bit of an extension to my last one, which you can find right here. Instead of looking at LGBT themes through the Grand Theft Auto lens, I’ll instead look at them through the more liberal lens of Saints Row.

Saints Row is a game that is very similar to GTA but one major difference is how much the game doesn't take itself seriously. It's a much goofier take on the "gang drama" genre; a genre almost exclusively covered by the GTA series.

I'm already liking this game better...
Within the world of Saints Row, the dialogue that does includes any kind of derogatory language or slurs based on sexuality--gender or skin color for that matter as well--are not as harsh. Saints Row is very much a parody, and though it may be expected that there will be such language, it is made in a more colloquial or humorous way. It is not as gritty or violent as in GTA. The dialogue also (at least in SR3) contained a very unique tidbit—whenever NPCs  refer to the protagonist, they always say “You heard the boss” or something like that. It was never something that was gender specific.

I mean really, how much more liberal can it be?
Furthermore within Saints Row 4, Volition added in the options to have same-sex romances within
the game; they were experimenting with throwing in the dynamic of romance and relationships into the game. “[W]hen you’re a game about player choice we want to go and celebrate whatever choices people want to make. We definitely want to make sure that we gave appropriate options for people…” (Steve Jaros, Creative Director SR4)

Continuing on with sexuality, Volition added just as much over-the-top sexualization to both genders of characters; not just the female characters. When you’re creating your character, you have the option of a “sex appeal” slider (pretty much equivalent to sliders on Sims titles). On females, it can either make their breasts small, or VERY big. And with men, you get that same option except with the size of the bulge in their pants. You can also get some very interesting combinations if you switch genders around.

Thelma? Or Louise? The plastic surgery shops are fun...
To quote a redditor, “it is vulgar but everyone can join the fun train, not just straight men. I read an article about how saints row 3 wasn't a sexist game, I mean yeah you had overly sexualized women, but you had the same thing with men … It is something in a game that is really refreshing.”/u/techh10

Overall, for the reason that it’s goofy, doesn't take itself too seriously, and tries to be a standout against GTA (which it does very well in my opinion), Saints Row is a very inclusive world. And I mean really, in what other game will you find a weapon shaped like a giant dildo?

I WASN'T LYING. It really is an effective melee weapon though.

*Screenshots taken by me. Admire my model.
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