Yes, this is week-old news, but it made a rather small splash in my portion of the blogosphere, so I hereby rule the topic still available for fresh discussion.
Quick background: there is a game named Dragon Age 2. It includes romantic options. These are not gender-limited. If someone is available as a romantic option, s/he is available as a romantic option, whether you are fe/male, whether s/he is fe/male. A message board thread ensued. There are a few interesting points here.
As I heard the initial complaint, it was about the female options available. They were too few (Penny Arcade exhibits its usual restraint, if your workplace cares about four-letter words in comics) and too exotic (Zoso exhibits his usual perspicacity, if your workplace cares about polysyllabic words in blog posts). I failed to pursue the links at the time; some dude on the internet was complaining about the ladies available to him, shocker.
There is actually an argument to be made here. It is about the allocation of resources and developer time. Everyone wants more of that devoted to their interests rather than others.’ For game series, one can debate the merits of focusing on a core audience versus bringing in new players or smaller demographics and which is more likely to lead to better sales or a better game.
The wrong way to present your side of that argument is a marginally nuanced version of “why are you wasting time on girls and gay dudes?”
What makes this more notable than the average message board thread is the developer response, which you may have already read if you pursued the link above. It says everything it needs to say, so read it.
Note the exactly proper use of “privilege.” It is popular in some quarters to abuse that term in internet debate, but the original post is a textbook example of speaking from a (straight male) privileged perspective, wondering why there is equal time for other genders or orientations and why no one is shielding him from awareness of those options. If there had been a “no homo” box under “Options,” the same perspective would ask why it was not checked by default.
I will echo that making a “no homo” option consumes more developer time (and might have further ruined Yahtzee’s playthrough if it were a default) than making everyone bisexual. Gordon had the better idea of a slider for just how gay you want your game to be, although I favor a pair of axes (not the weapons) over a uni-dimensional Kinsey scale. I have yet to hear lads complaining that lesbian and bisexual female NPCs represent wasted developer time, but I presume the ladies in question are more femme than butch and thus insufficiently threatening to heteronormativity.
Seriously, read the developer response. It is from the game’s lead writer. Imagine what message board threads would look like if all the commenters were professional writers.