A few days ago, Bethesda announced that the upcoming Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim, would support marriage between the player character and any number of NPCs.
The thing that is news though is the fac that marriage wouldn't be restricted by gender, so if your male or female character developed a long term relationship with a member of the same sex, then in that world, you could get married.
So that alone is going to be something that the same people who were getting bent out of shape about things like the bit of consensual sex in games like Mass Effect are going to have a field day with this.
Because it isn't going to be just the gay marriage angle that is going to end up being controversial, though that will likely be the main focus.
You see, there are many species of humanoid sentient beings in the world where these games take place, so outside of interracial marriage within members of the same general species (you know, white humans marrying black humans and fair skinned elves marrying Dark Elves etc), there is also the possibility that a human or whatever could marry an Argonian (a humanoid lizard/fish species) or a member of the Khajiit (a humanoid feline species).
And then you put same sex marriage on top of that. Yeah, some people's heads are going to explode.
I mean, I can almost hear a particular news network taking this ball and running with it. And it will be hilarious when they do. I could even see some presidential candidates, really go to town with this.
And I especially look forward to the response from the gaming community when that happens. That part is going to be sweet. The stories that I've read reporting the seeming freedom of marriage in Skyrim have all been followed by a stream of wonderfully snarky comments that indicate that in general, players have no problem with this being added, or they welcome it. That is an amazing sign.
To me, it is a non-issue. It is a role playing game, and if in the game you want your barechested Nordic hero to marry his longtime Khajiit lover, then more power to you. What you do doesn't affect my own gaming experience, and the fact that you will be able to do that, well, it shows a great deal of flexibility on Bethesda's part. They make games that are wide open sandbox affairs, so to have all those relationship options makes things even more interesting and likely adds some replay value to the game for some people.
Granted I would probably never really marry an NPC in a game unless it was necessary for the plot...
Um, what was I saying again?
Note: All screenshots in this post, both linked and attached are from Morrowind.