Alexis got interviewed by Autostraddle. It’s interesting, and may or may not contain access codes.
I’m glad the ‘er, sir…’ thing won’t be in Sunless Sea. While no doubt well meant, I’ve always found it a little sad that Fallen Londoners react with that sort of discomfort, and it’s jarring in a game which otherwise suggests that less import is attached to a person’s gender than to their attitude to pastries. Also, it’s lovely to see that FL’s approach to gender has inspired a bunch of people to comment gleefully. (From an earlier post: ‘i live in veilgarden too we should queer the whole block’.) More games should do this.
That said, I do think Alexis is maybe a little cavalier about what you lose by treating gender and orientation as basically irrelevant (historical accuracy, ‘texture’), but maybe that’s just because he’s speaking in the context of the type of writing Failbetter mostly do, which operates at an unusual level of abstraction, somewhere between the level of a traditional RPG or adventure game and the level of a simulation. I don’t think you could invert the genders of the cast of The Walking Dead and get plausible characters, or even the same plot – and Omid and Christa, for example, who gently subvert certain stereotypes, would be far less interesting.
Anyway, it’s a good interview. If anyone’s interested in gender issues in games generally, I recommend Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency.
Also, I wish to confess that for the longest time, I thought Alexis was female.
edited by Flyte on 9/17/2013