The Queer History of Fallout

Butterfly WomanSo, yesterday I posted about how horrible the mass of humanity is when it comes to any hint of queerness in their fandoms. Today, I want to take a lighter look at things. So today, I’ll be looking at the history of queerness in the Fallout series.

The reason I’m discussing this is because one of my favorite bigoted replies from that thread was something along the lines of “you queermos can get married now, keep your queerness out of my Fallout!” Ah, fake gamer guys. You see, the thing is, queerness has been prevalent in the Fallout games since the very beginning. I mean, we have a gun called the Flamer for crying out loud!

Now, I could have been sarcastic with him and mentioned this, but instead I took a more civilized tone. I mentioned to him that the series has always been about diversity and freedom of choice, mentioning that in Fallout 2, you could marry one of three characters regardless of their sex or yours. I went further to mention that you could pimp your spouse out for extra caps. And that unlike in 3 and New Vegas, where children are marked as essential and thus are unable to be killed (much as you may want to for some of them), in the first two Fallout titles, no one and nothing was marked as essential. A kid picked your pocket? You could let him go, or you could gun him down. The thing about the first few games was the beautiful thing that people actually familiar with how the American constitution works have to tell others who try to use “freedom of speech” as a shield for their own bigotry. That lesson is this: you can say or do whatever you like, but those words and actions have consequences that you aren’t protected from. Killing a child will forever label you as a Childkiller, which will result in people everywhere being less receptive to anything you have to say, and that you’ll have bounty hunters tracking you down as you explore the wastes. So, in turn, I told him that queerness has always been a part of Fallout and to use his own words against him, “get your bigotry out of my Fallout.”

But let’s stop and talk about that marriage aspect. Fallout 2 was released on September 30, 1998. That’s 17 years ago today. On top of that, it was the first ever same-sex marriage in any video game. And unlike Texas over that same 17 year span of time, it also allowed for same-sex divorce. Arguing that queers need to stop pushing for inclusion in the Fallout games is like saying that people need to stop pushing Elton John into being so gay with his act. Elton John is and always has been flamingly gay, and likewise, queerness has always been a part of Fallout. I even think there’s a part in the Fallout 2 character sheet that shows up after the first time you’ve slept with someone that lists your character’s sexuality, and it adjusts to bi if you have sex with both sexes. It’s not “hey, let me take a perk” like in New Vegas, but based on your in-game actions.

However, queerness isn’t the only diversity present in the games. The first 3 games each have fantastic racists as their big bads. The first game had the Master, a man turned into an amorphous blob like creature whose entire goal was “The Unity”, the turning of all humans into super mutants, and those who cannot be turned or refuse to do so will become sterilized, as super mutants are the now superior race for surviving in the post-apocalypse. That’s right folks, he wants to better the human race by essentially eradicating all differences, turning everyone into his one race (never mind that even within the super mutants, you had different strains, such as the standard green mutants and then the nightkin). Fallout 2 and 3 have the Enclave (who I suspect are also behind events in Fallout 4, though I have yet to play it). Basically, the Enclave’s purpose, in every game they’ve shown up in (with the exception of the remnants in New Vegas), is to bring back humanity as it was before the apocalypse happened, killing off everyone who has been affected by radiation, the Forced Evolutionary Virus which led to the super mutants, or anything else. Yup, we went from fighting future Hitler in the first game to fighting future Nazi’s in the second and third games.

And in every game, it’s made clear that these guys are in the wrong, that humanity needs to embrace its diversity. In Fallout 2, he’s the mayor and sheriff of a town called Broken Hills which is built on the very foundation of embracing diversity, as it is a place where humans, ghouls, and super mutants can all live together in relative peace and harmony. he even mentions this when asked about himself in New Vegas. Now, here’s the thing people who’ve only played the Bethesda titles may not know: Marcus was a recruitable companion in Fallout 2. In New Vegas, he mentions how he worked alongside a tribal, and how they even took out an oil rig full of bad people. That’s a recap of the events of Fallout 2, in which your character, the Chosen One, has to save their people from the Enclave’s experiments aboard an off-shore oil rig they’ve been using as their base of operations.

So the next time you hear someone complaining about queers trying to demand better visibility in Fallout games, particularly in regards to the forced het marriage at the start of Fallout 4, you can tell them that we’re not demanding anything we haven’t already come to expect from this series, and that we’re holding Bethesda and Oblivion to the same standards that these games have always shown.


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