The Supreme Court’s amazing decision to say “f*ck the haters” (direct quote) and legalize gay marriage across the board is one of the greatest moments in human history.
The world of video games has its own issues when it comes to inclusiveness, and as in the rest of life, there’s always room for improvement. But in the interest of giving credit where credit’s due, I want to point out these seven games that let you get gay married well before the Supreme Court finally got its shit together.
Everyone’s excited about Fallout 4, but it was 1998’s Fallout 2 that was really making strides. I’m not actually 100% sure, but it seems that the post-apocalyptic PC game was the first game to feature gay marriage.
Given that the whole idea of this type of wide-reaching “open world” game is to provide players with as many freedoms as possible, the only thing that’s surprising about that is that more games in the genre don’t have any gay marriage options.
'THE TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL’
The Temple of Elemental Evil is a relatively obscure game in the universe and style of Dungeons & Dragons—so obscure that I couldn’t even find an image, much less a video, of the game’s gay character or gay marriage storyline. But it’s in there, and it involves a sad pirate named Bertram, who the player character could marry.
The game’s director and designer, Tim Cain, said in the book Honoring the Code that the developers worked to include a lesbian relationship as well, but that it was later removed at the publisher, Atari’s, insistence, because it involved an unwilling brothel worker. Shame.
The Fable games have never allowed players quite as much freedom as we’d like, but at least they have always featured the freedom for all characters to marry anyone they want to. That includes the original 2004 game, all the way up through 2010’s Fable 3.
Amazingly, the developers who worked on the original game didn’t even do any extra work to include gay marriage—in fact, it was written naturally into the way the game’s villagers interacted with the player character, and it would have been “a ridiculous waste of time” to put in the work to take it out, as the game’s creative director, Dene Carter, told Gamasutra back in 2006.
'THE SIMS 3’
It would be pretty damn offensive if a game that let you build your ideal life didn’t include options for non-hetero marriages (looking at you, Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life). The Sims 2 let characters of the same gender enter into “Joined Unions,” but as of The Sims 3 the popular series officially has gay marriage as it should be, including the option to adopt (and, in one futuristic expansion, for gay couples to have a biological child by mixing their DNA at a hospital).
Just watch the video above and revel in the absurdity of their Simlish language (“Fwogadeeb?” “Yorbu nurplefurb!”) and you’ll feel even happier about today.
'FINAL FANTASY XIV’
Like many Japanese games, the Final Fantasy series has traditionally been more rigid in terms of story, telling linear tales rather than the open-ended plots that Western games weave. Final Fantasy XIV, though, is a massively-multiplayer online (MMO) game, meaning hundreds of players exist in the game world simultaneously, and that gives the developers and players more freedom.
With the inclusion of gay marriage in Final Fantasy XIV, LGBT guild Rough Trade Gaming Community held a pride parade in the game itself. Video above.
'THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM’
The Elder Scrolls games, including Skyrim predecessors Morrowind and Oblivion, have always given players huge worlds to explore and endless ways to spend their time, from traditional adventuring to simply picking flowers on a lakeshore for hours at a time.
Skyrim deserves praise for letting players choose to marry either male or female characters, regardless of their avatars’ chosen genders. It’s not the developers’ fault if, as in the video above, those players then choose to stab their loyal hubbies or wives from behind and steal back their expensive wedding rings.
'FIRE EMBLEM FATES’
Nintendo got in right under the wire on this one, announcing just days before the landmark Supreme Court decision that its upcoming strategy game, Fire Emblem Fates, supports gay marriage.
Granted, their method of including this “feature” is a little weird—players who want their female character to marry a woman need to buy one edition of the game, and those who want their male avatar to marry a male character need to buy a different one. Still, it’s a big step for a company that’s typically shied away from all sexual content—gay or otherwise—for years.
Mike Rougeau is Playboy.com’s Gaming Editor, in charge of all things video games but mostly concerned with maxing his Destiny characters. He lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and two dogs. Follow him on Twitter @RogueCheddar.