In the new sci-fi video game XCom, about an alien invasion in the 1960s, a
primary character is one of the world's greatest scientists and
also a closeted gay man, according to website Gay Gamer.
According to the site, the character, Dr. Weir, defies the common argument that the sexuality of gay characters in video games is rarely relevant to the plot. Jordan Thomas, the narrative director of XCom, explains that Weir is an Australian in the United States, so he already feels like an outsider during an era known for paranoia regarding foreigners.
"But on top of that, he is also a closeted homosexual," Thomas says. "He has both a sexual and a political opposition to the elite of the country, which are still very conservative — very focused on America as the best and the brightest — and he doesn't fit their paradigm. It is hard for them to acknowledge that one of the best scientists in the world is, in their minds, deviant. So he's struggled with that for a long time."
Thomas adds that when the alien invasion begins, the other characters realize they need Weir and have to try to put their opinion of him aside. "But then you see those tensions come to bear in the base," Thomas says. "There are characters who don't like working with him. They are people of their time. And so you'll see different positions represented amongst the core cast. But he is a man with true grit. He's able to weather it pretty well, and the player kind of gets to decide where they fall on that continuum. You can basically decide how to treat him."