Home Games New Baldur’s Gate Expansion Criticized For Including Transgender Character
New Baldur’s Gate Expansion Criticized For Including Transgender Character

New Baldur’s Gate Expansion Criticized For Including Transgender Character


A new expansion for the gaming classic Baldur’s Gate has received a wave of criticism from certain members of the gaming community for being more inclusive and diverse in its characters.

Released last week, Siege of Dragonspear is the first new content for Baldur’s Gate since 1999. Developed by Beamdog for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, the add-on has been gotten positive reviews for its world-building, new characters and missions. Some gamers, however, feel that the inclusion of one particular NPC and a particular line of dialogue from another are steps too far in the wrong direction.

Mizhena is a transgender woman players can interact with, possibly leading to a battle with a particular side quest. Despite being a minor character, some players have taken enormous umbrage with her existence, launching a tirade against the game on Steam, GOG and online forums. One user went so far as to create a video entitled ‘Baldur’s Gate Misogyny: Tranny Abuse‘ in which they show Mizhena’s dialog explaining she is transgender, before eviscerating her in combat. The user left a comment on the video reading: “It’s refreshing to see that nearly everyone, even a lot of neutral folks, consider this a bastardization of a classic game world. Beamdog dug themselves a hole that their company will never recover from now. Any potential Baldur’s Gate 3 they develop will fail due to people now knowing how little they care for the license.”

Other comments and user reviews read similarly, claiming the game is forcing “SJW politics” and trying to educate on “transgender and other freaks rights [sic]“.

Responding to the criticisms, one of the writers, Amber Scott, stated: “As I’ve said before (and I won’t say much more on this subject other than to get my perspective out there): I’m the writer and creator. I get to make decisions about who I write about and why. I don’t like writing about straight/white/cis people all the time. It’s not reflective of the real world, it sets up s/w/c as the “normal” baseline from which “other” characters must be added, and it’s boring. I consciously add as much diversity as I can to my writing and I don’t care if people think that’s “forced” or fake. I find choosing to write from a straight default just as artificial. I’m happy to be an SJW and I hope to write many Social Justice Games in the future that reach as many different types of people as possible. Everyone should get a chance to see themselves reflected in pop culture.”

Founder of Beamdog, Trent Oster, took to the game’s forums to ask players to who enjoyed the game to be extra loud about their enjoyment.

“I usually spend most of my time lurking here, but I’d like to ask a favour. It appears that having a transgendered cleric and a joke line by Minsc has greatly offended the sensibilities of some people,” He wrote. “This has spurred these people into action, causing them to decide this is the worst game of all time and give it a zero review score on Steam, GoG and meta critic. Now, I’d like to ask for that favour. If you are playing the game and having a good time, please consider posting a positive review to balance out the loud minority which is currently painting a dark picture for new players.”

The line Oster is referring to is a joke made by character Minsc, which goes “It’s all about ethics in adventuring”, a blatant reference to online hate group GamerGate, one of whose mantras is “It’s all about ethics in games journalism.” The same group were also recently tied to the firing of Allison Rapp from Nintendo.

As of writing, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear is sitting at 3.6 on review-aggregate site Metacritic, with sustained negative reviews centred around the above still coming in.