The Isobel-Aylin lesbianist relationship is the only forced homosexuality in Baldur’s Gate 3. Everything else is optional.
Actually, you can skip the Isobel lesbianism by killing one or the other of the women. But that requires you to be evil. Actually, maybe there is a way to get one or the other of them killed without actually committing the murder itself, I don’t remember. There are so many options in this game, and in general, the homosexual stuff that made headlines was all very optional – i.e., you had to be seeking it out.
I’m not surprised that the biggest “social change” mod thus far is to change Isobel’s lover.
It’s incredible that this would be banned. Wanting to play with this character as a male doesn’t necessarily mean you hate lesbianism – maybe you’re just interested to see it play differently.
In all likelihood, it does mean you hate lesbianism, but whose business is that, really?
Nexus Mods, likely the most popular mod site on the planet and a place you’re definitely familiar with if you’ve ever had cause to tinker with a Bethesda game, has banned a user for attempting to mod a same-sex pairing out of Baldur’s Gate 3. Beware there are some very mild spoilers ahead for some act 2 characters.
Named Ser Aylin, the mod in question (via Eurogamer) affects the relationship between Ketheric’s daughter Isobel and the aasimar Dame Aylin. As you can probably guess from the name, it turned the latter into Ser Aylin, a “slightly more polite and male version” that also used AI to alter the character’s voice in a more masculine direction.
I almost want to say it would have been easier to make Isobel a male, but the relationship Ketheric has with her is a daddy-daughter thing.
The other option would have been to just make Isobel and Aylin BFF.
Regardless, any of these choices are a huge project, and the modders should be praised for their skills, outside of anything political. The mod looks great.
The mod’s description (which no longer exists on Nexus Mods, but has been archived on the Wayback Machine) reads politely enough, as though it was innocently uploaded by some naif who wasn’t quite aware of the implications that turning Aylin into a man carried. But users on the Baldur’s Gate 3 subreddit soon realised something fishy was going on.
In a post on the BG3 subreddit that currently has around 18,000 upvotes, a user named SignificanceNo2411 implored people not to use the Ser Aylin mod, calling it out as one part of a broader mod pack that attempts to comprehensively remove all traces of queerness from BG3 as a whole. Having looked at that mod pack myself, I can confirm that several of the images uploaded alongside the Ser Aylin mod are precisely the same as those in the pack. It certainly does seem like someone just took part of that deeply tedious pack and uploaded it for the purposes of a deeply tedious troll.
I think we can just admit a lot of people want to play the game without fag shit.
BG3 is – and I will stand by this – the greatest video game ever made. And this fag shit pollutes it, like shit in a punch bowl.
That seems to have been the conclusion Nexus Mods’ moderators came to as well. On December 4, barely a day after the mod’s addition to the Nexus, its creator was banned from Nexus Mods entirely. In a post on the Nexus Mods forums, the mods explained their decision with a statement that “We are for inclusivity, we are for diversity. If we think someone is uploading a mod on our site with the intent to deliberately be against inclusivity and/or diversity then we will take action against it. The same goes for people attempting to troll other users with mods deliberately to cause a rise.”
Pre-empting criticisms that refusing to host bigoted mods is a violation of free speech, the mods went on to explain that “Us removing a mod only means it cannot be found at Nexus Mods, nothing more, nothing less. As a private business, we have a right to choose what content we do and do not want to host on our platform,” before asking that users “respect this right the same way you want respect for your rights.”
We need a new mod site.
These rules from Nexus about “you must be gay” are too much.
People have a right to play video games without gay shit.
Remember that Nexus also banned someone simply from removing anal flags from Spider-Man.
Spider-Man didn’t even have any other gay shit, it was just the flags, but that polluted the whole experience.
People should have a choice.
I know the answer is: “Okay well then just don’t play the games if you don’t like the decisions of the devs.”
But let’s be real: these are not the preferences of the devs. Certainly not of the core devs. Companies are all being bullied into a corner, and forced to put gay shit in games. I’m not saying the devs are all strong Christians who are seriously morally opposed to this and are being forced, but just as a basic business matter, the majority of the gamer community – especially considering the types of games we are talking about – are not gay.
If basic free market principles were in effect, these games would not have gay shit.
So, removing it is not violating the spirit of the game, and is in fact doing the opposite – at least in most of these cases.
Snake Baker contributed to this article.