Same Sex Marriage in FrontierVille

I just can’t quit you, Jack.

Once of the most intriguing aspects of FrontierVille is the ability to get married and raise a family. Players receive the marriage quest right in the beginning, after receiving a letter from their sweetheart who stayed behind in the city. Eventually your sweetheart will come to live with you on the frontier, after you have completed some prerequisite tasks such as building a house and after sending some not-so-subtle hints your way such as baby shoes and a hope chest. There isn’t an official wedding ceremony, this is the old frontier after all, so once your sweetheart comes he or she is here to stay and you can consider yourselves hitched.

Buffalo Betty visits some gay-married pioneers.

This is where the real fun starts, because once your spouse arrives you’re able to customize everything about him/her, including skin tone, hair style, clothing, and gender! That’s right, the game doesn’t limit you to an opposite sex spouse. The game designers have allowed players to create their own same sex marriages in-game.

Other blogs and internet magazines have pointed out that this might have been some oversight on the part of the designers. They cite as an example the fact that  after customizing your spouse and getting married, you have an option to post news of the event to your Facebook wall. The graphic for the event shows a man and wife in full wedding garb.

Personally, I don’t think the game designers would have been so careless (but given the amount of bugs, I may be wrong). Based off of all the press this game received pre & post launch, I’ve gotten the impression that careful planning went into this game, as Zynga was hoping to make it the new family cash cow. Game designer Brian Reynolds has said in several interviews that the main reason the Frontier setting was chosen was because it appealed to both male and female players. He then goes on to explain that, naturally, men were attracted to the aspect of adventure in the old west while women are enticed by the option to raise a family. Because nothing is more rewarding to the ladies than baby-making, right?

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

I think same sex marriage in FrontierVille is great.  FrontierVille is supposed to be a hybrid of simulation and adventure games, and that most famous simulation game, The Sims, had gay marriage in all three versions. This is the first instance I know of where gay marriage is available in a social game. Kudos, Zynga!


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