The Unlikely, Queer, Nazi Punching Utopia of Guild Wars 2

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer of revolting white supremacy and nuclear war threats!
No?

Well that’s why I’m here.

Until we can download our wrinkled blobs of grey matter to the cloud we are for the most part stuck here in this world. In times like these when we are getting to find out just how many racist uncles and impotent alt-right nazi man-babies populate our nation it is really good to have a fantasy world waiting to visit.

NOPE. NOPE. NOT THAT ONE. 

Now, of course, there are important things to be done in the real world, no doubt about that, but what do you do when your knuckles are bruised from liberating the teeth of oppressors or your voice is weary from shouting down idiots cosplaying as history’s saddest losers? Well, then you can go online and do the same, and do so in a queer egalitarian paradise where you get bonuses and sweet loot for destroying bigots. Hooray!!!

And where is this land of equity and rainbows? It’s a little [read: HUGE] place called Tyria, the world of Guild Wars 2.

In Guild Wars 2 or GW2 you fight Grand Dragons {cough} excuse me I mean Elder Dragons to save all the races of Tyria. There are five playable races:
The Asura a race of small gnomish inventors and intellectuals. The Sylvari an almost elven race of bisexual plant people who share a collective dream. The Norn a giant race of were-beast spirit worshipers. The Charr a bestial race of warriors and engineers. And of Course the Humans.

Including Logan Thackery the guy in the middle we all wish would die.

The dragons arose from an eons long slumber and now corrupt all they touch. Their followers exchange their goodness and even sentience for power. Their followers are touched by this corruption differently depending on what race you play.

  • The corrupted Norn the “Sons of Svanir” are rampant misogynists and believe that their worship of the Dragon spirit will elevate them above the other races of Tyria.
  • The Charr “Flame Legion” a similarly misogynistic band, rules by deception of those beneath them, also hoping to cleanse Tyria of the other races.
  • The Asura run “Inquest” is a group of Josef Mengele inspired scientists who view other races as inferior and thus use them for experimentation, going so far as to use the dragons to their advantage.
  • The Human “Bandits”: After multiple atrocities and attempts at cleansing Tyria of non-human races the Humans who are left are in decline and have finally banded together with the other races, except for a group loosely called “Bandits” who prosper through piracy and slavery.
  • The Sylvari “Nightmare Court”: The Sylvari being the only group that does not have a history of racial hatred their corrupted have turned from a dream of egalitarianism to a Randian nightmare where self-preservation and self-interest are the only worthwhile cause.

Now with all that said, there is nothing so entertaining to me than taking my tiny little human and waltzing her up to a Norn racist making remarks about women and kitchens and then shoving a sword through his face, or raining down a literal meteor on him, or watching a pet raven peck his eyes blind. There really is no limit to the fantasy nazi punishment you can play with. And you may be saying, oh that’s all well and good but Wolfenstein and Medal of Honor let you kill virtual nazis too. But really this is, for me, much better escapism. I don’t want to see a bunch of swastikas while I’m enjoying killing racists with my kids. Plus there is that other thing, the queering.

Yes, I’m sure you are wondering just how queer this MMO can really be. But lemme tell it has a serious amount of Martins, both Doc and Ricky.

To prove my point let me introduce some characters starting with my personal hero Countess Anise.

oh baby yes!

Fun fact, no one knows how old this cougar is, cause her magic is so strong. But that doesn’t stop her from hitting on anything that moves. She is the fierce bisexual powerhouse I aspire to be with a libido as ageless as her baby smooth skin. Girl is #Goals every day of the week. An artful warrior, masterful mage and advisor to the Queen (did I mention humanity is ruled by a Queen?) Countess Anise. Keep doing you Ageless Bae! <3

Next up we have the Sylvari couple Caithe and Faolin. The heart of the most central romance of the game, the troubled relationship of these women is woven throughout the main story so I will shy away from spoilers. But let me just say Faolin is the darkest and most fully realized power bottom in gaming. Not exactly a heavily contested title, but she gets all my love for being her steamy seductive self.

Was going to use in game but couldn’t keep this cosplay to myself. DAMN!

Keeping it “in the grove”, if you play Sylvari your main story might introduce you to the lovers Dagdar and Eladus. Trying not to wander into spoiler territory here is rough as well but Dagdar and Eladus are perfectly charming chivalrous young knights. Dagdar has been insulted and (with a little help from the player character) Eladus is determined to defend his man’s honor. It’s sweet and more than a little romantic.

Finally rounding out the relationships we have another key w|w couple. Kasmeer and Marjory.

 

Kasmeer is a light, sweet, and bubbly Mesmer with an odd penchant for wearing illusions instead of clothes (sounds hella freeing to me), Marjory is a dark, passionate, and flirtatious Necromancer of Canthan descent (the Tyria equivalent of east asia). [and dreamy AF {sigh}] Her and Kasmeer are a lovely caring couple whose relationship runs through the continuing story of GW2.

Also kisses, lucky ass Kasmeer.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!

GW2 did something that no other game, MMO or otherwise has done, at least to my knowledge. They had a trans character transition IN GAME. You see GW2 has a ton of NPC’s and some of the absolute best background characters in any game. One such character was an aid worker/spy by the name of Symon that was part of the first season of “living world” content. Long story short, after a huge disaster we are introduced a few years later to her again. This time she has begun living as her true gender as lovely woman named Sya. Here is a before and after and her new dialogue.

I literally cried when I found this. As we have discussed plenty of times here at OWNet REPRESENTATION MATTERS. This was the first time I got to meet a character in a game like me. Hell with the auburn hair and pigtails she even looks a bit like me. It was a truly amazing moment.

 

Not an amazing moment: Any moment with Logan Thackery

I could end it there but I think I should bring up one more point. How the surrounding society in the game handles these relationships. And that is the most wholesome aspect of the whole thing. As I mentioned before NPC interactions play a huge role in setting up the world of the game. Even more so because they are all voiced (no small undertaking) The other day I was walking around the main city of Lion’s Arch and heard two kids, a boy and a girl, pretending to be the lesbian couple Kasmeer and Marjory. Their relationship is such an open and celebrated part of this anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic society that kids pretend to be them as they play.

Non-restrictive gender play? In front of my salad?!?!?!

So yeah. Guild Wars 2 is my refuge when I need some gaming down time. Not just because the gameplay is fun and unique, but because the creators built a better world than our own. One where people like me are accepted, where my gay friends are just the couple next door who spent their vacation fighting dragons. One where the ruler of the “free world” is actually fighting for a free world and doesn’t equivocate on calling evil, evil.

Even Logan Thackery has more guts than that.

So anyway, my fellow geeks, this is my gaming home. I play with my Husband and both my daughters, and if you want to hit a dungeon with us some time just let me know. I’m ShadowSonnet.7943

Guild Wars 2

Come hang out with me and Sya! I’m the tall one! 😀

 

Guild Wars 2 is free to play.

The newest expansion Path of Fire is set to come out September 22nd 2017. Hope to see ya’ll in game, hit me up with a friend request and a message!

About the Author

Alaina Kailyn
Alaina Kailyn is in no particular order an Author, Geek, Minister, Bender of Board Game Rules, Poet, Devourer of Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Theologian, Cosplayer, Trans Woman, Makeup Addict, Activist and Mom. All that makes for a very scattered, very passionate woman and a very patient family. I once ate a Man's hat just to see if he would notice his head was cold. See Darling I told you no one reads these things. Cucumber armoire decision plesiosaur. Remember to tip your waiters.
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