Horror guru calls for gay lead characters in computer games

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Author, artist and computer game designer Clive Barker has attracted anti-gay remarks after saying he would like to see a game with a central gay character.

Mr Barker made the remarks to Gamepro.com on Tuesday while being interviewed about the design and release of his new game, Jericho, on the Xbox 360.

Asked about the role of gender in games, he said:

“One day I want to be part of a team that creates a game with a gay man or woman in the lead role where they are casually sexual, just as heterosexual characters are casually sexual in games, and have the public be perfectly comfortable with it.

“My belief is that audiences are perfectly comfortable with it already. I think it tends to be people in marketing departments that are most frightened by those types of ideas.

“As a gay man I’ve been writing about gay men and women from the beginning, from my first three Books of Blood,” he added.

“We have to fight for our place in the world, just as we had to fight for the right to be ourselves sexually.”

Comments left on the site’s message board voiced some strong resistance to the idea.

One comment said: “I was going to get that game, now I can’t on the basic principle a gay made it.”

Another read: “Why are these freaks trying to gay everything up. Stay in your own little world instead of trying to influence ours.”

Barker is no stranger to controversy.

He was recently involved in a war of words with columnist Roger Ebert on whether computer games could be art while his horror novel drew criticism for their views on religion.