Thank you for the earliest LGBT character in Video games

Moonmist was a little known interactive computer game introduced by Infocom in 1986. The text-based detective game focused around the decisions of the young detective player character (who gets named by the player). The game has four possible routes, based on the players answer to the question “What is your favorite color?”. The routes are named after the color that the player chooses, either Red, Blue, Yellow, or Green.

The main plotline of the game, no matter which route is chosen, is to find out if someone is trying to kill the player’s friend, Tamara Lynd. Tamara has just bought a large old castle to live in, and discovered a ghost, called the White Lady living there; on top of having suspicions that someone is trying to kill her.

Each route features a different villain, ghost, and treasure to be discovered. The Blue route specifically reveals Vivien Pentreath as the villain, whom also is revealed to have had a lesbian lover. Vivien was trying to terrorize Tamara so that she would hurt Tamara’s new fiance, Jack Tresyllian. Jack had married Deirdre, whom had been Vivien’s love. Vivien was under the impression that Deirdre killed herself because of Jack’s cruelty (though in reality Deirdre had fallen in a well). Vivien wanted to punish Jack for pushing her love to, what she thought was, suicide, and decided to try to take his love away from him like he took her love away from her.

In this turn of events, Vivien was revealed to like women, which was highly controversial of a game for it’s time. The publisher’s competitor, Nintendo had just released a somewhat homophobic guideline right before the release of the game, so Vivien could’ve been seen as a response to that.

Unfortunately, having Nintendo as a competitor was not good for Infocom, and not only was the game unsuccessful but so was it’s company. Only three years after the release of Moonmist, Infocom was shut down by the company that had bought it out around the time that Moonmist came out, Activision.

Either way, be thankful of Vivien this weekend, for bringing this world one step closer to having representation in video games.

on November 27, 2014