Nexus Mod Removes ‘Baldur Gate 3’ Dame Aylin Gender-Swap Mod Because It Erased Character’s Original Lesbian Romance: “We Are For Inclusivity, We Are For Diversity”
In once again throwing their hat into the sociopolitical fray, Nexus Mods has announced that a user who uploaded a gender-swapping mod for Baldur’s Gate 3‘s Dame Alyin has received an lifetime ban and had their work removed after the site’s administration found said mod to be antithetical to their operating principals of “diversity” and “inclusivity”.
First uploaded to the site on December 3rd by the now-banned user Yedlike, the mod at the center of Nexus Mods’ latest controversy, ‘Ser Aylin’, presented players with a “reimagining” of the recently-released Larian Studios title’s ‘Find the Nightsong’ questline centering around the titular aasimar warrior.
In the quest’s original presentation, the player finds themselves hired to track down the titular ‘Nightsong’, an ancient relic supposedly surging with the appropriately awesome power over the concepts of life and death.
However, through the course of the adventure, it is eventually discovered that the Nightsong is not an object, but rather Dame Alyin, a member of the angelic aasimar race who has been imprisoned by the villainous Sword Coast cult leader Ketheric Thorm in order to allow him to forcefully sap and share in her genetically-gifted immortality.
Should a player choose to rescue Dame Alyin and follow her story, they will eventually make the acquaintance of Isobel, a Half-Elf Cleric whose current duty sees her using her magics to keep the Last Light Inn a bastion of safety amongst the ever-present miasma of the shadow curse.
And if a player manages to keep ‘the Nightsong’ alive throughout the entirety of the quest – and meet a myriad of other conditions, which to the game’s credit are far too numerous to list out in this brief article – at its conclusion, they will eventually be met with the revelation that in addition to being partners in the fight against Thorm, Dame Alyin and Isobel are also partners in life, having begun a romantic relationship sometime prior to their meeting with the player.
However, should players choose to voluntarily download and install the Ser Aylin mod, rather than the original ‘Dame’ incarnation of the heroine, they will instead fight to save “Ser Aylin, a slightly more polite and male version of Dame Aylin.”
Part of a larger ‘No Alphabet‘ mod pack which aims to ensure “that the gender and sexuality of world NPCs match medieval status quo”, Yedlike explained of Ser Aylin, “This is mod gives you a fully immersive male version of Dame Aylin. Portraits, subtitles, voice and how other characters respond to this Ser Aylin have been altered to match.”
Closing out their description by taking a brief aside to praise Larian Studio’s original presentation, the modder urged users, “Helen Keiley’s performance was really good, so I do recommend you to experience her performance unmodded, if you haven’t already!”
However, just hours after the mod was uploaded to Nexus Mods – and after a post on the unofficial /r/BaldursGate3 subreddit accused that Ser Aylin was not “about realism and it’s actually just about [the developers of the ‘No Alphabet’ pack’s] hatred of queer people” went semi-viral – the site announced that “Yedlike has been banned from Nexus Mods for violating our community rules.”
“This appears to be a throwaway account created to upload a mod that attempts to skirt our community guidelines,” explained the site’s administration of their decision. “The mod in question appears to reduce diversity in Baldur’s Gate 3 by taking a same-sex couple and swapping the gender of one of the partners to make them heterosexual.”
The site then repeated the mantra, “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.”
“We aren’t the authority on what users can and cannot mod,” the site ultimately concluded. “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. Respect this right the same way you want respect for your rights.”