234: Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

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Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

For straight gamers, videogames can often be an escape from a painful reality. But for gay gamers, videogames offer little respite from prejudice and homophobia. Robert Yang recalls his experience developing a Half-Life 2 mod featuring gay characters and the response it provoked.

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

"That's always been one of the things I don't get about homophobia: Just because they like men, doesn't mean they like YOU. Not every woman in the world is clamouring to have sex with every man, just like every gay man doesn't want to jump the bones of every other man. I liked this article a lot. Yet homophobia seems to be the most common intolerance around. A whole bunch of my WoW Guild Mates shat brix when I told them the Spartans were all homosexual, and got annoyed when I told them why. One of them even got quite hostile with me, and still won't use my name without adding some expletive."

The homosexual part of society has to be one of the most spat on by government, in the world.

I applaud you for recognizing that the stupid asshole kid that called you a faggot meant it as a slur against your gaming skills instead of your lifestyle. My gay and lesbian friends use that term in similar ways. It is funny to them because they and the person they are throwing it at, some other firend of theirs, knows the word is used without any real hatred. If you replace "Homohpboa" with "retarded macho posing", it becomes alot less significant. Most Humans are less "Evil" than they are "Selfish and ignorant". Wrods are only words. It's the meaning behind the words that matter, and many times, the meaning we place on the words directed against us is different than the meaning intended, good or bad. Ignorance is the main cause of prejudice, and ignorance is a whole lot less impressive than evil.

Well the first time round I didn't read it because I assumed (accurately) that reading it would make me feel uncomfortable. But putting aside my moral disapproval of homosexuality (yes, I have one and no, it doesn't mean I hate gays or want to beat them up. If I went round hating all homosexuals I'd also have to hate everyone who has sex outside of marriage or as an affair and I have far better things to do with my time) it was an interesting article. I certainly see no reason why you should have made it and I agree that most games tell the same boring stories over and over again.

I guess the guy who made the mod has never played on XBL (or the internets in general) if he was surprised by the feedback it received.

But hell, everyone gets flamed online at some point so crying about it wont solve much.

ben---neb:
But putting aside my moral disapproval of homosexuality

Oh lawd, inb4 shitstorm.

Cool article. It always amazes me how an audience feels cheated when an author defies their expectations. It's like they think it's their story, with their characters. The audience doesn't always realize that it's following characters separate from itself, that its just along for the ride.

I've heard a bit about the author's mods on TIGSource, and I think I'll check them out. ...Right after I finish Research and Development.

ben---neb:
Well the first time round I didn't read it because I assumed (accurately) that reading it would make me feel uncomfortable. But putting aside my moral disapproval of homosexuality

I don't understand were you're coming from- why is it you have a moral disapproval of gays?

I "disapprove" of people who have kids. Sounds far more easily justified than your opinion- almost 7 billion people on earth, that's far more than enough, so anyone having more than one child is immoral.

You can't blame people for not wanting to play a gay man. When playing Prey I felt no attachment to the main character because he was a native American struggling with his ancestry. Nothing could be more remote from my European, all-white background. Except for maybe playing a gay man :)

I have a Mac, so can't play your mod, but I'm sure I would have found it interesting playing a gay man. Movies can often show you different worlds, different lifestyles. For some reason this technique has not found its way into games. It prevents them from maturing. So I applaud your effort in making games the cultural media they should be, representing and expressing all walks and talks of life.

I generally disapprove of people who tell me what their gods disapprove of me doing.

ThrobbingEgo:
Cool article. It always amazes me how an audience feels cheated when an author defies their expectations. It's like they think it's their story, with their characters. The audience doesn't always realize that it's following characters separate from itself, that its just along for the ride.

I've heard a bit about the author's mods on TIGSource, and I think I'll check them out. ...Right after I finish Research and Development.

Hm, I disagree. Games are interactive stories where you (ideally) have choices. In part the story is yours. Like modern art, it is a shared experience, only completed when the viewer views and interprets the images as he sees fit.

I do like what you say about the author defying expectations. Well put.

I'm honestly surprised this article hasn't gotten more attention since it was published. EDIT: Didn't realize this was the "Best Of" issue. That would be why. >_>

I don't own Half-Life 2, so unfortunately I can't play the mod myself, but the article itself still rings very true for me nonetheless... This part, in particular, is very strong:

When a gay person hears "faggot," they hear it as a question: "Remember when that mailman spat at you?" or maybe "Remember when your mother cried when you finally managed to come out to her?" It is the sound of pain, confusion and fear...

To this day, I'm still not certain whether or not she looks at me the same way as she does my siblings... but I've learned to live with that.

ben---neb:
But putting aside my moral disapproval of homosexuality (yes, I have one and no, it doesn't mean I hate gays or want to beat them up. If I went round hating all homosexuals I'd also have to hate everyone who has sex outside of marriage or as an affair and I have far better things to do with my time)

That's fine, I'm sure no one wants to argue about that, as it would be pointless. Simply agree to disagree, right?

Sebenko:

ben---neb:
Well the first time round I didn't read it because I assumed (accurately) that reading it would make me feel uncomfortable. But putting aside my moral disapproval of homosexuality

I don't understand were you're coming from- why is it you have a moral disapproval of gays?

"Because god's book said so". :/

Putting my mild religious baiting aside I played through the two Radiator games and to be honest the implied homosexual relationship really didn't bother me at all. Why should it? If anything I was far more affected by how shoddy the gameplay was.

NicolasMarinus:
You can't blame people for not wanting to play a gay man. When playing Prey I felt no attachment to the main character because he was a native American struggling with his ancestry. Nothing could be more remote from my European, all-white background.

May I assume that you're not a drugged up super-soldier? If you aren't, then how could relate to this character even if he was white? What about playing as Lara Croft (for example)?

Are you saying that you don't like playing characters who aren't copies of you?

I know, I know, logical fallacy, but still. Your point has little basis.

Edit: I got Prey confused with Haze. Doesn't change the point, but I just thought I'd clear that up.

NicolasMarinus:

ThrobbingEgo:
Cool article. It always amazes me how an audience feels cheated when an author defies their expectations. It's like they think it's their story, with their characters. The audience doesn't always realize that it's following characters separate from itself, that its just along for the ride.

I've heard a bit about the author's mods on TIGSource, and I think I'll check them out. ...Right after I finish Research and Development.

Hm, I disagree. Games are interactive stories where you (ideally) have choices. In part the story is yours. Like modern art, it is a shared experience, only completed when the viewer views and interprets the images as he sees fit.

I do like what you say about the author defying expectations. Well put.

And who defines what those possible choices are? The author. A game's a constructed medium.

The author's control just becomes more obvious when a game follows a linear plot.

Angerwing:

NicolasMarinus:
You can't blame people for not wanting to play a gay man. When playing Prey I felt no attachment to the main character because he was a native American struggling with his ancestry. Nothing could be more remote from my European, all-white background.

May I assume that you're not a drugged up super-soldier? If you aren't, then how could relate to this character even if he was white? What about playing as Lara Croft (for example)?

Are you saying that you don't like playing characters who aren't copies of you?

I know, I know, logical fallacy, but still. Your point has little basis.

Hint: Sarcasm.

ThrobbingEgo:

NicolasMarinus:

ThrobbingEgo:
Cool article. It always amazes me how an audience feels cheated when an author defies their expectations. It's like they think it's their story, with their characters. The audience doesn't always realize that it's following characters separate from itself, that its just along for the ride.

I've heard a bit about the author's mods on TIGSource, and I think I'll check them out. ...Right after I finish Research and Development.

Hm, I disagree. Games are interactive stories where you (ideally) have choices. In part the story is yours. Like modern art, it is a shared experience, only completed when the viewer views and interprets the images as he sees fit.

I do like what you say about the author defying expectations. Well put.

And who defines what those possible choices are? The author. A game's a constructed medium.

I agree, it's what always irritated me back in school when teachers used to get you reading books/poetry and then saying "What does 'X' mean" and "What is symbolic about 'Y'?", which you can pretty much guarantee that the original author didn't intend when they originally created it.

ThrobbingEgo:

Hint: Sarcasm.

Irrelevant. I've heard the aforementioned argument many times before. "I'm not gay, I don't want to play as gays. Not homophobic, I just can't relate."

It doesn't matter whether he was being sarcastic, I was addressing the argument, not the arguer.

Angerwing:

ThrobbingEgo:

Hint: Sarcasm.

Irrelevant. I've heard the aforementioned argument many times before. "I'm not gay, I don't want to play as gays. Not homophobic, I just can't relate."

It doesn't matter whether he was being sarcastic, I was addressing the argument, not the arguer.

Yes, but the point of the argument was that it was flawed. If you took the whole quote, you'd see it was followed by a smiley, and then a request for a mac-friendly version of the mod so he could play it. (Try WINE or crossover games.)

Your reply is redundant to the author's intent.

Sebenko:

ben---neb:
Well the first time round I didn't read it because I assumed (accurately) that reading it would make me feel uncomfortable. But putting aside my moral disapproval of homosexuality

I don't understand were you're coming from- why is it you have a moral disapproval of gays?

I "disapprove" of people who have kids. Sounds far more easily justified than your opinion- almost 7 billion people on earth, that's far more than enough, so anyone having more than one child is immoral.

Because, as the Bible says, marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Sex should only happen in marriage. Therefore homosexuality is a sin. But Christians shouldn't discriminate against homosexuals because we all sin, homosexulaity is just another to add to the list of the sins of mankind.

ben---neb:

Because, as the Bible says, marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Sex should only happen in marriage. Therefore homosexuality is a sin. But Christians shouldn't discriminate against homosexuals because we all sin, homosexulaity is just another to add to the list of the sins of mankind.

Along with wearing mixed threads and shaving. Is that a cotton/polyester blend? Straight to hell.

ThrobbingEgo:

Yes, but the point of the argument was that it was flawed. If you took the whole quote, you'd see it was followed by a smiley, and then a request for a mac-friendly version of the mod so he could play it.

Your reply is redundant to the author's intent.

And your reply is redundant to mine.

Angerwing:

ThrobbingEgo:

Yes, but the point of the argument was that it was flawed. If you took the whole quote, you'd see it was followed by a smiley, and then a request for a mac-friendly version of the mod so he could play it.

Your reply is redundant to the author's intent.

And your reply is redundant to mine.

How so?

Angerwing:

NicolasMarinus:
You can't blame people for not wanting to play a gay man. When playing Prey I felt no attachment to the main character because he was a native American struggling with his ancestry. Nothing could be more remote from my European, all-white background.

May I assume that you're not a drugged up super-soldier? If you aren't, then how could relate to this character even if he was white? What about playing as Lara Croft (for example)?

Are you saying that you don't like playing characters who aren't copies of you?

Agreed. Game characters are not always supposed to resemble the player (I mean, really, how could they? possibly?) unless they are RPG's.

I can't relate to Dom in Gears of War 2 for example, because I haven't got a wife, and I have never lost one either. Doesn't mean I resent playing the character in the game though.

ben---neb:

Sebenko:

ben---neb:
Well the first time round I didn't read it because I assumed (accurately) that reading it would make me feel uncomfortable. But putting aside my moral disapproval of homosexuality

I don't understand were you're coming from- why is it you have a moral disapproval of gays?

I "disapprove" of people who have kids. Sounds far more easily justified than your opinion- almost 7 billion people on earth, that's far more than enough, so anyone having more than one child is immoral.

Because, as the Bible says, marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Sex should only happen in marriage. Therefore homosexuality is a sin. But Christians shouldn't discriminate against homosexuals because we all sin, homosexuality is just another to add to the list of the sins of mankind.

Without going into too much detail: You realise the Bible was written by humans right? Fallible, sinning humans? By your own logic as humans are capable of sin (and therefore able to be wrong and make mistakes) there is no reason to take the word of a book written by them to heart.

Especially considering the Bible forbids eating shrimp and wearing clothes of mixed fibres, not to mention the fact that you should never eat/buy/use more than you need of anything. Unless you follow everything in the Bible then you can't fairly use it as a reason for your beliefs, not in relation to morality at least.

Angerwing:

ben---neb:

Because, as the Bible says, marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Sex should only happen in marriage. Therefore homosexuality is a sin. But Christians shouldn't discriminate against homosexuals because we all sin, homosexulaity is just another to add to the list of the sins of mankind.

Along with wearing mixed threads and shaving. Is that a cotton/polyester blend? Straight to hell.

Ho hum, if those rules even exist they'll be in the Old Testament cerimonial law that was overthrown when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus' death did not overthrow his commands on the scantity of marriage therefore it did not overrule the Bible's teaching that homosexuality is a sin.

In addition sexuality is by far and away a more important choice than clothing or hair coverage.

ThrobbingEgo:

Angerwing:

ThrobbingEgo:

Yes, but the point of the argument was that it was flawed. If you took the whole quote, you'd see it was followed by a smiley, and then a request for a mac-friendly version of the mod so he could play it.

Your reply is redundant to the author's intent.

And your reply is redundant to mine.

How so?

Because as I said before, I wasn't addressing the arguer, I was addressing the argument. I've seen that argument used before in all seriousness. Who cares if he's actually being sarcastic? It's sort of difficult to tell on an online forum. The smiley could have been put there so he didn't look like a dick.

I thought my point was very valid in the context of this thread. I perhaps shouldn't have worded it like I did ("Your point has little basis."), but what I said still stands.

I've always though, and I swear I'm being dead serious about this, that Gears of War would be a far, far superior game if the two main characters were openly gay. Not a single change to anything else, just swap the bromance for honest romance. I hope somebody, at some point, shows the guts to do it and follow the concept all the way to wherever it leads, see what happens.

ben---neb:

Ho hum, if those rules even exist they'll be in the Old Testament cerimonial law that was overthrown when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus' death did not overthrow his commands on the scantity of marriage therefore it did not overrule the Bible's teaching that homosexuality is a sin.

In addition sexuality is by far and away a more important choice than clothing or hair coverage.

So how's that religious buffet? The "homosexuality is evil" came from Leviticus. The book that, you know, also spawned the laws I mentioned. Also, if your woman is having her period, she is unclean. It is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord if you are to touch her during this event.

Angerwing:

NicolasMarinus:
You can't blame people for not wanting to play a gay man. When playing Prey I felt no attachment to the main character because he was a native American struggling with his ancestry. Nothing could be more remote from my European, all-white background.

May I assume that you're not a drugged up super-soldier? If you aren't, then how could relate to this character even if he was white? What about playing as Lara Croft (for example)?

Are you saying that you don't like playing characters who aren't copies of you?

I know, I know, logical fallacy, but still. Your point has little basis.

Edit: I got Prey confused with Haze. Doesn't change the point, but I just thought I'd clear that up.

I don't like cowboy movies, because the setting has no interest for me. I don't like movies like Sense and sensibility because the pains and woes of some 19th century British girl don't interest me. Seeing a macho tear through scores of enemies is fun. Playing one, well... You can't beat that.

By which I mean, the theme must interest you. Only then are you willing to empathise with characters. A lot of people will not be interested in gay men and how they experience life. I would be, since a couple of my friends are gay.

ben---neb:

Angerwing:

ben---neb:

Because, as the Bible says, marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Sex should only happen in marriage. Therefore homosexuality is a sin. But Christians shouldn't discriminate against homosexuals because we all sin, homosexulaity is just another to add to the list of the sins of mankind.

Along with wearing mixed threads and shaving. Is that a cotton/polyester blend? Straight to hell.

In addition sexuality is by far and away a more important choice than clothing or hair coverage.

A choice? I didn't realise your sexuality was a choice. When did you decide your sexuality? You didn't. You're born with it.

I actually think there should be more games with LBGT characters in them i mean if its accepted in most other mediums why not games? Homophobia will never go away if people continuously walk on eggshells around the issue Gay people are still people first and sexuality second as we all are.

Should a fictional characters orientation trouble anyone? should a real persons? A gay man does not pass this on to other men nor does he try to mount every male in sight, just like a straight male doesn't try to hump every female in sight.

Though one representation im against its the overuse of extremely flamboyant gays as not all are like that and its usually used as a negative stereotype though i am aware that some people are like this its shouldn't be the only type shown.

Machines Are Us:

Angerwing:

NicolasMarinus:
SNIP

SNAP

ben---neb:

Sebenko:
[quote="ben---neb" post="6.164468.4291827"]Well the first time round I didn't read it because I assumed (accurately) that reading it would make me feel uncomfortable. But putting aside my moral disapproval of homosexuality

SNAP

SNIP

Without going into too much detail: You realise the Bible was written by humans right? Fallible, sinning humans? By your own logic as humans are capable of sin (and therefore able to be wrong and make mistakes) there is no reason to take the word of a book written by them to heart.

Especially considering the Bible forbids eating shrimp and wearing clothes of mixed fibres, not to mention the fact that you should never eat/buy/use more than you need of anything. Unless you follow everything in the Bible then you can't fairly use it as a reason for your beliefs.

Sure, the Bible was written by humans but God was behind the writing of the Bible and kept them from error. Look at it this way: your God, you want to reveal the truth about yourself, your going to make 100% sure the humans don't write anything wrong. Because of this then it is still logically sound to take the Bible was being true.

And the shrimp/mixed fibres laws were part of the cerimonial law that was overthrown when Jesus died on the cross (but as marriage still stands then homosexuality is still wrong. Also homosexuality was just part of the general Law of God that will never be overturned along with Ten Commandments, etc). And the eat/buy thing is merely a reminder that Christians are called to be senisble with their wealth and not waste it on useless things.

NicolasMarinus:

Angerwing:

NicolasMarinus:
You can't blame people for not wanting to play a gay man. When playing Prey I felt no attachment to the main character because he was a native American struggling with his ancestry. Nothing could be more remote from my European, all-white background.

May I assume that you're not a drugged up super-soldier? If you aren't, then how could relate to this character even if he was white? What about playing as Lara Croft (for example)?

Are you saying that you don't like playing characters who aren't copies of you?

I know, I know, logical fallacy, but still. Your point has little basis.

Edit: I got Prey confused with Haze. Doesn't change the point, but I just thought I'd clear that up.

I don't like cowboy movies, because the setting has no interest for me. I don't like movies like Sense and sensibility because the pains and woes of some 19th century British girl don't interest me. Seeing a macho tear through scores of enemies is fun. Playing one, well... You can't beat that.

By which I mean, the theme must interest you. Only then are you willing to empathise with characters. A lot of people will not be interested in gay men and how they experience life. I would be, since a couple of my friends are gay.

First of all, just pointing out that I'm not calling you a homophobe. Now that that's down.

If the homosexual aspect isn't a theme of the story, as in the author's mod, then wouldn't it not matter whether the player relates to homosexuals? If it's the fun of macho murder, then it shouldn't matter whether the person is gay or not, if that isn't a significant aspect of the story. I know a small effeminate gay guy who wants to become an interior designer, and a huge gay rugby player who could destroy you and your 2 best friends, blindfolded.

I agree with you if homosexuality is a part of the story. If the person isn't interested in experiencing that storyline, due to whatever reason, that's fine. But when the gay aspect is only mentioned once, in an ambiguously phrased line at the start of the game, then it shouldn't matter what sexuality the PC is.

Guys, this doesn't need to turn into a debate about the Bible. Keep the discussion polite.

ThrobbingEgo:

NicolasMarinus:

ThrobbingEgo:
Cool article. It always amazes me how an audience feels cheated when an author defies their expectations. It's like they think it's their story, with their characters. The audience doesn't always realize that it's following characters separate from itself, that its just along for the ride.

I've heard a bit about the author's mods on TIGSource, and I think I'll check them out. ...Right after I finish Research and Development.

Hm, I disagree. Games are interactive stories where you (ideally) have choices. In part the story is yours. Like modern art, it is a shared experience, only completed when the viewer views and interprets the images as he sees fit.

I do like what you say about the author defying expectations. Well put.

And who defines what those possible choices are? The author. A game's a constructed medium.

The author's control just becomes more obvious when a game follows a linear plot.

If you play Call of Duty, you will make different decisions than me how to traverse a field. True, the designers defined you had to cross it, but you decide how. It is a shared experience between the developer and the player. No two playthroughs are the same.

I've said it before, and I will say it again: wonderful article.

Angerwing:

ben---neb:

Ho hum, if those rules even exist they'll be in the Old Testament cerimonial law that was overthrown when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus' death did not overthrow his commands on the scantity of marriage therefore it did not overrule the Bible's teaching that homosexuality is a sin.

In addition sexuality is by far and away a more important choice than clothing or hair coverage.

So how's that religious buffet? The "homosexuality is evil" came from Leviticus. The book that, you know, also spawned the laws I mentioned. Also, if your woman is having her period, she is unclean. It is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord if you are to touch her during this event.

Not just Leviticus also references in Romans, Timothy, and Jude (http://bible.org/article/homosexuality-christian-perspective) And as marriage between a man and woman and sex only in marriage is a constant commandment throughout the whole Bible then it still stands today.

In general the technique used for working out which cermonial laws were overthrown and which weren't goes: is it specifically rejected in the NT (such as the sacrifrice of animals)? Or is it still supported? Also a certain degree of common sense should be applied like in the case of Shrimp and mixed fibres.

And of course it should be remembered that Christianity is not about a list of rules people have to keep. No one can earn salvation through works. We all sin whether that be homosexulaity or some other thing. We all deserve to go to hell, we all need to repent and ask for the salvation granted to us by Jesus's death on the cross.

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