Why Makeb Hits LGBT Players So Hard

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oh dear...another article about LGBT. I'm too tired to argue in forum debates about who's in the right or wrong again x__x
but in short: I think the gay thing is more confusing for straight people...for us, we just get on with our lives, it's part of who we are. Yeah the "gay planet" thing in star wars is a little stupid and shallow but maybe in the future they won't treat us as a minority who needs pandering to, but just as ordinary humans like everyone else...or ordinary aliens, in the case of Star wars i guess? haha

Interesting article, but I have to question this statement:

Robert Rath:

"...civil unions inherently hold members of the LGBT community apart from the rest of the populace by creating a separate, and therefore unequal, category..."

I disagree that civil unions are inherently "unequal" just because they are separate from marriage. If they have the same legal standing, I think that it is a superior option than trying to re-define marriage.

It is useful to have a term for a faithful, monogomous life-long relationship between a man and a woman, which creates an environment in which to bear and raise children. That term is "marriage", and that relationship is recognised as having certain legal implications and protections.

If you want to have equivalent legal standing for a faithful, monogomous, homosexual relationship, that is a legitimate discussion within society. But to insist that such a relationship be brought under the term "marriage" only makes ambiguous a term which was previously clear and specific.

maxben:

xomocekc:

defskyoen:
#1reasonwhy you don't give in to outside pressure from "interest groups" to include things in your work, be it religious groups, feminists or LGWhatever.
They finally got what they asked for after years of begging, which was probably not very easy since LucasArts likely had to agree and now they're bitching and crying their eyes out that it "isn't what they expected" or "isn't enough". If anyone talks about "entitlement" in gaming again, point them to this, because if this isn't it I don't know what is.

Especially if it comes from a negligible portion of your customerbase: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/americans-have-no-idea-how-few-gay-people-there-are/257753/ and you can be sure to piss off another part at the same time.

Yeah no, I think I will still point people to the thing where a couple of months ago a bunch of neckbeards pressured Bioware into making a new ending for ME because the normal one upset their fee fees.

Oh wow, what a horrible survey.
1. Bisexuals are not even represented.
2. How about considering all those who have had a "homosexual experience" but do not self identify as gay or lesbian?
3. Self identifying as gay in large parts of the US will get you killed or beaten or sent to brainwashing camp. This creates a LOT of closet cases who will not even admit what they are in an anonymous survey, and sometimes refuse to even admit it to themselves.
If the number is 2% in this survey, I certainly believe the 10% estimation

Congratulations for reading the wrong part of article, not even reading the figures (which would have told you that you were reading the wrong part), and then showing how little you read by posting about it. That part is asking people "What percentage do you think is gay?" - showing how misinformed they are. The part you ACTUALLY want to read is:

The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a gay and lesbian think tank, released a study in April 2011 estimating based on its research that just 1.7 percent of Americans between 18 and 44 identify as gay or lesbian, while another 1.8 percent -- predominantly women -- identify as bisexual. Far from underestimating the ranks of gay people because of homophobia, these figures included a substantial number of people who remained deeply closeted, such as a quarter of the bisexuals.

That covers your (1) bisexuals and (3) closets, and if you click through to the actual study itself you'll see it also covers (2) "homosexual experiences" (which the Atlantic article leaves out). To quote the abstract of the study:

Drawing on information from four recent national and two state-level population-based surveys, the analyses suggest that there are more than 8 million adults in the US who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, comprising 3.5% of the adult population. There are also nearly 700,000 transgender individuals in the US. In total, the study suggests that approximately 9 million Americans - roughly the population of New Jersey - identify as LGBT. Key findings from the study include among adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, bisexuals comprise a slight majority (1.8% compared to 1.7% who identify as lesbian or gay); women are substantially more likely than men to identify as bisexual; estimates of those who report any lifetime same-sex sexual behavior and any same-sex sexual attraction are substantially higher than estimates of those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. An estimated 19 million Americans (8.2%) report that they have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior and nearly 25.6 million Americans (11%) acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction.

Yes, the 11% who acknowledge same-sex attraction is pretty much bang on with the 10% number you cite, but if you're including ladies who joke they'd "go gay for Angelina Jolie" in the LGBT community, then I suspect you might be padding your numbers a leeeetle too much.

Gay people scare me...
Nah not really, but I was raised in a pretty uptight family. Dad was military and such so you can imagine the cliche attitude in the house. Gays are wrong and immigrants should go home but Raj (or whatever he was called) who runs the corner shop is ok cos he works for a living and we'll not say a word about allegations that dads friend on the town council cross-dresses when his wifes away.

I enjoy movies and tv, I like performing in theatre and playing roleplaying and video games. I have never really enjoyed football, have no idea how an engine works.

Moving away and becoming my own person was amazing. Attitudes and interests that were discouraged at home I was now free to pursue them.

I am not gay, have never been and have no interest in exploring it out. If my gay friends are being a bit too fabulous I can feel a bit uncomfortable but there is a reason they are my friends and I know when they are just screwing with me.
Same goes for when I'm on the subway and there are a group of individuals being boistrous with each other and talking in their native language.

So that's me...

My opinion does not make others wrong. I can understand if it is difficult to accept others but that does not give anybody the right to take their options away.
I am for homosexual relationships in games and out. And much like real life, if I don't want a homosexual relationship I should choose the relevant conversation options for my desire.

Minor nitpick but LGB is more correct than LGBT in this context as transgender is not relevant in the sense of the game (no trans characters). Transgender is typically grouped with LGBT for legal reasons (they share some legal goals) and because being transgender can modify sexuality (i.e. a trans-man could have always liked men and it would have been straight when he was female but now is gay), but neither happens to apply in this case.

There is very very little that offends me in the gaming industry outside of just play old bad games. But this is one of those very rare things that makes me truly offended. I am gay and I have had both a straight and a gay friend who game in only the most casual "Madden NFL/Halo" way bring up this topic and how silly it is. This crazy SWO same-gender-relationship play has moved from being a gaming topic to a pop culture topic.

For a company to say it's okay to be gay but you have to do it on some corner of the galaxy away from everyone else is just insulting. It sounds more like a proposal from a fundamentalist preacher to ban all the gays to another planet than an attempt to be nice to gay folks.

At best it's shockingly tone-deaf at worst it's borderline maliciously insulting. I know I won't be shedding a tear when the last SWO server goes offline.

I am not the most open-minded person in the world. I personally find that male same-gender relationships turn me off. This is the part that makes me feel guilty, and a little bit like a bad person.

However, I am an ally of the LGBT community because I think that they should have all the rights that heterosexual people have. I trumpeted the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and rallied for Washington State's Proposition 74 to pass.

I do understand the desire to be included, and see that Makeb is another poor solution to the issue. I don't understand why the LGBT community can't take this as a small victory and work towards more inclusion with the developer.

(Full disclosure, I am in the category of people least likely to be trodden upon: Straight late 20's white American male.)

I did have a good chuckle at the new content area being labled "The Gay Planet", mostly because of the stereotypical images such a term conjures.

It is a small victory, I guess? But to be honest the game had far greater problems than its lack of LGBT content. A game with seriously half-assed mechanics could not be carried by its story and universe alone. Now when the game should be focused on resolving the issues with its mechanics there's mounting pressure to do more with the story/characters placing even more of a strain on its dwindling production resources.

I do believe that Bioware/EA needs to be accountable for the promises it made in developing the game and I feel the half-assed LGBT content is not a reflection of intent but of resources. They shouldn't have promised what they could not deliver - that's their only real "crime" here.

Homosexual characters will continue to be a difficult aspect of gaming due to how difficult they are for the majority of writers to tackle and how small the niche market they will appeal to actually is. The resources requried:reward ratio is heavily weighed towards the resources scale. Attempting to shoe-horn in homosexuality into a universe that has had next to no mention of such sexuality in a societal sense just doubles the difficulties the writers face.

Robert Rath:
Why Makeb Hits LGBT Players So Hard

Old Republic's "gay planet" mimics real-world frustrations.

Read Full Article

This is one of the best written articles on the Escapist since a long time!

I applaud to you, Robert!

I think if I was in marketing at Bioware, by this point, I would be on watch to keep me away from pills, heights, and sharp objects. "How- how-?!" (I would be asking myself), "did I sign on to a company that was bringing about the New Renaissance in role-playing games, and end up working for one that colossally disappoints enormous segments of its consumer base with every lumbering foot-fall?"

I would then look up Peter Molyneux on Wikipedia, try to reassure myself that there are worse instigators of over-promising on their games, and then probably resume attempting to sever a vein with a ball-point pen.

I thought the Mass Effect ending debacle (and attendant cries about so-called "entitled" gamers) might come up in this discussion, and I was not disappointed. Or, well, disappointed, perhaps, but not surprised.

I am not LGBT. If you added enough letters, you might get to me eventually, but there's nothing obvious in my heterosexual relationships that gets me isolated from the rest of society on a daily basis as a matter of course. I can understand the frustration of feeling that my game world refuses to acknowledge that people like me exist; at the same time, I think Bioware's statements that boil down to it actually taking a fair amount of writing, crafting, and voice acting to present homosexual relationships with the same amount of depth, complexity, and meaning as the heterosexual ones are quite accurate.

Likewise, I again have to be adamant in my view that "just make everyone bisexual" is a terrible, terrible idea; the kind of idea that makes writers who actually care about the worlds they have a hand in creating want to resign. It can work in games like "Skyrim" in part because ninety percent of the characters (and virtually all the "marriagable characters") have virtually no depth once their five minutes of spoken dialogue are consumed. It genuinely amazes me that anyone who considers themselves LGBT would seriously countenance such a move; it's tantamount to suggesting that your own sexuality, and others' reactions and interplay with it, had virtually no effect on your own character development.

With regard to the situation on SW:TOR, the best I think I could advise to those who feel wronged by the way things have played out is to keep faith and patience with Bioware with the reasonable hope that they will come through in the end, and that it will be a significant milestone when they do.

(They do have to get it right eventually, right...? Right...?)

Farther than stars:

Of course that line of reasoning negates the fact that a single parent has to do all the work alone. Traditionally speaking, "bringing home the bacon" and caring for the children has been spread between two people, so obviously a second parent takes a lot of the workload off the first parent, whether they're of the same gender or not. We'll leave by the wayside for now the debate in psychology about maternal bonding.

They do have to do all the work alone, and it tends to be accepted that two parents are better than one (though the sex of the parents is a non-issue). However, one parent may be less than ideal, but it's still a family structure that can work. I say can only because it's just like any other family unit; there are bad parents and asshats in every type of family structure. Gay, straight, black, white, anything else: we all tend to have jerks in our ranks.

redknightalex:

True true. Very much in the garbage POV. As a member of the LGBT community and raised primarily by my mother (parents are divorced), I always found that line of thought to be complete BS. Disney doesn't listen to science, do they?

Most people don't seem to listen to science if it goes against their established beliefs. I'm probably guilty of this, too, but we tend to be more mindful of the failings of others.

In a way, this is also rather ironic considering all of the Disney stories that like to kill off one parent or make the main protagonist an orphan. Guess it'll take Disney another 20 years or so to have a LGBT family when we just had our first black princess!

Disney likes to whitewash a lot. They take out a lot of the violence and even sex from the source material, so I would imagine that they really will be a lagging indicator in LGBT culture. And, of course, their behaviour is "justified" in the fact that American culture still tries to dehumanise the "gay" community.

tangoprime:
Why can't bioware pull it off as well as Bethesda has done in the last few games... It's just, there. It's not trumpeted, it's not pushed, it's not a binary GAY or NAY at some point in building character relationships... in both new vegas, and to a slightly lesser extent, skyrim, it's just there. There are some characters, well written, great characters. They happen to be l/g/b- you only really find this out if you learn enough about them as a person, talk to them, find out about their past, etc, like how it is for the most part in real life. Veronica and Arcade are probably two of the best written gay characters I've ever seen, especially the backstory with Veronica and Christine at the Brotherhood, and how that gets expanded upon when you meet that character in an expansion.

Bioware, seriously, take notes. Oh yeah, EA. That explains a lot.

I have a simple explanation why New Vegas handles gay characters better then skyrim. obsidian entertainment made Fallout New Vegas not Bethesda. obsidian knows how to make a good well written character; while Bethesda writing ability is ok at best.

mikespoff:
Interesting article, but I have to question this statement:

Robert Rath:

"...civil unions inherently hold members of the LGBT community apart from the rest of the populace by creating a separate, and therefore unequal, category..."

I disagree that civil unions are inherently "unequal" just because they are separate from marriage. If they have the same legal standing, I think that it is a superior option than trying to re-define marriage.

It is useful to have a term for a faithful, monogomous life-long relationship between a man and a woman, which creates an environment in which to bear and raise children. That term is "marriage", and that relationship is recognised as having certain legal implications and protections.

If you want to have equivalent legal standing for a faithful, monogomous, homosexual relationship, that is a legitimate discussion within society. But to insist that such a relationship be brought under the term "marriage" only makes ambiguous a term which was previously clear and specific.

Hmm... you are legally incorrect. Separate is not equal in the United States. It is a legal precedent that started with the end of the separate but "equal" treatment of black members of our society. You would be hard-pressed to argue that the treatment of black people during that time was equal. A separate but equal precedent with the LGBT issue would create the same social stigma against us like with black individuals (albeit less intense, no slavery or anything). Also, your clarity of language is weak at best and ridiculous at worst. I mean seriously, it's either a flimsy cover for a religious argument or you have seriously misaligned priorities. I mean really? Has the decision come down to semantics vs. equality? The word has had bigger changes in definition than the change from heterosexual to homosexual, and it will change again. I mean really, it changed from an economic and social contract to a religious thing, and now it's an economic status. I don't know man (or lady), I'm seriously doubting the sincerity of that argument.

Myrmecodon:

I just do not understand why some people find integration hard to understand, why some people want to be treated as equals and not as aberrations.

Because you are an aberration from the biological norm that the common culture spendt so much time defining rules and bylaws for. There are all sorts of 1 and 2% exceptions in the sexual landscape and most will hew to the general standard in public for the sake of social peace. Functional human society is about the greatest good for the greatest number.

Fucking hell, It would not have taken that much to integrate LGBTQ relationships from the start (Get a few of the lines done twice by some of the characters, one referring to a male partner and the other to a female partner. Done, you now have some bisexual characters and nobody is offended). Instead the LGBTQ community is always thought of as an afterthought.

When you're reliably only 1-2% of the population, then you are a functional afterthought. Games, unlike media influence, TV shows, and advertisements, are bought at the same per-unit price per person, so appealing to a majority of people counts.

The problem is that companies and society as a whole treat us like afterthoughts.

And people like you don't give enough of a shit.

I woke up this morning not giving a shit about what pedophiles, ephebophiles, polygamists, polyandrists, and bestiality-philes felt about their representation in gaming, even though lots of those are probably more well-represented in the population than gays. I will wake up tomorrow continuing not to give a shit, and treating them as afterthoughts in anything I make for a mass market.

It's not my fight because I am queer. Its not someone else's fight cause she is a lesbian, or someone else cause they are Trans. Its all of our fight because we are all human and this shit is offensive to anyone with an ounce of decency and sense.

"Human" is an abstract term that's only used in abstract debate. No one says "I met a human today" in general conversation, because the term gives us so little relevant information about the thing in question. It's good for accountants filling in space on their spreadsheets, maybe. But no one dates a spreadsheet.

Fuck the tyranny of the majority.

"Fuck society" is not a long-term strategy for acceptance by the majority, as this incident should show.

And before someone says "It doesn't matter how gays are depicted in games" it does. It fucking does. Because if the LGBTQ community is treated like every other community in games and popular media eventually the idea of someone being LGBTQ will be normalised. We will be people again. And not "Others".

No, you've got it backwards.

When LBGTBBQers themselves are self-aware enough of the majority opinion to be properly respectful of that opinion in all of their interactions with that majority, games which treat LGBTQQQers like everyone else will NOT have to go free-to-play in less than a year because the majority of gamers see BioWare, and increasingly any property bearing the Star Wars or Disney name, as a diminished product of a ghettoized advocacy group who'll avoid writing anything that might make the gays on staff feel bad about themselves.

A game is nothing but a collection of rules that all of the players agree on following. If one person doesn't think those rules are worth following, either the person gets abandoned or the game does.

The ignorance in this post is staggering. Just... staggering.

1) Did you really just compare two adults in a loving consenting relationship to pedophiles and beastiophiles? I haven't heard that since Jerry Falwell blamed 9-11 on gays.

2)

"Human" is an abstract term that's only used in abstract debate. No one says "I met a human today" in general conversation, because the term gives us so little relevant information about the thing in question. It's good for accountants filling in space on their spreadsheets, maybe. But no one dates a spreadsheet.

Well, when people aren't treated like humans, it makes statements like the above a million times more important. Or you can dodge around the issue with the "what is a man" strawman, whatever.

3) Bioware promised the homosexual options would be available. Isolating them to an after-thought DLC is segregationist at best.

EDIT 4): WAIT WAIT WAIT... DID YOU ACTUALLY BLAME GAYS AND LESBIANS FOR TOR GOING FREE TO PLAY?!?!?!?!

Wow... just... wow... epic... level... failure...

So. This is what happened, right?

Before Launch: Lengthy pleas for inclusion of SGRA options.
Before Launch: COnfirmation from BioWare that SGRA's WON'T be in at launch, but will be included later.
First Expansion: BioWare says, sorry guys, with all the added difficulties (like, smaller dev team, shift in focus etc), SGRA's are taking longer to implement fully. But we haven't forgotten you, so here's some content in that direction while we continue to work on the real deal.

End result. BioWare lied and is an asshole company for doing this. And they are lazy. And they are greedy. And they are segregating.

We can all hope that this debate will lead to BioWare pulling the SGRA content from the expansion completely. Then at least a part of people will be happy (you know...the part that wants that family friendly game, so they can watch little 10-year old Timmy in their wholesome home electroshocking their companion into submission every chance they get! Oh the wholesome family fun!).

Whoever finds sarcasm, may keep it.

Critical Intel is rapidly becoming my favourite Escapist feature.

Keep it up, guys. I look forward to your next article.

Yakostovian:
I am not the most open-minded person in the world. I personally find that male same-gender relationships turn me off. This is the part that makes me feel guilty, and a little bit like a bad person.

However, I am an ally of the LGBT community because I think that they should have all the rights that heterosexual people have. I trumpeted the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and rallied for Washington State's Proposition 74 to pass.

I do understand the desire to be included, and see that Makeb is another poor solution to the issue. I don't understand why the LGBT community can't take this as a small victory and work towards more inclusion with the developer.

(Full disclosure, I am in the category of people least likely to be trodden upon: Straight late 20's white American male.)


The important part is that you still think that LGBTers should have the same rights and privileges as everyone else and that you fight for those basic human rights.

As for Makeb, the issue is that it's an additional example of "day late and a dollar short". As the article said, same-sex relationships have been asked for since beta, and they have been promised since before launch. What's more, after well over a year has past since this feature was promised, most of the same-sex "relationships" amount to little more than flirty dialogue[1] that you have to pay even more to access. Makeb could be taken as a small victory to be improved upon, but if you've been waiting this long for same-sex relationships this is basically throwing you a dirty bone and calling it a steak.

Now if a Makeb-like situation was free, and was released earlier on then it would be reasonable for people to think that same-sex relationships were actually going to get some traction. But after all this time, and giving it such a half-hearted response...

[1] I don't play The Old Republic, my source of info is the article. If that statement is not the case, or the "deep" heterosexual relationships amount to little more than flirty dialogue, then ignore this statement.

tangoprime:
Why can't bioware pull it off as well as Bethesda has done in the last few games... It's just, there. It's not trumpeted, it's not pushed, it's not a binary GAY or NAY at some point in building character relationships... in both new vegas, and to a slightly lesser extent, skyrim, it's just there. There are some characters, well written, great characters. They happen to be l/g/b- you only really find this out if you learn enough about them as a person, talk to them, find out about their past, etc, like how it is for the most part in real life. Veronica and Arcade are probably two of the best written gay characters I've ever seen, especially the backstory with Veronica and Christine at the Brotherhood, and how that gets expanded upon when you meet that character in an expansion.

Bioware, seriously, take notes. Oh yeah, EA. That explains a lot.

New Vegas is made by Obsidian, which is by and large the same people that made up Black Isle Studios which were the real brains behind most of Bioware's early successes like Fallout 1 and 2.

Everything that has become BW "hallmarks" in recent years, is nothing more than rehashes of something BI made years ago.

And if anything, the people at Obsidian understands the subtle difference between a "Character Who Is [Insert Here]" rather than a "Who Is An [Insert Here] Character."

defskyoen:
#1reasonwhy you don't give in to outside pressure from "interest groups" to include things in your work, be it religious groups, feminists or LGWhatever.
They finally got what they asked for after years of begging, which was probably not very easy since LucasArts likely had to agree and now they're bitching and crying their eyes out that it "isn't what they expected" or "isn't enough". If anyone talks about "entitlement" in gaming again, point them to this, because if this isn't it I don't know what is.

Especially if it comes from a negligible portion of your customerbase: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/americans-have-no-idea-how-few-gay-people-there-are/257753/ and you can be sure to piss off another part at the same time.

...Dude, this is NOT a case of "getting what you want but you still complaining". This is the definition of the phrase "day late and a dollar short".

I'd explain why you're wrong, but maxben, Mr F. and everyone else explained this pretty well so I'll stop wasting my time.

Fat_Hippo:
I just felt I should point this out, since it's a commonly made mistake. Fallout: New Vegas was made by Obsidian Entertainment, and only published by Bethesda. Bethesda's writing has never been of even nearly that quality. Obsidian on the other hand, well...let's just say you should play some more of their games.

You are absolutely right though, that people should definitely be taking lessons from this game.

I really need to get around to playing New Vegas. I keep hearing such good things, years after launch.

DVS BSTrD:
Is anyone really surprised Bioware failed again at exclusively same sex relationships?

Not surprised, but certainly somewhat disappointed. The thing is, I just don't see how it's a difficult issue. People are just people, no matter who they want to bump uglies with. If you really find gay people so difficult to understand that you can't write a story about them, just write one about a heterosexual couple and then change one of the names. There's no difference in how relationships work, it's still just two people who like each other.

Zachary Amaranth:
Not by Disney's standards.

Which is kind of amusing when you think about it:
Snow White - young girl runs away from home to live with seven strange men, and is then sexually assaulted while unconscious by another complete stranger who she promptly goes to live with.
Sleeping Beauty - young girl is forced into an arranged marriage, kicked out of her home to be brought up by foster parents, then sexually assaulted while unconscious by a man she'd only met once.
Cinderella - young girl is subject to domestic abuse, marries man she met once for a few minutes based on shoe size.
The Little Mermaid - young girl stalks innocent man, nearly destroying her entire country and killing him in the process, marries about two days after actually meeting him for the first time.

Disney has some pretty interesting standards for what is considered a good role model.

All the point of it is this: "controversy makes for lots of free advertising by talking of our game".

Robert Rath:
It's interesting that this came up, since after filing the article I found myself thinking a lot about the term "family friendly" and decided I should've probably put it in quotes. After all, if a kid's growing up with a gay parent, sister, cousin, aunt, how is seeing a gay person on TV not "friendly" to his household? As someone who grew up with divorced parents my mind went to the same place that's been mentioned here - that when I was growing up there were no families on TV that had divorced parents, it was literally considered more acceptable for one parent to be dead than to even hint at a divorce. (The only exception I can recall is Angelica's mother on Rugrats, and that was hardly a sympathetic portrayal of a working mother.)

So yes, I was using Disney's version of "family friendly," and I probably shouldn't have done so uncritically. I did say they were ostensibly family friendly though, since Disney now owns a lot of brands that are PG-13 or R. (In an interesting side note: The day after Osama Bin Laden was killed, Disney attempted to copyright the name "SEAL Team Six" for both movies and videogames. The Navy confronted them about it an they backed off.)

Yeah, I absolutely loved everything you said, but I felt like there was a bit of a hiccup in the message there. I think there is a great perception that Disney is militantly "G RATED ONRY," but in reality they are quite successfully marketing the PG-13 Pirates of the Caribbean films to children under the age of 10, and they began allowing same-sex marriages on their US-based resorts long before it was a hot topic. If there was any great problem with worrying about Disney's opinion on gay couples in their online game (even though the acquisition wasn't even heard about until very recently, still not explaining that huge lapse in time from the game's release date to now), I think all the concerns had to have been on Bioware's end (as in Bioware overcompensating to criticism they thought they were going to get from Disney but never actually did). But they wouldn't have known Disney was going to be a factor until, what, two months ago at most? I'm pretty sure they began plotting the logistics of this long before the acquisition.

And even then I don't see Disney trying so deliberately to interfere with something like that. If there's one thing they want to avoid it's bad blood with the LGBT community, which they are beginning to blatantly market to in their merchandise (in the parks you can find all over the place Mickey Mouse pins and wallets with the LGBT colors on them--that linear rainbow pattern).

So, yeah. That was the only problem I had. And I don't even feel like that bit undermines any of what you said. I just latched onto it because I'm a bit of a Disney fan ;-)

This is why you don't "patch gay". I think it would be more interesting if there was a LGBT game that was actually good. Think about straight people playing a "gay game" because its actually a great game.

Myrmecodon:

I just do not understand why some people find integration hard to understand, why some people want to be treated as equals and not as aberrations.

Because you are an aberration from the biological norm that the common culture spendt so much time defining rules and bylaws for. There are all sorts of 1 and 2% exceptions in the sexual landscape and most will hew to the general standard in public for the sake of social peace. Functional human society is about the greatest good for the greatest number.

Fucking hell, It would not have taken that much to integrate LGBTQ relationships from the start (Get a few of the lines done twice by some of the characters, one referring to a male partner and the other to a female partner. Done, you now have some bisexual characters and nobody is offended). Instead the LGBTQ community is always thought of as an afterthought.

When you're reliably only 1-2% of the population, then you are a functional afterthought. Games, unlike media influence, TV shows, and advertisements, are bought at the same per-unit price per person, so appealing to a majority of people counts.

The problem is that companies and society as a whole treat us like afterthoughts.

And people like you don't give enough of a shit.

I woke up this morning not giving a shit about what pedophiles, ephebophiles, polygamists, polyandrists, and bestiality-philes felt about their representation in gaming, even though lots of those are probably more well-represented in the population than gays. I will wake up tomorrow continuing not to give a shit, and treating them as afterthoughts in anything I make for a mass market.

It's not my fight because I am queer. Its not someone else's fight cause she is a lesbian, or someone else cause they are Trans. Its all of our fight because we are all human and this shit is offensive to anyone with an ounce of decency and sense.

"Human" is an abstract term that's only used in abstract debate. No one says "I met a human today" in general conversation, because the term gives us so little relevant information about the thing in question. It's good for accountants filling in space on their spreadsheets, maybe. But no one dates a spreadsheet.

Fuck the tyranny of the majority.

"Fuck society" is not a long-term strategy for acceptance by the majority, as this incident should show.

And before someone says "It doesn't matter how gays are depicted in games" it does. It fucking does. Because if the LGBTQ community is treated like every other community in games and popular media eventually the idea of someone being LGBTQ will be normalised. We will be people again. And not "Others".

No, you've got it backwards.

When LBGTBBQers themselves are self-aware enough of the majority opinion to be properly respectful of that opinion in all of their interactions with that majority, games which treat LGBTQQQers like everyone else will NOT have to go free-to-play in less than a year because the majority of gamers see BioWare, and increasingly any property bearing the Star Wars or Disney name, as a diminished product of a ghettoized advocacy group who'll avoid writing anything that might make the gays on staff feel bad about themselves.

A game is nothing but a collection of rules that all of the players agree on following. If one person doesn't think those rules are worth following, either the person gets abandoned or the game does.

Hmm, the bigotry is strong in this one.

To be frank, if Bioware could come up with a compelling enough reason why the Star Wars lore forbids same sex relationships, I'd not care that much. Relationships were pretty pointless in Mass Effect unless you wanted a terrible and vomtastic cutscene after all of your efforts. Unless they were planning to have some major outcome/bonus/benefit from being in a couple I'd probably just skip over them regardless of whether two women could hook up or not.

Hold on, give me a moment here while I utterly demolish your arguments.

Myrmecodon:

I just do not understand why some people find integration hard to understand, why some people want to be treated as equals and not as aberrations.

Because you are an aberration from the biological norm that the common culture spendt so much time defining rules and bylaws for. There are all sorts of 1 and 2% exceptions in the sexual landscape and most will hew to the general standard in public for the sake of social peace. Functional human society is about the greatest good for the greatest number.

So... We're in agreement then? Equal rights and inclusion for LGBT people. Since that doesn't cause harm to anybody, giving them equal rights will only increase the amount of good going to people. Being an 'aberration' does not suddenly stop you from being a person. You still are one, and thus, by your own definition, functional human society needs to provide them with the same rights. Especially since being gay does not destroy social peace. If two guys want to hold hands in public, someone who sees it isn't going to suddenly drop to their knees, clawing out their eyes as their brains melt. Wanna know what destroys societal peace? Douchebags. Jackasses who would oppress the rights of somebody else just for being different.

And what exactly is a 'biological aberration'? Anyone who's different from how you want them to be? We're not talking about some genetic disease that will eat you from the inside out and kill you here, we're talking about a predisposition towards finding one sex attractive over the other. What's next? Red heads are aberrations for having an unusual hair colour? Whoops, better round up all the gingers for a massacre.

Fucking hell, It would not have taken that much to integrate LGBTQ relationships from the start (Get a few of the lines done twice by some of the characters, one referring to a male partner and the other to a female partner. Done, you now have some bisexual characters and nobody is offended). Instead the LGBTQ community is always thought of as an afterthought.

When you're reliably only 1-2% of the population, then you are a functional afterthought. Games, unlike media influence, TV shows, and advertisements, are bought at the same per-unit price per person, so appealing to a majority of people counts.

That survey is incredibly flawed, for reasons people have already listed. Namely, being gay is extremely stygmatized, and you can even lose your job and home over it. Some homophobe might beat you to death because of it. People have reason to lie about it, sometimes even to themselves. And even by that article's own admission, when you take into account the number of people who admit to having a sexual experience with a member of the same gender even if they don't specifically identify as gay, that number climbs much higher, because sexuality is not binary. It's not 'are you gay or aren't you?'. It's a sliding scale with people falling anywhere in between, and very few people are at the very ends of it.

It's not my fight because I am queer. Its not someone else's fight cause she is a lesbian, or someone else cause they are Trans. Its all of our fight because we are all human and this shit is offensive to anyone with an ounce of decency and sense.

"Human" is an abstract term that's only used in abstract debate. No one says "I met a human today" in general conversation, because the term gives us so little relevant information about the thing in question. It's good for accountants filling in space on their spreadsheets, maybe. But no one dates a spreadsheet.

This statement does not actually have anything to do with the one you're responding to.

Fuck the tyranny of the majority.

"Fuck society" is not a long-term strategy for acceptance by the majority, as this incident should show.

Neither is 'Let them walk all over us and hope to get by on table scraps'.

And before someone says "It doesn't matter how gays are depicted in games" it does. It fucking does. Because if the LGBTQ community is treated like every other community in games and popular media eventually the idea of someone being LGBTQ will be normalised. We will be people again. And not "Others".

No, you've got it backwards.

When LBGTBBQers themselves are self-aware enough of the majority opinion to be properly respectful of that opinion in all of their interactions with that majority, games which treat LGBTQQQers like everyone else will NOT have to go free-to-play in less than a year because the majority of gamers see BioWare, and increasingly any property bearing the Star Wars or Disney name, as a diminished product of a ghettoized advocacy group who'll avoid writing anything that might make the gays on staff feel bad about themselves.

...What? This one is a little bit hard to respond to, because it's tiptoeing the border of nonsense and seeing how far it can lean over without anyone noticing. But I'll give it my best shot because I'm a masochist.

First off, you establish that people who are oppressed should kowtow to those who are oppressing them, be quiet and not raise a fuss, and hope it just gets better eventually. Yeah, how well did that work out for blacks and jews again? We ARE lucky that society has progressed enough that (for the most part), one doesn't have to worry about being rounded up en masse and slaughtered anymore, but it's only progressed as far as it has because people struggled and fought every step of the way to push it there.

Furthermore, do you honestly think SW:TOR went free-to-play because of LGBTQ people bitching? If they honestly had that much power, this discussion wouldn't even be happening. It went free-to-play because they made a lot of very poor business decisions, like not creating it with a F2P model in mind from the start when the industry was already showing signs of moving that direction with WoW as the sole outlier. And the property doesn't suddenly become ghettoized because Bioware/EA put more work into it. If anything, more work going into it makes it a higher quality/less ghettoized product.

A game is nothing but a collection of rules that all of the players agree on following. If one person doesn't think those rules are worth following, either the person gets abandoned or the game does.

Yes, and in this case, the game, for a variety of reasons, has been abandoned in droves. Once again, we agree I guess?

In summary, you're a collossal tool, and should you ever be diagnosed with a genetic disease and become a 'biological abberation', I do hope you'll be 'properly respectful' to the rest of society and not bother anyone by asking to be recognized as anything other than sub-human.

mikespoff:
Interesting article, but I have to question this statement:

Robert Rath:

"...civil unions inherently hold members of the LGBT community apart from the rest of the populace by creating a separate, and therefore unequal, category..."

I disagree that civil unions are inherently "unequal" just because they are separate from marriage. If they have the same legal standing, I think that it is a superior option than trying to re-define marriage.

It is useful to have a term for a faithful, monogomous life-long relationship between a man and a woman, which creates an environment in which to bear and raise children. That term is "marriage", and that relationship is recognised as having certain legal implications and protections.

If you want to have equivalent legal standing for a faithful, monogomous, homosexual relationship, that is a legitimate discussion within society. But to insist that such a relationship be brought under the term "marriage" only makes ambiguous a term which was previously clear and specific.

Why can't the word "marriage" be re-defined? "Marriage" used to mean "one man owning as many women as he wants", but the definition has changed hugely since then. Changing "a man and a woman" in your example to "two adults" would be a comparatively minute change.

Wait, why was it difficult for Bioware to put gay relationships in to the game during development? They managed it with three Mass Effect games. True there were a (I'm assuming, having not played the game) relatively small number of potential sexy-time partners, but you're only going to need to change a few lines of dialogue provided every line doesn't begin 'Oh dearest husband-lover-man of mine, let's [insert activity here]'. And why not just make all of the romance options bisexual with a few here and there polarised one way or the other?

And as someone said earlier the partnerships in ME were kind of weak and didn't add a whole lot besides a horribly awkward cutscene as the pay off (and an achievement). I'd rather get on with the meat of the game rather than fanny around for a while without getting any benefit. At least wives in Skyrim make you a tasty packed lunch once in a while!

CriticalMiss:
Wait, why was it difficult for Bioware to put gay relationships in to the game during development? They managed it with three Mass Effect games. True there were a (I'm assuming, having not played the game) relatively small number of potential sexy-time partners, but you're only going to need to change a few lines of dialogue provided every line doesn't begin 'Oh dearest husband-lover-man of mine, let's [insert activity here]'. And why not just make all of the romance options bisexual with a few here and there polarised one way or the other?

And as someone said earlier the partnerships in ME were kind of weak and didn't add a whole lot besides a horribly awkward cutscene as the pay off (and an achievement). I'd rather get on with the meat of the game rather than fanny around for a while without getting any benefit. At least wives in Skyrim make you a tasty packed lunch once in a while!

From what I can tell, there are a limited number of romancable partners in TOR and the partnerships are kind of weak and don't add a whole lot.

I'm surprised Bioware DIDN'T add in half-ass gay marriage to go along with their other half-ass ideas.

Edited to fix "TOE." Though I would totally buy "the old empire."

redknightalex:

I'm still hoping for a future, at least in the sci-fi genre, where this is not a debate, not even an issue. I don't understand how it's not just assumed that in the future sexuality is no longer an issue, much less a big issue.

Also look for Ian M Banks Culture novels. Not only Is it really well don SF (The player of games is one of my favorite books) but has lots of interesting social ideas such as a post-scarcity economy, and robot-organic equality :D. I'd love to live in the culture.

I don't even know why they include "romance" (if such stale lifeless events can even be called that) in bio ware games. They add little to nothing to the plot of any given game and just cause unnecessary fuss.

BurnedOutMyEyes:
After Kotor 2, I honestly doubt 'family friendly' is an apt description of anything Star Wars.
Nevermind all the genocide and the ewok cannibalism and whatnot.

Yes but I'm certain that The Old Republic has attempted to retcon or ignore all of those great dark bits of the plot to that game. Mainly the very interesting idea that Revan fell to the dark side to protect/fight against the sith. In STOR it's no, the sith lord corrupted them and then they caught sith cronic backstabbing disorder.

Really I wouldn't be suprised if they forced the developers to cut some much out of the game just because it was so un-star wars.

And I loved it

Xanex:
Please don't bring up KT books in a Star Wars thread. I'm still trying to pretending her SW books don't exist and you messing with my delusions, thanks.

Hmm? Are you hating on the Commando books, or the other books?

Kahani:

Which is kind of amusing when you think about it:
Snow White - young girl runs away from home to live with seven strange men, and is then sexually assaulted while unconscious by another complete stranger who she promptly goes to live with.
Sleeping Beauty - young girl is forced into an arranged marriage, kicked out of her home to be brought up by foster parents, then sexually assaulted while unconscious by a man she'd only met once.
Cinderella - young girl is subject to domestic abuse, marries man she met once for a few minutes based on shoe size.
The Little Mermaid - young girl stalks innocent man, nearly destroying her entire country and killing him in the process, marries about two days after actually meeting him for the first time.

Disney has some pretty interesting standards for what is considered a good role model.

After each and every one of those, I want to add, "you know, for kids!"

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