Why Makeb Hits LGBT Players So Hard

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JaceArveduin:

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?

Every book that she Mary Sues that crap outa the mandos. Which boils down to everyone single one of them.

What I find fascinating is that people actually care about virtual relationships in an MMO. If you want to have a virtual relationship in an MMO, you might as well start one with a real player from your guild or something.

Also, Bioware romances are shitty because they forgot how to write good characters after they wrapped up Mass Effect 2.

Xanex:

JaceArveduin:

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?

Every book that she Mary Sues that crap outa the mandos. Which boils down to everyone single one of them.

Well... when you put it that way, aren't most of the main characters in the Star Wars Universe Mary Sues?

As for the clones, I'm about 90% sure it's canon that they're genetically modified to be stronger smarter etc.

The Plunk:

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.

Sorry, but that's incorrect. The word "marriage" is derived from Anglo-French and dates from the late thirteenth century. For the last thousand years of western civilisation, the concept has been pretty much unchanged, and thus the word has always had a clear meaning. Moving from a relationship which forms the basis of a family (i.e. a man and a woman, since that's what's needed to produce children) to any arbitrary pairing of adults is not a "minute change".

mikespoff:

The Plunk:

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

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.

Sorry, but that's incorrect. The word "marriage" is derived from Anglo-French and dates from the late thirteenth century. For the last thousand years of western civilisation, the concept has been pretty much unchanged, and thus the word has always had a clear meaning. Moving from a relationship which forms the basis of a family (i.e. a man and a woman, since that's what's needed to produce children) to any arbitrary pairing of adults is not a "minute change".

By that logic, infertile couples should not be allowed to call their unions "marriages" either.

And "Marriage" has not been "pretty much unchanged" since the middle-ages. For one, you can no longer marry a 12 year old. Secondly, women no longer have their husband chosen by their fathers. Thirdly, women no longer have to give up all their property to their husbands. Fourthly, dowries are now pretty much non-existent.

The Plunk:

By that logic, infertile couples should not be allowed to call their unions "marriages" either.

And "Marriage" has not been "pretty much unchanged" since the middle-ages. For one, you can no longer marry a 12 year old. Secondly, women no longer have their husband chosen by their fathers. Thirdly, women no longer have to give up all their property to their husbands. Fourthly, dowries are now pretty much non-existent.

Well, there, you're describing the institution of marriage, which, yes, has changed quite drastically. I think what he was referring to, though, was the actual working definition of the term 'marriage,' which has 'always' been used to describe a 'lifelong,' 'blessed,' union between a man and a woman.

OT: I just read an article by Jim Sterling on Destructoid about this: I hadn't heard about it before. I'm not really surprised at the reaction its getting. The fact that there were gay relationships in the Dragon Age games did cause a little bit of a fuss, as I recall, and the presence of a homosexual male relationship option in Mass Effect 3 caused a stir, as well. To my knowledge, the first two ME games only had homosexual relationship options available to female characters, because asari. And maybe Miranda, I think? But she was genetically altered, so I don't know if that should count or not.

I'll be honest, and say that, so far as all these issues are concerned, I may be part of the problem. I have no problem with the LGBT community, but it's not like I parade support around, either. At this point in my life, when there are issues that are so much bigger than me, I kind of tend to let them skirt by. I don't mean to be selfish, but I'm just at a place where I have to worry about where I'm going, before I can worry about helping others get to where they want to be, you know?

As to the issue at hand, though, I don't really know what to think. On one hand, I think Bioware made a huge misstep, here. They knew this was a sensitive issue, and they, and that title especially, aren't really in a position to generate anymore ill-will. One of these mutually-disappointing compromises was pretty much the worst move they could have made. It might actually have done them more good if they had worried about stabilizing the rest of the game first, before opening up this issue again.

At the same time, though, this is something they promised, and the fact that it's taken so long to implement is definitely not good. If it was a promise, and a promise made before the game was released, when they still had the weight of the entirety of their resources behind them, then it should have been there, if not at launch, then alongside the first big update. It wasn't, so I understand why the community is upset.

Poor Bioware. I really do like them, still, and I think they genuinely mean well. They just can't seem to do anything that doesn't draw ire, these days.

SonOfMethuselah:

Well, there, you're describing the institution of marriage, which, yes, has changed quite drastically. I think what he was referring to, though, was the actual working definition of the term 'marriage,' which has 'always' been used to describe a 'lifelong,' 'blessed,' union between a man and a woman.

You're artificially trying to split the two, but if you want to go there, the definition of marriage was originally common-law specific. At least, if you're referring to the English root. In other languages, it goes back further but did not 'always' mean anything of the sort.

It sounds like you're trying to play both sides against the middle here.

I'm surprised the word "segregation" wasn't used once in this entire article. So I, an LGBT person, will cry foul what makes me most pissed off about Makeb, whether it was intentional or not.

SEGREEEGAAATIIIOOOOON

...I mean, look, I know it's a temporary solution 'n all? But how did they not get the idea that putting all the LGBT people of the universe onto the one planet screams segregated community? And then, even if they did get that idea, how did they not quantify that it would be just slightly sending the wrong message? It's not outright offensive, and I can't attribute it to malice or stupidity because Bioware have their hearts in the right place. But wow. Didn't think that one through, eh?

maxben:
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

Also, prooobably good to keep in mind that Bioware is a company that ships games internationally. So citing American numbers either way doesn't rule out the fact that the LGBT people of, I dunno... off the top of my head... Sweden? Yeah. Sweden. LGBT players in Sweden probably feel just as bad. (Oh man I looked it up, apparently Sweden is one of the most LGBT friendly places in Europe, and the first to declassify homosexuality as a disease. That's fun! I like learnings!)

Zachary Amaranth:
You're artificially trying to split the two, but if you want to go there, the definition of marriage was originally common-law specific. At least, if you're referring to the English root. In other languages, it goes back further but did not 'always' mean anything of the sort.

It sounds like you're trying to play both sides against the middle here.

That certainly wasn't my intention. What I was saying was that some of the stuff you mentioned originally, (the dowry, the father choosing the husband, the woman losing the rights to her possessions) aren't (or weren't, as the case may be) intrinsically linked to being married as a concept.

Maybe my making a distinction between the institution of marriage and the definition of marriage was wrong, but that was the idea I was trying to convey.

Robert Rath:
Why Makeb Hits LGBT Players So Hard

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

Read Full Article

BioWare has, historically, been more "miss" than "hit" in their portrayal of same-sex relationships. This is simply another example of that failing. What surprises me is their inconsistency. On one hand, they make many of the "standard" mistakes:

- Relationship = Sex. Giving a character the option of a one-off sex scene (usually implied) with another character of the same sex is supposed to suffice for a relationship. This poses several problems, not the least of which is that the content can be seen as more about titillation than equality (see: Liara/FemShep in Mass Effect).

- Gays are lascivious. A homosexual character, if openly so, is excessively demonstrative of this, becoming all about some hot, hot sex. This demonstrates the misunderstanding that homosexual people must define their lives by their sexuality (rather than allowing it to simply be part of them), and that they must exhibit that sexuality by indiscriminately having sex with any and all comers.

- Sexuality flips like a switch. Most of the time, the character with this option is conveniently "flipped" to the required sexuality. This is different from bisexuality, which also occurs in BioWare characters. This one's tricky. On the surface, it seems to run opposite of what the above mistake was doing... but really, it worsens it. In this case, sexuality is no longer a very personal part of someone's character, but is rather a shallow preference for who they want to sleep with.

These mistakes are nearly always unintentional, and usually well-meaning. They're just fundamentally flawed. And then, on the other hand:

- Mass Effect's Steve Cortez was homosexual, but this wasn't revealed through parading the fact, sleeping around, or through anything sexual at all. It was revealed through his grief over his husband. This is a great example of the inclusion of same-sex coupling in a game. Here we have a character that is exclusively gay, not having sex on screen, and not sexually available to the player character.

In this case, it was a major mistake from top to bottom. This is one of those moments when BioWare should have remembered that you either need to do it right, or don't.

Zachary Amaranth:
Not by Disney's standards.

Actually that's changing. I think there's either some new blood in the Disney execs, but whatever it is, it's notable. First there's this:

Luhrsen:
People complaining about Disney: while they probably aren't going to come out in support in a major press release, Disney still offers same-sex Magic Kingdom weddings and openly hires homosexual employees.

Which is awesome.

And then, there's "Once Upon A Time" - a show where the Hero is a single mother, there is blatant and frequent homo-eroticism (granted, nothing has 'officially' happened yet, but that brings me to), and has a massive gay and lesbian following. Several of the actresses are openly bisexual, which may explain some of the "chemistry" on set.

Oh, for those who haven't seen it, it's a show about Disney Princesses kicking ass. Season 2 opens with Snow White putting an arrow into a troll's face at point blank range and Mulan decked out in Samurai armor and with a heavily implied lesbian crush on Sleeping Beauty. Yes, this is a real show, made by Disney.

I don't think this is an issue with bioware as much as it is EA or Lucasarts. Like it or hate it, Bioware have at least tried to think of the LGBT community in pretty much all their games since KOTOR.

As part of the LGBT community here's my beef with it:

All the gaming sites grabbing for attention, presenting it as grief.

I don't care about the "issues". I was dissapointed that it didn't make the cut in the first place, but that was that and I got over it.
Now they're fixing it. Great, I appreciate it.

No big deal.

Dastardly:

In this case, it was a major mistake from top to bottom. This is one of those moments when BioWare should have remembered that you either need to do it right, or don't.

Sorry for cutting your post short, it has good stuff in it.

There's no specific formula to do it right. Gay or bi men are as diverse as straight men.
As a masculine bisexual male, I can't stand most flamboyants, they come off as fake, egotistical, superficial people to me. But if a game represented those, kinda like the elf in Dragon Age, but worse, it wouldn't be all that misrepresenting, because there are certainly a lot of these people out there. And I'd be lying if I didn't think flamboyants are at least interesting, though extremely annoying.

In other words, it's hard to get it wrong. At least, I don't flip out and go whine about it. I was more annoyed with the ME3 character who lost his husband? It felt like he needed sympathy in order for it to be okay for who he was. It felt a bit fake, but again, I don't freak out about this, because the character was fine, the execution wasn't.

A gay planet makes sense, full of gay olympics and pride festivals. People wanting to be surrounded by those who feel the same way as them.

Im sure you can find a planet full of whores and a planet full of thieves butchers and scammers too.

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.

Bethesda... hasn't. Everyone in Skyrim is bi. Every prostitute in Fallout 3 is bi. In FO:NV, their sexuality is determined by your chosen sexuality perk, so they might as well be bi. At least, in Bioware titles, preferences exist, and gay characters can still be characters without becoming exclusively love interests and be valuable party members. Yes, even Anders. He's not a manwhore, he's vulnerable. And loves kittens.

Adam Jensen:
What I find fascinating is that people actually care about virtual relationships in an MMO. If you want to have a virtual relationship in an MMO, you might as well start one with a real player from your guild or something.

Also, Bioware romances are shitty because they forgot how to write good characters after they wrapped up Mass Effect 2.

You must mean ME3 specifically, which does suppose you carried over a romance.

I don't like the idea of TOR relationships either, unless it's with a companion npc, or an unstated relationship with one of your other toons a la Legacy.

Andy of Comix Inc:
I'm surprised the word "segregation" wasn't used once in this entire article. So I, an LGBT person, will cry foul what makes me most pissed off about Makeb, whether it was intentional or not.

SEGREEEGAAATIIIOOOOON

...I mean, look, I know it's a temporary solution 'n all? But how did they not get the idea that putting all the LGBT people of the universe onto the one planet screams segregated community? And then, even if they did get that idea, how did they not quantify that it would be just slightly sending the wrong message? It's not outright offensive, and I can't attribute it to malice or stupidity because Bioware have their hearts in the right place. But wow. Didn't think that one through, eh?

maxben:
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

Also, prooobably good to keep in mind that Bioware is a company that ships games internationally. So citing American numbers either way doesn't rule out the fact that the LGBT people of, I dunno... off the top of my head... Sweden? Yeah. Sweden. LGBT players in Sweden probably feel just as bad. (Oh man I looked it up, apparently Sweden is one of the most LGBT friendly places in Europe, and the first to declassify homosexuality as a disease. That's fun! I like learnings!)

The Republic is a morally skewed sometimes Lawful Good but mostly Lawful Neutral in practice society. This could be Bioware not walking on eggshells for once and inserting some grim into Star Wars, by showing what the Republic would do: purge any "wrongness" in society. We've well established through the campaign that the Republic's biggest difference from the Sith is that generally genocide is not okay.

I could be giving Bioware too much credit, but how often in Star Wars does sex even come up? And how often do we see men looking misty-eyed at each other? Sexuality has just never been a Star Wars issue.

SonOfMethuselah:
That certainly wasn't my intention. What I was saying was that some of the stuff you mentioned originally, (the dowry, the father choosing the husband, the woman losing the rights to her possessions) aren't (or weren't, as the case may be) intrinsically linked to being married as a concept.

I wasn't the one speaking prior. However comma, I'll point out that marriage entered into English from a middle French term in which the concept of a dowry was married (no pun intended) to the concept of marriage.

What wasn't brought together in blessed union was the concept of holy matrimony.

Your statement fails on almost every level.

Zachary Amaranth:
I wasn't the one speaking prior. However comma, I'll point out that marriage entered into English from a middle French term in which the concept of a dowry was married (no pun intended) to the concept of marriage.

What wasn't brought together in blessed union was the concept of holy matrimony.

Your statement fails on almost every level.

Hmm.
Well, then, I humbly submit to an authority greater than my own, and apologize to anyone who may have scoffed at my woeful ignorance. I shall heretofore cease in any and all discussion until I thoroughly verse myself in whatever subject I happen to be speaking about.

*exits conversation*

Bara_no_Hime:

And then, there's "Once Upon A Time" - a show where the Hero is a single mother, there is blatant and frequent homo-eroticism (granted, nothing has 'officially' happened yet, but that brings me to), and has a massive gay and lesbian following. Several of the actresses are openly bisexual, which may explain some of the "chemistry" on set.

I LOVE Once Upon a Time, but let's be fair here. The tone of the show shocked a lot of its viewers if they knew it was a Disney show. When they didn't, finding out Disney was behind the show shocked them. So to an extent, this will certainly indicate how forward thinking they are perceived, at least.

But I grew up in an era where Disney actively discriminated against homosexuals and were supported for it. When they had Ellen's show on the air, people pitched a fit about them changing, but they didn't change much; they just went for what made financial sense. If I remember right (and I may be wrong), Disney had strings attached for same sex marriages and their "open" employment policy, and maybe still do.

Disney's had single parents for ages, but without any particularly moral support behind them. Now, if they're changing, it will show. I'm just not ready to give them the benefit of the doubt after so many years of EVIL. >.>

Smilomaniac:
I was more annoyed with the ME3 character who lost his husband? It felt like he needed sympathy in order for it to be okay for who he was. It felt a bit fake, but again, I don't freak out about this, because the character was fine, the execution wasn't.

Thanks for the reply! Sorry to cherry-pick, but this was the only part that really warranted any further discussion.

My take on this character? Yes, we were meant to feel sorry for him... and then it was revealed that he was gay. Is it about sympathy? Sure is. Remember, though, that sympathy is the beginning of understanding. "If you prick us, do we not bleed?"

The only real issue, as I see it, is that this was a homosexual character included, in a sense, "for the benefit of heterosexuals." I don't, however, see this as a problem when done in this way. The character had depth, had a backstory, had emotional weight -- he was a good character to add dimension to the crew. And, additionally, he may have "surprised" some people into realizing, hey, maybe "gay love" isn't so different.

There are "minority" characters (for lack of a better term) that are included as a nod to people in that minority. There are minority characters included as a message to people outside that minority. This, I feel, was a decent compromise between the two.

...and then there are the bad ones. Minority characters included in a superficial, appeasing sort of way (Hi! I'm gay! Goodbye now!), and minority characters included as a parody or caricature of that minority, usually unintentionally. BioWare has their share of both of those, too.

Nieroshai:

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.

Bethesda... hasn't. Everyone in Skyrim is bi. Every prostitute in Fallout 3 is bi. In FO:NV, their sexuality is determined by your chosen sexuality perk, so they might as well be bi. At least, in Bioware titles, preferences exist, and gay characters can still be characters without becoming exclusively love interests and be valuable party members. Yes, even Anders. He's not a manwhore, he's vulnerable. And loves kittens.

Isn't that still better though? Isn't it better to just have well written characters, who may or may not be gay/bi based on your choices, rather then a shoe-horned in gay character just for the sake of having a gay character? I'd rather have my characters not be defined by their sexual orientation, but actually have well created characters, with their sexuality being a part of them rather then defining them, and I believe Obsidian / Bethesda does that WAY better than Bioware/EA.

Dastardly:

The only real issue, as I see it, is that this was a homosexual character included, in a sense, "for the benefit of heterosexuals." I don't, however, see this as a problem when done in this way. The character had depth, had a backstory, had emotional weight -- he was a good character to add dimension to the crew. And, additionally, he may have "surprised" some people into realizing, hey, maybe "gay love" isn't so different.

That's a nice point.
I had another thought about him, what if it were a stereotypical male who'd lost his wife and wasn't in clear sorrow about it, but just buried his feelings and was "out to get those robot scumbags for killing her". I mean, he says it as well, but he doesn't bury his feelings as much as a character in fiction.

Makes the original guy seem a tad bit emotional(I remember at one point he's about to crack). Again, in comparison to other fictional characters, not real life(I spent an evening crying snot when my mother died).
I might be fishing for unwarranted and unintended portrayals here. It's not that I mind, just went "huh" when I thought about it.

Dastardly:

...and then there are the bad ones. Minority characters included in a superficial, appeasing sort of way (Hi! I'm gay! Goodbye now!), and minority characters included as a parody or caricature of that minority, usually unintentionally. BioWare has their share of both of those, too.

Like your personal assistant and the reporter who want sexy times for the hell of it? :)
It cracked me up when the PA/communications officer came up to my femshep for a good time and I was like "Is this really all you're thinking about? I just spent hours shooting at things and barely survived! Besides, I'm busy getting it on with the alien." ;)

It's not bad or anything, just funny in a this-probaly-wouldn't-really-happen-in-real-life kind of way.

Zachary Amaranth:
I LOVE Once Upon a Time, but let's be fair here.
But I grew up in an era where Disney actively discriminated against homosexuals and were supported for it.
Now, if they're changing, it will show. I'm just not ready to give them the benefit of the doubt after so many years of EVIL. >.>

That's the thing, I think it is showing.

How does a company that fucked up in the past prove their good intent? By doing good things.

Now, that doesn't mean I don't think we all should watch and make sure they keep doing good. I do - we should watch them like hawks. But, so long as they do good, I'm willing to let bygones be bygones.

Oh, I almost forgot - another ABC show that's been very gay-friendly: Castle. Actually, a lot of my go-to shows lately are on ABC. Or Starz, because Lucy Lawless is fucking awesome. Speaking of gay-friendly.

Anyway, the point is I think it is very commendable that Disney has cleaned up it's act so much. As you say, as little as ten years ago Disney was not a gay-friendly company. Now, if you asked me which of the big four networks, CBS, NBC, ABC, or FOX were the most gay-friendly, I'd say ABC.

Maybe it's all for the money. If so - I don't care. If they have changed their ways because they want my money, then congrats, they can have my money. And they will keep getting it as long - and only as long - as they keep being gay friendly.

And if other multimedia empires realize the same thing - that gay money is just as good as straight money - and start catering to us to, then that's progress.

....

Anyway, as much as I've enjoyed talking about ABC, we're kinda off topic here. I'd say something to get back on topic, but honestly... anything Star Wars branded holds no interest for me. I absolutely agree with the article, but I have nothing to add because I pretty much hate all things Star Wars.

ben-:
A gay planet makes sense, full of gay olympics and pride festivals. People wanting to be surrounded by those who feel the same way as them.

Im sure you can find a planet full of whores and a planet full of thieves butchers and scammers too.

Oh, so occupation and sexuality are the same then?

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.

Well that system did screw with me a bit in skyrim, As my khajjit (Who I have been roleplaying as since morrowind (hes immortal)) would only get proposed to by males so skyrim as forced my immortal cat to forever for the sake of continuity be gay not that I have a problem with that also my characters husband provided me with money untill I sorta murded him.

OT:I have to say keeping same sex relations to one planet seems a bit off to me why not incorperate it into the ship

This article misses a substantial part of this entire issue.

Love it or hate it, the initial statements for Old Republic online was that there were not going to be any LGBT relationships in ToR. Indeed I believe they even went so far as to say "gays do not exist in Star Wars" at one point which got a certain amount of attention at the time. There was a huge uprising of a fairly small minority and it's supporters and eventually Bioware consented to doing it some time post launch.

There was never any promise of making "equal time" content similar to what we had for straight romances, or bringing it to the forefront in the same way, merely that it would be given a prescence and some usable companion characters that could potentially go that way. Nor was this ever promised as a major feature, or any kind of development priority, though it was taken that way.

What I think of homosexuals aside, understand that this was one of the stupidist things ever. All arguements about "wanting to be represented" aside, what we got here was political pressure to make a company develop content it didn't want to create under duress. Not a good move, when Bioware was arguably one of the biggest allies so called "Gaymers" had, developing such content without any prodding or duress on their own, which is what the gay rights community actually wants. Once you start forcing people (or trying to) that's when you build resentment and backlash of the sort we got here for a while.

With the game itself in trouble the continued QQing about the "promise" to create this content which the company didn't want to build to begin with, and also created several game balance issues (namely the companions each character gets and the options they present are fairly balanced set vs. set, adding more characters to the mix without creating issues for certain characters can be rough, especially if you don't want them to effectively just function the same as existing companions and bring their own abillities and gimmicks to the table), I don't think the LGBT community won many points here for priorities, or has really understood their actual relationship with Bioware on this. Forcing someone to do something is not the same as them doing it on their own.

At any rate, after all the pressure, Bioware produced some token material, which by all reports is half hearted, despite the massive pressures on them to just keep this game alive. Surprise, surprise, the LGBT community is not happy with it because it isn't their dream "Star Wars Slash MMO", and admittedly less than they were promised, but of course the realities have changed since then, and this was always at best a "nice to have" as opposed to a development priority.

The point here is that regardless of what side of the fence your on with the whole issue of gay rights, this was a rather ham fisted and stupid situation right now that revolved around a sense of entitlement, and forcing a friendly developer to produce content it didn't want to simply based on the fact that it had been friendly to this type of material before. Expecting things to work out perfectly under duress is pretty bloody stupid to begin with (with pressure like this, you can't expect much except for a gesture), but to complain about the results when a game is facing what ToR is... that's kind of beyond the pale.

Honestly while people in the "Gaymer" community touted this as a victory, to be honest I kind of felt it would turn out this way whether ToR faced problems or not. People of course dismissed me because I'm hardly pro-gay, but it should be pretty easy to recognize a dumb move by a movement whether you agree with that movement's goals or not.

Who knows, maybe the LGBT community will get the content they want, but right now I think the priority for actual fans of ToR (of which I am not one) should be on the survival of the game as opposed to content for a minority of people. To be honest I think "Gaymers" are more interested in seeing the content included due to the pressure, than the survival or health of the game because of the statement and victory it represents. It's a trophy, even if it goes down with a sinking ship, and contributes to the weight (via divided development) dragging it down.

To be honest I'm kind of reminded of "Star Wars Galaxies". SoE did indeed get around to developing and releasing the content where you could fly your spaceship around on planets. You could go flying by and see players down on the ground, and even use the ships in city battles apparently though nobody was doing them when this finally launched. An awesome development, equal to everything that was promised, delivered as a gesture when the game was already doomed and going down in flames. At the end of the day if you get a lesbian version of Nadia Grell or whatever it serves no actual purpose if the game itself dies a week or so later.

I don't play ToR myself anymore despite once thinking it was going to be the most awesome thing ever. That said if you want the game to survive and want this content, my advice to you is that instead of making some huge statement of dissatisfaction over the content on on Makeb, you should go and buy a ton of Cartel Coins.

Hell, I'll go one further, for those who read this far. If I was gay and wanted this content badly, I'd work towards saving the game. I'd establish a website, make sure everyone knows it exists, and then collect donations from the LGBT community (if they truely enthusiasticlly support this) and use it to buy Cartel Coins or Code-Cards in bulk (probably the codes for coins would work better). I'd make a huge show over giving these coins away to players in contests and such throughout the game, in doing so making it clear to both the players and Bioware that homo and bi- sexuals were investing a lot of money in saving their game as a community. That would make a powerful statement and encourage Bioware to more enthusiastically create content than demands (equality, they've done it before, etc...). If you could find a trusted leader to collect the money, and the community is as big as implied, even people chipping in a couple of bucks here and there could make a big impact as a group.

That's my advice, like it or not. Become an undeniable positive influance on the game and it's survival in a time of crisis rather than another group of complaining voices.

thanatos388:

ben-:
A gay planet makes sense, full of gay olympics and pride festivals. People wanting to be surrounded by those who feel the same way as them.

Im sure you can find a planet full of whores and a planet full of thieves butchers and scammers too.

Oh, so occupation and sexuality are the same then?

In the star wars universe that seems to be the case. Planets full of jedis, planets full of cathars planets full of wookies. Planets full of religious zealots. Remember this is a fictional universe we are trying to apply our real world ideals upon.

Bara_no_Hime:

How does a company that fucked up in the past prove their good intent? By doing good things.

By developing a track record for good things, actually. They don't have much of one yet, and that's the problem here. When they have a track record sufficient to demonstrate an actual departure from their prior behaviour, I will accept it. It does not have to equal their prior negative record, but it should stand on its own rather than a few token examples.

And that can go directly to EA/Bioware, too. They've had, at least recently, a track record of claiming to fix things and then half-assing the ordeal. Bioware's position is understandable, but so is the frustration with them, as well.

Meanwhile, Skyrim allowed everyone to gay marry from the start if they wanted to.

Personally, I don't really care about gays in Star Wars or Star Wars games. I've rarely thought about the sexuality of the characters anyway. But if you're going to say you're going to put something in, put it in. And if you then don't and promise you'll fix it, make a slightly more concerted effort.

Though the next time I play Star Wars in Tabletop form, I think I'm going to make a Trans Jedi or something. >.>

So, given the financial restraints of going back and retooling all the previous coding for current companions, as well as calling-back the voice actors for additional voice work and paying them for the same-gender romance material... what would the LGBT community prefer?

LGBT options in new content? Or no LGBT content at all? SWTOR is barely afloat, and while I welcome the addition of these romance and character options, I'd much rather, ya know, have the game prosper for a few more years instead of going bankrupt trying to essentially revamp the parts of the game that are already finished.

Zachary Amaranth:
By developing a track record for good things, actually. They don't have much of one yet, and that's the problem here. When they have a track record sufficient to demonstrate an actual departure from their prior behaviour, I will accept it.

Fair enough. But I am of the opinion that they are developing such a track record, and have been doing so for the past several years. They've had what appears to be a fairly sudden, entirely positive change. Will they keep it up? I don't know. But until/unless they screw it up, I intend to be optimistic.

Zachary Amaranth:
Personally, I don't really care about gays in Star Wars or Star Wars games. I've rarely thought about the sexuality of the characters anyway. But if you're going to say you're going to put something in, put it in. And if you then don't and promise you'll fix it, make a slightly more concerted effort.

Though the next time I play Star Wars in Tabletop form, I think I'm going to make a Trans Jedi or something. >.>

Agreed. With all of that.

Well, except for playing Star Wars in Tabletop form. I would never play a tabletop game set in the Star Wars universe (since I greatly dislike the Star Wars universe). I did look at their tabletop game briefly while I was working on my Mass Effect table top game last year, but it was too dated (and too d20 Modern) for my taste.

As for other table top games: been there, done that, had a great time. In a recent game, I played a fully functional hermaphrodite (that looked female otherwise) which was great fun. So yeah, if you get the chance to play your Trans Jedi, I highly recommend it.

Robert Rath:
Those that want the option to have gay relationships in SWTOR dislike it because the romance options are shallow

Well frankly what were you expecting?

This is Bioware we're talking about, shallow romance is what they DO.

Fuck, did you play DA2? Or even DA:O for that matter? How's about Mass Effect?

Romance in Bioware games is always about as deep and meaningful as a teaspoon of horsepiss, they only scoot by because of the low, LOW standards that video games are held to.

Why should they include support for the LGBT community in the first place?

From an economic point of view, they're marketing to a fringe community, with the risk of marginalizing parts of its existing community. Considering TOR failed pretty hard at achieving the success it aspired to, its subscriber counts constantly going down, the last thing they need is to alienate part of its player count on the off chance of gaining part of a demographic that's apparently already annoyed with their practices.
I don't know the numbers are, mind you, but I'm pretty sure there are some people whose attachment to the game is loose enough that something like "gay relationships" might be enough to make them stop playing.

To break it down, are the possible gay people that might pick up this game ONLY IF they included gay relationships more than the homophobes that think that "Star Wars ain't no place for queers, son".

Zen Toombs:

Robert Rath:
I point out these issues not to get up on a soapbox about the state of LGBT rights in America (and certainly not to speak for a community I'm not a part of), but to point out why LGBT persons may be hypersensitive to the dynamics at play in the current SWTOR controversy. The Makeb controversy serves as a microcosm of the emotionally-charged situation of LGBT politics.

image

You may not be in the LGBTQUIAAWTFBBQ community, but you have a firm grasp of the issues. A well written article, I commend you.

Agreed. The thing is Robert Rath IS a part of the LGBT community, everyone is, it's the same community we all live in. To me this still seems the biggest stumbling block to sexism, racism, and homophobia being eradicated from our society. Yes, we need to acknowledge it but Americans seem fixated with pigeon-holing and identifying someone as part of a separate community and then filtering everything through that. Positive or negative, discrimination means pointing out differences, literally. Focusing on how an individual is different isn't very inclusive.

The whole backlash against Jodie Foster is a good example. Yes she's gay, but people seemed annoyed she's not shouting it out. That's because being gay is not everything about her. She's loads of things, being gay is a very, very small part of who she is. There's seems to be this weird expectations that if you identify with a group then everything you do or say should somehow reflect that identity. Why? Makes me think of the South Park episode about their town flag. The kids didn't even notice what colour the characters on the flag were so didn't see the offense. That's kind of the place we need to get to, where people don't even notice. It shouldn't matter so eventually it doesn't matter.

SiskoBlue:

Zen Toombs:
You may not be in the LGBTQUIAAWTFBBQ community, but you have a firm grasp of the issues. A well written article, I commend you.

Agreed. The thing is Robert Rath IS a part of the LGBT community, everyone is, it's the same community we all live in. To me this still seems the biggest stumbling block to sexism, racism, and homophobia being eradicated from our society. Yes, we need to acknowledge it but Americans seem fixated with pigeon-holing and identifying someone as part of a separate community and then filtering everything through that. Positive or negative, discrimination means pointing out differences, literally. Focusing on how an individual is different isn't very inclusive.

The whole backlash against Jodie Foster is a good example. Yes she's gay, but people seemed annoyed she's not shouting it out. That's because being gay is not everything about her. She's loads of things, being gay is a very, very small part of who she is. There's seems to be this weird expectations that if you identify with a group then everything you do or say should somehow reflect that identity. Why? Makes me think of the South Park episode about their town flag. The kids didn't even notice what colour the characters on the flag were so didn't see the offense. That's kind of the place we need to get to, where people don't even notice. It shouldn't matter so eventually it doesn't matter.

I understand the subtle point you're making, but before we can remove discrimination we need to acknowledge that there are people being discriminated against and how they are being discriminated against. To get to be a "color blind" or "sexuality blind" society we need to see, acknowledge, and then remove those things that are discriminatory in that society. Sadly, in America we are still in those first two steps, and you have to truly be in the third step before you can start moving past some form of labels.

What my point was in saying "[Rath] may not be in the LGBT community, but you have a firm grasp of the issues" was that 1. if you are in that group of people, you are actively discriminated against so it is easier to notice the specific issues and b. even non-heterosexual people can have problems grabbing on to the core of these topics.

Anyways, what's this backlash against Jodie Foster?

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