Shadow Complex Prompts Difficult Questions

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Shadow Complex Prompts Difficult Questions

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How much do your personal and political views influence your spending habits? Does it even enter your mind at all?

Here's a question for you, would you buy a game if one of the people involved in it was an outspoken opponent of something you really believed in? That's the dilemma facing supporters of gay marriage when to comes to buying Xbox Live Arcade Shadow Complex.

Author Orson Scott Card, most famous for his book Ender's Game, is an outspoken critic of gay marriage, saying that its legalization would herald the end of democracy in the United States. Card sits on the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, an organization set up "in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage in state legislatures."

While Card didn't create the world that Shadow Complex is set in, he is commonly believed to have helped shape it and is responsible for writing the spin-off novels. Buying Shadow Complex would essentially be funding Card's political views, albeit indirectly.

The idea of boycotting the game started in the NeoGAF forums and was given more publicity in a Gamasutra article written by gay gamer Christian Nutt, who talked about the conflict he felt about the game and his relief at receiving a review code, allowing him to sidestep the issue.

But he also touched on a worrying trend that he saw in the NeoGAF discussion thread, that gamers were reluctant to discuss the issue, instead choosing to brush it aside with the 'it's just a game' response. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a pretty liberal guy and this knowledge has certainly influenced the way I perceive the game, but what do you folks think?

Should an artist be held accountable for his personal views, even if those views are not espoused in their art, and why do you think that gamers in general have such a hard time discussing these kinds of issues?

Source: Gamasutra

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What? So he doesn't like gay people, big deal. He can believe what he wants to.

Going as far as to boycott his game though? Some people need to grow up.

Yeah, you know that "it's just a game" thing?

It is just a game. Just because Card is cuckoo for cocoa puffs doesn't mean this awesome game should suffer.

Although I'm not sure how Gay Marriage would end democracy, that wouldn't stop me from buying the game. The fact that the game sucks would...

nilcypher:

Here's a question for you, would you buy a game if one of the people involved in it was an outspoken opponent of something you really believed in?

I mainly avoid anything american, but I don't give a crap where a game is made or who made it. All that matters is that it's good. He/she can be a serial-killer for all I care.

I don't think their opinions really matter as long as it doesn't affect their art, and I can't really say anything about us not wanting to discuss stuff like that, because I'm genuinley someone who can brush it off and don't really care. IMO I'm not funding their opinion unless it is plaster on every wall and is very apparent in the subtext of the game

none of that im shadow complex, so I'm only funding the development team and not what's-his-names anti gay non-sense

It's not like Shadow Complex has anti-gay messages in it, as long as the game is good, and it doesn't directly insult your views you shouldn't complain.

Card is just one of many people involved with the creation of this game. To boycott it in an attempt to deprive Card of money is also depriving the rest of the development team, which could mean that they won't have enough money to make another game. And having bought Shadow Complex earlier, I can safely say I'm looking forward to seeing more from them.

I totally support gay marriage, but I will not deprive myself of enjoyment and the development team getting what they deserve just because one person connected to the game spoke out against it.

So we're only allowed to use the "It's just a game" card when it's convenient for our own opinions? Yeah, and one of the devs is an outspoken anti-gay marriage supporter, and? Not everyone shares the same opinions, and I don't see how boycotting the game will change anything.

In my view, this is one guy in a large team. Why should they all suffer from a boycott just because one of the key members holds controversial opinions?

I hate cheese, you're a cheese lover. I make you a cup of tea, the process of the tea being made, packed and stocked at the supermarket had nothing to do with my views of cheese. Heck, some of them might even love cheese.

Would you accept my tea?

The exact same dilemma, on a much, much smaller scale.
Seems absolutely ridiculous, doesn't it?

Seriously, as long as his views don't stop people from being gay and enjoying their same-sex relationships does it even matter if he worked on the game or not?

nilcypher:
Should an artist be held accountable for his personal views, even if those views are not espoused in their art, and why do you think that gamers in general have such a hard time discussing these kinds of issues?

Depends on the views in question. Opposition to gay marriage is inexplicable moronic discrimination, plain and simple, so we should avoid this bigot's "art" at all costs. If personal beliefs endorse harm or discrimination against a specific group, they should not be tolerated.

Gamers in general have a hard time discussing these kinds of issues because a significant percentage are immature idiots who refuse to acknowledge discrimination at any level, even when it's blindingly obvious (see also: Resident Evil 5 debate). The "it's just a game" excuse is, frankly, pathetic.

If we only bought stuff from people who shared out political outlook, we would have very dull lives. A boycott would make sense if the game was advertised as saying 2% of the games profits will be going to an anti Gay lobbying fund. I like Card's work. While it doesn't surprise me that my views on the world differ from his, I do not begrudge him his success.

Heh heh, it's quite funny watching him dance around the issue in the later books in Enders Game, he has a gay character who gets married and has children under the influence of his twisted rationale.

At the end of the day his views aren't going to actually damage gay rights, neither are they making him money. Essentially all he is doing is damaging his own art, and making sure if he's mentioned in the history books it will be as a slightly backward gentleman.

That said I actually really enjoy his books and will be looking into this.

harhol:
Depends on the views in question. Opposition to gay marriage is inexplicable moronic discrimination, plain and simple, so we should avoid this bigot's "art" at all costs. If personal beliefs endorse harm or discrimination against a specific group, they should not be tolerated.

So you'd punish the rest of the development team over one person's views? That hardly seems fair.

If it was a painting, or a composition that was made solely by Orson scott card, then i can see your argument. but this game was made by different people, intended to entertain gamers, rather than rack them with political debate.

H.P Lovecraft was a racist, doesn't mean he didn't write amazing books. I have never read Orson Scott Card's books, but as long as the game doesn't go along saying "Shoot him because he's gay" that's alright then.

I think this situation is very similar to that of other art forms. Even though I'm loathe to seem like I support some of the [actor/artist/writer]'s ideals, I'd could be cheating myself out of a great piece of [film/art/literature] assuming that it's a good work.

If the game itself had anti-gay messages then yes I would boycott it, but if its just the guys personal views then it makes no diffrence to the fun and entertainment I would take from the game. He wants to hold backwards views then I'm not stopping him.

shadow complex is awesome. it seems gay people like to boycott lots of things.

Boycott Shadow Complex? I hope people realize that people OTHER than Mr. Card are making money from this game, and quite a few of them might actually need it I'd imagine.

If people don't like Mr. Card's ideals, protest HIM, not some video game he sorta helped make.

nicholaxxx:
I don't think their opinions really matter as long as it doesn't affect their art, and I can't really say anything about us not wanting to discuss stuff like that, because I'm genuinley someone who can brush it off and don't really care. IMO I'm not funding their opinion unless it is plaster on every wall and is very apparent in the subtext of the game

Well, Card's politics are definitely plastered all over the source material (Empire).

-- Alex

Does the game have an anti gay message? If so I wont buy it. If it doesn't it looks awesome I wannit.

nilcypher:

Should an artist be held accountable for his personal views, even if those views are not espoused in their art, and why do you think that gamers in general have such a hard time discussing these kinds of issues?

If you ever hold an artist, or anyone, accountable for their personal views, then you deny the world of a gift.

Hitler made some great paintings, Lovecraft was almost every -ist you could think of, Germaine Greer has said she'd remove testicles from all males, Jeremy Clarkson said lorry drivers kill prostitutes...

Look at it this way: Are you going to stop eating soft-scoop icecream because one of the chemists that discovered it shut down England's mines, took us to war over the Falklands and removed milk from schools?

I don't think gamers have a hard time with this idea, I think that the idea of "it's only a game" is the idea. Period.

I agree with the sentiments everybody else here is expressing, its a non issue really. If the game was scott cards gay thumper then it would be definitely be boycott material, but the fact that one artist who worked on game created by many has views that dont seem to mesh with the liberal gamer croud isnt much of a reason to boycott it. Going by that logic you could avoid buying alot of games, just incase somebody on the dev team was a closest neo nazi.

More over, if your worried about your money getting in the hands of unsavory people then maybe you should be more concerned about other things you spend money on. Your taxes probably pay the wages of plenty of people with views you wouldnt like. They also fund armys and arms dealers. The fuel you put in your car could coming from Nigeria, a country where mismanagement and exploitation of resources is rife, leaving the local populace in a terrible state. Money goes around, you can only do so much to stop it from going to people you dont want it to go to.

As long as it's not pointing out in the game that gay marriage is wrong, who gives a flying duck turd? A game should be criticised by its own merits, not by its creators. It's like how children are judged and treated in different ways cause what their parents have done.

Thanks for the info. I didn't know Orson Scott Card was such an asshole. Here's a quote from him that pretty much sums it up (from wikipedia):

"Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society."

Makes me want to puke. Good thing I never actually bought any of his books, he doesn't deserve my money. (I have read his books, but not bought em, I would never willingly and knowingly give money to a bigot asshole like that)

Personally, I love Card's books. Ender's Game was easily my favorite book in middle school.

That being said, I'm not going to throw away the book because I disagree with him. If he believes that trash then so be it. It's his right. Heck, Hannity and Beck say that and worse on a daily basis. Another of my favorite writers, Steven Brust, is a Trotsky Communist. I don't agree with him either, but I darn well love his books.

As much as you or I may disagree with him, he has a right to believe what he believes. Ignoring a wonderful work like Ender's Game simply because I disagree with him is overly sensitive in my estimation. Shadow Complex should receive the same consideration if it is good.

I'm bisexual, don't believe in marriage as an institution outright (so gay marriage is fine to me, I think it's just as pointless as regular marriage), and read many works of Orson Scott Card, such as Ender's Game and its sequels, and a number of his other works such as Songmaster (which has homosexual themes and even sexual conduct; even if he considered such to be a scene marking the start of a destructive path, he is not hostile to homosexuality).

In short, this is an issue being blown out of proportion. To summarise:

OSC is entitled to his opinion; that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry, as that is a violation of the religious tenets that support marriage. He believes it is a violation of the institution.

Christian Nutt wants to boycott Shadow Complex as it was written partially by OSC. He believes that purchasing a work made by someone who publicly denounces this is condoning them, or at the very least supporting their view. He's entitled to this opinion. He's also entitled to write essays on it and post it to the internet.

I believe they're both wrong. I take the controversial stance that marriage is an outdated and irrelevant institution, its connection to government and tax policies should be absolutely scrapped (as couples usually receive tax benefits over single people), and it thus becomes entirely a church-by-church basis as to whether homosexual marriages are recognised or not. I'm entitled to this opinion, regardless of how outlandish it may seem in light of anyone else's views.

I won't be buying Shadow Complex myself, but that's just because I don't have an Xbox 360 and hadn't actually heard of it until now!

scnj:
So you'd punish the rest of the development team over one person's views? That hardly seems fair.

Not buying a product isn't "punishing" anyone. This is the same (flawed) logic which equates piracy with lost sales.

By not buying Mein Kampf, are you by extension "punishing" the printing press, cover designer, editor, translator, proofreader, publishing house and everyone else who worked on the book? Of course not.

These guys chose to work on a project which an openly anti-gay author had a major hand in creating. They would have expected the game to be controversial before they even signed up.

The real issue is why Card was allowed near a game studio in the first place.

I'm going to post this quote again, just to stress that his views are not simply about disallowing gay marriage, but about restricting peoples sexual freedom, i.e. bigotry.

"Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society." (my bold)

harhol:
The real issue is why Card was allowed near a game studio in the first place.

Because despite his extreme opinions, Card is an extremely talented writer.

If the person who is opposed to gay marriage has any kind of political influence, then that might make me stop and think before buying the game. (I'm not opposed to gay marriage) however, if its just his opinion and he's not doing anything to try and impose that opinion in law, then I can't see any reason why it can do harm to buy it.

Resistance205:
H.P Lovecraft was a racist, doesn't mean he didn't write amazing books. I have never read Orson Scott Card's books, but as long as the game doesn't go along saying "Shoot him because he's gay" that's alright then.

This is pretty much my reasoning, HP Lovecraft was a notorious antisemite and Edgar Allen Poe was into his necrophilia, and William Golding (lord of the Flies) was an admitted rapist. reprehensible all of it but doesnt mean I am not going to enjoy their literature

I didn't buy Crysis for years because I felt it was inciting racial hatred towards the Koreans so, yes, I have boycott a game on political grounds.

I bought it eventually, new for 7 though, so I guess I gave in. The game wasn't that good anyhow.

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