EA Co-Hosts LGBT Event

EA Co-Hosts LGBT Event

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The industry summit discusses how to tackle gay and lesbian issues in videogames and the industry.

EA makes clear its stance on gay rights, being one of a few companies to sign an amicus curiae indicating that it opposes the Defense of Marriage Act. It doesn't end there, however: EA recently held an event to address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the gaming community to promote discussion and encourage greater understanding.

The Ford Foundation and EA co-hosted "Full Spectrum", a summit where members of the gaming industry can discuss LGBT themes in videogames and the industry. Discussions throughout the day addressed several issues, such as the over-representation of straight white males, dealing with male-dominated online games, and encouraging diversity in the workplace.

Kixeye executive producer Caryl Shaw observed that today's gaming workplace lacks diversity, which reduces the scope of stories that could potentially be told. "It's a white dude-ly industry, still," she said. "In general it is still a very hard place for women to get in, and that's got to change."

Shaw also addressed the competitive nature of gaming: "Games are a place where people want to posture... in whatever way they know how to stand up for themselves," she commented. "It's really sad, but it has become part of game culture, and figuring out how to change that is why I wanted to participate in this event today."

Gordon Bellamy, head of industry relations at Tencent, said that it required a Harvard degree for him (as a gay black man) to start feeling like he could accomplish anything in the industry. "Part of coming out is having a context to come out to; for people who want to be in the game industry and have a career in games, they need to know there is a context they can become a part of," he said.

Luis A. Ubinas, president of the Ford Foundation, also drew attention to the importance of the game developer role, saying that games would "help shape the future" when it comes to perceiving LGBT values. "For (players) to enter fantasy worlds where they can be free to hold hands with a person of their choosing regardless of gender, or make a home with a partner of their choosing... that means they can move from the passive world of television, where they can see other people doing these things, to the active world of gaming, magnifying the impact that we know media can have.

"With relentless pressure, change is possible," Ubinas noted. "Attitudes can evolve, and a nation and society can be transformed."

Source: Engadget, Gamasutra
Image: EA

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But...but...we hate EA! They are the epitome of all that is evil! Surely the fact that they have dodgy business practices makes it impossible for them to support a good cause in any way, shape or form? It must be some kind of trick.

Craft, crafty EA.

Why is it whenever EA screws up a press release like this happens soon afterwards.

One would think they were trying to divert attention...

Well, for whatever the reason, at least EA is trying.

"Look at me, I'm EA, and I'm in a serious need of some positive PR. Please like me again, pretty please??"

I would say 'in before the EA hate regardless', but I guess I'm too late.

Good for them though. Shitty business practices, but they've done a lot more for the LGBT community than Valve has for example, whether you think they're only doing it for PR reasons or not.

Why is the first thought in my head that South Park episode where Jimbo tries to get the KKK to be for the flag change?

Nah, that's too harsh.

Good on ya EA... for once.

If they were in the business of fighting for human rights, I would applaud them. However, they are in the business of making REALLY bad distribution software and forcing it down our throats.

Sounds like EA is scrambling for as much good PR as they can after the Sim City launch

Ralphfromdk:
"Look at me, I'm EA, and I'm in a serious need of some positive PR. Please like me again, pretty please??"

Desert Punk:
Sounds like EA is scrambling for as much good PR as they can after the Sim City launch

/Thread.

OT: What they are doing is good, don't get me wrong, but the reasoning behind it is clear.
Still, progress is progress, even if it's done by horrible people.

This pretty much the only reason we keep them around anymore.

The right thing done for the wrong reasons still results in the right thing being done, so yeah.

Ralphfromdk:
"Look at me, I'm EA, and I'm in a serious need of some positive PR. Please like me again, pretty please??"

Oh god THIS is what i heard in my head the entire team i read this article.

Mr Cwtchy:
I would say 'in before the EA hate regardless', but I guess I'm too late.

Good for them though. Shitty business practices, but they've done a lot more for the LGBT community than Valve has for example, whether you think they're only doing it for PR reasons or not.

In before anyone uses straw man misdirect! DAMN!!!

Since when has Valve had to champion the rights of any group other than Gamers? Which it has done. More than any other company. But hey, you go right on ahead thinking Valve is a bad company because they don't PORMOTE THE GHEYS!

Classy stuff, EA.

I'm still not buying your games, though.

There'll be a lot of water cycles through the ecosystem before anything EA dose feels in any way sincire, and not just a marketing stunt meant to improve their reputation.

We should probably credit Bioware for this anyway, I doubt the idea was born anywhere else.

But...could anybody get into the event?

An an LGBT member I'm happy that a big company like EA supports the community in spirit.
But I'm still boycotting Origin, the shittiest and most fascist gaming platform on Earth.
I still hate their monopolizing tactics, their mainstreaming of all game titles, their butchering of beloved franchises, piss poor comments and ridiculous statements.

Actually, as an LGBT member, I kinda don't want their support that much. Figure out your own shit before trying to help others. Just don't be douches for no reason, that's "help" enough, thanks.

Damnit EA! Stop making it hard for me to hate you!

Bradeck:

Mr Cwtchy:
I would say 'in before the EA hate regardless', but I guess I'm too late.

Good for them though. Shitty business practices, but they've done a lot more for the LGBT community than Valve has for example, whether you think they're only doing it for PR reasons or not.

In before anyone uses straw man misdirect! DAMN!!!

Since when has Valve had to champion the rights of any group other than Gamers? Which it has done. More than any other company. But hey, you go right on ahead thinking Valve is a bad company because they don't PORMOTE THE GHEYS!

This Valve fanboy-ism is ridiculous. At what point did Cwtchy say that Valve is a bad company? You're seeing things.

The Plunk:

Bradeck:

Mr Cwtchy:
I would say 'in before the EA hate regardless', but I guess I'm too late.

Good for them though. Shitty business practices, but they've done a lot more for the LGBT community than Valve has for example, whether you think they're only doing it for PR reasons or not.

In before anyone uses straw man misdirect! DAMN!!!

Since when has Valve had to champion the rights of any group other than Gamers? Which it has done. More than any other company. But hey, you go right on ahead thinking Valve is a bad company because they don't PORMOTE THE GHEYS!

This Valve fanboy-ism is ridiculous. At what point did Cwtchy say that Valve is a bad company? You're seeing things.

@The Plunk: Thank you for being a voice of reason

Wow, our community really loves to be at war with itself

Yes, Valve did not sign the petition
Yes, it'd be nice if they had
Yes, EA does some good work for the LGBT community at large, and particularly in the gaming industry
Yes, they do seem to bring this up immediately following some bad press & it's likely more publicity stunt than genuine activism
And yes, it doesn't really matter why they're doing it, because it's a good thing to be doing

Can we settle down now? Please?

Person321:
If they were in the business of fighting for human rights, I would applaud them. However, they are in the business of making REALLY bad distribution software and forcing it down our throats.

Can we, as a society, please straighten out our definition of "forcing down our throats"? EA's distribution software doesn't hurt you at all if you choose not to buy their games.

To be fair to EA (if that's allowed) this is one thing they usually get right.

I don't think this is a rush for some good publicity, a) because EA have a good record on this, and b) because outwith the (mostly) enlightened and hallowed halls of the Escapist the gaming community isn't especially positive about "teh gay."

Well done, EA. +15 lightside. Shame about the +9001 darkside you score on a weekly basis.

Seems reasonable enough. Company's are large entities, and whilst parts might be level headed with a clear eye for good publicity through supporting progressive initiatives, other parts can be pant wettingly idiotic.

EA we still hate you but a least your doing some good.

As a member of the LGBT community I usually like dicks, but sorry EA, you're still just a bit too much for me.

Heh, seriously though, I'm always happy to hear about large company support for the community at the end of the day.

Can this sweep the SimCity problems under the rug? Can EA generate enough good PR to keep doing the two things they love most? Find out on the next episode of 'Corporate Damage Control 101'!

You just went up a point in my book EA. That takes to point 1.

Remember, anything good EA does is a PR stunt and anything bad they do is irredeemable, and you'll be fine. No long-held opinions under siege here!

Seriously though. EA still does horrible things to games, and that's what they spend most of their time on.

doggie015:
Can this sweep the SimCity problems under the rug? Can EA generate enough good PR to keep doing the two things they love most? Find out on the next episode of 'Corporate Damage Control 101'!

God I hate those corporate pigs too, I can't believe they even went to such lengths as to travel back in time to support they LGBT community in February just so they could mitigate the fallout from SimCity in March! Even worse they went further back in time and won the award "Best Places To Work For LGBT Equality" in 2012 by The Human Rights Campaign, those fiends!!!

This may not be just PR. EA is a large company. As a result, they are naturally going to have a more diverse workforce. If I had to guess, there are LGBT workers at EA.

The diverse members of the workforce are naturally going to want to work on projects that interest them. And will naturally have more insight to bring to those projects.

Additionally, LGBT is a dramatically under-served market in video gaming (indeed, most instances of LGBT representation come from EA studios such as Bioware and Maxis). There is always money to be made in catering to under-served demographics.

Few things are entirely altruistic. But this is mutually beneficial news and should be welcome.

 

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