EA defends itself against thousands of anti-gay letters

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So at pretty much the same time when EA gets an award for being an awful company this story has emerged:

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-04-04-ea-defends-itself-against-thousands-of-anti-gay-letters

In a nutshell, EA has received lots of letters of complaint over the option for players to have their in-game avatars pursue same sex relation in some games (Mass Effect 3, etc).

Its something of a barometer of behavior in the modern world, you know you're a world class douche when you're doing something which makes EA look like the good guys.

It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

Haven't played ME3, but I remember DA2 seemed to have a ton of bisexual characters for some reason. Imo Bioware should make more exclusively gay or exclusively straight characters, because right now it feels like all my teammates want to fuck me no matter who I am...

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

omicron1:

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Even if it's anachronistic? If you were playing a dude in pseudo-medieval wherever, would you expect a "you know, I think our government is running up too much debt. Spending is out of control, and needs to be reigned in. Here's a copy of Atlas Shrugged." dialogue option?

Darkong:
So at pretty much the same time when EA gets an award for being an awful company this story has emerged:

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-04-04-ea-defends-itself-against-thousands-of-anti-gay-letters

In a nutshell, EA has received lots of letters of complaint over the option for players to have their in-game avatars pursue same sex relation in some games (Mass Effect 3, etc).

Its something of a barometer of behavior in the modern world, you know you're a world class douche when you're doing something which makes EA look like the good guys.

And this is why the public doesn't get to chose the direction of a game. For good or for worse.

omicron1:

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Isn't there an option to not have gay sex in the game? I am confused.

Gotta protect them kiddies.

If they see something homosexual in a game they're not supposed to be playing then... good God, they might ask their parents an awkward question or two then go back to not giving a shit. Horrors above!

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:

Kahunaburger:

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Even if it's anachronistic? If you were playing a dude in pseudo-medieval wherever, would you expect a "you know, I think our government is running up too much debt. Spending is out of control, and needs to be reigned in. Here's a copy of Atlas Shrugged." dialogue option?

Implicit in this answer is the assumption that the debate will/should be resolved in your favor - a problematic assumption at best. There is room to argue that in past/fantasy settings certain options are not reasonable to present, but as far as future settings are concerned, implicitly deciding hot-button topics one way or another is a good way to piss off a sizeable chunk of your fanbase.

Savagezion:

omicron1:

Kahunaburger:

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Isn't there an option to not have gay sex in the game? I am confused.

Yes - but there is not an option to disagree with the concept.

omicron1:
issues under debate

That's kind of the point, the debate's over in most places. Virtually all of Western Europe has some equivalent of same sex marriage, designing games just to cater to a few backwards places in America is never going to happen.

omicron1:

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Even if it's anachronistic? If you were playing a dude in pseudo-medieval wherever, would you expect a "you know, I think our government is running up too much debt. Spending is out of control, and needs to be reigned in. Here's a copy of Atlas Shrugged." dialogue option?

Implicit in this answer is the assumption that the debate will/should be resolved in your favor - a problematic assumption at best. There is room to argue that in past/fantasy settings certain options are not reasonable to present, but as far as future settings are concerned, implicitly deciding hot-button topics one way or another is a good way to piss off a sizeable chunk of your fanbase.

There are two errors in your argument.

The first:

Pearwood:

omicron1:
issues under debate

That's kind of the point, the debate's over in most places. Virtually all of Western Europe has some equivalent of same sex marriage, designing games just to cater to a few backwards places in America is never going to happen.

The second is that in the context of the Mass Effect setting, gay marriage is not a controversy. Much like how it isn't a controversy in Assassin's Creed II. Settings that aren't the modern world are under no obligation to have their political issues mapped to modern political issues, and it is in fact often strains the suspension of disbelief when they do.

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

That would be awesome, but only if it were a steampunk game.

Kahunaburger:

Pearwood:

omicron1:
issues under debate

That's kind of the point, the debate's over in most places. Virtually all of Western Europe has some equivalent of same sex marriage, designing games just to cater to a few backwards places in America is never going to happen.

The second is that in the context of the Mass Effect setting, gay marriage is not a controversy. Much like how it isn't a controversy in Assassin's Creed II. Settings that aren't the modern world are under no obligation to have their political issues mapped to modern political issues, and it is in fact often strains the suspension of disbelief when they do.

Pretty much this. Support for marriage equality has been steadily trending upward for years, so it stands to reason that by the time we're flying around in space, nobody will think anything of it. Hell, it's pretty much beyond debate now.

ravenshrike:

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

That would be awesome, but only if it were a steampunk game.

Haha, I think I wrote it wrong - I meant a game in a modern setting.

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

To paraphrase Mike Kraulik

I would burn everything I have built to the GROUND if it meant I could catch people like you in the flames.

:D

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Wait..so you want the option to ignore him, commiserate with him, or ignore him, rather than just commiserate and ignore? Cortez's entire character growth revolves around letting go of his dead husband. There would be no character interaction with him if you told him to fuck off with his gayness. So...just ignore him.

dyre:
Haven't played ME3, but I remember DA2 seemed to have a ton of bisexual characters for some reason. Imo Bioware should make more exclusively gay or exclusively straight characters, because right now it feels like all my teammates want to fuck me no matter who I am...

To be fair it does mean more options for the same amount of work. IIRC there were 4 romancable characters open to everyone, as opposed to only 1 for each gender/orientation combo. I would rather have that way then have it be like the waste of time and effort Jacob from ME2. Because who the hell romanced Jacob.

omicron1:

Savagezion:

omicron1:

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Isn't there an option to not have gay sex in the game? I am confused.

Yes - but there is not an option to disagree with the concept.

Wouldn't not having gay sex be disagreeing with the concept? Unless you mean by not having gay people at all in the game. Then the option to disagree with the concept would be at the checkout counter.

omicron1:

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Both times I've played as male Shepard in ME3, I became buds with Cortez (and nothing more as I had other love interests in those run throughs). So it is possible to talk with him without getting him as your love interest. Being the straight character shouldn't automatically make you a homophobe, and being acceptable to homosexuals shouldn't automatically make you homosexual yourself.

... who are these people that they have enough free time to worry and fret about inane things like homosexuality in computer games?

Seriously?

omicron1:
Yes - but there is not an option to disagree with the concept.

But there is! you can choose to not sleep with anyone from the same sex! disagreeing with the concept is not the same as a universal ban of gay sex.

regardless of how this 'debate' turns out, gay people will still exist.

Most of those letters are from Florida? Who knew.

As Tommy Vercetti would say: Dumb.Florida.Morons.

No disrespect to sane people of Florida.

I don't have a problem with gay romance option. I have a problem with how it was integrated in the game. But that's the least of ME3 problems.

I still think we should be able to choose character sexuality in character creator. It would make a lot more sense and it would put a lot of people at ease. In Dragon Age 2 Anders came on to Hawke for no apparent reason. If I had the option to choose Hawke's sexuality from the beginning that wouldn't have happened. Things like that can ruin your playthrough. You're perusing one romantic interest, and at the same time you're developing another one that you didn't want without realizing it. It's just bad game design.

I almost made the same mistake in ME3. Luckily I read about romance options before playing. The game doesn't even tell you that you're perusing a relationship with Cortez until it's too late. I blame the lack of sexual preference choice and I blame the dialogue wheel and Paragon interrupt because they never say what you're actually gonna say or do.

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

I guess it's not there for the same reason there isn't an option to start a White Power rally on the Citadel and telling every other race that pure White children will inherent the Universe. Bigots would be the only people who would be mad that their preferred punching bag is equally represented in their entertainment products. It's comparable to when people complained about there not being a "foot fetishism" option in Mass Effect 3 because they weren't "fairly represented" like Gay players were.

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:

Kahunaburger:

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Even if it's anachronistic? If you were playing a dude in pseudo-medieval wherever, would you expect a "you know, I think our government is running up too much debt. Spending is out of control, and needs to be reigned in. Here's a copy of Atlas Shrugged." dialogue option?

Well, that's the reason people bitched about The Witcher for being sexist. Because setting a game in a context where sexism was rampant means that the developers are obviously all misogynists.

Jitters Caffeine:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

I guess it's not there for the same reason there isn't an option to start a White Power rally on the Citadel and telling every other race that pure White children will inherent the Universe. Bigots would be the only people who would be mad that their preferred punching bag is equally represented in their entertainment products. It's comparable to when people complained about there not being a "foot fetishism" option in Mass Effect 3 because they weren't "fairly represented" like Gay players were.

Operating under the assumption that any particular viewpoint is bigoted or somehow inferior to others is a sad way to debate, christophobe. (Hey look, intentionally comical hypocrisy!)

Fact: A very large portion of America, as well as smaller portions of much of Europe and a vast majority of third world countries, disagree with you on this issue.

Fact: The vast majority of them are not bigots or homophobes. They simply disagree, whether for religious or logical reasons - neither of which renders them or their opinions irrelevant.

Fact: Referring to one's opponent in a derogatory fashion does not resolve an issue, nor is it good logical form.

With these three facts established, please realize that the issue of what homosexuality is, and whether it is an essential, immutable state of being, will remain present and controversial for a long time yet, and as such it is wrong to legislate or make public decisions based on one side's answer this unsolved question.

Limecake:

omicron1:
Yes - but there is not an option to disagree with the concept.

But there is! you can choose to not sleep with anyone from the same sex! disagreeing with the concept is not the same as a universal ban of gay sex.

regardless of how this 'debate' turns out, gay people will still exist.

When you talk to Cortez, you have two options: Commiserate, or commiserate. At no point in the game are you given a choice, through dialogue or action, to disagree. All you can do is accept BioWare's version of Shepard, or shut up and walk away. As a series built around player->main character projection, the absence of this option is both highly suspect and rather rude. I can be any Shepard I want, as long as she's liberal.

omicron1:

Jitters Caffeine:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

I guess it's not there for the same reason there isn't an option to start a White Power rally on the Citadel and telling every other race that pure White children will inherent the Universe. Bigots would be the only people who would be mad that their preferred punching bag is equally represented in their entertainment products. It's comparable to when people complained about there not being a "foot fetishism" option in Mass Effect 3 because they weren't "fairly represented" like Gay players were.

Operating under the assumption that any particular viewpoint is bigoted or somehow inferior to others is a sad way to debate, christophobe. (Hey look, intentionally comical hypocrisy!)

Fact: A very large portion of America, as well as smaller portions of much of Europe and a vast majority of third world countries, disagree with you on this issue.

Fact: The vast majority of them are not bigots or homophobes. They simply disagree, whether for religious or logical reasons - neither of which renders them or their opinions irrelevant.

Fact: Referring to one's opponent in a derogatory fashion does not resolve an issue, nor is it good logical form.

With these three facts established, please realize that the issue of what homosexuality is, and whether it is an essential, immutable state of being, will remain present and controversial for a long time yet, and as such it is wrong to legislate or make public decisions based on one side's answer this unsolved question.

I was raised in the Church, so you really need to watch your mouth. I never said I had anything against any religion, you're just assuming I do because I think it's wrong to discriminate against people because they're different. And I'm not ASSUMING that discrimination against a group of people is Bigotry, I'm outright saying it. Based on the fact that the definition is intolerance based on personal prejudices towards another group of people. You're basically saying gay people shouldn't exist, and just because other bigots like to get together and talk about how much they hate a particular group of people doesn't make them right. It just makes them a higher concentration of hateful people. Not to mention what you're calling "facts" are IN FACT logical fallacies.

omicron1:

When you talk to Cortez, you have two options: Commiserate, or commiserate. At no point in the game are you given a choice, through dialogue or action, to disagree. All you can do is accept BioWare's version of Shepard, or shut up and walk away. As a series built around player->main character projection, the absence of this option is both highly suspect and rather rude. I can be any Shepard I want, as long as she's liberal.

The fact that you want to have your character make homophobic comments toward an NPC is rather sad by itself.

I'd say more, but Yahtzee's Extra Punctuation article about mods modding in the ability to kill children in Skyrim pretty much has the same idea I have about your case.

Huh. Arguing for the option to walk up to a man who is clearly still grieving over the loss of a loved one and telling him that his relationship and love for that person was immoral, illogical, or whatever.

People who genuinely want that option must be real pleasant to talk to in real life.

omicron1:

Fact: The vast majority of them are not bigots or homophobes. They simply disagree, whether for religious or logical reasons - neither of which renders them or their opinions irrelevant.

Right. They just want same-sex couples to never have the same legal rights married couples have. Not at all discriminatory. Argue your case all you want but don't bother trying to pretend it isn't rooted in homophobia, your argument is saying gay people don't deserve the same legal rights. If we were living in some kind of alternate universe where marriage was a purely religious ceremony and didn't confer any kind of legal status then we could discuss this properly without there being any homophobia or accusations of homophobia but that's not the case.

As a side note - why should I care what the minority wants? They're a minority because they're wrong. And why should I or any non-American developer care what Americans want? They're thousands of miles away, who cares.

Jitters Caffeine:

I was raised in the Church, so you really need to watch your mouth. I never said I had anything against any religion, you're just assuming I do because I think it's wrong to discriminate against people because they're different. And I'm not ASSUMING that discrimination against a group of people is Bigotry, I'm outright saying it. Based on the fact that the definition is intolerance based on personal prejudices towards another group of people. You're basically saying gay people shouldn't exist, and just because other bigots like to get together and talk about how much they hate a particular group of people doesn't make them right. It just makes them a higher concentration of hateful people.

My apologies for my ill-judged jab; it applies well to ~70% of Escapistgoers. Nonetheless, the principle remains the same - it is an attempt to saddle one's opposition with negative terminology and judicial bias, just as the terms "homophobe" and "bigot" are.

What I am saying is very simple: You can believe whatever you want, do whatever you want, as long as you don't make me believe it or respect your actions. I should not have to support your position, or refrain from stating mine, in the public sphere. I should not be barred from adopting children because they might grow up to believe as I do. I should not have to cater a wedding I disagree with. You may disagree with me, but you may not ban me from discourse or make my beliefs hate speech - not before proving that they are wrong. Until that point - while homosexuality is still undecided as to its very nature, whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic - attempting to enforce your view of the issue is tantamount to tyranny. That is all.

Pearwood:

Right. They just want same-sex couples to never have the same legal rights married couples have. Not at all discriminatory. Argue your case all you want but don't bother trying to pretend it isn't rooted in homophobia, your argument is saying gay people don't deserve the same legal rights. If we were living in some kind of alternate universe where marriage was a purely religious ceremony and didn't confer any kind of legal status then we could discuss this properly without there being any homophobia or accusations of homophobia but that's not the case.

You are beginning from the invalid postulate that homosexuality is similar in classification to race or gender - that it is inborn, impossible to alter. As long as your arguments rest on postulates that are not accepted by both sides, no conversation may take place.

At this point, I have said my piece, outlined my positions. I'm not moving from them. Good day to y'all.

dyre:
Haven't played ME3, but I remember DA2 seemed to have a ton of bisexual characters for some reason. Imo Bioware should make more exclusively gay or exclusively straight characters, because right now it feels like all my teammates want to fuck me no matter who I am...

Mass Effect 3 isn't at all like Dragon Age 2 in that regard. Of the new relationship options there is, I believe:

- 1 gay male
- 1 bisexual male
- 1 gay female
- 1 bisexual female

So sexuality is dependent on that character, rather than Shepard's gender.

Tuesday Night Fever:
Huh. Arguing for the option to walk up to a man who is clearly still grieving over the loss of a loved one and telling him that his relationship and love for that person was immoral, illogical, or whatever.

People who genuinely want that option must be real pleasant to talk to in real life.

Because if I ever roleplay an evil character in a game of D&D, that automatically makes me an evil bastard myself.

That makes sense.

One day, I'd love for a game company to grow some balls in the face of complaints and simply say "This was how we wrote it, if you don't like it, you're welcome to kindly fuck off."

GiantRaven:
Because if I ever roleplay an evil character in a game of D&D, that automatically makes me an evil bastard myself.

That makes sense.

This guy look like he's roleplaying to you?

omicron1:

Kahunaburger:

omicron1:
It seems to me like the spirit of inclusiveness should extend to those of us who think Don't Ask Don't Tell was good policy, and would like to be able to tell Steve Cortez so. You know, rather than being forced to commiserate with him or ignore him completely. But hey, inclusiveness only works one way, right? It doesn't count if you're on the wrong side.

Would you expect a modern game with dialogue options to give you the option to oppose giving women the right to vote?

I expect any game dealing with issues under debate to serve both sides equally. For example: If there is a question dealing with religion, I should be able to respond either as a religious person or as an atheist. If there is a question dealing with gay marriage, I should be able to respond either for or against.

Nothing ever leaves the debate table many still oppose women rights. when issues of women rights come up i should be able to choose for or against. Not like this is a more absurd proposal than outright murder which you can pull off in various games.

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