Close
Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

EA defends itself against thousands of anti-gay letters

EA defends itself against thousands of anti-gay letters

Wed 04 Apr 2012 7:49pm GMT / 3:49pm EDT / 12:49pm PDT
PoliticsPublishing

EA is standing up for same sex relationships in games despite outrage from some

EA has been inundated in recent weeks with what GamesIndustry International understands to be "several thousand" letters and emails protesting the inclusion of same sex or LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) content in its video games, most notably Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. When asked, EA confirmed that this has indeed been occurring, and unsurprisingly, EA has no plans to censor any of its games.

"Every one of EA's games includes ESRB content descriptors so it's hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content. This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment," Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications told us.

The letters have been directed to EA's executive team, creative heads, its board of directors and just about anyone at a high level. Many of them threaten to boycott EA's titles if the publisher refuses to remove same-sex relationship content.

1

The letters also infer that EA was pressured by LGBT groups to include homosexual content in its games, and that this content is somehow forced upon children, exposing them to LGBT themes. Of course, those of you reading this already know how ludicrous this is. The games are not for children, nor do they force LGBT content on a player - it's merely an option for gamers who wish to replicate their real-life sexual orientation.

Some of the letters also complain that EA is deliberately deleting posts against LGBT issues on its official forum, which is true when the comments happen to violate discussion rules on hate speech.

"Trying to rally Americans around messages rooted in hate is a losing proposition"

Matt Kane, GLAAD

"EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games. However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don't tolerate hate speech on our forums," Brown added.

4

Just one example of the letters

We had suspected that perhaps Focus on the Family, led by James Dobson, was somehow involved, but as it turns out, many of the letters have been coming from Florida, and it's rather apparent based on this call to action for Star Wars that the Florida Family Association is directing a campaign against EA because of the same-sex relationship content.

The Family Research Council, led by Tony Perkins, is also involved. "In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists!" said Perkins.

2

We asked Matt Kane, Associate Director of Entertainment Media at GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) about campaigns such as the one Florida Family Association and Family Research Council have been spearheading.

"Anti-LGBT campaigns are falling into a pretty consistent pattern these days, in which messages of hate directed at our allies are met with an overwhelming outpouring of support for our allies in response," Kane noted. "Following Starbucks' announcing public support for marriage equality, 25,000 people signed a "Dump Starbucks" campaign, which in turn inspired more than 600,000 people to sign on to a "Thank Starbucks" campaign.

He continued, "The group 'One Million Moms' tried to have Ellen Degeneres fired from her role as a spokesperson for JC Penny, but the public expressions of support JC Penny received following the Stand Up for Ellen campaign were so numerous that 'One Million Moms' announced they would be 'moving on to other things.' Trying to rally Americans around messages rooted in hate is a losing proposition."

"EA's step in this instance is indicative of a continuing cultural shift toward greater inclusion"

Michael Cole-Schwartz, HRC

Michael Cole-Schwartz, Director of Communications at Human Rights Campaign (HRC), added that "those of us who work toward LGBT equality are pleased with the fair-minded stance EA's taken. EA should be commended for their inclusive approach that reflects the diversity of our communities."

HRC is currently organizing a petition "so that EA hears from the majority of fair-minded Americans who welcome their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family and friends." The petition is not live yet, but the goal is to get people to show their support to EA for inclusive games.

"It's important that companies know these protests represent a fringe interest," Cole-Schwartz added.

Speaking to the larger issue at hand for the industry and LGBT content in video games, Kane remarked, "A lot of game makers are realizing that in order to create a believable universe it has to be a universe that is very diverse, and in some ways it sort of reflects the make-up of the culture we live in as well. I think it's very logical that you'll start to see more LGBT characters appearing in games."

3

"This is also not only a reflection of the culture, but also in part of their consumer base - at least a segment of their consumer base. Certainly Star Wars is a good example. EA listened to the people who were intending to purchase the game and saw that there was a real desire to see same-sex relationships included within the romantic options."

Cole-Schwartz believes that EA's progressive stance is a sign of the times and other publishers should take notice.

"As in all media, there remains work to do in order for more people to feel represented and included. This is true for video games and for LGBT people. EA's step in this instance is indicative of a continuing cultural shift toward greater inclusion," he said.

What are your thoughts on EA's inclusion of same-sex relationships? Sound off in our comments section below.

69 Comments

Paolo Giunti Localisation Project Manager, GlobaLoc GmbH

42 8 0.2
"In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists!" said Perkins.
Heh... It amuses me how Mr. Perkins somewhat identifies himself with the empire, which is pretty clearly the bad guys. Well, at least in that association, i think he's correct.



Anyway, when i was in high school, the "gay" was generally defined as someone ridicolous, weak and laughable. While i've never been actually homofobic, that general definition made me want to actively avoid contact with anyone declared or presumed gay in order to not be labeled as "laughable" myself just by proximity.
Turned out that they aren't silly, ridiculos nor weak. They're perfectly normal people. Hell... felt pretty silly myself for kind of believing in that discriminatory image. But it wasn't until i've met some colleagues or some friends left the closet that i started wondering: "So? what's really strange and stupid about this guy? Didn't even notice he was gay before he told me."

That introduction to finally say: Yeah a mature portrayal of LGTB characters in games (like, for example, the shuttle pilot in ME3 and definitely not like that pink-dressed guy from GTA4) is very welcome IMHO. Gives players something confront that whole "ridicolous" images with and start questioning it.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Popular Comment
They didnt had a problem with sister kissing brother in Star Wars but have a problem with same sex content?

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Pier Castonguay Programmer

189 106 0.6
Well EA actually react in a good way for once, good. In another point of view, they shouldn't worry about small things like this when they have other problems to worry about, like the fact they've been voted the worst company in America by The Consumerist just now.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Jonah Falcon Writer

31 27 0.9
Yeah, I'm sure EA is really afraid of The Family Research Council boycotting their games. Because, you know, fundamentalist right-wing Christians are a MAJOR videogame buying demographic.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

482 293 0.6
The only problem with Zealots in the United States is that they are allowed to buy guns. Otherwise they would simply be ignored and flagged as the idiots they are. It must be very resource consuming for every such group to be on some watch list somewhere.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

George Williams Owner

5 1 0.2
Just to be clear. Is this a 'story' devised by EA? Because SWTOR does not have any kind of same sex marriages, relationships etc. I dont even remember this kind of out rage when Star Wars Galaxies did indeed have same sex relationships.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Jolyon Leonard Senior Designer, Climax Group

5 4 0.8
In other news, mature content in game aimed at mature audience has mature themes.

The hand wringing of bigoted fools is exactly the type of story EA are pleased to provoke, as controversy will undoubtedly help sales. As Jonah points out - this type of reaction is hardly gonna deter the target audience.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
There are a lot of narrow minded people in America. All those fundamental Christians with their imaginary special friend.
It is very worrying, in a supposedly secular state, to hear politicians talking about this fictitious God person all the time.

Games have age ratings, books don't. Yet there is some really nasty stuff in books, try reading the Bible for instance.

Posted:2 years ago

#8
Mass Effect 2 - Same sex relationships between women? no complaints.

Mass Effect 3 - Same sex relationships between men? handwringing and outcry.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Paolo Giunti Localisation Project Manager, GlobaLoc GmbH

42 8 0.2
@Jonathan
Well, there was that embarrassing episode with Fox News about ME1.
Since then, nearly every Bioware had same-sex romance options (DA:O and DA2 already had for both genders), and they were already received with homophobic complaints.... complaints that just got ignored.

Now, what i think got the attention of the bigots is that SWTOR originally didn't have any same-sex romance options, but some people asked about them since they got used to see this content in Bioware games. Eventually Bioware announced that they'll introduce them in future updates (or maybe they already have: not a SWTOR player, so I'm not sure).
I guess that, for the bigots, the real scandal is that Bioware simply said "OK" rather than fighting against the introduction of LGTB content.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
The cynic in me would question whether this story has been revealed to take some of the limelight off EA's new 'Worst Company in America' label.

However, it is amusing how people get so worked up by these things - no doubt the vast majority being those who don't have and never will play games but cling on to these tragically outdated beliefs.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Chris Madsen

24 10 0.4
EA starting to have bad reputation on other parts, but I respect this part of them.

I do condsider male homosexuality abit nasty, but that is because I am a male hetero.
But I don't hate or disrespect homosexuality, nor should I, because I might have something sexual considered not "normal" and same thing goes for those complaining xD but we don't go sneaking into their bedrooms and found that out xD.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Chris Madsen on 5th April 2012 11:49am

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Ben Furneaux Designer, Turbulenz Limited

116 55 0.5
Popular Comment
I condsider male hetrosexuality a bit nasty, but that is because I am a male homo.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

528 788 1.5
Popular Comment
@Bruce - You call them narrow minded then proceed to bash people's religions. The other day it was sexist comments about banning women from bars. Isn't regular trolling enough?

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Kieron Clarke Senior QA, Eutechnyx

2 4 2.0
Exactly. It's ok as long as it's the "Lipstick lesbians", but as soon as there's a sword fight involved "omg its wrong!"
Pathetic.

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Kieron Clarke Senior QA, Eutechnyx

2 4 2.0
Best reply possible.

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Rob Fahey Columnist, GamesIndustry.biz

76 190 2.5
Whatever else EA may be getting right or wrong at present, they absolutely deserve applause for standing firm on this - not just by refusing to remove existing content (I suspect most game companies would also hold firm on that point), but on remaining committed to being inclusive and broad-minded in their future development efforts. This stance earns them a LOT of brownie points - especially, I might add, in major non-US territories like Europe where this particular culture war is quite a bit further down the line.

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
@ Dave Herod. exactly!

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios

191 81 0.4
I think the best comparison to put down any anti-homophoboic rhetoric is simply this.

Game of Thrones, the most popular tv series ever to come on HBO (and the majority of tv networks in general), has gays, incest, whores, thieving, murdering, treachery, and baby killing... but it's STILL the most popular tv show out right now.

Mass Effect 3, and any other games to ever have come out with optional homosexual content, is really pale in comparison for several reasons.

A: People have not cared before (not this much anyway)

B: The game does not 'force' anything on anyone. In several other games players have heterosexual relationships as part of the story, but you dont see gay activists running around screaming fire and brimstone about it.

C: IT'S OPTIONAL CONTENT. Going down that path requires certain choices made in such a way to 'unlock' that sort of content in the game anyways. So it's not like they're tricking you into being gay even after you've made what could be counted as 'heterosexual' decisions (whatever that would mean)

D: Allow me to reiterate IT'S OPTIONAL CONTENT!!!

I would like to point out that I have not actually played any of the Mass Effect series, but this does not restrict the validity of my opinion in any way on the subject matter.

*steps down off soapbox*

Posted:2 years ago

#19

Rob Fahey Columnist, GamesIndustry.biz

76 190 2.5
"...gays, incest, whores, thieving, murdering, treachery, and baby killing..." ... I am so deeply torn between suggesting that perhaps you don't want to include homosexuality on a list like that (although I'm sure you didn't mean it like that!), and simply commenting that that sounds like a REALLY good Saturday night.

Posted:2 years ago

#20

Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios

191 81 0.4
OH WAIT!!! you're right... I forgot about the whores in Baelish's brothel making out with each other... okay..

"homosexuals, incest, whores, thieving, murdering, treachery, and baby killing"

And Game of Thrones comes on Sunday ;)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Joshua Rose on 5th April 2012 3:31pm

Posted:2 years ago

#21

Rob Fahey Columnist, GamesIndustry.biz

76 190 2.5
That's... The opposite of what I meant. Never mind :)

Posted:2 years ago

#22

Tommy Thompson Lecturer in BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming., University of Derby

44 28 0.6
To even suggest this is an issue reflects more on those who seek to censor it. Congrats to EA for taking a stance against such narrow-minded discrimination.

Posted:2 years ago

#23

Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios

191 81 0.4
No, actually my point in including homosexuality on a list like that is just pointing out that it's a part of the most popular show on television. Of course I didn't mean homosexuals are baby killers (cause that would be just plain stupid). I admit it was a bad list, but you know what I meant. (at least I hope so)

Posted:2 years ago

#24

Robert Aiking Product Manager, InnoGames

21 4 0.2
Whatever else EA may be getting right or wrong at present, they absolutely deserve applause for standing firm on this - not just by refusing to remove existing content (I suspect most game companies would also hold firm on that point), but on remaining committed to being inclusive and broad-minded in their future development efforts. This stance earns them a LOT of brownie points - especially, I might add, in major non-US territories like Europe where this particular culture war is quite a bit further down the line.
The question is... do they really have any other feasible choice? EA must also realise that the critism is coming from a truly non-crucial market segment for them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Robert Aiking on 5th April 2012 4:23pm

Posted:2 years ago

#25
EA PR?

Posted:2 years ago

#26

Cori Myers CEO/Owner, Gameinatrix.com

20 1 0.1
Ugh...we will be discussing this on our podcast tonight. This whole thing is ridiculous.

Posted:2 years ago

#27

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
Fruten homophobias.

How dare they do that to a company...

Free speech means free speech for everyone, not just the Christian majority.

They are only making religion look worse, and soon they would be the minority when most people reject religion but still love god.

Because god is not about hate, god is about love for everyone, including homosexuals.

It is in my faith, that god loves homosexuals because god forgives everyone.

Posted:2 years ago

#28
Props to EA

Posted:2 years ago

#29

Temi Web design

48 9 0.2
Wouldn't expect them not to. everybody is evangelizing homosexuality in the media now. I specifically told friends not to let their kids (up to teens) play the game because it seemed to preach a certain worldview. I'd love it if developers did not feel the need to push beliefs like the materialist myth of evolution and homosexuality, but really... it might just be how they see the world and they don't think much of it. It's touchy.

I would guess that homosexuals would not mind games being as they were while a lot of heterosexuals would mind them changing to gratify homosexuality. In the end people will decide with their wallets. I personally will ditch any game I know is not just a game but a political mouth piece.

Having said that... you aren't a straight guy if you play anything but a lesbian in these games. Only logical choice. lol

Posted:2 years ago

#30

Andrzej Wroblewski Localization Generalist, Albion Localisations

103 78 0.8
Why all the ruccus? Straight = overpopulation. Homosexual = extinction. We're scrw'd anyway...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrzej Wroblewski on 5th April 2012 5:19pm

Posted:2 years ago

#31

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
I would dare to suggest that Fox News may be behind this.

Posted:2 years ago

#32

Siyuan Lin Sound Designer

7 0 0.0
Fox news is 100% behind this.

Posted:2 years ago

#33

Tomis programmer

18 6 0.3
Smells like bullshit to me. Thousands of letters? Really? Sounds like an EA PR stunt to kill another headline - "EA voted "worst company" in America, ahead of Bank of America", and it seems to be working since there are a lot of gullible people around here. The whole page is filled with comments about homosexuality and how EA stood up for the LGBT community. Give me a break.

Posted:2 years ago

#34

James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada

185 240 1.3
This is so silly. Even if a company (in this case, us) had some overarching hate against a group.. I.. no, ok, I can't even get past that, because it's so dumb. Acting on any kind of intentional bias like that would just be impractical, even if it was there.

This kind of stuff is probably great news for us - free publicity for doing what makes the most business sense anyways. Why would we, or anyone else in our industry, want to exclude large portions of our market, and make the majority of the market for doing so?

Bigotry and racism are idiotic ideals for a company to aspire to.

Posted:2 years ago

#35
Could this be the genesis of the "Worst Company in America" designation EA received in a poll of Consumerist readers? An astroturf campaign of fundie bobbleheads seeking to pressure EA on this issue?

Posted:2 years ago

#36

Robert Barrow Programming (AI), Web Development, Security (Pentesting, Recovery)

27 18 0.7
The biggest give away as towards the mentality of the people involved in such a campaign is the handwritten statement on the letter. 'Remember Sodom'... Yeah I do actually, it's a particularly nasty tale from a particularly nasty book. One which I would definitely be worried about children being exposed to. The whole thing is just ridiculous, time wasting arguments from hypocrites.

Posted:2 years ago

#37

Laurens Bruins Jaywalker, Jaywalkers Interactive

135 158 1.2
(Oops, wrong button)

Props to EA.


@ Kieron

Thanks, from now on whenever I see the words "sword fight" I'll think of something else... ;)

Posted:2 years ago

#38

Spencer Franklin Concept Artist

100 139 1.4
@Bruce

Seriously.... Take a step back, read what you wrote, and apply the context that you wrote it in, and ask yourself, "what's wrong with this comment?"

I'm inclined to think you are the resident troll the way you post sometimes...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Spencer Franklin on 5th April 2012 6:02pm

Posted:2 years ago

#39

Paolo Giunti Localisation Project Manager, GlobaLoc GmbH

42 8 0.2
Sounds like an EA PR stunt to kill another headline - "EA voted "worst company"
That's probably why you hear of it only now. As Bioware and EA receiving anti-gay complaints is actually old news.

Surely EA PR is using this to counter the negative hit on their image, but this doesn't make it any less true.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paolo Giunti on 5th April 2012 6:26pm

Posted:2 years ago

#40

Colin McBride Studying MA in 3D Design for Virtual Worlds, Glasgow Caledonian University

35 6 0.2
@Bruce -- I tend to agree. It's incredible to me that pressure groups clinging onto these outdated superstitions can still hold such a sway in public life.

@Tony -- I laud the sentiments but I don't think homosexuals neither asked nor need forgiveness.

And for a game that (can) include genocide, murder and suicide, it seems an odd thing for them to get worked up about...

Posted:2 years ago

#41

Tomis programmer

18 6 0.3
| Surely EA PR is using this to counter the negative hit on their image, but this doesn't make it any less true.

How do you know it's true?

Posted:2 years ago

#42

Jack Lee

60 6 0.1
I dig this story, but I'll admit an eyebrow-raise at the phrase "it's merely an option for gamers who wish to replicate their real-life sexual orientation."

It gives me the sense that the perception is no one who is straight would ever want to see the story of a character with a different orientation. I'm sure that's not really the intent, but the wording (to me) precludes the idea of me, as a straight man, playing a gay character because it's more interesting, different, or because I've already tried the other combinations of characters. Homosexuality might just be part of an interesting character arc in Dragon Age or ME or SWToR, not necessarily a function of the player's orientation. Just my two cents. Very interesting piece.

Posted:2 years ago

#43

Luke Child

13 1 0.1
Well I suppose this is to be expected, there isn't exactly a shortage of bigots and fundamentalists in America.

Posted:2 years ago

#44

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

185 520 2.8
It's not just so people can explore content that reflects their RL sexuality (though they may well enjoy it more), it's fiction! It's a role-playing game, and these are all about exploring being something you aren't. There's no more reason a heterosexual player shouldn't explore the homosexual storylines than there is for them to avoid storylines where they're a mage or an evil character, though I very much doubt they're mages or villains in real life. People can be so damn silly, fearful and hateful.

Like *anyone* ever gets a choice about with whom they fall in love.

Regarding SW:TOR, there weren't same-sex relationships in it when I ran out of steam on the game, but Bioware were talking about adding them in a future patch. I really hope these sort of small-minded protests aren't what's delaying it, because from what I saw, their actual player-base was eagerly anticipating them, no matter what their RL sexuality.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Bonnie Patterson on 5th April 2012 9:08pm

Posted:2 years ago

#45

Todd DeSilva Owner/Writer/Editor, Raw Gamer

1 0 0.0
I honestly don't care.

They mention SW: TOR, but back when I played Star Wars Galaxies you could give a ring to anyone and "marry" them...male or female.

I always laugh about all the guys who would create female characters and flirt with dudes...those are probably the same guys who are included in those anti-gay letters.

I say good on EA for including that. Some peoples kids just need to lighten up....and just remember...IT'S A GAME!

Posted:2 years ago

#46

Bonnie Patterson Freelance Narrative Designer

185 520 2.8
@Temi - How is a game that doesn't include homosexuality any less a "political" mouthpiece than one that portrays it as normal? Though I think you're confusing a fundamental human right with political capital there.

Secondly, games aren't "changing." The content is in addition to heterosexual relationships. No-one is getting cut out, there are simply more options.

And your final comment puts you firmly on the firmly on the "women exist only as sex objects" bandwagon, so I'm just going to roll my eyes at you now.

Posted:2 years ago

#47

Kyle Simms

6 0 0.0
I feel like a tea party protester who has legitimate gripes with certain decisions from the government only to hear a comrade shout racial epithets like he had Tourette syndrome. Seriously EA is a bad company but to be associated with these anti-gay idiots that are enraged over a relatively unimportant and unforced optional choice is just embarrassing.

Posted:2 years ago

#48

James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz

259 457 1.8
@ Jack Lee, sorry that wasn't the intent of the sentence. I'm also straight and have played the homosexual character option in the first Dragon Age (that elf thief guy, can't remember his name...) as a way to see how BioWare handled the relationship. I didn't mean to implicate that straight people can't play as gay people in games. Certainly, there's no reason they can't.

Posted:2 years ago

#49

Steve Peterson West Coast Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

111 73 0.7
I think part of the underlying issue stems from the public at large thinking of games as "something kids play" rather than a medium enjoyed by people of all ages. Thus hate groups find it easier to get people to sign form letters when "it's to protect kids."

As games become more and more popular, they'll be the target as much as movies and TV have been for people who want to control what someone else experiences.

Posted:2 years ago

#50

Mary Hilton Community Manager, Reclaim Your Game

38 20 0.5
EA has long been far more progressive in their games than just the recent ones: Sims 2 has long been known for its' 'anything goes' approach to relationships.

That being said, EA is right in this instance: to stand their ground against bigotry and religious zealotry, which this actually is.

For once, I actually applaud them. They're right.

Posted:2 years ago

#51

Vitalii Moskalets Game Designer, GameLoft

27 0 0.0
The sad part is that most people don't even understand, that increasing presence of homosexuality in media is influencing people very effective. If in every film, game, TV show there will be gay, lesbian, then in people's minds it will become "if it everywhere, then it is normal, and that is how it shoud be".

Most people somehow forget, that gays and lesbians are ill people, which need medical help. If you think, that they are just "different social group", why we hold psychos in asylums? They also have "different views" on lifes, why we violate their human rights?

For all, who think "well, why not, they are not so bad guys and girls, same sex is not so bad", you can imagine simple situation and then think about this problem again:
You have son, and he tells you that he is not going to marry a girl, he enjoys sex with his gay friend and they will live together.
Now imagine, that 500 million people are gay or lesbians, from where future generations will appear???

The more propaganda we will have in media, that those relationships are normal, the faster we will get to selfdestruction.

The EA and other media giants will increase showing all sorts of negativity, they just don't have other choice, they HAVE TO increase debauchery.

Posted:2 years ago

#52

Jonathan Tilbrook Studying Games Design, University of Lincoln

5 2 0.4
I'm not gay myself and neither are any of my friends or family but when I hear stories about 'thousands' of people taking time out out of their lives to put pen to paper over an issue such as this, it saddens me. As an idealist and extremely positive person, I like to think the human race has come so far since biggotry of any kind was the norm. But somewhat depressingly, this just shows that I'm naive to think this way and that we are still very far from where we should be.

The comment above mine highlights the extreme idiocy still prevalent in our society quite eloquently I think. Unacceptable.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Jonathan Tilbrook on 6th April 2012 10:47am

Posted:2 years ago

#53

Paolo Giunti Localisation Project Manager, GlobaLoc GmbH

42 8 0.2
Surely EA PR is using this to counter the negative hit on their image, but this doesn't make it any less true.
How do you know it's true?
Because it's old news.
It happened with Dragon Age, Dragon Age 2 and even the SIMS already. I've seen forums ablaze with homofobic complaints, entire threads being deleted by the admins... It's not somethign happenign NOW, it's somethign that's been going on for years already.
Is it really that hard for you to believe that fundamentalists communities could have organized themselves into sending the company a lot of hate-mail?

Of course, up until now it was no big deal. EA was ignoring those letters and carrying on with their business. No need to tell the world about it. Then, after being voted "worst company", they figured it could help their image bringing the spotlight on this situation.
You could say that they're doign the right thing for all the wrong reasons. Fine, i'd be inclined to agree on that. But, trust me, it's no made up BS.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paolo Giunti on 10th April 2012 11:36am

Posted:2 years ago

#54

Nikolae Konlovsky Team Leader, oasisgames.com

3 4 1.3
Being instinctively reviled by homosexual deviancy is far from homophobic - in fact homophobia doesn't even exist. It's a manufactured word to counter any criticism.

Seeing people here fall over themselves to fawn at the feet of the homosexual propaganda machine is akin to watching people being force fed pig swill and then declaring how sweetly delicious it is - and that anybody who says otherwise is an 'unenlightened' small-minded bigot and a hater. There is no benefit in this to anybody.

It must be in the tap water.

Posted:2 years ago

#55

Jeff Wilson

46 0 0.0
According to many comments here, all the two Billion Christians and Muslims who derive their values from the Bible and the Qur'an are now considered Bigots becuase they are anti LGBT ? But, I respect the views of anyone who wants to believe in their own religious values. Most people are not athiests whether we like it or not.

I also think that LGBT should be allowed in video games. Because that represents the the world we live in today. As long as EA doesn't think this move will damage their sales, then why not ? The same argument could be said for excessive violence in games. To what extent do game companies tolerate these alternate views ?

Most of the protest letters probably came from Parents who have a responsibility to determine what is appropriate for their kids. If they want to refrain from buying certain games or pulling their kids out of biology classes at school then let them.

Besides, if there is a God, then he will be concerned about a lot more than just politically correct same sex relationships in video games.

Posted:2 years ago

#56

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

455 443 1.0
All I will say is that religious and political discussions are often best kept to private quarters unless you have something substantial to share. This is a games industry website after all and I've seen some prejudicial comments from senior personnel and that is just unacceptable, plain and simple.

Whether you believe in God, want to promote LGBT exposure or stand in the middle ground it's very unprofessional and childish to be insulting other people's views.

Now this is a very current topic that we need to gain a better insight into. Culture is changing towards faith and sexuality, and the question is how we address this in video games.

The first question is, Do video game developers have responsibility to represent various the ideologies, cultures, religions and races? I think that any mainstream media outlet has that responsibility (and here I am focusing on big sellers with the income stream to do so, not the indie developer who can just about afford to develop his or her game). That's just my opinion on responsibility when you have a major reach.

The second question is, How do we exercise this responsibility tastefully, informatively, prudently without raising further tension between different groups?? Again this is just what I think is important, but as we can see from what has happened with EA by looking at the discriminatory remarks against homosexuals and Christians, it's something we should think about.

Discussions and topics on sexuality does not need to cause arguments or cause divides. I just think we're asking the wrong questions here. So I would rather ask my first question, "Do video game developers have responsibility to represent various the ideologies, cultures, religions and races?", instead of, "Should we include homosexual relationships in the plot of a video game?"

So then my third question would then be, What message are we trying to send, and what outcomes are we aiming to achieve by including the said content? This is the most important question in this discussion. Are we trying to remove the taboo? Are we trying to comfort people who might have questions about their sexuality? Are we trying to change the concept of what is normal from normal being that men should only have sexual relations with women to ones that include LBGT? Are we hoping to decrease heterosexual relations and increase LBGT relationships? or are we just trying to raise awareness to reduce irrational fears, disgust and prejudice?

Without a clear intention, and I've not yet seen a clear intention from EA, they don't really have a stance to defend, just an action to justify. But they can only really justify it with their intention, otherwise the discussion cannot ever be constructive.

Posted:2 years ago

#57

Vitalii Moskalets Game Designer, GameLoft

27 0 0.0
What message are we trying to send, and what outcomes are we aiming to achieve by including the said content?
That is very good point.
Any action has consequences, and based on this there could be 2 variants:
- people don't understand this, and their action could cause unpredictable outcome. Which is show that such people are out of control of the situation
- people know what they are doing, and hide real goals and what they aim to achieve

Both variants are dangerous.

What is also important, is that game industry can't separate itself from politics, social life, etc. Everything works in a system together. It is something like, "I don't want to be involved in politics", but at same time living by laws, which were written by politicians.

Games, as any other mass media, has influence on lots of people. Even if someone don't believe, or don't know, the psychology is working all the time, whether you watch TV show, advertisment, listen to music or play game. The information you receive is always will have impact on your behaviour

What is important for proper discussion, for any topic - is that everybody involved in discussion understand several things:
- you need to carefully examine the information you discussed. Why and how it can be used? For which benefit? What consequences it could have for everyone?
- think about short-term and long-term consequences of using such information and activities linked with it
- respect each other view, and discuss each other opinion. In this way, you will really share useful info and help each other to understand topic much better.

Why all this is important? Because nobody can know everything about anything. You can discuss something with another person, who may not fully understand the topic, consequences of actions in this topic, etc. In same way this other person can give you some valuable information.


One small question, to think about how much influence media, including games, have on people: as I know, in US are very strict limitations for using cigarettes in movies, games and on TV. Why those limitations are used? A lot of people smoke everyday, and it is part of our current society.

Posted:2 years ago

#58

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend

273 624 2.3
Wow, lots of people with axes to grind here. This is sooooo two thousand and late. Get over it and move on. Etc etc

Side Note: Glad I am not the only one who thinks Bruce posts very troll like comments.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 6th April 2012 5:36pm

Posted:2 years ago

#59

David Vink Freelance

19 16 0.8
I am actually kind of shocked by the bigoted remarks of some of the posters. I'm not sure why but I did not expect a post saying 'Let's not forget gays and lesbians are ill people that need medical attention' to go unanswered on this website. Or is it that everybody was just ignoring this idiot?

Posted:2 years ago

#60

Kyle Hatch Software Engineer, Pennant International Services LTD

22 1 0.0
Just ignoring. People have their opinions. There entitled to them. But in this case....just ignore and move on.

Posted:2 years ago

#61

Rob Fahey Columnist, GamesIndustry.biz

76 190 2.5
I think everyone is - sensibly - ignoring the very small number of bigots. There's very little point in retreading the same arguments that have been made a thousand times before. If someone with an education and internet access still chooses to believe that tolerance and acceptance for sexual minorities is going to result in the extinction of humanity, there's no likelihood anything said on an Internet comments thread is going to unseat a belief that's completely illogical from the outset.

Posted:2 years ago

#62

Al Rhodes Web producer/designer

25 15 0.6
Just because these bigots are in the minority and have opinions that are disgusting, does not mean we should we should not respond.

If there is one thing that is truly offensive, it is those who think they have the God given right to restrict the freedoms of other people.

I urge people to sign the counter petition whatever your sexuality or gaming preferences:. If they get their way on this, who will be next?

http://allout.org/en/actions/theforce/taf

Posted:2 years ago

#63

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

837 671 0.8
Lots of people went in an outrage about homosexual relationships in some of EA games... It's funny that none seems to care about human-alien interracial relations of the same kind.

You don't have to like homosexuality, but the minimum respect towards any human being is in order, and there is no excuse for this.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 10th April 2012 7:17am

Posted:2 years ago

#64

Paolo Giunti Localisation Project Manager, GlobaLoc GmbH

42 8 0.2
Probably because the human-alien relationships just can't occur in real life.

This reminds me that, a few decades ago, inter-racial relationships (of the human-human kind) were frowned upon. I suppose that, back in those days, i would have been labeled "mentally ill and needing medical help" for having girlfriend with a dark skin-tone, wouldn't I?

Posted:2 years ago

#65

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
I think anyone who has a problem with the depiction in the gay relationships in mass effect is just stupid and narrow minded. Most likely a hater of gay people. They are not forced in the game to have one. Im not gay, i dont like watching gay stuff in any form of media, except for lesbians. But im ok with gay stuff being available to gay people and what i like about Mass Effect is that its a game that anyone regardless of gender, race and sexual preferance, they can make the game play out to there liking. Im not gay and i dont have to have a gay relationship in the game if I dont want to. But for the person who is gay, they can have a gay relationship.Hey, you can even make shepard a female with dark skin tone. I really think Mass Effect has reach the epitome of being able to tell a story were the player can have lots of involment as to how it plays out.

Posted:2 years ago

#66

Matthew Hill Head of Recruitment, Specialmove

75 26 0.3
Well done EA - regardless of whether it's a calculated bit of PR it's exactly the right thing to say. It's worth noting that Starbucks had almost exactly the same experience recently and stuck to it's "pro-gay" guns.

Perhaps the ridiculous Focus on the Family will target Mario next ? Or have they overlooked the Moustachioed Men in colour coordinated outfits and a Princess it's nearly Impossible to save (just like Kylie "Impossible Princess" Minogue)

Posted:2 years ago

#67

Tomis programmer

18 6 0.3
@Paolo Giunti - fair point.

@Vitalii Moskalets - please don't worry about the self-destruction of humanity, just send all the ladies who are willing but can't find a straight partner directly to me; I'm sure we can work something out.

Posted:2 years ago

#68

Vitalii Moskalets Game Designer, GameLoft

27 0 0.0
Biological side
There are scientific studies, which shows differences in brain structure of homosexual and heterosexual people.
In short:
- brain structure of heterosexual man and woman is different
- gay brain structure is closer to heterosexual woman
- lesbian brain structure is closer to heterosexual man
One of the theories, that why it can happen is influence of hormons during pregnancy. And of course, we also see stories when female athletes were forced to use medical stuff (hormonal based) to be more competitive in sports, after that they were feel and become more like man.

So in theory, development of brain in early stages during pregnancy, can show to parents, will they have homosexual child. How many parents are now want to have homosexual child?

In fact any of you can answer to yourself, if you know that your child will be homosexual, and (if study will show a way to change your child back in heterosexual) you have ability to change it, what will you do? Give birth to homosexual child or will be happy to change it and give birth to heterosexual child?


Social side
The active propaganda of any lifestyle affects people. For example, in some countries, homosexual promote their sexual orientation in front of schools. Parades also can be seen by children.
What moral and ethic values they promote in this way?
Usually I don't see parents, whose children saw such demonstration in front of their school, and they said "ok, we are tolerant, nothing special happened, it's ok for our children to see all this"

As for long-term effect of such propaganda, most people are usually just don't have ability to analyze potential impact.
For example, who thought what impact will have fast food when it first appeared?
Now we see that many countries start programs on government level for saving health of those countries population (more sport, more health food, etc.)

So reject to try to understand the problem and its potential effect in short-term, long-term, how it affects people, how it can affect people, why it occurs and what reasons - is strange for me.

But it is undestandable, usually people tend to leave things somewhere else, until they don't straightly influence their life.

Posted:2 years ago

#69

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now