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EA, Bioware fire-fighting reactions to SWtOR's 'gay ghetto' planet

EA, Bioware fire-fighting reactions to SWtOR's 'gay ghetto' planet

Tue 15 Jan 2013 8:50am GMT / 3:50am EST / 12:50am PST
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Taking flack for both introduction and segregation of same-sex romance

EA BioWare

BioWare develops high quality console, PC and online role-playing games, focused on rich stories, unforgettable...

bioware.com

EA and Bioware have come under pressure from both sides for the introduction of same-sex relationships to the Star Wars MMO The Old Republic.

The new options to romance "companion" NPCS will be restricted to one planet, itself part of the content only available to paying customers rather than those taking advantage of the game's free-to-play sections, upsetting both those who campaigned for and against their inclusion.

Same gender relationships have been on the cards for the struggling MMO for some time, but their introduction was delayed by the work necessary to convert the game from its original subscription model to free to play.

Now, the option to become romantically embroiled with NPCs who share your gender will be introduced as part of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion, coming later in the spring. However, even once that paid-for update hits the servers, players will only be able to engage in what the developers shorthand as "SGR" (same gender relationships) on a single planet: that of Makeb.

Whilst Bioware has a good track record of offering non-heterosexual romance options in its games, attracting the ire of religious and homophobic groups for the inclusion of SGR in the Mass Effect series and its plans to do so for Star Wars, the decision to restrict them solely to Makeb for the time being has upset many who had campaigned for their introduction. As a result, Bioware and EA have been accused of marginalising, ghettoising or segregating non-heterosexual romance.

Although it represents a marked improvement on the views of same sex relationships expressed in any number of games historically, the decision to put these options behind a paywall instead of adding them to existing areas has also attracted accusations of exploitation - arguing that EA is trying to squeeze what cash it can from those players who wish to engage in the new romances.

On top of that, Bioware's forums are also ablaze with the fury of those Star Wars fans who feel that homosexuality has no place in the fictitious universe, calling for a return to intergalactic family values, albeit ones which are happy to allow inter-species coupling, genocide and the ruthless pursuit of absolute power at any cost.

In a blog post discussing the game's developmental progress, executive producer Jeff Hickman addresses the issue.

"First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game," Hickman writes. "I realize that we promised SGR to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character. Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game Free-to-Play. As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of."

However, Hickman also raises hopes by vaguely intimating that there are plans for a wider introduction and integration of SGR to the gameworld.

"I want to reveal today that we are adding SGR with some NPCs on Makeb and do intend on pursuing more SGR options in the future."

38 Comments

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

542 528 1.0
This just goes to show, no matter how hard you try to be inclusive (while respecting people's believes and feelings), you can never make people happy.

So EA/Bioware include SGR and, i guess out of respect to those who believe this is wrong, they put it in one specific place so as to be sensitive to those people who feel it's wrong. And now that's segregation and a ghetto? Would it be better not to have it at all? Or have it everywhere, but risk loosing players who are not as open minded?

Still big thumbs up to EA/Bioware for trying to make a difference.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,374 1,020 0.7
I may be over-thinking this, but if they didn't want to force it down people's throats, why not just add a menu choice tick-box? SGR Yes/No?

Posted:A year ago

#2

David Vink
Freelance

19 14 0.7
Popular Comment
"So EA/Bioware include SGR and, i guess out of respect to those who believe this is wrong, they put it in one specific place so as to be sensitive to those people who feel it's wrong."

Right. Let's be sensitive to people that are discriminating others and adjust our game to the bigots.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,716 598 0.3
Popular Comment
This is like gay marriage. If you don't like gay marriage then don't marry someone of your own gender. Simple.
Discriminating against anyone because of their sexual orientation is just plain stupid, narrow minded and bigoted.
As an industry we should set a good example to the world with our liberality.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,374 1,020 0.7
Also, an alternative view on why they restricted it to one planet could be that they were painfully aware of how easy the SGR choices could accidentally be made in Dragon Age 2. I don't remember how difficult it was to accidentally be involved with someone of the same gender in the ME series, but DA2 was mocked long and hard for it. This kind of thing requires a lot of finesse, I think, and maybe they weren't entirely confident about how well they'd done it?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 15th January 2013 10:44am

Posted:A year ago

#5

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

542 528 1.0
Right. Let's be sensitive to people that are discriminating others and adjust our game to the bigots.
This is what i mean. It's not that black and white. You can not simply say that anyone who is against gay marriage is discriminating and a bigot. That's just as narrow minded a view as that of actual bigots.

Someone can be against gay marriage and still not be descriminating and in general not have a problem at all with people in same gender relations. We can not call for everyone to respect and be happy with gay marriage, if we don't also accept that their views are based on believes and views they have held for a long time as well.

Everyone is entitled to their own believes, nobody has a "right" to force their own believes on others and in a game all those people should be able to play together without infringing on each others views and believes.

I am for gay marriage and total equality, but i don't expect that everyone has the same view and i don't call everyone who disagrees with me a bigot. I think the EA/Bioware solution is actually very good. It gives people a choice and introduces, for the first time, this thematic into an MMO openly.

EDIT: Also making it a choice in the menu before starting the game is probably not an option - there are too many fundamental game parameters that would change i think. it's not like a profanity filter that just checkes conversations, but it would actually need visual filtering and potential content filtering. Much easier to restrict it to one area.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andreas Gschwari on 15th January 2013 10:55am

Posted:A year ago

#6

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,716 598 0.3
Popular Comment
@ Andreas Gschwari

"You can not simply say that anyone who is against gay marriage is discriminating and a bigot. That's just as narrow minded a view as that of actual bigots."

Utterly not true.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 223 0.4
Do they seriously think this will attract enough attention to save a failing game ?

Posted:A year ago

#8

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

542 528 1.0
Popular Comment
@Bruce: why?

If i immidiately label someone a bigot just because he does not agree with my view, which is that gay marriage is a good thing, don't you think i am discriminating that person by not allowing them to have an opinion?

I know quite a few people who don't approve of gay marriage on personal principle, but they are happy enough to abide by legislation. Their opinion is: if the democratically elected government legislates that gay marriage is ok, then that's that. But in a vote they would not support it. Is that not acceptable? Each to their own opinion i feel.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Vinicius De Nadai Andrade
Technology Business Analyst

8 7 0.9
If somebody wants something. There will be people willing to pay for it.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Adrian Herber

69 23 0.3
Adding SGR content certainly does require some finesse. For example, from what I've seen of the Sims, every sim is completely bisexual, which made it impossible to create platonic SGR relationships, and felt a bit odd. As to why SGR is only added on one planet so far - possibly this is just to manage the amount of expensive content creation for the first release?

Posted:A year ago

#11

Thomas Dolby
Project Manager / Lead Programmer

319 253 0.8
It sounds like this is more of a technical issue than a moral one at the moment. I have never played the game so I can't really comment accurately, but it sounds like it would be a lot of work to go back and change the relationship choices everywhere in the game. Are they planning to add the options elsewhere in the game, or are they really just going to keep it in one area?

Posted:A year ago

#12

Heather Sullivan
Web Developer

1 1 1.0
Right, I don't think this was any attempt to segregate or be sensitive to people who were offended by SGR. I think they just decided to get the feature out there as fast as possible, and that meant cutting some corners by offering the content with select NPCs that were isolated from the rest of the game. What did happen, though, was an incredible lack of foresight on multiple people's parts... I can't imagine doing something like this and not realizing that they were going to tick people off.

Posted:A year ago

#13

David Radd
Senior Editor

360 77 0.2
Right, I don't think this was any attempt to segregate or be sensitive to people who were offended by SGR. I think they just decided to get the feature out there as fast as possible, and that meant cutting some corners by offering the content with select NPCs that were isolated from the rest of the game. What did happen, though, was an incredible lack of foresight on multiple people's parts... I can't imagine doing something like this and not realizing that they were going to tick people off.
This. Considering BioWare's track record on this, I can't imagine the decision over SGR was a purposeful decision to isolate it to a single planet. It's just a byproduct of bolting things on retroactively and not properly anticipating the response from the community.

Posted:A year ago

#14

Bryan Robertson
Gameplay Programmer

86 209 2.4
Popular Comment
This is what i mean. It's not that black and white. You can not simply say that anyone who is against gay marriage is discriminating and a bigot. That's just as narrow minded a view as that of actual bigots.
In this case we're talking about segregating gay relationships off onto a separate planet.
"I'm not a bigot, but I just don't want to see gay people when I play this game" is no less bigoted than "I'm not racist, but I just don't want to see any black people when I play this game".

Similarly, "I'm not homophobic, I just don't think gay people should have the same rights as everyone else" is no less bigoted than "I'm not racist, I just don't think that black people should have the same rights as everyone else".

Posted:A year ago

#15
This just goes to show, no matter how hard you try to be inclusive (while respecting people's believes and feelings), you can never make people happy
Andreas I think you will find that they could quite easily have made people happy if they had just introduced SGRs when they promised and didn't restrict them in such a bizzare way. That would have made everyone who wanted SGRs happy. Easy.

Alternatively, they could have exluded SGRs altogether. And made all the homophobes happy. Easy.

Instead of picking a side and standing up for what they think is right, it looks like they have just tried to sit on the fence and have the best of both worlds, which is exactly what they would do if they were a company that was more interested in chasing profits than ethics. It might not be like that but it doesn't look good.

The only alternative I can see is that these issues are really the result of technical limitations, which frankly is only slightly less embaressing than anything else.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by James Hastings on 15th January 2013 5:09pm

Posted:A year ago

#16

James Berg
Games User Researcher

122 107 0.9
From the post, the SGR options are limited to specific NPCs, who all happen to be on the new planet. This doesn't sound at all like intentional segregation, just the limitations of the current implementation of the content. Seriously, it's Bioware - SGR relationships are a mainstay in their games.

Posted:A year ago

#17

Gregore Candalez
Journalist and Account Assistant

53 3 0.1
Exactly. It couldn''t have been just me who just saw it as that obvious. Did everyone expect them to implement this feature everywhere in the game, just like that, snapping their fingers. People can be annoying as hell, wow. They even said "we're starting like this and will be adding more in the future", basically.
What's the deal with homosexual relationship? Do these people really believe that playing a game where your male character can kiss a man will magically and instantly transform their children into homosexuals?

Posted:A year ago

#18

Roland Austinat
roland austinat media productions|consulting

112 57 0.5
@Andreas: "If i immidiately label someone a bigot just because he does not agree with my view, which is that gay marriage is a good thing, don't you think i am discriminating that person by not allowing them to have an opinion?"

You and I can see the paradox of tolerance in full effect once again.

That said, shouldn't there be a campaign for same sex marriages in World of WarCraft? So much bigger game, so many more news that could potentially be written. ;-)

In other words: is everybody who's engaged in some sort of storytelling (books, comics, film, TV, games) and not portraying same sex marriages in his/her works a bigot? I don't think so.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Dean Russell
Co-founder

4 1 0.3
It sounds like this is more of a technical issue than a moral one at the moment. I have never played the game so I can't really comment accurately, but it sounds like it would be a lot of work to go back and change the relationship choices everywhere in the game.
People seem to have missed Thomas' reply but it seems the most likely. This game has tens of thousands of voice acted options available. I can only see it being a nightmare to go back and change every single one for something that most likely won't be used by the majority of customers. When you take into account that the majority of the $300 million budget was spent on voice acting, that's quite a hefty bill.

Posted:A year ago

#20

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

767 999 1.3
I can see why this would offend people. Even though EA meant well this all gay planet just comes across the wrong way. They really should have added SGR from the beginning but I suppose deadlines roared their ugly head once more.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

967 1,161 1.2
Ironically this isn't the situation because of them trying to appease gay-bashers, but instead the situation due to lazy development undercooking the relationships.

Regardless, poor show EA/Bioware.

Posted:A year ago

#22

Bryan Robertson
Gameplay Programmer

86 209 2.4
The fact that features don't appear instantly, fully formed, isn't due to "lazy development", it's because features take time to implement, especially in MMOs. That's just the way game development works in the real world.

Posted:A year ago

#23

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

542 528 1.0
@Roland: i totally agree. If media and entertainment don't cover same gender relations they are truely neutral perhaps. They let each and every individual make up their own mind.

The whole topic is easier to solve in a single player game, where the choice is truely the players - i.e. like Mass Effect. If a player goes for a same gender relation in that game, it does not affect anyone else. In an MMO it can. If someone truely thinks same sex marriage or same gender relations are wrong, and then plays in a multiplayer game were other players can have said relations, it will impact their experience. I don't think it's up to anyone to judge if that's right or wrong.

I still think EA/Bioware's approach is a brave step in the right direction. I don't see it as segregation at all - i see it as a step to make all gamers comfortable with the thought of same gender relations in games. Yeah it might only be on one planet now - but so what? 10 years from now it could be the entire galaxy. 50 years from now every country on earth (in the real world you know) might actually allow same gender relations.

We often forget that time is relative. We get upset and angry if something does not happen quickly enough, so we push through our agendas, often without thinking of how it affects other people. I'd rather have total equality in 50 years by consensus, where everyone is comfortable with it, than force throgh legislation now and get uproar and even violence from those in opposition. There will always be the odd people out who stick with the past, but look how far equality has come in the last 15 years alone.

Anyway - it's interesting to see the comments here and just by seeing myself and Bruce (who opposed my view) as both being top comments it shows that even in a small(ish) community such as on this website, opinions differ :)

Posted:A year ago

#24

David Vink
Freelance

19 14 0.7
"If someone truely thinks same sex marriage or same gender relations are wrong, and then plays in a multiplayer game were other players can have said relations, it will impact their experience. I don't think it's up to anyone to judge if that's right or wrong."

I judge that it's wrong. Of course I realize in the real world the acceptance of gays (and others) is in varying stages depending on where you are in the world and cultures and societies don't change overnight, but the cliched 'replace gay by black' still holds true, which would turn your quote into:

"If someone truely thinks racially mixed marriage or interracial relations are wrong, and then plays in a multiplayer game were other players can have said relations, it will impact their experience. I don't think it's up to anyone to judge if that's right or wrong."

Posted:A year ago

#25

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

542 528 1.0
David, while i think we have the same view on things, i do think your approach is slightly simplistic. It took a long time for racial equality to come true and despite the US having it's first african american president, there are still some racial issues.

People in the US who have a problem with racial differences are in the minority now and at some point people (world wide) who have a problem with same gender relations will be in the minority. I just believe that by labeling all of those people as bigots and being aggressive is not the way to achieve common consensus in the long run. I believe that just breads conflict. Judging someone for their believes, to me, is no different than juding them for their skin colour or sexual preference. In my opinion, and from what i have seen, you can not force your believes on others. People only change believes based on experience and example.

Posted:A year ago

#26

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

212 635 3.0
Judging someone for their believes, to me, is no different than juding them for their skin colour or sexual preference. In my opinion, and from what i have seen, you can not force your believes on others. People only change believes based on experience and example.
The crucial difference is that beliefs are things that can be formed and changed, whereas skin colour and sexual preferences are something a person is born with and blameless for. If you can't tell someone that their precious beliefs are hurtful and offensive, never mind 'wrong', how will they learn and change?

You cannot force your beliefs on others, indeed. But you can show them how their beliefs hurt others and are based on incorrect assumptions, and if they zealously refuse to change then at that point yes, they are a bigot.

Posted:A year ago

#27

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

542 528 1.0
Jessica you automatically assume that someone will hurt another human being by having believes. I don't think that is the case. I know people who are against gay marriage on principle, based on their believes, but they don't take action. I.e. they don't hold signs and protest, they don't insult people who are gay. I doubt they will ever change their views, and while i might disagree with them, i don't think they qualify as bigots or homophobic.
if they zealously refuse to change then at that point yes, they are a bigot.
If they refuse to change? That's a harsh statement i think. Almost an aggressive statement.

Anyway, i don't really want to drag this out, because i don't want to convince you (or anyone else) of what i believe. All i am saying is that in my opinion, people are entitled to their views. Even if they are old fashioned and (IMO) narrow minded. To me people only turn into bigots and haters when those views lead to actions that directy impacts the life of other human beings in a negative way.

Posted:A year ago

#28

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

212 635 3.0
Well technically, the definition of bigot is a zealot, or someone who is obstinately attached to their own opinions and prejudices, especially but not exclusively one who treats members of a group with hatred or intolerance - I would say that someone who refuses to change their mind, in light of the knowledge that they are incorrect somehow(ie that gay people cannot actually choose to change their orientation, just like straight people can't) and that continuing to hold and profess their belief is hurtful to members of the group they are intolerant of is by definition a bigot.

I'm not trying to be aggressive here, and I'm not pointing fingers at anybody for whatever their beliefs may be, but I'll call a bigot a bigot when I see one. In this case, I wouldn't say that of someone who privately believes gay marriage is wrong for whatever reason, but does not attempt to interfere in the lives of gay people who want to get married. As soon as they start crusading against it, though, they are hurting people with their intolerance.

Posted:A year ago

#29

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

422 361 0.9
Religious beliefs are not individual opinions and prejudices, they are deep rooted belief in a doctrine. It is a bit extreme to suggest someone de-convert because that is what you are really asking.

Of course I would challenge your judgement and ask, are you willing to consider the idea that gay marriage is wrong, in fact challenge every belief you have?

Second to that do you present undeniable scientific proof of your ideas, because it would be incorrect to judge someone a bigot for not believing an unproven or unfounded proposition, or at least reached a certain level of conclusiveness.

And please don't try replacing gay with black. Skin colour is visible from a mile away, is not an act, preference or behaviour but a visible property. It cannot be hidden and it is not available for anyone to attain later on in life. It is a constant unchanging physically visible property and really should not be brought into the equation, there is far too much difference in the implications.


Now I would say that we should be fair and kind as individuals first and foremost. People should have a right to pick a rightful partner as well as hold a religious belief, both of which are human rights. I raised religion in this comment as it tends to come up a lot in these types of discussions.

Let me know what you think.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 16th January 2013 3:03pm

Posted:A year ago

#30

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

212 635 3.0
Oh, I absolutely agree that people are free to hold religious beliefs. I do know, however, plenty of perfectly lovely religious people who don't necessarily hold to every single tenet of said religion - I am Irish, after all, so I know a lot of Catholics and a lot about Catholicism. I don't say anything when unmarried Christians are going at it like rabbits next door, because that's their business ;3 I admit can't say I know many religious people who stick to every single 'deep-rooted doctrine' of their church without questioning anything, but maybe that's just me.

People are perfectly free within the limits of various laws to be hateful intolerant bigots meddling with the lives of others too(and that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with religion), but I am equally free to call a spade a spade and say that if your religion, or some other deeply-rooted belief that you have, leads you to hatred and intolerance of another group in society for no excellent and ironclad reason(if you want to hate on somebody, you can give me your scientific proof of why to do it), you're still a bigot.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 16th January 2013 3:25pm

Posted:A year ago

#31

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

422 361 0.9
Well there is hate and intolerance, but seeing marriage as a sacred religious act hardly fits the bill.

What I observe here is people adding meaning to things without meaning, and in this case I mean the opinions on gay marriage. Why should married couples be treated better than cohabiting couples anyway?
Bigoted
Adjective
1. Obstinately convinced of the superiority or correctness of one's own opinions and prejudiced against those who hold different opinions.
2. Expressing or characterized by prejudice and intolerance.
I see bigotry from both sides of the fence, so from where I'm standing it's quite a laugh to see opposing bigots calling each other names when they look just about the same from where I'm standing.

We human beings suffer from a number of blind spots whereby we judge others one way but fail to see ourselves doing the exact same thing. Both sides of the argument show the same types of bigotry. And to add to that, claims of hatred and intolerance are thrown about but are hasty generalisations of behaviours associated with the opposing view but not actually as a direct observation of it. It is possible that you are thinking of a particular group of believers who might be intolerant, but I grew up around a different group who were not hateful or intolerant of them, they just accepted the doctrine that it was not allowed in the practice of judaism and christianity (it is explicitly stated).

Most people who follow a religion follow at least what they understand to be the core values of the belief with a percentage opting out of abstaining until marriage, as you are fully aware of. That in no way invalidates the core values of the belief, or suggests that that particular belief should be waived too.

Now from a non religious perspective I would still challenge the ideas suggested on how comfortable straight people should feel watching homosexual acts of affection. I don't find fair reason to suggest it must be viewed exactly the same as heterosexual acts of affection, because they are different. They are inarguably different and hence that is why we have sexual preferences. I don't want to sleep with men. The idea of me having sex with a guy is repulsive. That is a direct characteristic of my heterosexual preference (if it was not repulsive then perhaps we would all be bisexual with a preference of attraction). Also note that repulsion has a greater influence over sexual behaviour than attraction. And just as watching heterosexual sex acts might be a turn on for a heterosexual person, so too may watching homosexual acts repulse them, not because they are bigoted but because it is a natural response that occurs when the empathy / reflector functions of the brain put the subject into the frame of the scene they are viewing. It is why porn works. We see it, imagine we are there on a subconscious level and then are fed a response to the prospect of having taken part in the scene.

Some people don't like seeing any public displays of affection, it just grosses them out.

Call a spade a spade, but not a spoon. They both can pick up sand but they are not the same, and that is what I see happening here. Spoons are being called spades, and that is no more narrow minded than the so called narrow views of those you speak of, in my opinion.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 16th January 2013 3:46pm

Posted:A year ago

#32

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

212 635 3.0
If you're trying to call me out as intolerant of bigots, go right ahead! You have that right, and I have the right to laugh about it, because I don't see anything wrong with disliking intolerance and prejudice. I don't believe anyone has the right to hate on others for no good reason('God said so' or 'I think it's gross' does not count as a good reason, btw), so I wouldn't hold that I'm personally prejudiced against anybody - I'm not calling anyone a bigot until they start showing off some ugly intolerance.
Some people don't like seeing any public displays of affection, it just grosses them out.
So, are you saying that no sexual-orientation-related content of any kind should be shown in the media? Or are you telling gay people to 'deal with it' and continue to be marginalised by society because they happen to be a minority so nobody should ever cater to their desires, because you as the majority find gay sex 'repulsive'?

I realise that you may feel repulsed by the idea of gay sex, and that's so much whatever because personal sexual preferences are personal sexual preferences, but that's hardly a reason to deny gay people the right to marry is it? Or does the very sight of gay people kissing in public(The idea that people you don't personally find attractive might want to engage in PDA! Shocking!) really make you so uncomfortable that you want to hide them behind a curtain and pretend that they and their rights and passions don't exist?
Why should married couples be treated better than cohabiting couples anyway?
Why indeed, but they are. Unless governments the world over decide to relegate marriage to a mere symbolic religious ceremony with no legal recognition, however, married people are afforded a more valued status than cohabiting people, and denying people the right to marry based purely on their sexual orientation is pointless discrimination. It doesn't matter what religion you are unless we're talking about lawmaking in the Vatican, because ideally, religious beliefs should not dictate secular policies.

Posted:A year ago

#33

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

212 635 3.0
Oh, and as for
Most people who follow a religion follow at least what they understand to be the core values of the belief with a percentage opting out of abstaining until marriage, as you are fully aware of. That in no way invalidates the core values of the belief, or suggests that that particular belief should be waived too.
I agree! And I didn't say that people partaking of the beliefs that appeal to them invalidates the rest, but it does indicate that religious belief is not an all-or-nothing deal, and we know that nor is it an immutable graven-in-stone deal, because even the Catholic Church, that most notably strict and unbending religion, has over time softened its stance on such issues as contraception and divorce. If the Church can change its mind on some things, and believers are free to believe as much or as little of it as they like, then surely one cannot simply stick on 'religious beliefs' as something that cannot under any circumstances of education, legislation or compassion for fellow humans be changed.

I'm not advocating that people should be forced to change their beliefs, by no means. But I do believe that people should be encouraged to critically examine the reasons they believe that certain things are definitively right or wrong, especially where that belief encourages them to be intolerant or hateful of other people who have done nothing to justify such treatment.

Posted:A year ago

#34

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

422 361 0.9
I'm not saying anyone should hate others, I'm questioning what qualifies as hateful, intolerant and prejudicial. I'm sure you're not bigoted, I just think it is important to sometimes challenge your ideas a little and double check you aren't guilty of the same. It is something I do often enough.
Or are you telling gay people to 'deal with it' and continue to be marginalised by society because they happen to be a minority so nobody should ever cater to their desires, because you as the majority find gay sex 'repulsive'?
I am suggesting neither.
Or does the very sight of gay people kissing in public(The idea that people you don't personally find attractive might want to engage in PDA! Shocking!) really make you so uncomfortable that you want to hide them behind a curtain and pretend that they and their rights and passions don't exist?
Again it is about neither. What you raised there falls short of the either/or fallacy. This is not a simple case of A versus B. There is no resolution whereby both will be happy, instead we should be able to acknowledge both. That is the only way to find a middle ground and to find peace. Peace does not come from any side dictating beliefs, but from people coming together (something we should all have learned from Romeo and Juliet).

It is not about settling in favour of one perspective. It is not about favouring the majority. It is about favouring the reality of the situation. It is that level of real empathy where you can sit down and say, "damn, I don't agree with those guys over there, but I can make room for them and they can make room for me." It doesn't need to be black and white, gays versus religion (or whatever else).

Maybe in a few hundred years time culture would have changed.

I see hate, intolerance, prejudice and bigotry raised so many times by pro-LBGT activists that it looks like hammer holders calling everything nails. That vocabulary becomes their only tools, which leads to the propensity to view everything in those terms.
It doesn't matter what religion you are unless we're talking about lawmaking in the Vatican, because ideally, religious beliefs should not dictate secular policies.
You are right, they should not dictate though we should not ignore the influence it has on the lives of believers in such a way that it forms part of their identity, making the religious beliefs a part of society through the believers. Maybe they just all need their brains reset so that they can see the world differently, maybe not, maybe we're trying to debate something where no resolution is possible. We can't solve everything, maybe the conflict will never end. Perhaps the only way to know would be to study what exactly the oppositional forces to homosexuality are, are they as genetic as sexual preference? Remember we are simple beings after all.

Posted:A year ago

#35

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

212 635 3.0
Well, prejudice is quite straightforward; it means forming an opinion(usually negative) of someone based on preconceived notions of what members of their group(gay people, religious people, human rights activists etc) are like before you've actually had any experience of them. It would be prejudiced of me to say that any given Catholic is a jerk just because he's a Catholic, for example. On the other hand, if I meet someone who happens to be Catholic and through their actions determine that they are a jerk, that's not prejudice.

Intolerance is the refusal to tolerate someone else's differences - for example, a religious person telling an atheist that she's crazy, evil or wrong just because she's an atheist and therefore holds different beliefs to them is intolerance.

Hateful, well... A hateful action, in this usage of the word, is an action taken against someone that is motivated by hatred for that person, and often intended to rouse hatred of that person in onlookers. Hatred itself being an intense dislike or ill will borne towards a person, for whatever reason.


Does that enlighten you any? Prejudice, intolerance, bigotry and hatred have no place in a civilised society, and while civil rights activists may seem to talk about it a lot, it's only because we still see so much of it going on in the world and are doing our level best to bring an end to it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 16th January 2013 4:44pm

Posted:A year ago

#36

Omaha Sternberg
Editor / Co-Founder

13 15 1.2
"Someone can be against gay marriage and still not be descriminating and in general not have a problem at all with people in same gender relations. We can not call for everyone to respect and be happy with gay marriage, if we don't also accept that their views are based on believes and views they have held for a long time as well."

For example, I have no problem with black people...as long as they drink from their own water fountain and aren't allowed to vote everything is just dandy. /snark

Your excuse is, unfortunately, the way many bigots who are uncomfortable with their bigotry but can't say no to it justify it. By making your statement you are saying "I'm fine with gays as long as they stay over there away from me and don't get the same rights as me."

It's still bigotry.

Posted:A year ago

#37

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

542 528 1.0
@Omaha: actually that's not what i am saying at all. Well done on getting your interpretation of what i said as narrow minded as possible.

But i'll bite. So what then is your solution? Force everyone to share your (and probably my own, since i am pro gay marriage) views? And what will that result in? particularly in the US?

Here in Europe, for the most part, we have actually moved on from these discussions a while ago. Many countries in Europe have legalized gay marriage or are on their way. But check the news what happened in France in the last few weeks. hundreds of thousands demonstrated against same sex marriage.

Right or wrong, in a democratic society you can not just ignore so many people and force them to accept something they don't agree with. As we have seen with racial issues, it takes time for the majority of people to come around and see the absurdity of discrimination. It took hundreds of years for racial issues (though again, i think in Europe we were a bit quicker), it will take decades for same sex issues. Sooner or later the majority of people will come around and see that there is nothing wrong with 2 people of the same gender getting married, and that they should have the same legal support.

Various religions are loosing members left right and center, people are slowly but surely adopting a more open world view. Sooner or later bigots will be in such a minority as to not really have any power at all (political or otherwise).

Posted:A year ago

#38

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