Apr 062012

"Remember Sodom". With that phrase, a group of conservative parent tops thousands of letters sent to Electronic Arts (EA), in protest for allowing players to choose relationships of the same sex in some titles. Among the listed games are Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Concerned parents are dismayed because the game can "confuse" their children:

The overwhelming number of players in Star Wars are children who do not need to be forced as a captive audience to participate in homosexual content.

We ask please that you [EA] adhere to their policies the omission and exclusion of this type of lobbying in their games.

Please do not include content LGBT in the games of Star Wars that can impact in so many children.

Thank you. Remember Sodom.

The letters have been addressed to the Board of Directors of Electronic Arts and include threats of a boycott against the company. Protestants argue that LGBT groups have pressured EA to include gay-friendly content and push his agenda through video games. Moreover, the company points out, first of all the mentioned titles are not aimed at children: Mass Effect 3 It has a classification for over 18 years; While Star Wars: The Old Republicfor adolescents and adults. Second, the games they include this option for users who want to reflect their sexual orientation through the game, to do so.

In fact, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) argues that the inclusion of this option is due, in large part, to a market decision. "Not only is it a reflection of culture (...) EA heard their buyers and saw a real desire to include same-sex relationships in romantic options of the game". They also argue that it is logical that in video games - as a way to reflect the cultural context - represent the sexual diversity.

Any player of MMORPGs (multiplayer online role-playing games) knows that, in practice, relations between same-sex couples are common. Electronic Arts is not imposing anything: only makes the choice of sexual orientation within the game. Why deny a player the opportunity to capture your identity, engage in an open relationship? Also: do you stigma about video gamesIf in other cultural performances - film, television, literature - is not so much fuss?

Again, we stumbled against the fallacy that videogames have the magical ability of "corrupting the youth". Critics fall into the same lie that those who argue that violent video games are trainers of murderers and psychopaths. Under the cry of "think of the children!", conservative groups reveal their homophobia and intolerance. Electronic Arts does very well not only to not give in to pressure, but in staying firm against the hate speech. No: a video game does not "become" homosexual to a child; Moreover, if we are lucky, it will teach that sexual diversity is normal in their environment and that there is nothing wrong with this.



  • PloCoon

    I can see developers including the option for homosexual relationships; however, I think they need to work on the difficulty or lack thereof in developing relationships of one orientation or the other. Dragon Age I let’s one easily foster such relationships with either orientation. Dragon Age II, however, complicates things. The prostitute-turned-pirate girl is already hard to get into a relationship with unless you play your proverbial cards right; and the elf chick is for those who like blood magic. My roommate is a straight guy who doesn’t like blood magic, and he came really close to getting into a homosexual relationship with Anders by sheer accident. Accidental relationships shouldn’t happen. There needs to be a better balance (i.e. Mass Effect).