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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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2012-04-12, 07:46

So I saw a few people chattering on Twitter the other day about Master Yoda's petition to support EA against anti-gay group pressure. Because, you see, EA dared to put out games with homosexual content, and we can't have that infecting the minds of young children and real manly men. There's been discussion on whether or not it's a fake to distract people from other issues with the company or not, and if EA actually gives a fuck or if it's a PR stunt. I can't say anything about EA itself, but I do believe there is a lot of "legitimate" (not staged) anti-gay upset that manifests itself either overtly or in more subtle fashions. See this post on the BioWare social forums about Dragon Age II, and a BioWare dev's excellent "fuck off" response:



I just love this response. He reminds the bigot that everyone is people and he shows complete indifference that one guy is creeped out because hey, this is for everyone. And while this is the DAII team, not the ME team, or the SW:TOR team, I love that across the board BioWare shows commitment to including their LGBT fanbase in their games. And let's be real, probably half the same-sex romances aren't even played by gay people! It's possible to be a straight people who actually wants to explore that character's personal dynamics. Gasp.

Anyway, the tl;dr here is: eff yeah BioWare devs, keep on smacking down stupid monkeys.

"A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel my anger!" - Darth Baras
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2012-04-12, 11:26

I love how he uses "traditional kind of guy" as a nice way of saying "homophobe."

"Fenris was such an awesome warrior! But then he got all weird and gay, and rather than realizing that his gayness did not in any way affect his awesome warrior-ness, I instead decided that he was no longer an awesome warrior, because I'm uncomfortable living in a world where gay people can also be awesome warriors. BioWare, please, help!"

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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RowdyScot
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2012-04-12, 11:50

Knowing people inside of EA...I wouldn't be too excited about it as being more than a distraction. EA has done some pretty despicable things in the eyes of the gaming community, and this is their attempt to distract from the load of awful. I've seen this before from Bioware, however, and LOVE the response.

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El Gallo
Formerly “MumboJumbo”
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
 
2012-04-12, 12:25

I find it a bit creepy that anyone wants to express their orientation, be it homo or heterosexual through a videogame. The same goes for relationships.

Turn off the screen and go grab someone's ass be it the same or a different sex in real life. I'm sorry if that offends but reality is reality for a reason.
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billybobsky
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Join Date: May 2004
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2012-04-12, 12:31

Er. Nick this is about the presence of characters (not the player character) in the game being given sexual orientations. Honestly my take is this: if the sexual orientation is necessary to drive plot forward, by all means, the more the merrier, but if it is simply added for filler, what's the point?
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RowdyScot
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2012-04-12, 12:34

It can be a large part of storytelling to have a romance, El Gallo. For the longest time, that romance has always been hetero, and most often Caucasian or Asian couples. Producing games with different types of romances available to the player helps other people connect with the game in new ways, rather than reinforcing the "you're different, so you don't matter enough to get your own" message that all minorities grow up hearing. It isn't any different than having a gay character in a novel, or whatever else.

Authentic Nova Scotia bagpipe innards
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2012-04-12, 12:41

I love how much of the guy's perception of reality is revealed in his first sentence:
Quote:
I think Bioware should leave the sexual orientation of main party member characters to the preference of the player.
ie:
Quote:
I think Bioware reality should leave the sexual orientation of main party member characters other people to the preference of the player myself.
World doesn't work that way, son.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2012-04-12, 12:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo View Post
I find it a bit creepy that anyone wants to express their orientation, be it homo or heterosexual through a videogame. The same goes for relationships.

Turn off the screen and go grab someone's ass be it the same or a different sex in real life. I'm sorry if that offends but reality is reality for a reason.
Really? I have to play as a straight dude in virtually every other game. Are straight men "creepily" "expressing their orientation" every time they play Uncharted, or Grand Theft Auto, or God of War, or any of the other thousands of games with a straight male player character?

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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El Gallo
Formerly “MumboJumbo”
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
 
2012-04-12, 14:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobsky View Post
Er. Nick this is about the presence of characters (not the player character) in the game being given sexual orientations. Honestly my take is this: if the sexual orientation is necessary to drive plot forward, by all means, the more the merrier, but if it is simply added for filler, what's the point?
I think we are probably of the same view on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Really? I have to play as a straight dude in virtually every other game. Are straight men "creepily" "expressing their orientation" every time they play Uncharted, or Grand Theft Auto, or God of War, or any of the other thousands of games with a straight male player character?
Honestly Robo, I'm not a super gamer I wouldn't be familiar as to how you would be expressing yourself as a straight dude in those games. Are you kissing a woman as a cutscene? The presumption maybe that they are straight or perhaps the half page backstory that is supposed to inform 10 hours of slashing something with a sword or shooting it with a gun declares straight but really how does that change the game play?

Understand I'm not saying the guy petitioning to not encounter gay team players is right. Aside from a label under characteristics how do they express being straight or gay? If they do take some sort of action to prove that point and it is some sort of goal to work towards in the game, my point, for me at least stands. If someone is a gay man and wants to hack at dragons for ten hours so he can save and kiss a virtual gay prince, I'm still of the view that those ten hours would be better spent chasing down and kissing actual men.

Just my two cents and understand that my in depth gaming likely involves some birds and pigs or helping direct water. I'm not certain of the orientation of the birds, pigs or alligators.

EDIT:

I guess I thought of another example that shows how I feel about this. My sons really liked Guitar Hero when it was big and apparently I was decent at it when playing with them. I helped them unlock all the songs and whatnot. One day they were fighting and I intervened. Apparently they had spent all the virtual dollars but were arguing over what to buy because they discovered I had never spent any of my virtual dollars. I had to sort it out and I guess the virtual dollars buy t-shirts, decals for guitars (skins?) and so forth.

I could care less what character I played as, what t-shirt it wore, or which model of guitar it played. The whole concept of caring and cultivating virtual things to that degree strikes me as strange.

Last edited by El Gallo : 2012-04-12 at 14:32.
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RowdyScot
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2012-04-12, 14:43

The answer for you is this - don't play games with a story.
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Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2012-04-12, 15:04

Sorry for asking stupid questions, but which game is this about? One where you can make both love and war?

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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2012-04-12, 15:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo View Post
Honestly Robo, I'm not a super gamer I wouldn't be familiar as to how you would be expressing yourself as a straight dude in those games. Are you kissing a woman as a cutscene?
Cutscenes? The God of War games have playable sex minigames.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo
The presumption maybe that they are straight or perhaps the half page backstory that is supposed to inform 10 hours of slashing something with a sword or shooting it with a gun
You clearly have a high view of the medium

BioWare's games, generally, are not just ten hours of slashing or shooting. They have a story, and the relationships between the party members are generally considered to be an important part of their games' experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo
Aside from a label under characteristics how do they express being straight or gay? If they do take some sort of action to prove that point and it is some sort of goal to work towards in the game, my point, for me at least stands.
I really don't know what you're trying to say with the bolded, because it's kind of poorly worded, but it seems uncomfortably close to "they can be gay, as long as they don't do anything that 'proves' that they're gay, because that would be 'creepy.'"

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo
If someone is a gay man and wants to hack at dragons for ten hours so he can save and kiss a virtual gay prince, I'm still of the view that those ten hours would be better spent chasing down and kissing actual men.
This is quite possibly the oddest comment I've ever read on AppleNova. People — straight or gay — don't play games, even games with a romantic subplot, as some sort of substitute for real relationships. People play games for the fun of the game — the gameplay, the story, the music, whatever. So saying that somebody who wants to play a game as a gay character would better spending their time chasing down actual men is just a total non sequitur. It would be like saying people should go chase tail instead of reading, or watching TV. They're not at all the same activity.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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RowdyScot
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2012-04-12, 15:15

I think it is in reference to Dragon Age II. So yes.

Edit: In response to Mugge.
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RowdyScot
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2012-04-12, 15:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
People — straight or gay — don't play games, even games with a romantic subplot, as some sort of substitute for real relationships. People play games for the fun of the game — the gameplay, the story, the music, whatever. So saying that somebody who wants to play a game as a gay character would better spending their time chasing down actual men is just a total non sequitur. It would be like saying people should go chase tail instead of reading, or watching TV. They're not at all the same activity.
This. As I said in an earlier post, it's like a gay character in a novel or something.
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Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2012-04-12, 15:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Cutscenes? The God of War games have playable sex minigames. .
Shit! I totally forgot about that. It's actually a perfect example of sex not being so much about arousal, but more about getting into the games character. Whether sexual orientation should be predefined or not, probably depends a lot on the game and it's characters. For example, I would have a really hard time picturing Duke Nukem as gay while it would be easy to accept a new character as gay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RowdyScot View Post
I think it is in reference to Dragon Age II. So yes.

Edit: In response to Mugge.
Thanks
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El Gallo
Formerly “MumboJumbo”
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
 
2012-04-12, 16:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Cutscenes? The God of War games have playable sex minigames.
I find that odd, and a bit gross. I would find it that way regardless of orientation. I don't care to deal with technology in that way.



Quote:
You clearly have a high view of the medium

BioWare's games, generally, are not just ten hours of slashing or shooting. They have a story, and the relationships between the party members are generally considered to be an important part of their games' experience.
I know there has been more and more talk about these games basically being interactive movies or novels but from what I've seen they just aren't close. The "plots" mostly seem like weak premises to support whatever gaming actions are happening.


Quote:
I really don't know what you're trying to say with the bolded, because it's kind of poorly worded, but it seems uncomfortably close to "they can be gay, as long as they don't do anything that 'proves' that they're gay, because that would be 'creepy.'"
Then let me clarify. I do believe that games are used as substitutes for dealing with real life by certain people. I've seen these discussion about "hardcore" vs. "casual" and the point I'm trying to make is that anyone who would be that hardcore about something so virtual needs to investigate whether they are avoiding something in real life. There is nothing creepy about being gay. If you had a friend though who preferred shopping for his virtual boyfriend, preparing virtual meals or picking a virtual pet over doing these items in real life, then that would be creepy to me regardless of orientation.


Quote:
This is quite possibly the oddest comment I've ever read on AppleNova. People — straight or gay — don't play games, even games with a romantic subplot, as some sort of substitute for real relationships. People play games for the fun of the game — the gameplay, the story, the music, whatever. So saying that somebody who wants to play a game as a gay character would better spending their time chasing down actual men is just a total non sequitur. It would be like saying people should go chase tail instead of reading, or watching TV. They're not at all the same activity.
First a point, people ought to indeed go chase tail instead of reading or watching TV. That is indeed my view.

I'm going to disagree though on the claim that people don't use these games to substitute or avoid real life in ways. Clearly people do. Not all people and not in all ways but we are talking about the percentage that care about what shirt their avatars are wearing, or who care about the relationship status of their virtual team members. It isn't the only way people have of wasting their time or avoiding life but it certainly can be a way they do that.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2012-04-12, 17:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo View Post
I know there has been more and more talk about these games basically being interactive movies or novels but from what I've seen they just aren't close. The "plots" mostly seem like weak premises to support whatever gaming actions are happening.
But like you just said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo
Just my two cents and understand that my in depth gaming likely involves some birds and pigs or helping direct water.
Consider the possibility that you just haven't played many story-driven games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo
Not all people and not in all ways but we are talking about the percentage that care about what shirt their avatars are wearing, or who care about the relationship status of their virtual team members.
But again, how is that any different than caring about the relationship status of characters in a book or TV show? Lots of people tune in to their favorite shows each week to watch relationships develop between the characters. They're not doing that in lieu of having real relationships, but because watching a well-written relationship is fun and interesting. People like stories for different reasons.

I think we're past the point where a game should only feature something if it serves a direct gameplay function. There's a reason most games feature characters, and not faceless wireframes, even though those could swing a sword just as well. Character adds to the experience. Like a great soundtrack, a well-written plot is enjoyable in its own right while also enhancing and "heightening" the gameplay — fighting to save characters we like is more satisfying than just fighting to earn "points." And writing a well-written plot means writing interesting and human characters, and humans have relationships.

In short, a game can have a gay character without that being what the game is about. And not everybody who enjoys reading or watching a story featuring a fictional relationship is doing so in lieu of having their own. I mean, really...I never thought I would have to defend the worthiness of, y'know, "fiction."

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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JohnnyTheA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2012-04-13, 16:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo View Post
I find it a bit creepy that anyone wants to express their orientation, be it homo or heterosexual through a videogame.
Okay... Not sure but I think they are talking about some sort of RPG game. The whole premise of RPGs IS to express yourself or other personas. So whats the big deal if they let you be gay? I have no issue with the gay setting of a character and putting in more depth to player selection is usually a good thing.

Also, the reverse is okay as well. Someone might want to play a gay character who is NOT expressing themselves. I have played female chars in Ultima Online not because I have a need to express any kind of female-ness but just to be different. These games would be boring if everyone looked and acted the same. They attempt to mirror real-life by having a lot of diversity. Gays exist in the real world, why not in the game world?

My take on this is this is either:

a. EA's way of trying to broaden their appeal to people to increase profit.

or

b. EA's way of trying to make a political point.

(a) makes perfect sense, (b) usually pisses me off but in this case I don't care because they are not advocating taking money or freedoms away from me personally. And I essentially agree with them. Now if they start mirroring their story-line along say the "Occupy Movement" or some kind of crazy, obvious political angle, THAT would piss me off, BUT it is still a free world, there are thousands and thousands of games, and one doesn't HAVE to play them all...
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Capella
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2012-04-14, 10:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gallo View Post
Understand I'm not saying the guy petitioning to not encounter gay team players is right. Aside from a label under characteristics how do they express being straight or gay? If they do take some sort of action to prove that point and it is some sort of goal to work towards in the game, my point, for me at least stands.
BioWare games are heavily story-focused. You have companion characters who are in your party who help you in combat. You can also talk to them outside of combat. It helps you learn more about who they are, what they fight for, why they're following around some dumbass hero when they have other things in life they could be doing. This is totally consistent with the goal of a story-driven game, imho; in real life, between missions, people on, say, a military vessel have conversations about their lives outside of the military. So, why shouldn't my military squad have conversation during downtime? All characters get a chance to chatter with you. Now, it's also a fact that for romanceable characters, they can also put a move on you/have a move put on them by you. Because, again, this is a thing that happens in real life in these types of situations. And choosing to romance a character can unlock conversations with them that tell you something you might not know if you a.) never talked to them ever or b.) never romanced them.

I've been talking in general BioWare terms, but let me give you a specific example of a point when a romance changed things in a game.

Heavy endgame spoilers for the Star Wars: The Old Republic Sith Warrior class storyline below.

Spoiler (click to toggle):
So one of the characters who follows your player character (PC) around is named Malavai Quinn. He's your ship's pilot and a consummate military professional. Before he joined you, he spent 10 years languishing on a rebellious planet because of a pissed-off boss, owing an obligation to your master Darth Baras, but unable to discharge it. When Baras sends you to Balmorra and assigns Quinn as your temporary liasion, he finally sees someone competent on this planet with him, and he helps you blow the shit out of a Republic base. When you're done, you decide his help was competent and you get to keep him. He then proceeds to travel with you for two years. Right before the endgame for the class, Quinn pulls a blaster on you, tells you he's been working for Baras, and informs you you need to die.

If you'd been ignoring the fact that this game has a thing called "story" and just been playing to look for high-end gear, you'd be confused as shit right now. See, all that info about 10 years on Balmorra? About owing Darth Baras a permanent debt? All of that only happens if you have a conversation with him to ask him about why he wanted to follow you. There are 3 potential ways to come into the blaster scene:

a.) If you choose never to speak with him, it's just out of the blue.

b.) If you talk to him and you're male or a disinterested female, you find out his past. You understand he has a debt.

c.) If you're a female PC, and you're in the romance path, the two of you have been in a relationship, potentially a legal one.

This is how c.) went down for me: In game, I spent over eighteen months carefully breaking down his "stoic soldier" routine. He claimed he wanted to be professional, but he finally told me he loved me. I helped him kill his first boss! I aided him in reclaiming the rank he should have held in the Imperial military. For the love of god, we talked about marriage. And children. About having a future, and a legacy- and in the end, in the end, he pulled that blaster on me. Because as much as he loved me, the Sith Empire's culture demands that you obey your superior, and Baras ranked me, and Baras told him to kill me. So he pulled that blaster anyway.

So tell me, which of those 3 options is the most dramatic storyline? And if you're a male PC, you never get the chance to get the most interesting nuances. Having the romance active actually affects the outcome of your game! So restricting the romance solely to opposite-sex PCs means that you are literally missing part of the story. And that's unacceptable, and I'm glad that BioWare and EA are pushing to have PC-sexual and homosexual love interests, that way everyone can experience turns of the story.


tl;dr: I can buy sexual orientation not being impactful in a game like Duke Nukem. But in games where being able to talk to your companions actually affects the goddamn storyline, it had better fucking well be allowed to everyone.

"A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel my anger!" - Darth Baras
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ggnorekthx
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ohio
 
2012-04-19, 09:51

I spend a large portion of my life playing video games, and it has nothing to do with avoiding relationships or other things in real life. I suppose you could make the argument that I am attempting to avoid BOREDOM in my everyday life, but that goes for every single person that works, has a hobby, sleeps too much, etc. Simply put, I could be doing a billion things with my time, and I'd rather sit in front of my computer than spend hours at the gym or playing sports.

As far as the OP, kudos to BioWare. I don't necessarily care for any of their newer games (SW:TOR was disappointingly boring,) but I am glad that they put their foot down. It makes me cringe just knowing that people still take issue with sexual orientation.

~Dan~
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709
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Join Date: May 2004
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2012-04-19, 12:17

I would've never known wtf a "Bear" was if it wasn't for MC. Just sayin'.

I guess that's the cool thing about a sandbox game, you come in as you are. Thinking about it though - there may be instances outside of our server where a player plays a part more along the lines of what s/he fantasizes about. I'm sure it's happened.

We make our own story, of course, but I don't think there's been any romancing in ANMC (admittedly I'm kind of dumb about that even irl). Although... Bryson *did* rub his naked butt on my bed....



So it goes.
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