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Thread: LGBT Issues and Vidja Games

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  1. #1
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    dtoidrolleye LGBT Issues and Vidja Games

    So, you may or may not have seen the recent article about Bioware's MMO and it's struggle to remain relevant by adding a whole planet of gaiety. If not, here's a link.

    I think Jim put it very well when he said,

    ‎"BioWare's intentions and past record doesn't make the situation cool in any way, but in a world of entertainment where "person is gay" is still considered both a joke and the punchline to the very same joke, it feels wrong to pour overwhelming scorn on a studio that's at least trying, in its own awkward way. It shouldn't be free from criticism, either, but I dare say the reaction could benefit from being a tad more tempered."
    So, here's my tempered reaction: I have no lost love for Bioware. I have never particularly liked their games, aside from Mass Effect 2, so I may be a bit biased. That being said, this is just an icky, icky way to add this kind of content to a video game. Shoehorned in doesn't even begin to describe it. Not only that, but it's shoehorned in a way that even Bioware, notable for their shoehorning in of queer content, has never stooped to. I'm not even going to get into the fact that Bioware's super happy sunshine policy of queer inclusion in their games has yet to produce a transgender or gender non-conforming character (correct me if I'm wrong), not that I'd want to be represented by them.

    What do you all think? This thread can springboard from this particular instance to LGBT representation in games in general.

  2. #2
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    My favorite LGBT related character is Vega from ME3. They never come right out and tell you what orientation he is. It simply does not matter because it doesn't help him kill Reapers.

    Yet it's awesome how well he gets along with Steve. Now Vega is the most manly bro in the game, like a wall, while Steve goes to his commanding officer with grief issues involving his dead husband. Steve has a blatant DGAF attitude towards DADT and is able to function within a military unit regardless. This acceptance of his fellow soldiers reveals homophobia as a mental weakness. So yeah, Bioware got it right in that instance.

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    Bioware's always been pretty consistently awful when it comes to they way they handle gay characters in their games so this doesn't really surprise me in the slightest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorilla Gravy View Post
    Bioware's always been pretty consistently awful when it comes to they way they handle gay characters in their games so this doesn't really surprise me in the slightest.
    Ok. How was Steve awful?

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    A good point was brought up in the comments of Jim's article: Trans people, specifically women are generally either joke characters or super over-sexualized. Atlus seems to be going in the right direction, with some obvious bumps. Spoilers for Persona 4 and Catherine:

    Spoiler!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Analoge View Post
    A good point was brought up in the comments of Jim's article: Trans people, specifically women are generally either joke characters or super over-sexualized. Atlus seems to be going in the right direction, with some obvious bumps. Spoilers for Persona 4 and Catherine:

    Spoiler!
    Yeah, I agree with that first bit. Can't really think of too many proper female characters, atleast not any that weren't pretty heavily sexualised, you don't usually see older or unattractive women either.

    Who is Naoto?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Analoge View Post
    A good point was brought up in the comments of Jim's article: Trans people, specifically women are generally either joke characters or super over-sexualized. Atlus seems to be going in the right direction, with some obvious bumps. Spoilers for Persona 4 and Catherine:

    Spoiler!
    Erica is frequently the butt of the joke among her mates and is outright dismissed as a woman on the basis of her birth sex. They're never called out for their treatment of her, as it is. Also "lol Toby sleeps with her but she's a man lol."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byronic Man View Post
    Erica is frequently the butt of the joke among her mates and is outright dismissed as a woman on the basis of her birth sex. They're never called out for their treatment of her, as it is. Also "lol Toby sleeps with her but she's a man lol."
    To be fair, Vincent, Johnny and Orlando grew up with her since childhood. That's why they see her as Eric first. It takes an outsider like Toby, who doesn't have that knowledge, to see her as Erica. You also have to remember that Eric vanished for years and came back recently as Erica. That's a huge shock to the system for a bunch of guys on the road to settling down.

    As for being the butt of the joke - it's actually quite tame to the shit Vincent gets from Johnny and Orlando. They don't bully her, nor is joke on Erica when she sleeps with Toby. You actually laugh at Toby's predicament because everyone throws hints his way, but he's too naive to get what they're talking about. Not once do they say, "HA! HA! YOU FUCKED OUR FRIEND WHO USED TO BE A GUY!" In fact, when it happens, they avoid the subject.

    And honestly, it would be an awkward subject for them to discuss because of the history involved. At the end of the day, she's confident in her own skin - unlike her schoolfriends. That's sort of the point.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    To be fair, Vincent, Johnny and Orlando grew up with her since childhood. That's why they see her as Eric first. It takes an outsider like Toby, who doesn't have that knowledge, to see her as Erica. You also have to remember that Eric vanished for years and came back recently as Erica. That's a huge shock to the system for a bunch of guys on the road to settling down.

    As for being the butt of the joke - it's actually quite tame to the shit Vincent gets from Johnny and Orlando. They don't bully her, nor is joke on Erica when she sleeps with Toby. You actually laugh at Toby's predicament because everyone throws hints his way, but he's too naive to get what they're talking about. Not once do they say, "HA! HA! YOU FUCKED OUR FRIEND WHO USED TO BE A GUY!" In fact, when it happens, they avoid the subject.

    And honestly, it would be an awkward subject for them to discuss because of the history involved. At the end of the day, she's confident in her own skin - unlike her schoolfriends. That's sort of the point.
    The fact that Toby's getting with Erica is framed as a predicament is itself a problem. The fact that it's played for laughs is another. Whether it was funny is another matter - personally, I didn't think so.

    With regards to the first paragraph, be that as may it still constitutes transphobia, just as if Orlando were to come out prior to the game and the characters would give him hassle over his orientation, feel themselves uncomfortable over it, or dismiss him as not counting on the basis of their outdated familiarity, that would constitute homophobia.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinobi13 View Post
    As a straight man, I see no LGBT issues.
    Now if they decided to trash heterosexuals...Then I still would see no issue. It's a fucking video game.
    Yes, they are video games, a medium which (for the most part) strives to be taken seriously as a way to convey a narrative. That means it's pretty important how they deal with, ya know, actual things? It's easy to say, "I wouldn't care if they bashed straight cisgendered people," because they're not the ones being marginalized on a daily basis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    To be fair, Vincent, Johnny and Orlando grew up with her since childhood. That's why they see her as Eric first. It takes an outsider like Toby, who doesn't have that knowledge, to see her as Erica.
    Not really. If you can't look past your history with your friend and see them for who they are, you're not a very good friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    As for being the butt of the joke - it's actually quite tame to the shit Vincent gets from Johnny and Orlando. They don't bully her, nor is joke on Erica when she sleeps with Toby. You actually laugh at Toby's predicament because everyone throws hints his way, but he's too naive to get what they're talking about. Not once do they say, "HA! HA! YOU FUCKED OUR FRIEND WHO USED TO BE A GUY!" In fact, when it happens, they avoid the subject.
    Okay... It seems like this character is a lot more problematic than I thought. The main plot point of this character is her having sex with someone. She's practically there to ask the player "OH MY GOD! What would you do if you fucked a trannie?!" That's the kind of shock value bullshit that trans* people always get thrown on them by media.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Byronic Man View Post
    The fact that Toby's getting with Erica is framed as a predicament is itself a problem. The fact that it's played for laughs is another. Whether it was funny is another matter - personally, I didn't think so.

    With regards to the first paragraph, be that as may it still constitutes transphobia, just as if Orlando were to come out prior to the game and the characters would give him hassle over his orientation, feel themselves uncomfortable over it, or dismiss him as not counting on the basis of their outdated familiarity, that would constitute homophobia.
    You. I like you. Let's be friends.

  11. #11
    A gay planet just strikes me as weird. It needs to be asked: is it supposed to be a planet that's practically a giant gay bar, or is it a planet populated entirely by homosexuals? The former can sort of make sense (but still a strange idea), but in the latter option, would new homosexuals just migrate to the planet continuously, or would they have children, either through adoption or some other means? Since children raised by same-sex parents doesn't have a significantly greater probability of becoming homosexuals themselves (think it's something like 2 per cent greater, or something), the planet would soon cease to be purely populated by gays. It's just a mess of a concept.

    Wouldn't it be more organic and believeable to have gay bars on the different planets? Has any game done something like that? Had a gay bar present, not because it would be funny in a way things are only funny to homophobes, but because, of course, why not, they're common in the real world?

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    As a straight man, I see no LGBT issues.
    Now if they decided to trash heterosexuals...Then I still would see no issue. It's a fucking video game.

  13. #13
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    I honestly just wish it'd be incorporated into games more naturally and having it be less of a big deal. The sexual orientation of a character shouldn't define their every characteristic (IMO), but at the same time it shouldn't be shushed away as if this taboo thing that might never be discussed.

    Because at the end of the day, the discussion is the most important thing - It's what will allow us to progress in terms of diversity in sexual orientations being represented in video games. So if developers / writers would just be able to make less of a big deal out of it while still keeping it a semi-integral characteristic for characters in video games, we might be moving in a direction where nobody thinks twice about the orientation of characters that are homosexual / asexual / transexual / bisexual / xenomorphsexual / whatever.

    tl;dr video games shouldn't make a big deal out of sexual orientations but they should also not be afraid to discuss it

  14. #14
    All I know is there is an all gay planet. All I know is the all gay planet is on a game people should have stopped playing already.

    If this makes a group of homophobes all mad then job done, I guess. I can't speak for the LGBT people of course but if I were them I wouldn't feel too offended. Many studios don't just make LGBT an afterthought but ignore it completely. Developers still have a lot of progress to make on a lot of subjects so this isn't super special.

  15. #15
    Homophobic folk and the like will die out in like fifty years time so that'll be nice.

    I don't know about this BioWare Gay planet thing, and it seems like the sort of phrase that wouldn't get me productive results in a google search. Could somebody elaborate or link an article for me?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarvu View Post
    Homophobic folk and the like will die out in like fifty years time so that'll be nice.
    And it'll come back in 250 years. I bet you 50p it will.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarvu View Post
    Homophobic folk and the like will die out in like fifty years time so that'll be nice.

    I don't know about this BioWare Gay planet thing, and it seems like the sort of phrase that wouldn't get me productive results in a google search. Could somebody elaborate or link an article for me?
    There's one in the op.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Panzadolphin56 View Post
    There's one in the op.
    I HAD A LONG DAY FUCK YOU.

    And it just makes it feel like in the Star Wars Universe all the homosexuals were rounded up and put on a pink planet. That's the dumbest shit they've pulled yet.

  19. #19
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    I was just going to do a very quick reply to this but it's an issue I feel very strongly about and it kind of grew massively, this thread is called LGBT issues so I am addressing them not this one instance:

    There is a far bigger issue here, that is the lack of LGBT characters in gaming in general. It is appalling we get all this "mature games" "emotional games" crap however no retail game has tangled with sexuality/gender in any significant way, the vast majority of times the only mention is jokes poking fun at the LGBT community.

    I am gay and feel there is barely any representation in mainstream games for LGBT people, I'm not saying every game has to touch on these issues but when you consider the amount of games out there and yet none of them allow me to connect with a gay love story that might engage me it's staggering.

    It really is amazing in this day and age with art, movies, tv and music all tackling the subject (slowly but it's a start) that games barely consider it at all. Yes people will say it's about selling games and most people are cisgender and straight but I will only point to mainstream media like Glee, Brokeback Mountain and Milk that not only deal with LGBT issues but are all very successful.

    I believe that the people running these game companies are for the majority white, cisgender, straight men who are scared of losing sales by scaring what they consider their target audience - white, cisgender, straight men. Have they ever thought that they would get more sales by including other groups of people in their games, that the percentage of people turned off by diverse characters and storylines may be replaced by those who are intrigued to play a game that may for once represent their feelings.

    Why not give it a try instead of churning out the same old stale shit that eventually puts your company into the ground, why not try something different with your characters instead of the same formulae of one stereotypical manly man after the girl, why not have someone transitioning genders trying to find themselves whilst fighting for the man/woman they love, that is a game that sounds interesting to me and sounds like nothing I have played before, I would much rather play this then the next Halo or Call of Duty.

    At the end of the day my sexuality does not define me however it is a big part of me, of how I feel and what I think so I don't think it is out of line for myself or other LGBT people to be aggravated by not being represented by a medium that we have grown up with and are extremely passionate about. Why can't we be inclusive, who is being harmed by it, if you see two men/women kissing or gender identity being dealt with how is that going to hurt you, every game I play has straight romance and heterosexual couples embracing yet I don't automatically throw up or destroy the disc through anger. There is room in video games for straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, trangender issues, we can have them all so why limit ourselves, it is a waste and is alienating a large group of people.

    I could rant all day about this and I probably haven't worded this anywhere near as well as I could or as eloquently as other people can but this is my view.

  20. #20
    [Level 4: Cyborg] IsolateMutate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DpadJoe View Post
    I believe that the people running these game companies are for the majority white, cisgender, straight men who are scared of losing sales by scaring what they consider their target audience - white, cisgender, straight men. Have they ever thought that they would get more sales by including other groups of people in their games, that the percentage of people turned off by diverse characters and storylines may be replaced by those who are intrigued to play a game that may for once represent their feelings.

    I never really liked the demonization of straight white men (Although I highly doubt that was your point of it all), but this described my feelings on the topic fairly accurately. Innovation may be seen in terms of gameplay, storytelling, tech etc., but I very much agree on the fact that the industry seems to be a little too scared of taking any chances when it comes to involving social issues in games. It might be hard to do it without seeming preachy, but if they do it like I mentioned before (integrating it as something that doesn't define the game but might still be integral to a character), I really, really doubt anyone would mind it.

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