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Thread: LGBT Issues and Vidja Games

  1. #41
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    To be honest I don't see Bioware's gay character inclusion to be that foul in any sense and I have certainly not been offended.

    The Cathar Jedi companion Juhani in Knights of the Old Republic I might have felt shoehorned, but you can also look that her being gay and suddenly showing romantic interest in your Revan was done in a way that garnered no shock. Because being gay isn't always a big loud, proud rainbow out of your ass affair. The whole point is that it's as normal and regular as anything. So while people may have said her character was random and shoe horned I often seen it as (yes sadly undeveloped and not in a furry way) but to be kinda nice that it occurred and wasn't this shocking deal. We knew she cared deeply for her former mentor and now she has feelings for another species of her same gender.

    The only thing that confuses me with regards to gay representation in Bioware games is them men gays. Why it took 3 games to include a same-sex male option I have no idea and even then you're limited when compared to FemShep.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Legendhead View Post
    Not to dumb the conversation down but I'm confused by your terminology here. Wouldn't you want LGBT representations to be holistic (or rather, holistically included), seeing as how they are indeed part of a greater whole? I think I'm probably misreading this part.
    Sorry if it's unclear. What I mean is that not every character is going to be a holistic representation of a whole community, nor will it appeal to an entire subgroup of people on a whole.

    That not to say people shouldn't criticize particular characters over perceived faults, but more that "every fictional X ought to appeal to every real X" is an unachievable goal and should not function as the drive to creating characters/plots/games etc.

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    It's not really a developer's obligation to include gay characters in everything, though. I don't see the need to flood the industry with characters centred around sexual orientation. If that was the case, then they're just characters defined by being gay, than you know, normal human beings.

    Like that time I lived with a gay couple for a year, where...shockingly...they were more than just two men in a relationship. Wow, isn't that amazing? Of course, I wouldn't know such things because I once wrote the word "tranny" at 3am.

    Joking aside, when we do have predominently gay characters in a game, we have moments like in Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, where a minor gay character suddenly gets up on a soapbox and starts pendantically talking down to the audience about gay characters in the media. Probably one of the most awkward moments I've ever had in a video game.
    The over-defensive snark isn't necessary, Stevil.

  4. #44
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    Neither is trying to one up an entire argument by attacking one late night use of slang. That was a very cheap shot and I just showed you why it's not all black and white, by the numbers, when it comes to my personal experiences. If you put down the textbook once in a while, I think we'd have a better understanding here. I'm not Gatsby, or Aurain, that's for sure.

    The rest of that quote stands, though.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byronic Man View Post
    Sorry if it's unclear. What I mean is that not every character is going to be a holistic representation of a whole community, nor will it appeal to an entire subgroup of people on a whole.

    That not to say people shouldn't criticize particular characters over perceived faults, but more that "every fictional X ought to appeal to every real X" is an unachievable goal and should not function as the drive to creating characters/plots/games etc.
    Ah ok. That makes sense. You ever see Arcade Gannon in Fallout: New Vegas? I thought he was pretty great. He mentions his orientation literally once and that was it. Just a passing comment in a random conversation. I thought that was pretty great. The writers only needed that one genuine moment to get the point across. The whole game is the same way, almost every character development feels completely not-forced.

    As opposed to Mass Effect, where...y'know. Would provide examples of how not to do it but we've seen them all by now, I'm sure.

  6. #46
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    I really have to wonder about anyone that can't play a Star Wars MMO without fake-romancing a soulless polygonal automaton. It just seems so creepy. I say this as someone who has never expressed a sexuality through a constructed character. If I play a game with romance options, I don't take them because I don't care. My characters have been almost universally asexual just by default. They aren't interested. I'm not interested in playing that. Regarding TOR, though, why is this even part of the game? Can it effect the plot that much? At all? In an MMO? It seems so unlikely. He'll, you aren't even getting "someone" unique, you're getting an off the rack copy of the same thing a thousand other people are fadeout-implied doinking.

    I can understand that people want to express their identity, but do they really need to do it with a tag-along npc? Putting aside that I find people that make their characters to be personal avatars to be kind of weird, I can understand some traits being shared. Alright, you've got a jedi. It's not necessarily you, but it shares your orientation. No problems. Do you think it's thematically appropriate for a jedi to get romantically involved? Can they not share that trait with you and prioritize something above it without altering their character? And, really, do you need a notification of just how you holster your light sabre following you around letting everyone else know? That last one has always struck me as someone that's out of other, more interesting personality traits.

    I would be simply amazed if there was a game in which you were given all sorts of sliders and options to perfectly define a player character's sexual identity in some spirographesque chart and then it was never referenced at all because it doesn't matter when it's the zombie alien apocalypse (or any time ever, but a boring Saturday afternoon doesn't make a good game setting).

  7. #47
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    You might want to read up on Anton LaVey's work concerning artificial companions. I know, the guy's name has a negative connotation, but the stuff he wrote on the subject is fascinating.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/30742394/3...man-Companions

    He's a little too caught up in the carnality of the concept, as was usual for him, but yeah. Good stuff there if you're willing to look.

  8. #48
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    Gah I want to give that a quick going over, but on a phone it's impossibru. Well save it.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    Neither is trying to one up an entire argument by attacking one late night use of slang. That was a very cheap shot and I just showed you why it's not all black and white, by the numbers, when it comes to my personal experiences. If you put down the textbook once in a while, I think we'd have a better understanding here. I'm not Gatsby, or Aurain, that's for sure.

    The rest of that quote stands, though.
    You keep referring to a textbook as if that's where I'm getting my understanding of the issue, whereas the truth is I've copped on to the matter simply by talking to other people and reading their articles and blogs. Nothing clinical and detached about that. The point is, I know "tranny" is an offensive term just through familiarity with the subject, and nobody who is familiar with the subject would throw it out there out of carelessness. It's trans101.

    It's the same way that nobody who is familiar with issues of racism would glibly refer to a black person as "n*****." If they do, it's very telling. What's more telling is when they're called out on it and they accept that they were at fault but then proceed to get over-defensive about it. You said something transphobic - accept it and learn from it. Don't try to make yourself out to be the victim here.

    Regarding your personal experiences, you need to learn to set those aside and take in the experiences of others, especially when relating to subjects you've little personal experience with. That doesn't mean sacrifice yourself on the alter of good will, it means trying not to relate everything back to that one time in school when everybody had a laugh, as a means to comfort yourself against the arguments/opinions of others. I don't have many personal experiences with trans issues myself, either, but that doesn't mean the scope of my understanding should be relegated to no more than my own limited field of vision. Speak to other people, listen to them and learn from them. I am to understand that is somewhat a point of the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Legendhead View Post
    Ah ok. That makes sense. You ever see Arcade Gannon in Fallout: New Vegas? I thought he was pretty great. He mentions his orientation literally once and that was it. Just a passing comment in a random conversation. I thought that was pretty great. The writers only needed that one genuine moment to get the point across. The whole game is the same way, almost every character development feels completely not-forced.

    As opposed to Mass Effect, where...y'know. Would provide examples of how not to do it but we've seen them all by now, I'm sure.
    I actually have New Vegas for a few years now but have yet to play it. I've heard of the point of Arcade's sexuality, though, usually in a positive light. If I remember correctly, Anthony Burch was quite a fan of how it is handled, which would explain the similarities in Borderlands 2.
    Last edited by Byronic Man; 01-15-2013 at 12:12 PM. Reason: replaced letters with asterisks

  10. #50
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    Far as I saw the only character in New Vegas who showed any sign of having a libido was the sex robot.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    My apologies. It was late and I was rushing out that answer. Didn't need the cheeky gif, though.
    Sorry. The 4chan in me gets carried away sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trev View Post
    I really have to wonder about anyone that can't play a Star Wars MMO without fake-romancing a soulless polygonal automaton. It just seems so creepy. I say this as someone who has never expressed a sexuality through a constructed character. If I play a game with romance options, I don't take them because I don't care. My characters have been almost universally asexual just by default. They aren't interested. I'm not interested in playing that. Regarding TOR, though, why is this even part of the game? Can it effect the plot that much? At all? In an MMO? It seems so unlikely. He'll, you aren't even getting "someone" unique, you're getting an off the rack copy of the same thing a thousand other people are fadeout-implied doinking.

    I can understand that people want to express their identity, but do they really need to do it with a tag-along npc? Putting aside that I find people that make their characters to be personal avatars to be kind of weird, I can understand some traits being shared. Alright, you've got a jedi. It's not necessarily you, but it shares your orientation. No problems. Do you think it's thematically appropriate for a jedi to get romantically involved? Can they not share that trait with you and prioritize something above it without altering their character? And, really, do you need a notification of just how you holster your light sabre following you around letting everyone else know? That last one has always struck me as someone that's out of other, more interesting personality traits.

    I would be simply amazed if there was a game in which you were given all sorts of sliders and options to perfectly define a player character's sexual identity in some spirographesque chart and then it was never referenced at all because it doesn't matter when it's the zombie alien apocalypse (or any time ever, but a boring Saturday afternoon doesn't make a good game setting).
    Some good points there. I won't make the point that every game (or even any game) needs romantic content or fadeout-implied sex. I've always thought Bioware's handling of that was shallow and awkward, and I too opted for assexual characters (Mostly because at the time I identified as such personally). What I will say is that in a game where there is romantic content, or in a game that endeavors have a narrative that reflects our society, it is extremely important to show that there are a diverse amount of identities in this world that you're holding a mirror up to. Not just sexual diversity, but gender, race, and class diversity as well.

    The thing some people don't get is that that social norms, you know, those things that make the world at large think that a trans woman is some hilarious joke, or that gay people aren't actually people, they aren't some immutable force that we humans are powerless to stop. They're a social construct, and they're constructed by the media. Start consistently humanizing marginalized people in your tv shows/movies/video games, and it's no longer the norm to dehumanize them. People who do are seen as villains, just like we see racists now.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBear View Post
    Gah I want to give that a quick going over, but on a phone it's impossibru. Well save it.
    It's also worth noting that LaVey wasn't well versed in videogames or the internet. He seems to have been thinking in purely physical terms, like automatons and such. Most of his general concepts still apply though.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byronic Man View Post
    You said something transphobic - accept it and learn from it.
    It's a reappropriated word. I understand how complicated those get, and I regret using it earlier and causing confusion. I just wanted to very quickly let Stevil know that I wasn't okay with them using it and tried to diffuse it with humor (but the gif just ended up coming off as snarky ) There's no need to harp on it, though. He apologized immediately. It's all good. I'm not indicting you, either. You have no idea how much I appreciate that there's a person who cares that much.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBear View Post
    Far as I saw the only character in New Vegas who showed any sign of having a libido was the sex robot.
    Fisto!

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    It's not really a developer's obligation to include gay characters in everything, though. I don't see the need to flood the industry with characters centred around sexual orientation. If that was the case, then they're just characters defined by being gay, than you know, normal human beings.

    Joking aside, when we do have predominently gay characters in a game, we have moments like in Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, where a minor gay character suddenly gets up on a soapbox and starts pendantically talking down to the audience about gay characters in the media. Probably one of the most awkward moments I've ever had in a video game.
    Agreed 100%. The issue is how LGBT characters are represented in gaming, and flooding games with tons of LGBT characters just to say "Look, we're diverse!" seems like doing something wrong with the right intentions. You're not supposed to treat LGBT people / characters specially, you're supposed to integrate them as something that feels natural so that the notion of non-hetero characters doesn't feel like a big deal anymore (IMO). This is, of course, a process that can't be done overnight, but it'd be nice to see it more present so that we might move in a direction where LGBT characters feel completely normal.

  16. #56
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    Some interesting comments, I will have to plead ignorance to the star wars theme as I've never been a huge fan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    Ever since then, they're obligated to chase the pink pound. That's fine, but I dunno, it really jars with Star Wars for me. That was black/white fantasy. There's no LGBT characters, there's no racism, etc. It's family (I don't want to say "wholesome") entertainment about good and bad. It's very weird to put complex adult realities into Lucas' world. I'm not saying they shouldn't, but it feels rather strained.
    I kind of get what your saying here but I would say there are difficult issues in star wars already, theirs no reason to make it stand out, you don't have to have a big pink arrow with gay written on it pointing at a gay couple if it's not pointed out as a problem then it won't be one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter345 View Post
    Pre-emptive apologies if I say something offensive. As a straight, [half]white male, I'm still relatively ignorant about a lot of this stuff.

    My instinct is that it's difficult-to-impossible to make a game with LGBT content that makes the LGBT community happy. That's not unique to the LGBT community of course, but just human nature in general. Look at Mass Effect, where homosexual romances are not only options, but comprise relatively major plot points. People complain that the gay characters exist as that and nothing else. Look at Borderlands 2, where it's briefly mentioned that some characters are gay but it doesn't make a big deal about it. People complain that it's just shoehorned in by the developers in order to satisfy some nonexistent gay character quota.

    I don't doubt that the intent behind both of those efforts is pure. But it's taken us to a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" territory, where nobody really knows how to handle their gay characters, because regardless of how they do it, they get flack for it.

    I don't know the solution. I don't know that there is a solution.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    It's not really a developer's obligation to include gay characters in everything, though. I don't see the need to flood the industry with characters centred around sexual orientation. If that was the case, then they're just characters defined by being gay, than you know, normal human beings.

    Joking aside, when we do have predominently gay characters in a game, we have moments like in Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, where a minor gay character suddenly gets up on a soapbox and starts pendantically talking down to the audience about gay characters in the media. Probably one of the most awkward moments I've ever had in a video game.
    It doesn't have to be a tricky issue, we accept that there are different races in the world so we see some games with diverse casts, all you have to do is accept that there are LGBT people in the world and use them in the same way. It's not that LGBT people want representation in all games it's that if you look at the industry as a whole their is pretty much no representation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevil View Post
    Neither is trying to one up an entire argument by attacking one late night use of slang.
    I know you have apologised so I won't flog a dead horse but factually that word is not slang, I have talked to multiple trans people who hear this as an insult on a regular basis, not having a go just trying to give some perspective as I know people who have been hurt by this kind of thing.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsolateMutate View Post
    Agreed 100%. The issue is how LGBT characters are represented in gaming, and flooding games with tons of LGBT characters just to say "Look, we're diverse!" seems like doing something wrong with the right intentions. You're not supposed to treat LGBT people / characters specially, you're supposed to integrate them as something that feels natural so that the notion of non-hetero characters doesn't feel like a big deal anymore (IMO). This is, of course, a process that can't be done overnight, but it'd be nice to see it more present so that we might move in a direction where LGBT characters feel completely normal.
    Brilliantly put, I personally think the halt of progress is coming both from the top and the fact that some vocal gamers react as biggots and thus scare the company as they worry about turning of potential customers. Bottom line for me is that both the top companies and gamers in general need to drive this change by being positive (most gamers already are) about diversity in games.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by DpadJoe View Post
    I kind of get what your saying here but I would say there are difficult issues in star wars already, theirs no reason to make it stand out, you don't have to have a big pink arrow with gay written on it pointing at a gay couple if it's not pointed out as a problem then it won't be one.

    It doesn't have to be a tricky issue, we accept that there are different races in the world so we see some games with diverse casts, all you have to do is accept that there are LGBT people in the world and use them in the same way. It's not that LGBT people want representation in all games it's that if you look at the industry as a whole their is pretty much no representation.
    Yeah, there's some family issues and some existentialism in there, but you know, it's a fairly simplistic take on the universe. I think when you start throwing in reality, it comes across as odd. There's no gay people in Star Wars. There's like one black guy, too. I remember reading one of the books, and it got quite violent, and I kept thinking that it was rather jarring to read about Han Solo and Chewbacca being stiched up.

    No, it doesn't have to be a tricky issue, since it doesn't even need to be an issue at all. The worst thing anybody could do is put those kind of characters on a pedestal. I think Legendhead pointed out a perfect example with Arcade Gannon, and Jim Sterling wrote a good piece about him, too.

  19. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBear View Post
    Far as I saw the only character in New Vegas who showed any sign of having a libido was the sex robot.
    Some of the possible companions were gay and it was no big deal at all. I think I like how they did that because it shouldn't be a big deal because it's normal.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mighty Hatman View Post
    Some of the possible companions were gay and it was no big deal at all. I think I like how they did that because it shouldn't be a big deal because it's normal.
    Haha, I love how you just summed up most of the thread in two sentences. Also I caught Boone in bed with Arcade once. That was my favorite part because dude, Boone? Seriously? Nobody would have expected that.

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