Wednesday, April 6, 2011

D00D! My Character is GAY!!!

Nod of the naked noggin to the proprietor of the awesomely named Metagalactic Llamas Battle at the Edge of Time blog.

I haven't played Dragon Age (probably couldn't on the antiquated Binary Numbers Mill I use), but my cousin told me about a co-worker who had really gotten into the game. This co-worker told my cousin, "This game is great, it really takes me back to junior high school when I was tossing 20-siders (VMR?)... it really captures that sense of wonder." The guy goes on enjoying his game until one day he comes to work with a look on his face similar to one worn by someone who's confronted by a faint, though bad, smell. My cousin asked him what was wrong, and the guy answered, "Dude, my character is gay." It seems like his in-game choices led to a cut scene in which the character he was playing in the game ended up boning an elf-dude- "I was just trying to be nice, I didn't know what the end result would be!" Yeah, the quest for the magic "Spear of Penetration" was successful, though unanticipated. My cousin just told him to get over it, but I probably would have told him, "Hey, the character didn't choose to be gay, he was generated that way, and besides, isn't an unexpected twist in a game a good thing?"

My cousin's co-worker, being a grownup, got over this little in-game surprise, but others weren't so sanguine about the inclusion of gay romance options in the sequel to the game. Talk about whiny, this guy whines in a public forum because his pixilated proxy probably developed a taste for elf cock! The Metagalactic Llamas have a good overview of the exchange between the forum member and Dave Gaider, a writer for Bioware, the publishers of the Dragon Age games. The two bits I want to highlight are:

I don't see how Gaider's reply was in anyway blasting my arguments. In fact, what Gaider basically said was that "You're right. Dragon Age 2 was not made specifically for "straight male gamer" in mind. It was made to be all-inclusive." And that was exactly the accusation I was making. I'm not here to debate the moralities of homosexuality, I personally find it to be digusting but others will feel different, that isn't the point of this thread.


As a side note, I'd like to say that I'm not at all surprised by all the pro-homosexuality comments and that I expected even more. 1% of a million is still 10000. No doubt you'd have a many of them trying to protect their "privilege" in Dragon Age 2.

Those who agree with me will likely do so silently for fear of being called homophobic by what can only be called a mob as even Gaider pointed out or just won't bother out of feeling of pointlessness like I once did. But to those people, I encourage you to post as well and not let your concerns be silenced as some would like.

First of all, I love the fact that this d00d is "accusing" a writer of being all-inclusive. Uh, typically people are accused of bad things- would this guy accuse someone of being generous? Sheesh...

More importantly, here is a guy playing a computer game, then typing in English on a computer bulletin board, complaining about a portrayal of a heroic gay man. Hasn't this creep ever heard of Alan Turing? Turing was a genius whose work in cryptanalysis led to the development of a device (an elaboration of a Polish predecessor) used to thwart the encryption of the German Enigma and Lorenz encoding machines- efforts crucial to the Allied victory in WW2. After the war, Turing was involved in the design of early computers. Turing's paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence introduced the concept of the Turing test, an early exploration of "Artificial Intelligence". A summary of the Turing test is- could a computer be developed which a remote observer would not be able to distinguish from a human in an "imitation game"? Turing revealed to police investigating a burglary of his home that he had been involved in a sexual relationship with one of the burglars and was charged with gross indecency. He was given a "choice" between imprisonment and "chemical castration" through estrogen injections. He died of cyanide poisoning in 1954- his death was ruled a suicide.

So, a straight guy complains that "gay interests" are being catered to in a computer game which utilizes "Artificial Intelligence" based to a large extent on the theoretical work of a brilliant and heroic gay man who was hounded to martyrdom by cowardly and stupid bigots. Yeah, you're not being catered to, while you are enjoying the fruits of the labor of a guy you'd consider a "fruit". Cry me a fucking river, kid! You whine about "fear of being called homophobic", but where's the magistrate, whose ass you may very well have saved ten years prior, wanting to fuck with your brain chemistry?

Oh, and by the way, the jerkoff really shouldn't be slagging off on gays when his hobby is largely informed by a gay aesthetic... I mean, this guy wouldn't be out of place in a Tom of Finland poster.

For the record, when I geek out, I geek out on the free turn-based strategy game Battle for Wesnoth. Besides being a well-designed game, it's gorgeous to look at and the character portraits are not designed to give anyone body image issues. Hell, even the hot elf chicks (is this term copyrighted?) are sensibly dressed. Frank Frazzetta would be rolling in his grave!

POSTSCRIPT: Re-reading this post, it's guaranteed to result in some interesting traffic- lotta "triggering" search criteria to be found here...


TruculentandUnreliable said...

I saw something about this last week (?). I was delighted by Gaider's response, but hadn't seen the douchebag's subsequent douchery.

I have a friend who is a gamer (I mean, she dressed up as Sofia Lamb from Bioshock for Halloween), and she fucking LOVES this game. To the "I'm dreaming about it and want to call in sick to work tomorrow to play it" degree, and the fact that Bioware makes games that aren't just for straight doods has basically won her loyalty for life. I do not play video games (who has the time, really? I have too many blogs to read), but if I did, I'd be all over that game for this alone.

In other words, not only is making Dragon Age 2 LGBT/straight female accessible awesome in its own right--it also makes good business sense.

Substance McGravitas said...

for fear of being called homophobic

Slay that dragon, noble hero!

Smut Clyde said...

I don't think the Bombes were ever used on the Lorentz traffic.
Now you've triggered me.

fish said...

Once you go elf, you never go self.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I will never try to take that away from you.

I disagree on this point. As a huge asshole, I am constantly trying to do better, and when I encounter Huge Assholes, feel the Need to demonstrate the error of their ways, and if sometimes that involves joint locks, that doesn't bother me.

But I also feel that this is agood post to mention, yet again, that Spengler's Zombie Novel is chock full of strong woman characters. Written by a dude. It's not impossible.