BioWare, an Edmonton-based game development company, is being targeted by anti-gay groups over the option to make your character gay in their latest video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
“In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists,” said Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay lobby group Family Research Council.
Now, I’m not exactly “in” on the whole Star Wars universe, but from what I remember about the movies, isn’t “the Empire” the bad guys? If so—and if Perkins is right—then all you’d need to destroy evil and bring peace to the universe forever is to send wave after wave of homosexual activists at the Empire.
I think I’d like to play that game, actually.
Electronic Arts, the game’s publisher, said they’ve received “thousands of letters” threatening to boycott the title over the mere option to play as a gay character. (And, knowing the demographic that usually writes these kind of letters, I’m sure all of them would have otherwise bought the game and played it for months. Snicker.) In response, Jeff Brown, an EA spokesperson, issued a statement supporting their gay customers, and vowing to end anti-gay harassment that gay gamers often experience online:
EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT charcters in our games […] However, we have met with LGBT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don’t tolerate hate speech on our forums.”
Good for EA and Bioware! After all, some of us were getting a little tired of saving the princess.