The video game industry continues to struggle with how it deals with issues surrounding the open discussion of homosexuality in its online venues.
In the latest flap, Eurogamer reports that a forum mod on BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic banned users from discussing potential gay character relationships in the upcoming game:
The threads have since been locked, and the words "homosexual", "lesbian" and "gay" are censored on the forum.
Even discussions of the ban are being locked. At the bottom of the thread "GLBT discrimination in forums?", community manager… wrote, "As I have stated before, these are terms that do not exist in Star Wars. Thread closed."
It appears, however, that a thread entitled GLBT Discrimination in Forums? has been re-opened. A user named Elikal (forum avatar at left) writes:
I am grateful Bioware has opened the thread again, and allowed the words gay and lesbian now. Though I can’t hide that I am quite disappointed. Bioware games had always been about complex ethical questions, about vast, diverse realities, and as such I had never expect Bioware of all companies to be so… narrow in this question. I was a Bioware fan so long… it was really a shock to see the thread closed.
Thanks to all the supporters, and even those who in civilized words disagreed, since debating things is what makes a modern society work.
And, as GayGamer points out, there has been at least one gay character in the Star Wars gaming universe. That would be Juhani of Knights of the Old Republic:
If you choose to kill [Juhani], a female Jedi at the temple will lambaste you for murdering her beloved one—stating that she and Juhani spent many nights under the stars together. Later on Korriban, that female Jedi will confront you and attempt to murder you for the love of Juhani. If you choose to take the other approach and save Juhani… Later on, if your main character is female and you have opened up all coversation lines with Juhani through the game, Juhani will confes her love for your character…