Ars Technica Examines Industry’s Struggle to Deal with Gay & Lesbian Gamers

The debate over gay marriage is raging in California and elsewhere, but the video game industry has its own gay rights issues to address. From Xbox Live’s banning of certain gamertags to Bioware’s recent Star Wars: The Old Republic forum flap, the game biz has handled its relations with its gay and lesbian customers ham-handedly at times.

Over at Ars Technica, Ben Kuchera surveys the situation and talks with, among others, Flynn DeMarco (left), editor of GayGamer:

Being able to identify as gay or lesbian in an online gaming perspective has its positives and negatives. The negatives being obvious in that they face endless harassment. The positives are that maybe you can connect and play with someone else without having to listen to a litany of gay jokes and ‘fag’ insults…

…repressing GLBT visibility in forums, even with good intentions, only makes it safer and more acceptable to use hate speech. Visibility is key to equality…

 

I definitely feel that the LGBT issues are part of the larger issue of gaming’s immature treatment of sex…

ESRB spokesman Eliot Mizrachi offered the perspective of the video game industry’s content rating organization:

We’ve encountered the issue of same-sex content before—the boy-boy kiss in Bully being one example…

 

While there aren’t any content descriptors that specifically identify same-sex content, our raters are trained to consider these types of elements within the context of the overall game, and to weigh those factors, among others…

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

Comments are closed.