Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott Card's Involvement

August 25, 2009 -

Shadow Complex, an adventure game in the vein of Castlevania or Super Metroid, became available for sale last week on Xbox Live Arcade. While the game has garnered impressive reviews, some are upset by the fact that its plot has been derived from the fiction of Orson Scott Card, a known campaigner against gay rights.  Gamers upset by this news are suggesting a boycott to ensure their dollars don’t end up funding Card's political agenda.

In an opinion piece for Gamasutra, Christian Nutt sees the idea of boycotting a game based on the political views of one of the creative influences as a sign that video games are growing up:

When Shadow Complex was announced, I personally was torn. I'd already long since made the conscious decision to not support Orson Scott Card directly with my money...

 

What bothers me is people who suggest that it's a non-issue because the topic of discussion is a game... "Remember back when we were kids and we just enjoyed games?" asks Wizman23.

Yes, I do. But we are not kids anymore... I was 32 on the day [Shadow Complex] became available for download on Xbox Live... I can't approach things the way I did as a child. That's not me being self-righteous; I mean that I literally cannot do this...

 

And that's why it's acceptable to talk about this... If we can have meaningful political discussion in other media, we can have it in games.

From all accounts, Shadow Complex looks like a very fun game.  For those who are put off by Card’s involvement, Nutt points to a suggestion offered up at GayGamer: buy the game and make a donation to a gay-positive charity to offset any profit Card may see from the sale.
 
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Senior Correspondent Andrew Eisen...


Comments

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Yep.  As far as the law goes, have it be only civil unions, and give them to both straight and gay couples.  Then all the churches' squabbling over gay marriage can be among themselves.  Some churches are against it, some churches are for it, and people are free to choose which kind they want to attend.  Everybody wins.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

 For one thing, allowing legal marriages for gays doesn't effect a Christian's life in any way, they're still allowed to think gay marriage is wrong, but by not legalizing it you're infringing on the beliefs of people who don't think it's wrong. Talking strictly about my country, the United States, marriages are a legal institution. Sure you can have Christian wedding ceremonies in a church but that doesn't make you legally married, a signed paper from the government does, so the government already defines marriage and its rights and benefits.

Secondly anti-discrimination laws are important because a company or housing complex or what have you could easily deny service based on prejudices otherwise. A private institution like a church isn't effected by these things, but if a church wants to own a business that business is subject to the laws of their country whether they like it or not. 

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

You're wrong on a few points:

1. Religions in America are not forced to accept gays period. The laws governing anti-discrimination do not extend to religion thanks to that pesky 1st amendment.

2. Gays are not given preferance in the workplace. There is no federal protection for sexual orientation, and only a few states have enacted such measures. These do not include the same "ratio" laws that govern hiring of gender and racial minorities, the laws only protect homosexuals from being fired and require proof that they were fired for being gay.

3.  The Ex-gay movement has been deemed detrimental by the APA because it has been shown through multiple uninterested party studies done by the APA that the "treatments" either don't work, or are simply tools which cause the person to supress their natural urges. This can lead to things like depression and suicide. Every anti-gay "treatment" regimine has patients who have come out against it because of cruel and unusual practices, and the APA regards the idea of these treatments as harmful to a persons psyche and well being.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Btw: I know re-read your text, and your second point was exactly (altough in other country) I was talking about:

Here too, if you fire someone and that someone accuse you from firing him because he was guy, even if he has no proof, this will drag you into a lawsuit, and lawsuits are expensive, thus companies deliberately avoid hiring gays to avoid such lawsuits, making the situation worse, instead of better (and like I said, companies are also avoiding hiring any "minority" to prevent such lawsuits).

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- MaurĂ­cio Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

A lawsuit is different. You can file a lawsuit against anyone for just about anything. Actual law (as in broke a law) doesn't have federal protection for homosexuals. Yet.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

You're second point is totally wrong.  Federal protection DOES exist for GLBT, as anyone who considers themselve among the GLBT is a protected minority.  Therefore, all laws pertaining to protected minorities, such as assistance prefrence and other minority protections, pertain to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Actually it doesn't. There are very limited situations in which certain protections have been expanded to "sexual orientation" and "gender identity". Many of the discrimination laws have not been expanded thus far.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Except the ones that do exist are the ones he pointed to.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Huh...

 

Quoting myself, twice:

 

"For example, in Brazil..."

 

"Another example: The  government here made a law against discrimination..."

 

See? I am not talking about the US.

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- MaurĂ­cio Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

I apoligize about the law point. I am reading from the US so when I read "the government here" I assume US.

As for the brazil thing, I tend to try to look at psychology on a global scale. Unfortunatly I feel that in a lot of regions psychology is more affected by religion and personal opinion then actual medicine.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

If I can I'll still get it, as them oney is not, to my knowledge, goign ot Orson Scott, but ot Microsoft and Epic Games.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

I think the fact we are having this discussion is a big step forward for games as a mature medium.

This actually reminds me of the people who are against Wagner being played due to his connections to Hitler.  Agree or disagree, it acknowledges the power of the imagry associated with the material.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Personally I don't think this says anything about games as a medium, more about consumerism and the free market. If the item in question was a car or a book the discussion would be no different.

I do think games as a medium are moving forward, and even gamers to a lesser degree are getting better. I'm not sure if this is because of the general shift in thinking in younger generations or because of games, either way I see it as positive change.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Wait one.  Since the story was based on something written by someone that was anti-gay then the game is anti-gay?    Well no not exactly.  They just want to punish the guy for this beleifs. 

Idiots.

Respecting gay rights (I do) does not mean having to bend over backwards to insure that an anti-gay litature never existed.  Every man is entitled to his opinion.  If Card offended people then let those that were directly offened take it up with him and leave the politically correct politics out of it.   Are gays that insecure?

This is a sign that games are "growing up"?  Nope sorry.  This is a sign that someone has a hemorriod and wants us all to share in the experience.   If it bothers you then dont buy it but dont try to tell others (that share no interest) that they should not as well.   This is a thing that goes beyond the liberal/converative thing.  The (loud aggressive) minority trying to set policy for the majority. 

 

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

"They just want to punish the guy for this beleifs."

How is refusing to support him considered a punishment? As far as I know, nobody's entitled to sell people items they do not wish to buy.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

It's not that they're refusing to support Card.  In fact, does anyone know if his compensation is even tied to the number of sales of the game?  This may have no effect on him anyway.  Anyway, they are refusing to support everybody at Chair, Epic, etc. who contributed to this game (at least some of whom are almost certainly *gasp!* gay), all because of a rather weak connection to some guy they disagree with.  The story is merely in the same universe as a book Card wrote.  As far as I know, Card didn't have anything to do with writing the story for the game itself.

Even if he did, this is absurd.  Just about any major game will have somebody working on it who you will not agree with.  The larger the dev team, the more certain this becomes.  Card simply happens to be high-profile enough that people know about him and his views.  But if you truly believe that it is somehow immoral to buy a game that was worked on by someone you disagree with, does ignorance of such people working on other games let you off the hook?  Besides, I don't understand why people get so hell-bent on eradicating opposing opinions.  Diversity of thought is just as important as any other kind of diversity.

If the game itself actually expressed anti-homosexual messages, or if sales of the game contributed to some kind of gay-bashing organization, that would be different.  In that case, I would have second thoughts about buying it, too.  But it doesn't, and this whipped-up "controversy" is asinine.  It just makes the boycotters seem like oversensitive, out of touch fools, depriving themselves of an awesome game for a ridiculous reason.

And please don't trot out the "nobody is obligated to buy it" strawman.  I'm not saying anybody has to buy the game.  I'm criticizing what I see as an overreaction and an absurd reason for not buying the game.  If you were going to buy it, but Card's involvement convinced you not to, that's nonsense.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

What? If you didn't wish to buy the game, you wouldn't boycott it.

Otherwise it wouldn't be a boycott; it would simply be disinterest. There is ALWAYS motive behind a boycott.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Could you be Just a bit more obtuse?  I mean you almost made sense. 

Nothing personal btw. 

You twisted that neatly and made it nonsensical.  Right to sell?  Anyone has the right to attempt to sell whatever is not illegal and if they work within the local mores (ie place, time etc).  Not like someone is running around ripping money out of stangers hands and forcing this title on them. 

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

You've just said the opposite of what you originally posted. Who's being obtuse?

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

How?  The equation has not changed.  Anyone has the right to attempt to sell whatever (that is not illegal).  Buyers have the right to buy whatever (or not). 

Its the person that is running around trying to tell buyers they should not buy a thing because it offended them (and not the buyer) that I have a problem with.  Twisting that to claim that the seller cannot/should not sell becuase it offended the above mentioned person does not change anything. 

Democracy.  If I want to buy or sell it is my right as long as it is not illegal.  The choice to buy is up to the individual and not someone with a rash to itch. 

...

Post edit 

The attempt to sell is a right which should not be denied. 

The sale itself is NOT however guaranteed. 

Stop calling for a boycott and let the buyers decide. 

 

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

So you're claiming a consumer doesn't have the right to be fully informed?

A boycott *IS* letting the buyers decide.

 

 

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Hmfp.

Dude do own a dictionary? 

Do you know how to use it? 

Look up the word.  "Boycott"

verb (used with object)

1.to combine in abstaining from, or preventing dealings with, as a means of intimidation or coercion: to boycott a store.

Explain to me how that idea fits in with letting the buyers make they own choice? 

I would be like forming a picket line around a business then trying to claim that you were Not there to interfere with thier business. 

One person (or a few the article does not say) seem to have a problem with Cards gay beliefs so are trying to punish the guy.  The game itself is acutally neutral in this (ie it itself did nothing wrong to anyone nor apparently has any gay bashing or somesuch) so why boycott it?  Go pickit Card's house or something if you have a problem with him. 

 

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

So how exactly do you put a picket line around XBLA?

 

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

A boycott doesn't force anyone not to buy. The boycott can't stop you from buying. It does send a message to the makers of the game and other developers. Now if you want to argue against being able to send that message it's you perogative, but I doubt you'll garner much support.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Exactly.Those who engage in a boycott are exercising their right to free speech by encouraging others to join them in refusing to purchase a particular product or service. Each potential buyer decides on his own whether or not to join the boycott. There's no coercion involved.


Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

I don't really understand to impose such a furor against the makers of shadow complex.  They are a big company and obviously don't all support the ideas of the man who inspired the fiction they used to frame their game.  It seems counter productive to harm all the people involved in making the game just because you don't like one persons perspective on gay marriage.  Also the game is to good not to encourage. 

Here's one of my favorite quotes from Ender's Game:

"I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves."

 

Seemed appropriate.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

This whole debacle is astounding and has become ridiculously petty/hypocritical on the various forums/comment sections where it has been discussed. The worse is the complete inability to even get the man's views correct.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Just shut up and play the game.  It would be a complete fools' errand to try and avoid every bit of media produced by someone with political beliefs you loathe.  Personally I'm not going to avoid every game that has had some sort of involvement by a republican.  It just sounds like a waste of time to me.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

This. Except for the shut up part. They can speak up all they want. If they want to deny themselves the experience of such a great game over a discrepancy with somebody who is (mostly only in name) attached to the project, let them. It's not like his anti-gayness influenced the game itself.

But I agree that every piece of media will have somebody involved whose political views don't precisely match one's own. There's no avoiding that.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

I wasn't aware not being a bigot was a political belief. How about hot being an asshole?

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Well now you do.

But it comes down to the point that everyone who has produced any media you like ever has some sort of belief that you or I will find loathesome.  But who cares about them?  They are nobodies.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

"Just shut up and play the game."

You shut up and play it. Others can decide for themselves whether they wish to play it, and the reasons why not if they don't.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Fine, be a bigot, see if that stops sales of the game.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Refusing to support superstitious idiots like Orson Scott Card is now considered being a bigot? Perhaps there's a more politically correct way to be politically correct?

Re: Gamers Propose Shadow Complex Boycott Over Orson Scott ...

Well, does that make his opinion any less valid?

This is just my own stupid way of covering for the fact that I didn't read that correctly, and thought he was a campaigner FOR gay rights that made him evil. Maybe I should just shut up...

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.
 
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