Tag Archives: lgbt

FFXIV Pixel Pride 2014

To celebrate the addition of same-sex marriages in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the Rough Trade Gaming Community took to the streets of Eorzea in the inaugural FFXIV Pixel Pride parade.

J. Bryan Lowder, Slate:

I must say, having watched both the real thing [Pride Parade in New York City] back in June and now this, the Rough Trade parade seemed—pixilation aside—the more joyous of the two.

 

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Coming Out Simulator 2014

A half-true game about half-truths.

Danielle Riendeau, Polygon:

No matter how many pride parades I attend, or how much volunteer work I do, or how long I live in the generally accepting city of San Francisco, a part of me will always be that terrified 17-year-old, worried that her family won’t love her any more. Case’ game hit me right there.

Just completed a play-through. In the span of 10 minutes, I felt my blood boil, heart race, and gut wrench. Very brave and inspiring sim. Brought me back to this post.

Well done, Nicky Case.

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Binary Notions of Sex and Gender

The newest version of Dungeons & Dragons launched on July 3, 2015.

Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition: Basic Rules v0.1:

You can play a male or female character without gaining any special benefits or hindrances. Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior. For example, a male drow cleric defies the traditional gender divisions of drow society, which could be a reason for your character to leave that society and come to the surface.

You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example, and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon’s image. You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.

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Bioware intros first gay male character

David Gaider, Dragon Age series writer:

Dorian is gay—he is, in fact, the first fully gay character I’ve had the opportunity to write. It added an interesting dimension to his back story, considering he comes from a place where “perfection” is the face that every mage puts on and anything that smacks of deviancy is shameful and meant to be hidden.

I suppose this aspect of Dorian will make him controversial in some corners, but I was glad to include it. It made writing Dorian a very personal experience for me, and I’m hopeful that will make him seem like a fully realized character to fans in the end.

I spent last weekend attending a same-sex wedding. Amongst the 150 or so attendees, not a soul spoke ill will or against the act of love. If anything, there was a palpable aura of support for the newly weds. Those I had assumed would turn their nose up to the ceremony watched with vivacious smiles, tears and cheering. The attendees soaked in the ceremony with deep admiration for a couple who had spent 7+ years braving potential criticism, backlash and rejection from their own bloodlines for challenging tradition.

While I was out of town for the wedding, San Francisco was holding its Pride Celebration. While I could not attend, I was very proud to be part of an attending organization who actively (and prominently!) showed their support for those who continue to live in fear, are ignored and cast aside by the mainstream.

Be it two people in marriage; hundreds at work; thousands in school; or millions participating in sports, games and global events; communal bonding is a wonder. To feel included, acknowledged and represented in a community is even more special.

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Ethnicity in film is to sexuality in games

Jagger Gravning, Kill Screen:

While there is no modern Hays Code equivalent in contemporary American video games (the ESRB rates but does not censor) the manner that LGBT characters are being introduced to a broader audience in major games is through this same blowback-wary method of diligent self-policing. The writers allow space for an audience member to overlook or deny the homosexuality of a particular character if that’s the way they would prefer to see things.

Game writers like Rhianna Pratchett, who has stated that part of her would have loved Lara Croft to be gay, are instead artfully presenting these characters in a manner that is more aesthetically palatable to players (and likely their concerned parents) who might find explicit same-sex love too lurid or off-putting a subject to handle with frankness in a video game.

Gravning continues:

For many years, if a film did focus on a black character, the story would generally be about that character’s experience being black, like The Jackie Robinson Story or Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and many blacksploitation films. It took time for producers, and perhaps audiences, to realize there could be stories involving non-white characters that didn’t have to revolve around their ethnicity.

I wish I had read this prior to Harper’s post. A brilliant contextualization of today’s human rights issues displayed on a canvas of modern media; ethnic tip-toeing in early 20th century filmmaking vs. LGBT tip-toeing in early 21st century video game making.

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Braving Blizzard and inclusion in games

Todd Harper writing for Polygon:

Meanwhile, the mere presence of prominent and respectfully portrayed women characters, characters of color, and queer characters is viewed as inherently political and thus anti-fun. It’s another subtle, vicious knife in the side of us marginalized people who play games that says: you’re second class. You’re less valuable. If you show up, somehow you’re removing the fun for everyone else.

This construction where it’s impossible to have “fun” and “inclusion” side-by-side by reflecting diversity in your games is a total illusion, a mirage thrown up to distract us from the simple fact that they just don’t want to make that effort.

Harper quoting Rob Pardo of Blizzard Entertainment earlier in the opinion piece:

“We’re not trying to bring in serious stuff, or socially relevant stuff, or actively trying to preach for diversity or do things like that,” he said. His example of a place where Blizzard struggles is portrayal of women.

Pardo notes that “because most of our developers are guys who grew up reading comics books,” Blizzard games often present women characters as a sexualized comic book ideal that “is offensive to, I think, some women.”

I find Pardo’s comments about Blizzard’s portrayal of women interesting when looking at the Hearthstone tutorial, granted the HS team may be far removed from Pardo’s view.

A very brave piece. Well done.

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