Tag Archives: sexuality

Garena Philippines Limiting LGBTQ Women from League of Legends Competition

Garena Esports (empahsis my own):

For any events we do, we always want to make sure we are able to have an inclusive environment where no one feels left out, and of course for everybody to enjoy.  On this angle, we believed that allowing more to be eligible to join is obviously the answer and as many of our female teams have expressed — Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members are their friends too.  On the other hand, for any competitions, we seriously look at ensuring there’s a fair level playing field for all participants.  And there are arguments and concerns from other participants who disputes that Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Women members may probably have some unfair advantage.

I have zero tolerance for the twisted logic/suspicion/assumption that one’s physical traits, let alone sexual orientation, “may probably” provide them “some unfair advantage” in a competition based purely on mental prowess. Unbelievable.

[Via Polygon]

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The Skin of a Rhinoceros

Tim Cook, writing in Businessweek:

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

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Love is Strange

Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian:

They have decreed that Love is Strange should have the same rating as Saw III (“strong grisly violence and gore, sequences of terror and torture, nudity and language”), My Bloody Valentine (“graphic brutal horror violence and grisly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language”), and the new Sin City film (“strong brutal stylised violence throughout, sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use”).

It’s an insult to anyone’s intelligence to find that Love is Strange received its R for nothing more than “some strong language”. What – not even a teensy-weensy bit of terror and torture? No grisly images or graphic nudity? I wonder if the director, Ira Sachs, feels a bit like the faithful spouse accused erroneously of adultery: if he is going to be pilloried anyway, maybe he should have committed the crime for which he is being punished and thrown in a few chainsaw murders just for the hell of it.

Two nights ago, my fiancée and I watched Captain American: The Winter Soldier. Mid-way through the action packed, gunplay heavy film, she looked over at me and said, “it’s amazing they blame video games for gun violence.”

She echoed my thoughts exactly. I felt that I had seen more violence in this semi-children’s film than any video game I had played over the past year. There was something unnerving about the amount of bullets spraying into the air, masses of headshots, and deadly explosions. Something Polygon brought to light after this years E3 Expo. It was a feeling I’d also experienced weeks prior at a showing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Both films are rated PG-13.

I’m not saying that overboard gun violence shown in films is a problem; though, I am now easier unsettled than I when I saw The Matrix in high school. All I’m saying is that if violence isn’t the reason for an R rating, then we need to reevaluate the measure of two f-bombs (something kids are prone to hearing multiple times per day on streets, schoolyards, and homes) and/or expressions of sexuality or acts of sex that are completely natural landing R ratings. If a 13-year-old, nay the swaths of  children that watched Captain America: The Winter Solider and/or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, can handle lengthy gun battles and on-screen death, then a bit of language and sexuality is not going to hurt any.

Update: Ghostbusters, rated PG. Kids of the 80s sure turned out rotten.

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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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The problem with humanoids

Scott Benson, animator of Night in the Woods, as quoted by Polygon:

I think working with animal characters, which is something I’ve done in animation work for years, you can identify with it a bit better. If we had made Mae a really specific person with a specific ethnicity and weight, and all this different stuff…

I think a lot of people can see themselves in Mae. If we were hyper-specific with our humanoid characters, it becomes more and more exclusive. There is something really inclusive about more abstracted humans.

When people draw fan art of Mae, everyone makes her look different. They make her look like themselves. That’s exactly what we want.

I had a lot of trouble writing Splatoon. I’m still not sure it delivers the intended message, or is any good for that matter.

I started with the nugget that games can simply be games, ignoring the fact that the slight variance in asexual character design could be implied as male or female. This thought led me down a rabbit hole. If gender can be construed, what about skin tone, ethnicity, sexuality, political ideals, spirituality? Where does it stop?Humanoid character design, however slight, is a delicate thing.

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Final Fantasy 14 gets same-sex marriage

Naoki Yoshida, Director and Producer of Final Fantasy 14, as quoted by Polygon:

People within Eorzea will be able to pledge their eternal love and or friendship in a ceremony of eternal bonding. And this will be open to people regardless of race, creed, and gender. Two players…if they want to be together, in Eorzea, they can-through this eternal bonding ceremony.

We discussed it and we realized: within Eorzea, why should there be restrictions on who pledges their love or friendship to each other? And so we decided to go this way.

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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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Polygon Human Angle: Queer Games

Mattie Brice, developer of Mainichi:

If I was to watch [Mainichi] be played anywhere it would be upsetting. Maybe upsetting is a good thing. I think we should be upset by games. I think that’s a valid emotion to happen. It’s not meant for me to feel good. It does make other people feel good because in a sense, this game has been validating. Many people are like, “Oh! I’ve had that experience too. I’m not alone.”

Human Angle is such a beautiful series.

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