Keeping “the gays” out of gaming

I wrote a piece for The Daily Beast on Nintendo’s response to wanting same-sex relations in one of their games. For many – including gaming fans – this may seem like so much nonsense. Yet, what it speaks to is a greater problem of exclusion and targeting, of how you do harm by doing “nothing” or ignoring, within a popular medium – in this case, games.

You can examine all sorts of mediums, but the one I’ve dealt with here – because it is my passion – is games. I do challenge you, though, to read the comments without wanting to build a spaceship and find other planets. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I‘ve been Tweeting a bit about so many stupid responses.

It’s pretty bizarre how there still exist such mindsets with such deep-seated hatred for gay people and same-sex attraction. Why? It’s simply something I cannot fathom – and I say that as someone who advocates understanding your opponent in debates. I’m not gay myself, so I’ve never had to face such horrible treatment (Homophobic slurs tossed at me don’t count as experiencing homophobia, merely because I write about sex equality – I think I made some commenters* angrier when I indicated I’m not, in fact, gay).

I just don’t know whether there even exists a debate about whether gay people are persons – so it means I don’t have opponents, so much as people holding completely strange and bigoted worldviews. Of course, this doesn’t mean swearing or treating these opponents badly – it just means that any bridge for comprehension collapsed some time ago. I’d like it to return to have them change their mind, but I don’t know. It is very difficult.

Why hate gay people so much? I mean, geez! Equating them with Nazis? Friggin‘ hell.

*Not ALL commenters.


  1. besomyka says

    There are the usual sadist trolls that are just hoping to piss people off to get their jollies, but I bet a lot of them just have a sense of disgust and react to the idea of same sex attraction they would to a piece of chicken that’d been left out for a week.

    They’ve been conditioned to feel disgust, and there’s no other thought behind it. No other thought needed, even. There’s no importunity to empathize. No chance to talk. Until they can, somehow, not think of SSA as unclean, there will be no discussion because there can be no connection.

    I suspect that the only way to de-condition them is to expose them over and over again and desensitize the reaction that had been drilled into them. So keep talking about it. Keep playing the Michael Sam video, and let them keep whining. More and more of them will peel off to sensibility.

  2. busterggi says

    Unless its hentai does anyone actually care what an avatar’s ‘relationship’ with a computer controlled npc is?

  3. forestdragon says

    Well, I was pissed off when I found out that my love interest Anders had lied to and played me at the end of Dragon Age 2, but I was more pissed when I found out there was no third choice to keep him from doing what he did (I was playing a dude for what that’s worth).

    It’s interesting to note that there seemed to be considerably less hostility toward DA2 than Dragon Age: Origins (that is, in terms of gay romances, not gameplay and story…). There were an awful lot of people who were disturbingly happy with/proud of killing off the ‘gay elf’ character in DA:O, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with DA2. Then again, maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.