Thursday, February 28, 2013

EA Hosting LGBT Conference - Contradiction Ensues

A stereotype most would like to break, but I don't
think this is on EA's conference agenda.

And who doesn't love Big Gay Al anyway?

During a meeting yesterday, a friend brought up this wonderful gem: EA is hosting a one day conference in New York, NY March 7th for LGBT Issues in Gaming. The conference will focus on homophobia in the gaming culture and promoting an inclusive environment for gamers and colleagues.

It’s not a secret that EA is proud to include LGBT in their community. They push it a little too hard sometimes, but their heart is sort of, kind of, maybe not really in the right place (Profit!).  But the inclusion of multiple sexual preferences has been pretty normal for their products. I appreciated the fact, albeit brief, that they didn’t flaunt that they included multiple races, cultures, and what-not into their products. It’s only recently within the past few years that as people have brought this concerns to light, EA has been pushing it back into people’s faces. They hire lots of women and gays! More than anyone else in the industry! They even made good on their promise to include same-sex relationships in The Old Republic by having a gay planet.  

“You’re going to talk about this in your blog tomorrow aren’t you?”

Yes. Yes I am.

EA and BioWare held the position for quite a while to not make a deal out of it. BW in particular has posted on their company blog before that they think of it as a non-issue. They were trying to replicate real-world relationships in an alternate setting to draw gamers into the characters and feel some connection to them.

What I have an issue with is EA is trying incredibly hard lately to make them out to be the end-all, be-all; we love LGBT, women, and minorities company! “We’re better than everyone else because we care!”

Why is there such a big push all of a sudden? And now with a planet specifically made for same-sex relationships in TOR, you’re isolating and ostracizing those who want that type of setting. You’ve no longer made them inclusive – but now excluding gamers from the rest of the TOR population. Which, isn’t that going against one of your topics at your mini-conference next week? Whoops. I hope someone brings that to light. I’m sure it was a challenge to let Lucas give up some control over his empire, but limiting the interactions of same-sex relationships to a planet is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve to improve social awareness. Good job EA. Put that up there next to your binders of women.

“Wouldn’t that be binders full of lesbians?” Probably.

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