The worst fears of the political right are set to be realised in EA Games Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. You can choose to be gay.
Of course, the Right has always known this to be true: only a very bad person would choose to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. And so not only has the right to choose the wrong path been forced on people by the liberal media, it has now found another way into the modern home through the role-playing video game. After all, if the gamer can choose to be anything other than straight, all that society holds dear is under threat. Quick men, grab thy Elven brides and protect thyselves!
This story is not exactly news, and has had several outings (as it were) over the last few years. Bioware, which is owned by EA Games, introduced same-sex relationships in Dragon Age 2 in March 2011, and the forums ran wild as heterosexual males defended their privilege by invoking the principle of majority rule, and objecting to messages of equality being ‘forced’ on them. Yet they did not complain that you can in fact romance an Elf in Dragon Age 2. That is heterosexual cross-species matching, after all …
The reason this story is up and running again is that the Florida Family Association and the American Decency Association launched a campaign last month against EA Games. “Star Wars videogames are for children. An overwhelming percentage of the 1.7 million games sold are being used by children who do not need to be exposed to this propaganda.” As a result, there have been thousands of complaints. The Florida Family Association blames activists, who “want children and young teens to be able to choose Star Wars action characters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.” This is, apparently, bad; children,”who never thought anyway but heterosexual,” are forced to watch stormtroopers locked in a passionate embrace. Or worse.
This is, of course, the usual scare-mongering, and has nothing to do with the facts. Interestingly, according to the Entertainment Software Association, the average gamer is not a child, but 37 years old and has been playing for 12 years. Eighty-two percent of gamers are 18 years of age or older. EA Games vice president of corporate communications, Jeff Brown, had this to say about the harassment that has resulted from this latest campaign: “This isn’t about protecting children, it’s about political harassment.” What is more important, however, is that Star Wars: The Old Republic is rated T (Teen), for ages 13 and over, in the US. In the UK it is rated PEGI 16, for ages 16 or over. In the US, Mass Effect 3 is rated M (Mature), 17 years or over, and in the UK it is 15+.
The Florida Family Association and the American Decency Association are waging a war against anything they do not like and using children as their battle-shields. It’s shameful behaviour. The only propaganda at work here is the propaganda issued by these 21st century witch-hunters.