See, EA isn't really the worst company in America.
Electronic Arts has revealed, through GamesIndustry International, that in recent weeks it has received "several thousand" letters and emails denouncing their titles, Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic, for including LGBT content. These letters have been sent to EA's entire team and their board of directors and they have threatened to boycott any game with same-sex relationship content.
My response? "Good, I don't need you playing them. Nice time not missing you."
EA's response? "Every one of EA's games includes ESRB content descriptors so it's hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content. This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment."
That quote is from Jeff Brown, EA's VP of corporate communications, who had much more to say:
EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games. However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don't tolerate hate speech on our forums.
Yep, having a gay relationship is an option in these games. It's not forced down anyone's throat (unless it's wanted in the first place). And even if it's forced, how many games force everyone to play the straight role? Nearly every game in video game history. Anyway, don't these kind of people believe that being gay is a choice? Haters are never happy…
One such bigot, Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council (which by the title, obviously believes that gay people are somehow not a part of families), exclaims: "In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists!"
The problem with these kind of attacks, though, is that they activate what comedian Margaret Cho calls "Al Gayda". The gay-haters will be ultimately be dominated by gay supporters, a reaction which Matt Kane of GLAAD is keen to note:
Anti-LGBT campaigns are falling into a pretty consistent pattern these days, in which messages of hate directed at our allies are met with an overwhelming outpouring of support for our allies in response. Following Starbucks' announcing public support for marriage equality, 25,000 people signed a "Dump Starbucks" campaign, which in turn inspired more than 600,000 people to sign on to a "Thank Starbucks" campaign.
The group 'One Million Moms' tried to have Ellen Degeneres fired from her role as a spokesperson for JC Penny, but the public expressions of support JC Penny received following the Stand Up for Ellen campaign were so numerous that 'One Million Moms' announced they would be 'moving on to other things.' Trying to rally Americans around messages rooted in hate is a losing proposition.
Modern video games are all about player choice. So it's no surprise to me that as video games continue to evolve with the times, they will eventually embrace the diversity of all of us. Not only is that progressive, but It's ultimately good for business.