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Bigotry Soars Over Mass Effect 3

Posted by J.C. Wigriff on March - 6 - 2012

Many gamers’ have already noticed the abysmal user scores that Mass Effect 3 has received on Metacritic. User scores, especially on day 1, need to be taken with a grain of salt though. Several negative reviews are simply because of day 1 DLC, and most reviews seem void of any real critical analysis.

What is truly bothersome though are the many reviews that look something like this:

Yeah123 review-
It’s simply a terrible game. I can’t believe they’re selling this. Day 1 DLC and terrible writers who force homosexual and transgender romance into the plot. Don’t even pirate it, it’s not worth the bandwidth. It looks even worse than the PC version and has worse performance.

This sort of viewpoint is appalling. I find the support and representation that BioWare have included for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community to be admirable. The sort of bigotry represented in the diatribe above is disturbing. I am a straight man, and I don’t find the inclusion of these themes troubling at all. If you are so insecure with your own sexuality that you find the choice to play a homosexual character in a video game threatening, then you probably have some sexual identity issues already.

Our colleagues over at Game Bandits reported some terrifying numbers concerning a YouTube video yesterday. In the article, Game Bandits discuss a video displaying Commander Shepard in a romantic scene with his lover, who happens to be male. Game Bandits said:

As of this writing, there are 1,320 dislikes and 292 likes.

As of today, those numbers have changed to 1,536 likes, and 2,242 dislikes. While the gap has closed, there are still over 700 more people who dislike this video than like it.

This sort of response, in this day and age, is abominable – and dehumanizes an entire group of people. Homophobia is rooted in fear, and apparently there are at least 2,242 people out there who fear the potential for a gay Commander Shepard might make them gay. I don’t hear any of these intolerant idiots bitching about a lesbian female Commander Shepard.

Some people have responded to outrage like mine by making terribly misguided comments, like Stephany Castillo below who said:

You can’t force people to like or dislike something, this is just how they feel. I don’t think that automatically makes anyone “bigots”, nor evil in any way. It would be like expecting gays to “like” videos about straight sex. I’m sure they’re not into it at all (thus the gay part..), therefore it would be ok, and totally understandable for them to click on the dislike button too.

Allow me to retort. If someone had clicked “dislike,” or made comments like those listed above, but the characters in the video were black instead of gay, it would be clear to everyone that it was bigotry. If it had been an interracial couple, people would have unanimously acknowledged that it was bigotry.  It was only because the scene in question depicted homosexual relations that these responses are tolerated. Responses like Stephany’s exist because of one disappointing fact: It is socially acceptable in this country to treat homosexuals like second-class citizens.

People weren’t simply saying that they didn’t like the video by clicking “dislike”; they were saying “that’s disgusting.” That is bigotry.

I really don’t have much room to criticize intolerance though, because I am wholly intolerant of such prejudice. I abhor this misguided, disillusioned outcry by my fellow gamers. The people making posts like this should be ashamed of themselves.

~J.C. Wigriff

Categories: J.C. Wigriff, Video Games

13 Responses so far.

  1. I think it’s ridiculous how there are people who can complain about a developer’s decision to make the game accessible for all players. It’s not forced on you, as you would need to pursue that avenue yourself, so what’s the problem?

  2. Stephany Castillo says:

    You can’t force people to like or dislike something, this is just how they feel. I don’t think that automatically makes anyone “bigots”, nor evil in any way. It would be like expecting gays to “like” videos about straight sex. I’m sure they’re not into it at all (thus the gay part..), therefore it would be ok, and totally understandable for them to click on the dislike button too.

    • J.C. Wigriff says:

      Did you read the whole article? “Day 1 DLC and terrible writers who force homosexual and transgender romance into the plot.”

      THAT is bigotry.

      And concerning the ” I don’t think that automatically makes anyone “bigots”, nor evil in any way [to dislike the video]” comment: If people disliked it because it had, say, BLACK people in it, that would undoubtedly be considered bigotry. People like you put this up for debate because they are gay people, and it is unfortunately socially tolerable to treat gay people like second-class citizens in this country. Your point is invalid.

    • Vladislav says:

      There is a big difference between clicking “dislike” and not clicking anything but leaving in peace. I highly doubt it that gays go around clicking dislikes at videos of depictions of heterosexual love. We all know why people clicked dislikes at this ME3 video and no amount of truth-distorting can hide it. Btw, I’ve read somewhere that guys who founded Bioware are gay so what’s the big deal?

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  4. Michael Craft says:

    Good article, man. I’m with you there 100%. I was playing ME3 earlier, ran into Cortez on the shuttle bay, found out he was gay and didn’t bat an eye.

    Do you know why?

    Because sexual orientation doesn’t make a person any less or more of a human. Man is man. Woman is woman. Whether or not you’re a homosexual, bisexual, transgender or anything in between, you’re still a human being and possessing of the same (supposedly) unalienable rights that all people are meant to have.

    That people react so strongly and negatively to homosexuality and transgenders in games, especially when the game makes each of these scenarios completely optional.

  5. Emerett says:

    - Quote: “People weren’t simply saying that they didn’t like the video by clicking “dislike”; they were saying “that’s disgusting.” ”

    Well, but homosexuality is disgusting, unnatural and perverse. That of course doesnt mean it cant be part of a video game. There are many kinds of deviations out there, but if someone scripts a pedophile or necrophile as a roleplaying character in video game with explicit pedophile/necrophile scenes, they cannot expect everyone will like it, same with homosexual characters. I actually like games with deviant characters, its pretty spicy then, and basically I am for all kind of nudity and stuff, but I can also see that some more prude people want just to play a sci-fi game without watching gay scenes.

    In this connection one has to wonder that Bioware considers homosexuality more normal than nudity. While they back up homosexuality in several of their games, nudity is quite a taboo. I remember while playing Dragon Age Origins that once I cured werewolves of their curse, they changed to humans in full clothes, same goes for “sex” scenes in DAO that were done in full armor even with helmet on.

    • Manuel Esteban says:

      Sadly, the reply left by “Emmett” and the thousands of
      other similarly intellectually stupid, ignorant people that we
      UNFORTUNATELY
      “share” our planet with, still shows
      how far backwards the world is going with
      PUBLIC DEROGATORY INTOLERANCE
      becoming more & more widely accepted.

      I Weep For Their Children,
      And The Hate/Fear That
      Will Be Bullied Into Them…

  6. datdude says:

    Idiots will be idiots. There is no cure for stupid. As Einstein said, “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it’s limits”. Let them rant and whine. What their little minds think has absolutely no effect on my daily life. Much like racists fear something they know deep down they cannot compete with, homophobes fear that somewhere inside of them lurks the desire for “experimentation”. If not, why be so upset? I’m not interested in the least in having a male lover, so why should it bother me what others choose to do? It doesn’t. If it bothers you, well, you might have some issues you need to address. Self hate is not healthy.

    • Joe says:

      Einstein also said, “The only things that are infinite are the universe and human stupidity, but I’m not sure about the universe.”

  7. Phoenix says:

    I wonder if those same ppl would say that bioware got it totally wrong if there was a lesbian scene. Proberly not

    • FantasyWing1 says:

      Thats another thing that annoys me, the lesbian scene is more graphic and detailed, oh but it overall has more likes and less dislikes on youtube, double standard much? ugh

  8. Just passin thru says:

    Look I personally don’t care about homosexuality, nor particularly agree with it. I have gay friends and they are great people… Do I care for the lifestyle they lead? NO. The reason alot of people dislike the video and or homosexual/ transgender people is because… God made Adam and Eve, man and woman. In the bible it says to go forth be fruitful and multiply. Not possibly for homosexuals to multiply together.If we were all gay, you wouldn’t be here would you? Would you say that God is a bigot? I think not. It also states in the bible that. Homosexuals are the haters of God. His words not mine. Just a little food for thought.

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