On Gaming’s Gay Agenda
So I did a talk at GDC recently, wherein I discussed how issues of sexuality in BioWare games have tied into larger discussions of inclusivity in gaming: not only of our gay fans, but gamers of colour, women… any group that games are not traditionally aimed at. How inclusivity is not only a moral issue for developers, but also an economic one.
A friend recently commented, “You must have gotten a lot of hate mail for that.” I told her that, no, I hadn’t. The response has been almost universally positive. I included my work email in that presentation, and I’ve received more response than I could ever reply to… pretty much all consisting of thanks and commendations from fans and fellow developers alike. I didn’t give the talk for the warm fuzzies, but I’m quite thankful for all the support.
"Ah," she said. “If you’d been a woman giving that exact same talk, I wonder if the response would have been the same?"
I told her that I could almost guarantee that would not have been the case. Which is as sad a comment on the state of things as one can imagine.
"So nothing negative at all?” she was amazed.
Hey now, let’s not get crazy. Of course there was some. Oddly, it did not target the feminist aspect of my talk. Or perhaps not so oddly, since I’m not a woman. Instead it focused on the parts of my talk that touched on sexuality.
Which is a generous way to put it, since it implies those responses actually addressed my talk in any fashion. Mostly it was, and I paraphrase, “you’re a faggot, and you’re ruining games with your faggotry.”
Normally I would ignore stuff like that. Considering the mindset that would compel someone to send me email which is invariably illiterate in its use of grammar, and which does more to prove my talk’s points on privilege than the writers appear to fathom, I’d rather focus on the positive. With the GaymerX convention this weekend, however, I figured this might be a good time to address the issue.