Apparently Tony Perkins and his anti-LGBT stormtroopers have nothing better to do than to complain about virtual same-sex relationships in the new Star Wars online game.
After first going after Girl Scout cookies, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is now attacking the game Star Wars: The Old Republic for allowing same-sex relationships. Stephen Reid of Bioware announced that players in the MMO (massively multiplayer online game) could have “same gender romances with companion characters” as part of “a post-launch feature.” But enabling players to be in same-sex relationships is too much for Perkins, who in a radio bulletin entitled “Rebel Fleet Surrenders to Gay Empire” slammed the game for having “gone to the dark side.” He said that parents are angry “that their kids will be exposed to this Star Warped way of thinking,” urging members to “join them by logging on and speaking up. It’s time to show companies who the Force is really with!”
Really can’t wait until stuff like “same-sex relationships in X” doesn’t qualify as news anymore, because it’s a given as to how society works. If the FRC is reduced to complaining about stuff like this, then they’ve lost the argument. Also, Bioware? You guys kick ass on general principle.
The stupidhate. It burns.
HAN x LUKE IS MY OTP
Bioware: Canadian, natch.
FRC: Preparing Uganda for the mothership since 1992 and leading the evacuation from ‘Gay America’ to the new promised land.
I would like to see a Star Wars version of Zorro: The Gay Blade. I think Darth Vader would look fabulous in fruity colors.
It’s not even new for Bioware; Dragon Age, which came out a few years ago, allowed the player to engage in same-sex relationships (complete with on-screen, albeit fairly tame, sex scenes) with various NPCs.
It was even inter-racial; a dwarf character could sleep with an elf without causing any problems.
I really wish I didn’t have anything else to worry about except things like this. Also too.
well, then don’t buy it, you uptight prigs. I thought they believed in FREEEEEEDUMB?
By the way, Tony, how’s that boycott of Disney over Gay Pride Day at Disneyworld working out?
I think Tony Perkins has a point. Letting teenage/young adult males have the power to build a female character who can have a relationship with another female character is a fiendish plot by LucasArts to corrupt them. After all, they never would have thought of it by themselves.
Well if this event progresses true to form what we’ll see happen is some fundie billionaire like Philip Anschutz will finance a fundiegelical “alternative” to the godless Star Wars movies. It will star some half-baked fundie actor like Kirk Cameron and it will be supremely awful but it will be marketed heavily to church youth groups and make a good profit fleecing the faithful via DVD sales.
This is how they do things. First they look for Biblical themes in existing Hollywood blockbusters as a way of reinforcing their existing world view and the idea that God is teh awesome and America is a Christian nation because look at how millions of people are lining up for this Christian movie. And then when the movie is shown to be not Christian — George Lucas offers same sex partner benefits or a video game has same-sex marriage in it or whatever — they go off and make their own, lesser version of the same thing.
Same as it ever was. I’m so tired of these people.
Tell them to role on Moonguard and visit Goldshire.
If there is anything that will make something seem cool to kids, it’s freaking out their parents. Gay MMORPG marriages are going to be the next big thing amongst the tween set.
Yeah, I was going to say that Bioware has been fairly good about this. I think you can also have same-sex relationships in Mass Effect and ME2, which are two of the best games ever made. Also, in Dragon Age 2 (which generally sucks), your character’s relationship with another male character is hugely important to the plot. If you have a male character and you start a romantic relationship with the NPC, it changes the game a lot.
This is good, but it sure ain’t enough to make up for Dragon Age 2.
Culture of Truth
It’s barely news now. Just point and laugh.
Of course, Tony doesn’t care either. Just another grifter.
@dmsilev: Isn’t that Rule 23?
Well, can’t really blame them. What’s the FRC going to bitch about – the philandering Democratic presidential candidates that the voters keep embracing?
I don’t know, it actually shows a kind of progress.
The ingame stories are downright buddhist, if not outright atheist. There is always a black-and-white choice in action (you can actually color-code the responses that way), but doing the right thing isn’t always obvious or hard, and sometimes doing the evil thing can be, and often is, very rewarding. Good is often punished, but not always. Evil is not always defeated, but usually is. Some people can be redeemed, but sometimes redeeming them isn’t their choice to make. And if there’s one consistent lesson to learn about The Force (read: God), its that it really doesn’t give a damn about you or your problems.
Faced with that landscape, what do they complain about? ‘Boys kissing, ew!’
This reminds me, I’ve now watched the last 3-4 GOP debates (thanks to BJ threads, that make it tolerable) and I don’t recall a single question about the gays. That’s really amazing.
The Republic of Stupidity
Funny thing, that…
I came to a similar conclusion years ago…
Ever notice how there was NEVER a single, solitary woman amongst the hordes of stormtroopers Darth
CheneyVader commanded, back in the original movies?
Everyone in shiny black clothing?
Clearly… an empire of vicious homosexual thugs from beyond the stars… bent on universal domination…
@Baud: They’re afraid of asking it in fear that the crowd will shout down another active duty service member.
That really was pretty horrifying to watch.
Villago Delenda Est
Perkins would have made a great light snack for my rancor in Star Wars Galaxies
Of course, then the rancor would have been very mad at me, so on second thought, just toss the idiot into the Pit of Carkoon and be done with it.
But Darth Vader’s spring line of life support systems and capes is fabulous.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
Why doesn’t Perkins let the market decide this? If the people don’t want it, and they stay away from the game, then the company will be forced to change it or go out of business.
Other games off the top of my head that allow teh ghey marriage: The Sims, Fable, Skyrim. It’s a gay conspiracy!
Heh. The best part about social conservatives is that they honestly believe that refusing to acknowledge other human beings will disappear them from existence.
@Martin: But the fact that they are afraid is heartening.
@The Republic of Stupidity:
Wasn’t that because they were clones?
Thanks for reminding me that I planned on buying extra girl scout cookies this weekend. Especially since I’m in Colorado where it all started. :-D
It’s a slippery slope. Pretty soon, players will be able to have relationships with their droids and mounts.
I’ve liked her when she was on Olbermann’s show and even more so when she would show up on TRMS. Nice to see them have a nice counter post Morning Dolt.
Really? This is news to the bigots? Bioware has been doing this for over a decade. All the way back to Baldur’s Gate II, at least.
@Aet: I haven’t played it and may be hazy on the specifics, but apparently, there’s a companion character on the Empire side that is for all intents and purposes a female slave, carrying along with it all the baggage you’d expect it to have. My sense is that that’s probably a more worthy target for complaint.
@superking: The thing about Mass Effect is you had these companions who were with you throughout the game and the relationship could sort of naturally develop, as in, you periodically get the option to chat with the companion and learn more about them and this can eventually lead to a romance if you choose to play it that way.
In SWTOR, you have companions who work the same way, but you can also have trysts with all sorts of NPCs who you briefly meet along the way. Like, you’ll meet some female who gives you a couple quests to kill bad guys, and after you’re done you might get an option to be like “soooo, about that quest reward…” and then the two of you walk offscreen suggestively. It’s sort of goofy in that my main character is level 39 and he’s scored with like 5 different women, each of whom he’s had maybe 5 minutes of dialogue with prior to getting them in the sack. It’s very Hollywood.
I got so curious about whether it works the same way for female characters that I made one of my own, which is something I rarely do in MMOs. So far the game has offered me the chance to flirt with one of my male companions, but otherwise I haven’t been offered the option with any NPCs. I was sort of wondering whether the exact same NPCs who slept with my male character would offer to sleep with my female character, which would be progressive in a way but also lame in a way (since maybe some female gamers would like the chance to score with hot guys, no?).
Anyway I find the whole thing interesting but in a way, by adding sex to a MMO you actually manage to make it even geekier somehow. Oh well.
But for the fact that I’m 50+ and thus totally unable to keep up with video and online gaming, I’d create a gamer tag along of the lines of Tony Perkin’s Santorum Sheet Head.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
This guys head would just explode if he ever saw the amount of gay erotic player free from role play going on between young men in just about every on line role play game out their. The Christian right facing quite the demographic wave on sexuality.
@Zifnab: that’s what the Santorum said
LULZ. There goes the elderly lunatic demographic. I’m sure this won’t just impact Bioware, it will send shock waves through the entire gaming industry.
Lets just hope Bioware figures out how to implement a combat log before they get fancy with SGR.. How a game goes live without the basics just astounds me.
Shit, is The Old Republic out? I was waiting for the release, then work pretty much consumed everything and I stopped paying attention.
So, here’s a mildly funny story I heard today about one of those “family” groups, I can’t remember which one. It would compile and link to news stories with the word “gay” in them, but it objected to the word gay, so it auto-corrected every instance to “homosexual.” Which led them to report the breaking news that Olympic runner Tyson Homosexual had gotten a medal in the 100 meter dash…
Somebody should send these dopes a boatload of fan fiction, especially some Kirk Spock slash.
Or some of that man on Tauntaun santorum Star Wars action.
@Linnaeus: It’s out. But you might consider waiting till it gets past beta status and becomes playable before actually paying money for it.
@Sentient Puddle: This is true, although the game sort of encourages you to let her out of her shock collar sooner rather than later! The game really doesn’t shy away from these very adult themes – after all, in the Star Wars universe, the idea is that your character is a nasty Sith warrior who gets off on dominating weak individuals and bending them to your will.
So it all fits in a role-playing sort of way, but these kinds of adult themes are why I simply won’t let my little ones play the game or watch me play, even though I had no problem with them watching me play WoW most of the time. The violence is sometimes very graphic and there’s torture and stuff. Same-sex relationships, particularly with blue alien girls, are pretty much the least of any parent’s worries!
@Linnaeus: Of course it’s out. Didn’t you notice the liberals running around shoving copies down people’s throats?
The game right now _doesn’t_ support same-sex relationships. Not only are they bitching about a feature in a video game, they’re bitching about a feature that isn’t even implemented yet.
It _does_ support cross-species relationships. As a female Trooper, I get my choice of a cat-faced guy and a lump-headed guy. My droids and my bug-headed companion aren’t interested, and Elara Dorne doesn’t bat from that side of the plate. But I guess woman-on-catperson love doesn’t move the needle.
Zandar @ Top:
In the meantime, I’m sure Bioware is grateful for all the free publicity. Nothing like some asshole’s religious front group bitching that you’re not a homophobic bigot to paint you in a good light.
LOL! This should upset the boneheads even more.
Even though everyone knows that a threesome doesn’t count as kinky if it involves clones.
They must have missed every other Bioware RPG in the last five years.
Also, I’m pretty sure gay people never existed until we started to acknowledge them.
Lastly, even if you accept the idea that being gay is 100% choice without any biological components, I seriously doubt any child who wasn’t already leaning that way is going to have their male Zabrak hook up with a male Wookie and say, “Yes, that’s what I want. Tall hairy man sex.”
@The Republic of Stupidity:
Yes. But I guarantee you these people never did.
You mean like Hello Vader?
BTW, why is this even an issue? It should be more effort to program a system where people are limited in their romantic partnerships to some subset of the population than one where they’re allowed to be in one with anyone. If the programmers were properly lazy, you’d be allowed to be in a gay relationship by default.
Dear gods, they make themselves look so stupid.
I have to admit, though, that I am bothered by the female companion in the game that players can torture with a shock collar; the interaction is very sexualized.
I guess this is just one of those moments where I’m torn…I despise the anti-gay idiots and laugh at their histrionics, but at the same time, that whole shock collar thing really bugs me.
I don’t want to make a big deal out of it because I don’t want to do anything that even remotely appears to align with the “family values” idiots. So I’m left feeling sort of stuck.
Really? The Sims (even the very first one oh-so-many years ago!) allowed for same-sex relationships, and is much more of a domestic-life simulator than anything else. Same-sex relationships have been [i]standard[/i] in a lot of games for a really long time now. TESV: Skyrim lets you gay-marry a blue, water-breathing lizard person; maybe they approve because it doesn’t have divorce?
@Linnaeus: It is indeed out, and it is pretty fun. They still have some stuff to fix so if lack of perfection bothers you, then yeah.
I for one am just grateful to have more than 1 auction house and mailbox. But I guess I’m old school.
@Comrade Dread: Did Mass Effect have same-sex relationships?
This is from the standpoint of the Republic Trooper. Sgt. Jaxo (sp?) flirts with the guys, but while the same conversation triggers are there, in that the stuff she says sounds kind of suggestive, the female toon doesn’t get to flirt back. The flirt options _are_ enabled for the male NPCs – that SIS type on Nar Shaadaa springs to mind. I didn’t avail myself of those choices though. I probably should, though, because M1-4X is getting better looking all the time.
I suppose if fictional worlds matter as much to you as they do to the Republican voter base, it’s crucial that all the pop culture in the world conform rigorously to The One True Path. (After all, it’s the closest they’ll ever get to their conservative utopia).
@Internet Dragons: It ought to bug you to roleplay an evil character who tortures slaves and uses the Force to choke hapless innocents a la Darth Vader. Because those are, in fact, bad things to do! But it’s still roleplaying – do you think Anthony Hopkins was troubled that someone wrote a script that has him killing and eating people?
Jay in Oregon
You beat me to it.
Because everyone knows that the level 85 blood elf Warlock that you’re sexing up in the back corners of Orgrimmar really is the 19-year old nymphomaniac (or 40-year-old lonely housewife) she claims to be, right?
@RobertB: I play only Empire so I haven’t interacted with any of those people, but I appreciate the info. As an Imperial Agent, your main companion (mild spoilers here) is a super-amoral female bounty hunter who is completely untrustworthy and loves messing with people, including you. At one point she more or less manipulates you into traveling around the galaxy helping her kill off all of her ex-boyfriends. If you do as she asks, you either get the choice to “celebrate” with her or you can, as I did, coldly note that she’s apparently betrayed every single person who was ever close to her which doesn’t leave you very turned on. She really didn’t like that. These storylines are fun and a welcome break from the “kill 10 bad guys, collect your quest reward” sort of gaming.
Thanks for the heads-up on the game’s status, folks.
@Steve: I’m not sure about male/male relationships, but a female Commander Shepherd could hook up with a blue alien female companion.
Actually, come to think of it, The Sims 2 had a separate-but-equal gay-marriage deal. Gay sims got “joined” instead of married, though it was treated exactly like marriage. Friends and relatives of a Sim in a gay relationship would have a “want” for that sim to get “joined” instead of married, for instance.
It did respect the biological limitation that would face a gay couple wanting to have a baby, but there was nothing barring them from adoption. Male sims (gay or straight) could become pregnant if kidnapped by aliens, and a gay pregnancy could be had through a debugging cheat code (along with pregnancy with all sorts of other things like the Grim Reaper, an imaginary rabbit or a remote control car.)
Oh for fucks sake, can we kill the “paid beta” jokes? It’s about as fresh as “you are the weakest link, goodbye.”
@Internet Dragons: It’s best to let go of morality in rpgs. In Skyrim I have two characters: a Nord nationalist who occasionally engages in cannibalism, and a cat-man who runs around poisoning people while stealing everything he can get his hands on.
Anyway, I read that the same-sex relationship option in SWTOR isn’t out yet but will be in a future patch.
That’s great news but what the heck is happening with MSNBC? I just wish Chris Hayes’ weekend show had replaced Morning Joke. Now if they would just dump all those hideous prison shows. I can’t imagine who watches that crap.
The Moar You Know
I’s say “fuck Tony Perkins with a chainsaw” but I suspect that’s exactly the sort of horrific violent kind of stuff he gets off on.
Anyone that obsessed with what other folks are up to ain’t right.
@Comrade Dread: I don’t think the Mass Effect series has any male/male relationships. And it’s worth noting that female/female relationships are more due to the asari biology, so you can’t get, say, a FemShep/Miranda sexytime.
@HG Hay: Yeah, My character is a blue elf mercenary who has made at least two deals with two different evil gods that involved murdering a companion in exchange for some gear.
In his defense, it was some pretty sweet gear once he upgraded it.
And again, somehow I have thus far avoided abandoning my faith to engage in polytheism, betrayal, murder, and making Faustian bargains with devils.
@Comrade Dread: I seem to remember that, but I think there was some RP justification for that particular NPC going both ways. I don’t know why I think this, but I don’t believe the option existed with any of the other companions.
@Comrade Dread: I don’t think FemShep/Liara counts, though, because asari only have one gender (which appears female to other humanoids). As far as I know, there are no unambiguous homosexual relationships possible in any Mass Effect game — which is a pity, because I hate Kaidan and Liara bores me.
So they never wondered about Han and Chewie before now?
I guess this jackass missed the part in Dragon Age 2 where if you happen to be playing a male character one of the male party members attempts to initiate a romance with you as part of the main plot, it’s not even an optional scene. As superking pointed out earlier, it affects the story of the game in a major way if you go along with it.
I guess he also missed that in Skyrim it’s as easy to marry same-sex as it is opposite-sex.
Anyone want to take bets on how long it’ll take before a Tony Perkins + rentboy scandal pops up?
The nice thing about Mass Effect is that the choices aren’t Good vs Evil, because either way, you’re still striving to save the galaxy from the bad guys. It’s more about how you want to get the job done. Asshole vs Nice Guy, Kirk vs Picard.
Only female/female ones and mostly with members the all-female alien race who can mate with any gender of any species. (The Asari get their genetic diversity from other races and their children are always fully Asari regardless of the “father”. Mating with other Asari is sort of frowned upon the same way marrying your cousin is.)
The third game is supposed to have a wider variety (including male/male) available in any case.
@Mattminus: Considering that it ran smoother and actually had features in beta that are no longer there in the live game because they couldn’t get them to work, I should have said alpha. Apologies.
You can romance Kelly Chambers in Mass Effect 2 as either FemShep or MaleShep and hook up with her after the game if you didn’t with anyone else and if she survived the final mission.
@Warmongerer: Ok, I’m starting to remember all that Asari stuff now, it’s been a while. As I recall, in ME all of the companions had pretty fleshed-out backgrounds, and while you typically only adventured with 2 or 3 of them over the course of the game you still had dialogue options on the ship to learn their stories. In SWTOR it’s not like that – the storyline progresses with your main companion, but as far as I know if you don’t actually adventure (and gain affection) with your other companions they’ll barely ever show up.
@Steve and @Internet Dragons: :
Yvette (the poor woman in question) is far from a saint herself. Its implied that she’s basically a fence, smuggler, and graverobber who tried to steal from the Sith. The only reason she doesn’t get executed like the other ‘criminals’ she’s locked up with is because someone finds her useful. She’s definitely a killer, but she’s not a sadist, and she’s terrified of your master.
As a Sith, you’re then faced with a choice as to how you define your relationship with her: is she effectively a ‘parolee’ or a slave? And more importantly, are the two of you any different just because her collar happens to be visible, while yours is religious?
If you free her, is it because its an act of trust, a subconscious act of personal redemption and rebellion, or a bribe?
Is she staying with you because she’s trying to save you, or because you can make her wealthy?
There’s some emotional depth in there, and acres of subtext.
@Mark S.: Plus you get the “Lovers Comfort” perk for sleeping in the same bed with them! The Horror!
I thought my Skyrim nuptials were rather tasteful, the same- sex aspect of it notwithstanding.
@beergoggles: Yeah, you’re not helping your case with that one.
@RobertB: Man on Dog! Man on Dog alert!
Rick Santorum was right! What a slippery slope we are on.
All I know is, my Jedi Knight thoroughly enjoyed kissing Kira Carsen. She’s a total babe!
But no one better be saying smack about the affection I get from my astromech!
Skyrim marriage is very chaste. I don’t think there’s any sex involved; just homemade pies and have the income of the store.
havehalf the income of the store
I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say SWTOR is in ‘paid beta tester’ territory. There are some ability timing issues that have been fixed for years in WoW. The UI runs the gamut from ‘puzzling’ to ‘horrible’. But the gameplay itself is fun, and the stories that you’re playing out are far and away better than anything Blizz has done in WoW. I’m getting my money’s worth out of it even with all the rough edges.
I think Bioware’s first same sex relationship was in Mass Effect, five or so years ago. I think the FRC made a stink about that as well.
I still get pissed off thinking about Mass Effect 2, which turned a great RPG into an idiotic cover-based shooting Gears of War clone piece of shit. Fuck you EA.
The gay rebellion is beating off, er, *back* the evil heteronormative empire! Rock on!
Herbal Infusion Bagger
“It’s not even new for Bioware; Dragon Age, which came out a few years ago, allowed the player to engage in same-sex relationships (complete with on-screen, albeit fairly tame, sex scenes) with various NPCs.”
Same-sex Bioware sexytime goes all the way back to custom mods for Baldur’s Gate II. You could even have Imoen/Bhaalspawn half-sister-on-half-sister action if you wanted it.
@Martin: But they were GAY clones!
I don’t think it changes the game at all. If you have maxed friendship or rivalry, you can get two characters who are also love interests to side with you in the endgame, even if you’re taking a position diametrically opposed to theirs. You don’t have to be in a romance for that to happen.
The one place where having a same-sex relationship matters is purely story-related. If you’re a guy romancing Anders, you learn that Karl was his lover; if you’re romancing him as Lady Hawke, he never mentions it. For me, finding out that bit of information made that scene even more poignant in retrospect, which was rare for me in DA2.
@CaptainFwiffo: Sims 3 has actual gay marriage, though. Sadly, you can’t have mpreg by default, but there’s a mod for that.
It was even inter-racial; a dwarf character could sleep with an elf without causing any problems.
I’m kind of scarred for life after reading a Sten/F!Cousland fic recently.
Though if you want to laugh until you cry, the “zesty” versions of the Better Sex Scenes mod are HILARIOUS, especially when paired with the nude mods that give all naked male characters permanent wood. The BSC mod was designed with humans as the default, so you get all kinds of weird height issues with elves and dwarves.
@Brachiator: Hell, keep it to Bioware and send them a link to the Dragon Age Kink Meme on Livejournal. There are a couple of prompt fills on there that squicked me.
Kirk Cameron’s a little busy trying to be a schmaltzier, low-rent Glenn Beck.
I’ve been playing SWTOR steadily the last few weeks. Early on, the most impassioned, agonized, longest threads were about romancing companions. Apparently, there was a bug with one of the possible romances that prevented it from happening. 25+ pages of folks threatening to rage-quit over this. Same, when a choice you made about going light side or dark side as a Sith could mess up a possible romance. Page after page of nerd rage. To be clear, the romance part consists of you leaning in for a kiss and then, later, a discreet blackout. That was it. Some people take a game way too seriously.
As to Vette, the slave companion. If you keep her in her collar and zap her a lot and otherwise treat her as a slave, you won’t earn many affection points with her. High levels of affection make her more effective and quicker at a lot of her tasks. Considering you are playing a Sith who is the chosen apprentice of one of the really nasty Sith Lords, this seems a reasonable way of handling things.
I don’t know if I would give Bioware too much credit here; all they have done is say that they will add same gender romances “sometime in the future”. It’s not like they are fighting for it; they could have put this in right from the start. It doesn’t exist in the game at all right now.
That said, it’s pretty damn sad that Perkins is so hard up for controversy that he is slamming a unspecified future update to a computer game.
Also, for the record, and to… um… “bring balance to the force”, or something… I am playing the game, several people I know are playing the game, and we are enjoying it immensely. I would certainly recommend it. There are some people having issues with it, but I believe they are a minority. I certainly wouldn’t call it a “paid beta”. Your mileage may vary, yadda yadda yadda.
Hmm, I let some latent rage leak into my last post (probably leftover from reading the TOR forums) so just to make myself feel better, I’d like to say that Bioware does kick ass on general principle, and they have been very good about these issues in previous games. I’m just sad that they didn’t follow through to this game.