EA to Host GLAAD Panel on Homophobia in Gaming

By Nick Breckon, Jul 14, 2009 7:04pm PDT Electronic Arts will play host to a panel on homophobia in videogame culture organized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation this Saturday.

Representatives from Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Linden Labs, GayGamer.net and the Entertainment Software Association will be present. Topics will include "how to provide safe spaces for LGBT people online, how to ensure the best policies are in place to prevent virtual attacks against LGBT people and how to educate the users of online communities about the effects of homophobia."

As Gamasutra points out, GLAAD has become increasingly active in the gaming sphere. GLAAD director of digital media recently published an editorial on "The Impact of Homophobia in Virtual Communities."

The event is open to the public, and is being held at EA's headquarters in Redwood City, California from 11am-1pm. More information is available on the GLAAD site.

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  • I have seen footage where the gaming community has bashed a player for being gay but in the majority of cases, it would seem that it is because that person made it an issue i.e. their name has gay/lesbian undertones or otherwise identifies themselves sexually or because they themselves made it an issue via chat or VoIP. IMHO, too many homosexuals want to be 'special' and so they chalk up how they are different (be it their clothing, they demeanor, their interests, who/what they identify with or the name they give themselves in-game) to the fact that they are in fact a homosexual. IMHO, that is abusing your identity and is otherwise WRONG. I drink beer. I am of Irish ancestry. I drink beer but it is not because I'm Irish. While that may be a funny stereotype, that's just it: Typifying me as a drunkard because I have Irish ancestry is just as wrong as attributing my like of beer to my ancestry.

    Just the same, it bothers me to no end when a homosexual tries to explain that the night-life they lead or the music that they listen to or the fact that they do this or that is because they're gay. I love who I love because I love them and anything after that, be it sex, be it how I dress or who I hang out with or what I do with my spare time is my choice and is not a reflection of the sex of someone I prefer to love. Being a homosexual isn't a disease or something in your genes and until the homosexual community acknowledges that at some point they made the decision (conscious or not) to love a person of the same sex, we're going to continue to see groups like GLAAD, who it would appear don't get it either, making an issue with this.

    There are very devout and religious homosexuals out there and they look and dress and talk just like many heterosexuals. Aside from the fact that they can love someone of the same sex (and don't confuse intercourse with love as they are _NOT_ the same) they're just people playing a game trying to have a good time. That is not to say that having sex and being in love with some of the same sex are mutually exclusive, just that one does not imply the other.

    9news.com recently ran a story about how GLAAD is upset with the movie BRUNO because the studio did not remove some scenes in the movie. GLAAD felt that those scenes made people more uncomfortable about homosexuals. If you ask me, GLAAD missed the boat when they watched a satirical depiction of a homosexual who preyed on the fears and irrational misconceptions that some people hold today. What really blew me away was that they were more worried about certain scenes and not the fact that Bruno waked around the whole movie, scantly clad with a lisp and an obnoxiously boisterous demeanor.

    Last time I checked we (humans) had a brain and we are different from our surroundings in that we can make conscious decisions and rationalize things and for that I'm really surprised to see so many people being so irrational about this.

    SO: Shut up and play the game. If you don't like the gay bashing, you can report someone in many cases, kick them from the server in many situations, or even find a different place to go. Someday maybe people will stop being so irrational with their hate but in the mean time I guess the best we can do is walk away from it and keep the people who make gaming fun close.