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EA Games ‘Politically Harassed’ Over LGBT Content

EA Games ‘Politically Harassed’ Over LGBT Content

Leading game maker Electronic Arts (EA) is refusing to remove LGBT content after being targeted by anti-gay groups.

EA says it has received thousands of letters and emails and forum comments as part of a co-originated campaign. It includes gay characters in its games, most notably Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic,

“Every one of EA’s games includes [Entertainment Software Rating Board] 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,” Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications told Games Industry International.

The campaign claims that EA was forced to include gay characters by LGBT groups and that they are forced on children — neither of which is true.

“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,” Brown said.

The campaign follows those against JC Penny over the hiring of lesbian talk show host Ellen Degeneres and against Starbucks over their support for marriage equality. Both campaigns failed.

A spokesperson for GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) said, “trying to rally Americans around messages rooted in hate is a losing proposition.”

Most of the letters seem to have been generated by the Florida Family Association, which is a one-man “group,” which seems to exist to run boycotts and raise money for itself. It also targeted advertisers on the now-cancelled reality TV show All-American Muslim.

Another group which has been involved in the EA attack is the Family Research Council, which is on Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.

EA was the first gaming company to join the anti-bullying ‘It Gets Better Project.’ As with Starbucks, a petition is being organized to thank EA for its support for inclusive gaming.

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Photo credit: Mass Effect 3 screengrab

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56 comments

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3:19PM PDT on May 29, 2012

These games are not for children, as their packaging clearly states. Well, the ones my husband plays, anyway. Why should a company be pressured to remove ADULT content from ADULT games? My parents had a simple solution-if they didn't want us kids to have something, they didn't rant and try to get it 'pulled.' They *said no* and *didn't buy it for us*. Why is this concept so hard for some people to understand?

1:08PM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

wait, wait wait. let me get this straight. 'Christian' groups are trying to rally support to stop the portrayal of homosexual characters in video games?
I don't know what the breakdown is anymore, but I seem to remember a whole lot of men between the ages of 18 and 34 playing the majority of video games. Something tells me that those players are not going to have a problem with two women expressing their physical love for each other. I mean, maybe I'm wrong, but yeah. The expression, 'pushing sh*t up a hill' comes to mind....

LOL!

8:25AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

@ Michele H. You don't want your kids to see gay people in real life? How would they know?
If you don't want to see gay people in the real world, may I suggest, moving to a cave in the middle of nowhere?
And, I sincerely doubt people will stop buying EA games, simply because there's a few gay characters in some games. Unlike bigots, there are people who can act like adults and are rational human beings. They see sexual orientation, race, gender ect as meaningless innate characteristics of the Human species. You lot are the ones throwing a hissy fit like a bunch of toddlers when you can't bash or bully people for being different. You're the ones (and thankfully the only ones) making such a big deal about this.
And the JC Penny, Starbucks campaigns have failed miserably. So much so, that, not only do they epitomize the saying "Epic FAIL" they are also being laughed at by people in other countries! Like mine, Australia.

8:10AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Oh yes, because everyone knows a child absolutely HAS to be protected from homosexual over/undertones in a game. It's not as if they are going to be killing people, blowing up buildings, stabbing/beating people, paying prostitutes for sex ect in that game. Eye rolls.
My god, these people get their nickers in a twist for such inane crap.

4:59AM PDT on Apr 13, 2012

Michele H:
Oh honey, please stop. The vile crap you're writing is making me sick. You can have your 'morals and values', but so can we. You're just another ignorant bigot in this world, and you disgust me. I don't understand how people like you can be allowed to live in this world, when you can't appreciate and accept the others. Obviously you and others like you are the result of mutated abnormalities during evolution, because your mannerisms and pure hatred are primitive and uncivilised. Please leave this site and never return.

6:18AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

Right on, Bruce. With the amount of blood and gore in First Person Shooter games, the disputable morals of games such as Grand Theft Auto, etc. the only thing those loons find to be shocked about is a vaguely homosexual overtone in a scene. Utterly shocking indeed...to be this much against nature that they don't even realize 10% of all mammalian animals are gay and, yes, that includes humans who sometimes happen to buy video games.

5:31AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

Like any business, EA is a for profit organization. Their plan is to bring in more money than they spend. That means, they build games that people will want. If a few hundred bigots don't like the games, don't buy them. We don't like a particular car, we don't buy it.

My question to the detractors is, but it's ok to play games that shoot, kill, maim, and beat another being? So much for their "Christian" attitude.

8:27PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

go EA!

2:56PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Jessica,
better to have them in here than out in public.
who knows, maybe (just maybe) we can help them rise out of the murk their minds dwell in.

2:38PM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Jessica,
better to have them in here than out in public.
who knows, maybe (just maybe) we can help them rise out of the murk their minds dwell in.

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