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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 7:12PM CheesecakeBandit said

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You may call it political correctness(and so may most people :\ ), but it is an attempt to keep people from going and calling people racial slurs and insults like the "N" word, and to prevent new "N" words, from popping up. Although it does seem to have failed miserably.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 7:36PM Mr A said

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It's one thing to call names. I agree we must be polite. However, I think this whole meeting is about much more than simply not calling names.

This is part of the poison of being politically correct. Being politically correct means there is only one accepted way to think, only one accepted way to act. If you think or act outside of those predefined bounds, you're simply wrong.

It is my right to like and dislike whomever I choose, just as it is everyone else's right to not have me try to force my views on them. If a group, any group, regardless of what they stand for, is always pushing their views in my face, chances are I'm not going to like them.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 10:37PM Its Utakata stupid said

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I find it interesting how people will fall back on the old "political correctness" arguement whenever the subject bring up awareness of gender idientity, sexism and race. It doesn't matter that these events are about people's freedom to be, to choose and to think, the very same thing that the arguement claims it's for. Perhaps, it's more something to do with declaring "I'm not a biggot, I'm just not politically correct." Either way...it's a fascinating form of double speak.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 10:48PM Mr A said

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People, more than just myself, call it being politically correct because that's exactly what it is. It is politically correct to think a certain way, and not to think another. This very clearly falls under the auspices of that. People like to point out the political correctness factor, because they like to point out how it amounts to others telling you what is and is not okay to think.

As the saying goes, one person's freedom stops where another's begins. Some groups and people, however, just wish to push their values onto others, because again that's part of being politically correct, where there is only one correct answer.

You can be however you want to be as long as it doesn't interfere with who I am, but I don't have to agree with it, approve, or like it.

I already pointed out that people should be polite. That makes them better people. But certain groups like to run around screaming, "You have to accept us!" No. I don't. I have to treat you with politeness, yes. I have to treat you as a human, yes. But I don't have to accept you. I don't have to like you.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 10:52PM Mr A said

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People, more than just myself, call it being politically correct because that's exactly what it is. It is politically correct to think a certain way, and not to think another. This very clearly falls under the auspices of that. People like to point out the political correctness factor, because they like to point out how it amounts to others telling you what is and is not okay to think.

As the saying goes, one person's freedom stops where another's begins. Some groups and people, however, just wish to push their values onto others, because again that's part of being politically correct, where there is only one correct answer.

You can be however you want to be as long as it doesn't interfere with who I am, but I don't have to agree with it, approve, or like it.

I already pointed out that people should be polite. That makes them better people. But certain groups like to run around screaming, "You have to accept us!" No. I don't. I have to treat you with politeness, yes. I have to treat you as a human, yes. But I don't have to accept you. I don't have to like you.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 6:00PM Russell Clarke said

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@Mr Digital

We heard you the first time.
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Posted: Jul 19th 2009 2:22AM (Unverified) said

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Yes, just like every time The Man is forcing you to censor yourself when you say 'please' and 'thank you', when all you really want to be doing is hurling out four letter words and making lewd gestures with baugettes at all comers.

I feel your pain, man. It's total oppression.

All that stuff about respect and "Do Unto Others" from that hippie left wing Bible is just more PC being shoved down our throats for the nicey nice groupthink world we're all headed towards.

Mr. Digital, grow up and read the Constitution.

I grow weary of bigots of all stripes defending themselves as guardians of free speech and free thought when they are nothing of the kind. They merely want it for themselves. Under many other circumstances not related to dealing with minorities they're all too happy to dole out censorship or moralistic censure, but when it comes to being called out for bias or discriminatory attitudes they turn into the biggest moral relativists ever.

Then suddenly "every opinion is valid" and "I have a right to my views" and "don't censor me" and "your truth is not the same as my truth." In a flash, they become that Berekely liberal they so despise with the firmest conviction in moral relativism and deaf, dumb, and blind to any lecture about morality. Is the bigotry just *that* delicious that you have to temporarily abrogate every other conviction you have to defend it?

You do have a right to your views. The rest of us have a right to ours, and a right to challenge your views. Saying you're wrong is not the same thing as censoring you or telling you what to think. It's part of the discourse that makes this a democracy.

To except gays and other minorities from the respect that your parents raised you to pay to other people is indeed indicative of some sort of bias. It shows you're looking at us differently, treating us as exceptions who in the name of your supposed freedom have to sit down and shut up while you hector us.

Nope, sorry. Say those things all you want. I'm entitled to question it, and do so rather eloquently. Deal with it. That's real freedom.
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Posted: Jul 19th 2009 3:07AM Mr A said

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You're welcome to be as weary as you wish, but you apparently can't even properly connect your point to what I actually said.

I love how you start your reply by illustrating examples of people not being polite and somehow trying to tie that to my comments, when I specifically stated, more than once, that you must be polite, that regardless of your feelings about others and about the subject, you have to be polite and treat people with a certain level of humanity.

That doesn't mean, however, that you have to like them or agree with them, or that you need their particular views shoved in your face all the time whilst people try to tell you it's good.

Some people like to get drunk. Getting drunk is socially acceptable. That doesn't mean I want myself or my kids around it. In some areas, prostitution is also acceptable. That doesn't mean I want myself or my kids around it.

Just because this subject deals with people's sexuality doesn't mean it's a special-case situation where everyone must suddenly accept it. In fact, because it does deal with sexuality it should be handled much more carefully than it is. People shouldn't march around the streets screaming about their sexual preference anymore than people march around the streets screaming about their favorite sexual position.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 7:12PM (Unverified) said

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i didnt know that homophobia in games was an issue... dont tell people your gay, or ignore the ones that bother you... job done.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 7:16PM (Unverified) said

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If only EA was this concerned with Online predators that frequent MMO's. Yeah yeah I know, the internet is for porn and Gay Rights mot for children....wonderful world we live in.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 7:39PM Dblade said

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I don't see the point, I really have yet to see a homophobic instance in a recent game. I see stereotypes for effect, but usually its more in the line of poor character development across the board than actual homophobia.

As for online services, there is nothing wrong about saying you are gay, really the only thing you should (and not enough people do worry about) is your kids getting hit on by older people, sometimes predators gay or straight. Asshats will be asshats, and the game producers can really do little about it themselves except provide some form of karma system and banning in the worse cases.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 7:43PM (Unverified) said

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As a gay man, I am glad the industry is willing to have these kinds of discussions. In my long history of playing video games I have been called many names (without ever having disclosed anything personal). I do have thick skin and I turn the other cheek constantly. But what's the harm in EA and GLAAD having a discussion and why would anyone feel upset or threatened by this? At its core, it would appear to be harmless and innocent in its intention. So get over if upset people...it's just a conversation. Cheers!

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 8:00PM Minofan said

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Well forsaking the Mighty Mallet Of Subtlety here:

Saying that homophobia in online gaming is best countered by having all characters expressed as heterosexual and all sexuality identifiers banned is precisely equivalent to countering racism in online gaming by having all characters be caucasian and all ethnic identifiers banned...

It's only a game right?
Your character is just for pretend right, so why can't it be caucasian?
People won't use racial slurs if there's only one race will they?
You don't want to cause people to use racial slurs around the children do you?
My child is scared of the Arabs in the news; I don't think it's appropriate for there to be players looking like Arabs in the game.
People using foreign names are targets for bad language; I don't think it's appropriate for foreign names to be allowed.
People saying they are from foreign countries in their profiles are targets for bad language; I don't think people should be allowed to say they are from foreign countries.
People speaking foreign languages are targets for bad language; I don't think foreign languages should be allowed.

I don't have anything against other races myself, I just want this game to be a proper environment for children - please stop making race an issue.

- - -

Gee; at this rate I'll have a hard job tracking my subtlety down again!

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 8:34PM (Unverified) said

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Ah, thanks for your intelligent commentary, which is unfortunately a rare breath of fresh air in online discussions like these.

For those who don't see the point to a conference like this, would it strike you as odd or inappropriate for someone in WoW trade chat to say "Fuck Blizzard, those DK nerfs are gay." We live in a predominately hetero-normative culture and we bring those assumptions to online spaces even if we don't sexually identify ourselves in them. That you could say the aforementioned and not even think about getting called out for using "gay" as a blanket pejorative term is a problem and one that seems far more prevalent in online games.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 8:37PM (Unverified) said

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While this is about homophobia, the greater issue here is overall tolerance. The majority of the XBL community is only tolerant to white adolescent males; anything else is greeted with a torrent of hate speech. As a white adolescent male, I find that unacceptable. Being different doesn't automatically mean someone is inferior, it just means there's someone out there who isn't just like you. You don't have to like that--everyone's entitled to an opinion--but you shouldn't be allowed to oppress others because of it.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 9:05PM (Unverified) said

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Its not a problem with homophobia though, its mostly just "Internet Asperger's Syndrome". Because people cant get punched out for saying stupid stuff online, they go around saying people are gay, so on and so forth.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 11:04PM (Unverified) said

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This politically-correct nonsense has to stop.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 11:49PM (Unverified) said

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Homophobia is, like the other phobias, an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or people. Like homophobia, all those other phobias can pop up in on-line games. Education and familarity will generally get you through most of them.

We naturally form groups of friends that share certain beliefs and outlooks and countless teen films have been made about how each group hates and detests the others. For some people, an online game is their first exposure to other beliefs and outlooks and their response can range from rage to acceptance. In virtually all cases, education and one on one interaction with a person from another group will find people finding more similarities than differences. They also have a big advantage in that they already share an interest with the other person - the game they're playing. You can have an enoyable discussion on strategies, gear, DPS and swap tall tales with each other, confident that the other person shares some of your enthusiasms and understands the vocabulary and context.

Some people will be offensive, just like in the real world. However, be aware of cultural differences as well and try not to take offense when none is intended. It would be nice to eliminate the use of the word gay as a perjorative or joke, but South Park has raised a lot of kids and sometime ago, pimping seemed to change to be about customising cars. Ironically, the most explicit homosexual chat I see or hear is between young straight males trying to outgay each other - which I find strange but not offensive ;-) You also have an opportunity to swap genders in most MMOs which may lead you into some interesting interactions and some appreciation of how the opposite sex is treated. The current gear on my blood Elf priest would make him a standout in Sydney's Gay Mardi Gras parade, but I don't think my girfriend cares - she's too busy fending off invitations to her female mage for cybersex.

Gaming is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, it's not about converting people to your politics, sexual orientation, religion or butterfly collection. Unless of course, you enjoy converting people ;-) So follow the rules for a good dinner party, try and avoid sex, politics and religion and be tolerant. Remember everyone (including you) is going to say something stupid sometime, learn from it and try not to do it again.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 11:48PM Triskelion said

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God, I'd love to see that building burn to the ground, with no casualties except the executive management team =).

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 12:57AM (Unverified) said

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This Political Correctiveness if it keeps going the way its going in 20 years it's gonna be like George Orwells 1984.

Frankly I also find the comparisons to the civil rights movement to be overly dramatic to the extreme.

I'm sure that makes me a hateful ignorant person etc. etc. in the mind of many because that is a un-PC opinion. But I really don't care because my opinion isn't decided by how popular it's going to be.

If everyone had the same opinions and views on everything doesn't that make us Borg?






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