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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 5:46PM Russell Clarke said

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

Yes, but to paraphrase Mr. Orwell, some opinions are more valid than others.
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Posted: Jul 19th 2009 2:04AM (Unverified) said

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Let's work on this nice and slowly.

It's 1984-in-the-making because you're being asked to consider how to be respectful to people who you'd never before considered, much less dealt with.

Indeed, let's recoil in horror before the new Big Respectful Brother regime.

Direct comparisons to the Civil Rights Movement are indeed somewhat overblown but are often made because this is the next civil rights frontier in America. While so much remains undone in regards to women and ethnic minorities, at least the law and sensibilities of society are increasingly on their side. This is less true of the GLBT community, regrettably.

I have a good friend who is a transsexual woman that used to play WoW. She was outed by her guild over an in-game dispute leading to dozens of abusive forum posts and a server-wide gutting of her reputation, mostly due to people dismissing her as "icky." She didn't ask for that and she was betrayed by a couple of people she thought she could trust. Bigotry then ruled the day.

It is not about using blunt cudgels to control people. It is about raising awareness to make people think twice before carelessly doing things like that and going out of their way to ruin peoples' lives, or unnecessarily add nonsense to their day. That's not thought control. It's the same basic set of ethics you use when you're polite to relatives, store clerks, police officers, clergy, or indeed anyone you meet.

I'm certainly not asking everyone to "have the same opinions". First of all, gay rights is one of thousands of important topics one may have an opinion on, so you're just being hyperbolic, and second what people are asking for is for people to have *real* opinions on gays. i.e. judging each one as an individual. Some are douches, some are wonderful people. But neither is because they happen to be gay. Judge them on their merits and not as some external group of nasty people whose existence you'd rather not consider.

Like it or not, that's just wrong. And I have a right to that opinion and a right to tell you so.

The First Amendment protects your right to say what you said. It also protects the rights of myself and millions of others to *challenge* it. That's not 1984, it's the *opposite* of 1984.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 1:19AM wjowski said

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Lately I've come to think that 'politically incorrect' is the politically correct term for an asshole.

For the record, the politically correct movement's been dead since the 90's. It's nice to see people still using it as a straw bogeyman to justify their hateful, demeaning behavior.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 2:01PM (Unverified) said

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This ^^
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 5:48PM Russell Clarke said

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Hear fucking hear.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 1:27AM Saker said

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These arguments always amuse me. These games are almost all based on endless violence, killing things, not "just" animals (fantasy or mythological doesn't matter), but other beings that are imagined as being self-aware, and yet basics of biology (gay or straight doesn't matter) are the things people get up in arms about. Am I the only one who finds this kind of thinking sad, backward, primitive.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 3:30AM ultimateq said

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I agree with everyone on both sides of the argument. I'd love to see bigotry and hate obliterated. This includes gay bashing, racism, religious preference, etc... but I am not so naive to believe that it's actually possible to completely dissolve such behavior, so I agree to say that this is pointless and futile.

While peoples hearts may be in the right place, it's still rather hopeless.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 7:04AM (Unverified) said

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what do they gays want? do they want to be noticed more in games? i wouldnt like to see them myself tbh :p

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 9:04AM Temploiter said

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Aren't MMOs a place to get away from all of this RL BS? I don't want to hear political debates in Ironforge and I don't want to hear morality tales in Mos Espa. I want to escape the news and reality for a while and have fun.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 10:12AM archipelagos said

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"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."

@Mr.Digital: You don't have to do any of those things. There's no natural law to state that we need to be polite, or humane, or not go around and murder people. We pick and choose everything that we stand for in our short lives. The reasons can be simple or complex but the choice is always ours.

I'm not going to argue that the choices you have made are negative or positive but they are ultimately yours, no one made them for you. :)

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 11:49AM (Unverified) said

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Some of the reactions here really make me sad...and make me fear that we have so long to go until we can have a future free of this kind of baseless hatred.

It also makes me proud that I live in a country that has moved on...that has come to accept that the rights of all are truly equal...in love...marriage..and all things.

However I fear for my neighbor country to the south....it may take another 20 to 30 years for them to finally realize that all of this hatred is so meaningless.

There is no harm in talking people...no harm at all....because a conversation opens the gateway to education and a better understanding.

Give it a chance ok?

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 4:36PM (Unverified) said

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Its hard to express tone so understand that I am not trying to be belligerent. Your comments seem narrow minded, hypocritical, and express a naivete of ethics. First you claim that ethics are culturally relative, then you say that Americans are morally inferior to you. Which is it? Are there standards in morality that Americans need to catch up to and you superior Canadians have discovered? Or are ethics relative to culture and so when it comes to our view of homosexuals then say lavie? If there is a objective standards please explain why tolerance for the sexually abnormal is properly basic. Thanks, your inferior (I suppose racially and culturally) southern friend.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 5:52PM Russell Clarke said

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Oh...I thought he was from North Korea.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 10:43PM (Unverified) said

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"tolerance for the sexually abnormal".....

What I said above still stands....

Oh and it's not 'abnormal.'

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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 4:17PM (Unverified) said

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I agree that we should not be harassed while playing MMO's, but it happens so oh well. There is a feature called "/ignore". Learn how to use it like everyone else in stead of demanding that others agree with you. Pleanty of people disagree with me all the time and I'm thick skinned enough not to ignore them, but if you absolutely must have people agree with you (which is what this is really about) you may use the ignore option like everyone else because you are no better than anyone else and therefor not worthy of better treatment than anyone else.

Posted: Jul 19th 2009 1:55AM (Unverified) said

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I'm very much surprised that this trope always comes up. The "you're not better than everyone else" dealie. I find it strange because no one really says that. Being treated respectfully is not about being treated 'better.'

Also I like the "disagreement" thing, as if this is a simple matter like "do you like chocolate or vanilla?" I don't "disagree" with a person's right to be heterosexual, say. Why should bisexual or homosexual behaviour be regarded as so far beyond the pale that their right to exist is always considered a subject of gentlemanly disagreement? Because, of course, heterosexuality is considered the objective norm around which all other things must orbit.

This is not necessarily true and people don't deserve to be punished or to have their very being dismissed as being of such dubious valuable that it's a debatable matter.

There really aren't "demands" at work here to get everyone to "agree with me". I have to say it does amuse me how much this sounds like the very moral relativism we're often erroneously accused of flaunting. I ask that people thoughtfully consider things that they hadn't before and to think about GLBT citizens as just that, fellow citizens, and what the implications of that are. I show them real people with real lives who surprisingly are not out destroying the world. Real people who could be their friends and relatives. Then I again ask them to consider.

I never demand adherence to a standard without reason. This is a matter that isn't so simple as a binary yes/no opinion anyway.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 4:43PM esarphie said

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This discussion is another one where everyone seems to miss the real point. Yes, a lot of younger players of games use "gay" as a pejorative, just the way they do outside the internet (and usually outside of adults' range of hearing). Hearing someone accused of being gay incenses the people who identify themselves as gay, and results in this sort of public sensitivity nonsense.

The reason I call it nonsense, is that no one is "bashing" gays. They're really basing their peers. They're using "gay" as an insulting label, because among their peers being "gay" is fairly universally considered a bad thing. This sort of dog and pony show and huge waste of time and resources is a bit like declaring the Kleenex the cure for the common cold... it partially cleans up one of many symptoms without even remotely addressing the true issue.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 5:42PM (Unverified) said

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What this guy said ^^^

Eddie hit the nail on the head.

And whoever said Politcal Correctiveness was dead needs to wake up. It isn't dead it's just everywhere.
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Posted: Jul 19th 2009 1:45AM (Unverified) said

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I don't see the harm in having a conference like this at all. Is its utility going to be limited. Likely. Will it solve the problems faced by GLBT gamers? Well, probably not. But just talking about it is a big step in the right direction, and even if such a conference will have no effect on gamers it's good at least for the staff in development houses to be made more aware of this. Again, a step in the right direction.

I'm very very tired of hearing this nonsense about ill defined political correctness. "Forcing you to think one way and not the other" is a translation for "let me be a bigot and still call myself a pretty okay dude." Because in no other matter is basic respect treated with such utter contempt.

Because yes, let's forget those squishy, feminine words you macho men hate so much. Let's dispense with 'sensitivity' and 'offence' for a moment. It's about basic respect. Last I checked, this was a value conservative folks claimed to be very much in favour of.

Except, of course, when it's out-groups asking for respect, I suppose. Then we're politically correct agitators trying to impose our Groupthinky ways on you and turn the country into Land where you can't have any fun.

This is nonsense. Do you accuse your mothers, fathers, teachers and pastors of thought control when they tell you not to refer to other people in derogatory terms? Do you feel your mind being controlled when you're extra nice to your grandma? Or when you're polite to the store clerk who bags your groceries? Is saying "thank you" "politically correct mind control"? After all, they're robbing you of your freedom of speech to start cursing and making rude gestures at them. Your God-given First Amendment right! 1984, man! 1984!

This is so much pap and nonsense. An un-tempest in an un-teacup. If you see basic respect as liberals imposing thought control on you, you need to wake up and smell the coffee.

I'm not saying you don't have a right to be a bigot. I'm saying don't insult my intelligence by dressing it up as a valiant fight for free speech. I don't want to take your free speech away. I'm merely asserting *my* First Amendment rights to call it what it is.

Posted: Jul 19th 2009 2:18AM (Unverified) said

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Bravo!

Very well said and the total truth.

I just find it still so very sad that some people want to remain bigots...where is the joy in that? :(
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