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My Thoughts on SGR

July 31, 2012

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I know this is a touchy issue, so please read the entire article before commenting. I am going to try to present both sides fairly, as well as give my honest opinion in a non-offensive manner. I would encourage you to do the same.

The Issue

Bioware has said that they will put Same-Gender Romances into the game soon. People have been arguing on the forums since the Beta about whether SGR are things that people need in game.

On the pro-side, there are several reasons that SGR should be included, and they mainly boil down to equality. People who are from the LGBT community should be treated fairly, as they are gamers too.

On the against-side, there are several reasons as well, but they are varied in motive and scope. One issue is parents like to have control over what their children see, and rightly so. No one can argue that parents should take a large role in their children’s exposure to the internet. What people may disagree with, is these parents in particular are concerned with the effects that SGR will have on the psyche of their children.

Another (somewhat misinformed) reason is that SGR will detract from energy spent on game mechanics and new Operations/Warzones/Flashpoints/etc.

The final reason against is that people are anti-gay, and everything that has to do with gay people is something that should be shouted at in all caps and bad spelling. I think this group is healthily in the minority.

My Opinion

So where does that put me with this issue? I stand with the people wanting SGR in game, but with a few caveats. I don’t actually actively want it, nor would I enjoy the content if it were put in the game, but I believe equality is needed. There are some undeniable issues, though. Let me approach each of the reasons against, one at a time:

Children:

Parents need to have control over what their kids see on the internet. It is WAY too easy to get in trouble these days. Just looking for pictures to put into blog posts, I see all sorts of things I wish I could purge from my mind. Sometimes it sucks to have a semi-photographic memory…anyway, I digress. The reactions of these parents to the idea of SGR in game varies from the reasonable “let us have an option to toggle them off” to the extreme “if they put SGR in the game, my kids will never play it.” I personally think that the parents are within their rights to deny their kids SWTOR if they do not agree with the concepts within the game. The same could be said for parents who have problems with people getting gutted with lightsabers.

Focus on SGR instead of Ops/WZs/FPs:

This is an ignorant viewpoint, as they have separate teams of people working on content like operations and storylines for companions. You don’t worry, they won’t sacrifice an area of the game that 90% of the people in the game will appreciate for an area that 30% or less will appreciate. If SGR gets in to SWTOR, it won’t be as a result of ignoring Ops and Warzones.

Anti-gay:

There are a few people I am sure that are anti-gay and/or gay-haters that do not want this content to be in game. I think these people are actually fewer in number than it seems. I think most people are like me. We won’t enjoy it, but who cares if the next player does? I’m not watching their screen.

My Opinion In Detail:

I am straight; I will say that right now. I am also a Christian, so that automatically makes people go into a presumptive rage when they hear that. But I am a logical person too. I think that people are going to be jerks on both sides of an internet forum conversation. In fact, there is probably a law of the internet that says “for every internet conversation there shall be at least one troll on each side of an issue.”

In general, my personal beliefs are that homosexuality is wrong. The Bible says that, and it is somewhat obvious that there is an inherent need of opposite genders to procreate and populate the planet. It is an anomaly to have same-sex pairings.

That being said, I don’t think it is my place to judge what people do behind closed doors. It is between you and God what he thinks of it, and it doesn’t matter what I think when it comes right down to it. I have friends and colleagues that are gay. I certainly don’t hate people who are gay; hatred would also be wrong according to the Bible.

It is remarkable how much vitriol there is on the forums about this issue. It’s like if someone asks me “hey, do you want SGR in game?” and I say no, because I don’t really care, they blast me out of the water, calling me “gay-hater” and “bigot.” All I said is, I really wouldn’t do it in game, so I don’t necessarily want it.

People don’t have to have the same opinion, but apparently, according to these people, you are morally corrupt if you DON’T have their opinion. I am not sure where this mentality developed.

It is kind of like this recent thing with Chick-Fil-A. Just because a guy who was obviously a Christian said he believed in the “traditional family,” people went postal and started calling him everything from bigot to discriminator. I was talking to my wife about this issue, and she said that she knew people in high school who were gay and worked at Chick-Fil-A. I don’t think that Chick-Fil-A has ever discriminated against anyone. As far as I recall, they don’t ask you “Name? For here or to go? Sexual orientation?” at the register before you order.

Christians believe in the traditional family, it is true. I plan to have a traditional family with my wife. I firmly believe it is the best way to go, and studies have shown that a healthy family unit brings up more stable kids. Does that mean that I hate gay people and want to burn them at the stake or throw them in prison like they used to in the 1800s? Of course not.

I don’t hate gay people. I hate meanness. Do what you want, but be civil. Ask Bioware nicely for SGR, don’t be mean to those who don’t want it, and be nice.

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  1. Talexei
    July 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I think that this is a valid viewpoint and also will not use the SGR feature. But then I’ve not done any ops or grouping so fat in SWTOR either. For me the two are equivalent…there if I want to take advantage of them, but not something I am doing right now.
    The advantage of the SGR in this particular game is that since the levelling is so highly story driven, you get to make the character even more relatable to you as the player. Especially as your character interacts with the companion characters. The only thing that I am curious about is how this will be implimented. Will it be a choice that you can make at character creation, like race and gender, or will it just be every “Flirt” option activated regardless of player gender. Personally I would be much happier if it were the latter and I think that there would be less argument about it.

  2. July 31, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Yeah, I don’t know what the best way to insert it is. I imagine that the current characters will not be changed. That being said, I think that it would be nice NOT to see the “Flirt” option all the time for my male companions on my male characters. I think it would be great to have them hidden if you select to do so in the options panel, kind of like the current Alignment Change Indicators.

  3. July 31, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Well, consider this, too. Dragon Age and Mass Effect (from what I hear, though I haven’t played ME) have options for SGR. While I have no interest in doing it myself, as I share a similar viewpoint to Geldarion, I have played through DA:O and DA2, and seen how it was implemented. My case in point goes to Dragon Age 2, where Anders (Male Mage) is straight if you play a female character, and gay if you are a male character. Of course, Isabella (Female Rogue) being the other option was simply something of a bi-sexual nature. I could forsee them reworking gender-based options on existing characters. As I imagine at first glance this option could significantly change the nature of the characters they originally wrote, it could simply change the character based upon what your gender is. This could be easily worked, considering characters already react differently to you based on gender in the current system. I imagine this would likely be a solution, considering just adding new characters in post-level 50 areas as we continue our class stories would leave out 50 levels in which one could not play a gay character through a romance like the rest of “us”. Either that or they’re going to be upping our number of companions at a lower level to make way for these.
    They (in DA2) did just give you a flirt option, and you would have a point in the conversation arch where you could say something to the effect of “I don’t like you that way, so don’t think of me that way.” and you no longer had those options, kind of a way of “turning the SGR button off”. From what I remember, you also didn’t get the option to pick it back up after you said no. So, if you were indecisive, you’re toast.
    That’s how I would imagine them implementing it, but I guess we’ll see.
    – Chipchops

    • August 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Good points, didn’t even think about the equality of having to wait 50 levels lol.

      If they do same-sex stuff, I would want the player character to be the one that has to initiate. I love Corso, but I don’t want things to be awkward if he tries to make a move on my male smuggler. I want him to be my wingman who goes to count Rakghouls while I woo Beryl. I want him to be my bro. I don’t want to think that he might be interested in me and might be, I don’t know, listening while Risha and I are in the next room, sad because he isn’t the one getting my sweet loving lol.

  4. July 31, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Funny you mentioned CFA by the way, because to me it just seems to be a bunch of hot-headed people in arms because someone doesn’t agree with their lifestyle. Disagreeing does not equal discrimination, as far as I’ve been taught, but who knows?

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