Author Topic: The Video Game Industry Is Too White, Straight, and Male for Its Own Good  (Read 486 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/12/the-video-game-industry-is-too-white-straight-and-male-for-its-own-good.html

TECH + HEALTH  05.12.14

The Video Game Industry Is Too White, Straight, and Male for Its Own Good

Nintendo won’t allow same-sex relationships in its life simulator, despite outrage from fans.
In a week where the Eurovision Song Contest was won by a genderqueer performer and the NFL drafted its first openly gay player, it seems like a good time for the LGBT community. But that progress isn’t extending to another powerful cultural sphere: video games.

Anti-gay bigotry remains ensconced at Nintendo, the world’s largest gaming organization (by revenue) and one of Japan’s most-valuable companies. So when they make a statement, there’s a chance it isn’t just of concern to a small band of geeky fans: Its voice has a huge effect on creative media, on culture, and thus people themselves.

Fans of Nintendo’s life simulator, Tomodachi Life, hoped the company would allow same-sex relationships when the game was brought to the Western market, but the company rejected the request:

“Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of ‘Tomodachi Life’…The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that ‘Tomodachi Life’ was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary."

Apparently representing the harmless love of two consenting adults is “social commentary”; the “playful alternate world” of Tomodachi Life is a god who controls Nintendo, since they clearly are unable to change anything about the world they created.

Producer Yoshio Sakamoto said in a separate statement that “Tomodachi are alter egos of [players’] friends and family, so their problems become serious issues for players.” Yes, but “serious issues” related to romance and love—which never happens, right?—can only be between two sexes.

There seems more controversy behind removing an entire people instead of making their sexual identities one of many options—i.e. gay relationships exist alongside other kinds of sexualities, as it does in, you know, reality.

One would think it would take added effort, not less, to make the avatars “see” sex as restriction, instead of identity. Indeed, the original had same-sex relationships and was the first time Nintendo allowed such relationships in a game. At least until they patched it away as a bug.

But no, that’s not “social commentary”—that’s just removing a sexual orientation.

Video games, like much of the tech industry, tend to be orientated toward (but not be totally dominated by) straight young men—this seems often to create homophobic and sexist environments because it is perceived to be an enclosed system where such attitudes can thrive (as we saw in comic books, too). In many parts of gaming, homophobic slurs are allowed without blinking in major companies’ conventions, proudly shown to the world; sexism is even more prevalent, in many, horrible ways.

This despite straight young men not dominating the entirety of gaming. For example, the Entertainment Software Association points out that 48 percent of gamers are female and 71 percent are over the age of 18.

But bigoted attitudes can thrive due to top-down attitudes like Nintendo’s and Blizzard’s because both companies market to their core white, male demographic.  Consider: when’s the last time a major video game franchise had a pre-written brown-skinned character? And the game industry’s attitude toward women protagonists is almost as vile as Hollywood’s.

Why should the cloistered wants of juvenile men, with baby opinions, dominate any medium and industry so many of us care about? Gay people have problems I, as a straight person, will never know—but, through the powerful medium of games, can partially experience. Through gaming characters, I’ve (partially) experienced the pain of involuntary manslaughter, the loss of a someone I cared for but could not save, and the veneration of saving an entire people.

We’ve all had these same sensations and moments of reaching the numinous, breaking fleshy human barriers to see the inside of someone else’s life—whether through finally talking, reading a book, watching a show. Not every game or film or book needs to do this, but the problem is thinking none of them ever do—or worse, ever should.

Nintendo’s lazy bigotry is an example of a major voice poisoning discussions by dismissing a segment of people no different in their loves, except that gay people are denied it—everywhere, even on their most beloved systems. Systems they’ve supported their whole lives, that are ways people have always used to help cope with the troubles of the world—troubles us straight folk probably know little about, since we’ve not been exposed to it (that ugly fraternity mindset again).

Tye Marini, the organiser of the Miiquality campaign that got Nintendo’s attention, said in a recent video: “I want to be able to marry my real-life fiancé's Mii, but I can't do that.”

It sounds silly to many people, but imagine if a game company made a product that only allowed white-skinned avatars to marry other white-skinned avatars because doing otherwise would be “social commentary.” Indeed, remember when “inter-race marriage” was an issue—but, again, only because bigots made it so. More of us hopefully view skin color as irrelevant to relationships (and indeed everything else). Why can’t we do the same for someone’s sex and sexual orientation? Why won’t Nintendo?

It is ironic that in boldly proclaiming to not want to step into “social commentary,” they’ve ignited so much of it. I think that same fire has probably burnt them many bridges to many fans. If anything, the ubiquitous antagonism they’re witnessing is a demonstration that gamers, and people in general, are no longer tolerant of bigoted attitudes and it’s the companies themselves that have some catching up to do.

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Offline Oceander

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that was silly of nintendo; the business of a company should be maximizing its net profits, and maximizing its revenues is one part of that equation, so why turn your nose up at a potentially lucrative source of revenue?

Offline mystery-ak

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I hope you forgot you sarcasm tags...lol

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Offline sinkspur

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that was silly of nintendo; the business of a company should be maximizing its net profits, and maximizing its revenues is one part of that equation, so why turn your nose up at a potentially lucrative source of revenue?

I also hope this was sarcasm. 

This article from the left-wing Daily Beast is further evidence that the LGBT community is riding a wave, and they are going to force acceptance into every nook and cranny of American life.

This just confirms something I've believed my entire life of gays, and it is true more now than ever:  There is no other ethnic or cultural group that spends so much time thinking of what they do with their d**ks.
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Offline Oceander

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why? 

Offline mystery-ak

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Why..is because I am tired of every company or agency caving to LGBT crowd by intimidation and threats which I am sure are heading Nintendo's way.

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Offline sinkspur

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why?

Because it is up to every individual or company to determine what is in their best interests.

The fashion industry doesn't try to sell sun dresses to teenage girls;  Nintendo targets young heterosexual males as its audience.

Maybe Nintendo executives just don't want to have to deal with the politically-correct whining that is constantly flowing out of the mouths and keyboards of the LGBT community.
From  "A Shining City on a Hill"

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Offline Oceander

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Why..is because I am tired of every company or agency caving to LGBT crowd by intimidation and threats which I am sure are heading Nintendo's way.

I don't see how asking a company to add something to their product is intimidating or threatening.

Offline Oceander

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Because it is up to every individual or company to determine what is in their best interests.

The fashion industry doesn't try to sell sun dresses to teenage girls;  Nintendo targets young heterosexual males as its audience.

Maybe Nintendo executives just don't want to have to deal with the politically-correct whining that is constantly flowing out of the mouths and keyboards of the LGBT community.

And just what do you think is in the best interests of a large corporate business like Nintendo?  More specifically, what's in the best interests of that corporation's shareholders?  Is cutting off a potentially lucrative source of revenue in their interest?

Offline sinkspur

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And just what do you think is in the best interests of a large corporate business like Nintendo?  More specifically, what's in the best interests of that corporation's shareholders?  Is cutting off a potentially lucrative source of revenue in their interest?

If you're a shareholder, maybe you should make some noise. 

Maybe the ick factor is just too much for Nintendo's game designers.

If profit is the only motive for major businesses,why doesn't the Washington Post take "Men-on-Men" classified ads?
From  "A Shining City on a Hill"

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Offline mystery-ak

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I don't see how asking a company to add something to their product is intimidating or threatening.

It may not be now but it will be if Nintendo doesn't incorporate gay figures in their games...do gay people playing these games actually sit there and say *I wish there was a gay figure in this game I can relate too!*...I bet not..it's just another place LGBT will flex it's muscle until they conform...and they can have a gay Super Mario.

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Offline sinkspur

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If there is such a burgeoning market for gay video games, perhaps you should capitalize some entrepreneurial swishes who want to tackle that niche.

The problem is, as you know, that anything associated with the LGBT community inevitably resorts to some sort of sexual expression.  That's what gays are about:  what's between their legs.

Video games, from what I see, are not about sex but about shooting and war and violence. 
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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If there is such a burgeoning market for gay video games, perhaps you should capitalize some entrepreneurial swishes who want to tackle that niche.

The problem is, as you know, that anything associated with the LGBT community inevitably resorts to some sort of sexual expression.  That's what gays are about:  what's between their legs.

Video games, from what I see, are not about sex but about shooting and war and violence.
Yeah, they tried sex video games a few decades back.

Custer's Revenge didn't turn out so well.
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