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Teruvian's Avatar

12.05.2012 , 10:38 AM | #3664
Long time lurker here. The message I wrote for GLAAD is rather more personal. I guess I'm trying to explain why a straight white woman in her 40s gives a hoot about SGRAs in a video game. I haven't sent it yet, but this is what I've written:

I'm writing to add my voice in support of putting pressure on EA and Bioware for updated information regarding the same gender romance content in Star Wars: The Old Republic that they've been promising for over a year now.

I've been an advocate for equality since long before my daughter figured out that she was gay. I have been a video game enthusiast and a fan of science fiction and fantasy for even longer. I was thrilled when my son introduced me to Bioware games and specifically the Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic series. One of the things I admired about these titles was their treatment of LGBT characters. In these games, the player character has at least one same gender romance option. Romance wasn't the main point of the games, but relationship arcs were written into the stories. And gay characters were given similar access as straight ones.

Last year, I learned that Bioware had merged with Electronic Arts (another video game publisher known for their inclusive stance on gay rights) to create a Star Wars MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game). Despite never having played an MMO, or even particularly wanting to, I was excited. Star Wars had been the first movie I ever saw as a child (I was 9; we didn't get out much), and had fueled my love of space operas for 35 years. I couldn't wait to see the stories Bioware would create and signed up for beta testing.

I fell in love with the game, bought a copy, and have been playing (and paying monthly to subscribe to their MMO format) since the game was released on December 20th of last year. But as I got further into the story, I realized something was missing. They had included romance options with companions (non-player characters written to accompany the hero on their adventures), but there were no same sex options. I was perplexed, and soon found my way to a forum thread buried deep in the Story and Lore section of the forums, where a community of people had formed to discuss this flaw.

I'm sure you've been told by others from the thread how promises were made, the people making the promises left the company, and the prospect of actually having an inclusive game seems farther and farther from reality. You've heard that the last official comment on same gender romance arcs (SGRAs) was back in March and we were told the content would be released later this year with other major story content by an employee that has since left Bioware. You've been told about how many times and in how many ways we've asked for updated information about SGRAs only to be ignored or brushed aside. You've heard about how our thread has been relegated to the back of the bus (who reads Story and Lore but a few weird roleplayers anyway?) and capped and redirected to a fresh thread each of the many times it's reached 100 pages with a boilerplate comment including a quote from the March announcement. Now they're not even bothering to do that; the thread is at 365 pages and counting. And we're all left scratching our heads, fuming, and completely at a loss for where to turn.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

My Real Name

Please feel free to comment/correct anything I've said, particularly about the timeline, as I haven't been involved in this dialogue beyond reading and following links posted here.

Edited to show that we're asking for information, not immediate action.