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Same gender relationships clarifications?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Same gender relationships clarifications?
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Uluain's Avatar


Uluain
09.03.2012 , 07:35 PM | #1081
Quote: Originally Posted by Malles View Post
Same-sex relationships has always been seen in M-rated games and this is a T-game
Same-sex romance is rated exactly the same as opposite-sex content by the ESRB. The distinction is based on how explicit a portrayal is. The Sims, an extremely popular EA title which has always included same-gender romantic options, is rated T. To imply same-gender content is "more adult" on basis or orientation alone is close to the "discriminatory language" line. In any case, your claims simply don't stand up to the facts.

Quote:
I don't know why people keep bringing it up. If it happens, it happens. If not, so what? Sure, it's make the game more fun, but so would playable Trandoshans or removing EA's pull over the game, and we're not getting those soon either.
I imagine it is brought up because a.) it is not in the game, b.) it is supposed to be in the gane, c.) we aren't being told anything about it and c.) it is content that many players want.

Simply because something is unimportant to you does not make it unimportant to others. EA/BioWare understands that, and has made a commitment to deliver this content.

chuixupu's Avatar


chuixupu
09.03.2012 , 08:01 PM | #1082
Quote: Originally Posted by Captain_Zone View Post
It's strange. A few months back, BioWare was actually communicating with the fans on certain issues. They received praise on the Forums for their transparency. Then all of a sudden, they clammed up again.
They used to have a very large and full community management team. With the switch to F2P, they shrunk it down to just a few.

I'll quote this from an article that was posted on Massively just a few days before the F2P annoucement was made publicly, cited as a sign they believed the F2P model was in the works:

Quote:
Now, even though I think SWTOR had one of the best community teams in the business, I am well aware that the team was much larger than it needed to be for the game. However, from what I can tell, a good 70% or more of the community team staff was cut. That tells me that BioWare is seriously thinking about the way it does business overall.

Free-to-play models are driven by direct dollars. If a certain item sells well, the development team makes more of that. If something doesn't sell well, then the devs change the direction of that line of production. In a subscription model, you don't have that direct-dollar feedback. That's where the community team comes in. That team keeps a pulse on the community to get an idea of what the players want. If you switch to a free-to-play model, then the community team becomes drastically less necessary.
Wardens of Fate / Alea Iacta Est
The Tarkus Legacy ~ The Harbinger/Jedi Covenant

losdia's Avatar


losdia
09.03.2012 , 08:29 PM | #1083
Quote: Originally Posted by Uluain View Post
Same-sex romance is rated exactly the same as opposite-sex content by the ESRB. The distinction is based on how explicit a portrayal is. The Sims, an extremely popular EA title which has always included same-gender romantic options, is rated T. To imply same-gender content is "more adult" on basis or orientation alone is close to the "discriminatory language" line. In any case, your claims simply don't stand up to the facts.
I tend to agree, but to play devil's advocate for a second, nobody is exactly sure how the ESRB would deal with non-explicit same sex story content in a game that was otherwise a firm T. It has actually never come up before. The Sims is the closest example, but in a way it doesn't really count since it is a sandbox game. There is not a set story about a same sex relationship in it, just the possibility of a player creating their own. There are some off the record remarks by anonymous guys on localization teams for Japanese games out there that have said they had to cut same sex content to avoid a potential ratings hike. Read up on a game called Harvest Moon Cute sometime. The company behind it (Natsume) still won't even admit that they even did cut (the very, very, tame) same sex content from the game, but off the record people have said that it was done to stop a hike from a K+ to a T. This is mostly just rumor though. I'm not sure, but I doubt SGR would be enough for a hike from a T to M for TOR. I have no real way of knowing that though, or if that is part of EA/BW's thinking on why SGR wasn't included feature at launch.
"Say, Mike... Did we just do something horribly wrong?"
"Yeah, I think so."
-MST3K, Invasion USA

Uluain's Avatar


Uluain
09.03.2012 , 09:13 PM | #1084
Interesting. But as we do still have a Community Team here, we do need to try to engage them. If they aren't able to answer questions directly, we may be able to ask about story content in general or about whether information from the Guild Summit regarding this is still accurate.

We also can get to know a smaller community team better. I imagine they know my name by now (and that my PMs go right into the trash bin ). But if we continue to discuss this, and especially if we are courteous rather than accusatory, then I think a smaller Comm Team might actually be somewhat to our advantage.

Quote: Originally Posted by losdia View Post
I tend to agree, but to play devil's advocate for a second, nobody is exactly sure how the ESRB would deal with non-explicit same sex story content in a game that was otherwise a firm T. It has actually never come up before.
Actually, we do, because a regular to this thread wrote to ask them, and received a very clear reply that sexual orientation is not taken into consideration when rating content. I will try to track down the relevant post, but Search is so far being uncooperative. It was sometime in the last month or so, however, which may help narrow it down.

EDIT - Found it. Kioma posted here on a non-subscribed player's behalf:

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Thank you for contacting the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to write.

The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body that assigns age and content ratings for video games and mobile apps so parents can make informed choices as to which are suitable for their children and family. As part of its self-regulatory role for the video game industry, the ESRB also enforces industry-adopted advertising guidelines and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices among companies participating in its Privacy Online program.

We understand that sexual themes have the potential to be of concern to consumers, which is why all such content must be disclosed during the rating process. In specific regard to your question, ESRBís ratings criteria do not distinguish between heterosexual and same-sex content when it comes to addressing sexuality in games [emphasis added].

We hope this information is helpful, and thank you again for writing.

Best regards,

Entertainment Software Rating Board
So, the upshot is that as fond as naysayers are of bringing up ESRB rating as a reason not to include this content, it is not and never has been a concern. The ESRB does have a working policy in place in regards to same-sex romance, and it is nondiscriminatory. So that really is a hollow argument for those grasping at straws for reasons to leave same-gender romance out.

LordTynell's Avatar


LordTynell
09.03.2012 , 09:58 PM | #1085
Look, you can hate the math - but honestly, I am just being real.

Wish you guys the best. I am a hetero male; and I'll be honest, the only SGRA I want is Mako/Fem!BH, but if I get that, everyone should get everything.

I just am saying, it seems the issue isn't as big as we think. I want it to be bigger, but I think they have so much on their plate with F2P/B2P, they could care less about it all.

Anyway, keeping the hope alive.

Den
Who's the more foolish? the fool, or the fool who follows him?

Kioma's Avatar


Kioma
09.03.2012 , 10:11 PM | #1086
Quote: Originally Posted by LordTynell View Post
Look, you can hate the math - but honestly, I am just being real.
No, you're just expressing an opinion. Unless you're part of the development team you don't now the facts any better than we do, you're just interpreting the silence differently.

And you're welcome to your opinion, certainly, but math is unambiguous and opinion is not. And we're quite at liberty to disagree.
::Please Stand By, Signature Assessment Probe Commencing Analysis::

kategreen's Avatar


kategreen
09.03.2012 , 10:14 PM | #1087
It's not going to happen, because it's a needless expense from the pov or ea / bioware. Sure, they said before launch that it would happen. But, they also said at launch that the game would be subscription based.

Welcome to the real world. Things change.

losdia's Avatar


losdia
09.03.2012 , 10:29 PM | #1088
Quote: Originally Posted by Uluain View Post
Actually, we do, because a regular to this thread wrote to ask them, and received a very clear reply that sexual orientation is not taken into consideration when rating content. I will try to track down the relevant post, but Search is so far being uncooperative. It was sometime in the last month or so, however, which may help narrow it down.

EDIT - Found it. Kioma posted here on a non-subscribed player's behalf:



So, the upshot is that as fond as naysayers are of bringing up ESRB rating as a reason not to include this content, it is not and never has been a concern. The ESRB does have a working policy in place in regards to same-sex romance, and it is nondiscriminatory. So that really is a hollow argument for those grasping at straws for reasons to leave same-gender romance out.
:shrug: I could issue a public statement declaring myself the President-For-Life of Namibia that doesn't make it true.

Actually what the ESRB said is literally true, but the issue is a little more complex then that. Check this out: The ESRB Ratings Guide. If you'll notice all reference to Sexuality (gay or straight) are covered by the content tag "Sexual Themes". In theory sexual themes are a non-indicative rating, meaning that it can be applied to any game rating. What they do with that is a little more complicated. On that page is a search tool for ratings look up. Use that to try to find a game with major homosexual story content rated under M. They don't exist, because while the ESRB does slap the Sexual Themes tag on any game that even mentions that there are such exotic creatures as gay people (to be totally clear they tend to slap that on anything that even has a single straight kiss), any game that has a gay PC or major support character tends to get slapped with Sexual Content (which is an even vaguer tag and basically can cover any mention that sex exists) and requires a game to have an either a T or M rating.
"Say, Mike... Did we just do something horribly wrong?"
"Yeah, I think so."
-MST3K, Invasion USA

wainot-keel's Avatar


wainot-keel
09.03.2012 , 10:32 PM | #1089
Quote: Originally Posted by Malles View Post
Seriously, though, I don't think they're going to. Same-sex relationships has always been seen in M-rated games and this is a T-game.
This was posted by Kioma couple of weeks ago. Short version, sexual orientation has no bearing in the game's rating.

Quote: Originally Posted by Malles View Post
I don't know why people keep bringing it up.
Because people want this content and BW promised this content ? But you know this....


I wonder if other threads for other kind of content get so consistent and relentless doomsaying as this one.

edit:lol, double ninja'd

Uluain's Avatar


Uluain
09.03.2012 , 11:02 PM | #1090
Quote: Originally Posted by losdia View Post
:shrug: I could issue a public statement declaring myself the President-For-Life of Namibia that doesn't make it true.
But were the President-for-Life of Namibia to do so, it would be. That was not a letter someone made up. Or rather, the someone who wrote it was doing so on behalf of the ESRB explaining their actual policy. If the same-gender content is no more or less explicit than the opposite gender content, there are no grounds to raise the rating.

Why do you want them to?

Quote: Originally Posted by wainot-keel View Post
I wonder if other threads for other kind of content get so consistent and relentless doomsaying as this one.
Not that I have seen, and I do frequent other threads as well. I think the doomsaying is a way of trashing the idea of same-gender content without running afoul of forum guidelines. There is a fair amount of general doomsaying about the game, but this topic does seem to come in for more than it's fair share. It is admittedly a controversial subject, but one hard to voice a strong opposition to on any rational basis without looking like a jerk. So they poke what holes they can.

Or so it seems to me, at any rate.