Jonnie of MMO Melting Pot seems to be unhappy about the absolute heterosexuality of virtual worlds of Warcraft and Star Wars.
Blogger and my laptop are disagreeing about how to add links, so I hope you don't mind a bit of copy-paste.
Let's try the usual disclaimers to start off: I'm not gay and I'm not homophobic. But despite being called a fag more than a few times, I clearly do not have an insider's perspective, so maybe I just "don't get it."
That said, who cares? I think we may be making too much of this. By we I don't mean myself, since I disagree with him, and I can't speak for you, the reader, so it appears that we was a terrible word choice.
Azeroth is a fantasy world. This is important is several ways.
First off, the cultures and views within it are not necessarily those of the creators. Second, these are not necessarily idealized cultures. In fact, I'd say that the portrayal of every major race in WoW has gotten progressively less rosy. All of the races have major flaws, with only the tauren, in my opinion, being able to truly say that the evil is isolated to one group, the Grimtotem. In other words, this isn't a perfect world, made so by the lack of homosexuality. Not much is said on it one way or another, beside "me not that kind of orc." It's not shunned or accepted, just not there at all.
Why should it be? From what I can tell of the science, homosexuality is not a choice, but a matter of brain chemistry. Yea, I'm trying to tip-toe there, because "brain condition" and "mental state" all make it sound like something is wrong. Maybe in Azeroth the genetics and brains just don't work out in such a way that homosexual behavior or desire exists. Is this so different from how there don't seem to be dark-skinned humans or white orcs? It's all just biochemistry and it would be strange to claim that an alien universe should work the same way as ours.
Of course it would be equally strange to claim that an alien universe shouldn't work the same way as ours, given the fact that we (useless we, once again) created it. The writers could have decided that the chemistry exists to create black humans and white orcs (they come in several colors already, what is one more?). But why would they? Do these things add to the universe? Do they make the stories any better?
Potentially, yes. It could be interesting to see how various sexual or romantic attractions could change the sub-plots in a game like WoW. Variety can spawn variety. Maybe the tendency to not read quests could be fixed by a bit of gayness. After all, nothing quite catches the attention like an unexpectedly bit of tauren uh, beef.
I'm going to leave that aside for now, since I don't thin I'm getting anywhere on that path. Instead, let's think about how there came to be a lack of homosexuality.
Maybe the writers just never even thought of it. This seems unlikely. So then we have to wonder, if it came up, where did it go? I'm picturing a committee sitting around working out some quest chains.
"Alright, dragons captured his friend and he wants us to go free him. Anything to add to that?"
"Why not make it his boyfriend?"
"Make them gay?"
Why not? Maybe they don't want to anger the people who would be angered by that sort of thing. Maybe it feels forced to them. These are things I could understand. WoW seems to be aimed at a very wide population. Some of that population includes people who think that rescuing a girlfriend is romantic and heartwarming, while rescuing a boyfriend means that Azeroth Jesus is crying. As for the second, when does a gay character appear? I mean, when is it a natural part of the story for someone to be gay, rather than being a forced "hey look guys, we added a gay character for you, aren't you happy yet?" It's the paralysis of not wanting to do something wrong, so doing nothing at all.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the most double-standards of all?
I'm trying to imagine if WoW had been made by a majority gay development team and they acted the same way, creating a world in which everyone is gay. Would I play this game and think "oh yea, sure, everyone is gay, so what? Just coincidence and dev habit, not like it matters." I doubt it. I'd probably think it was a little strange. I mean, an entire world in which everyone is gay? How obviously forced! So maybe the reverse is the same.
But that's silly. Let's face it: an entirely gay universe would need some other means of reproduction, meaning that homosexuality wouldn't be the same. In the real universe, homosexuality is not "normal", is is the exception, not the rule. It is unusual. But that doesn't mean it is wrong. Somehow this distinction fails to sink in for many people, that different is not wrong. But by the same token, not wrong doesn't mean typical.
Games could benefit from a bit more gayness, not because it is politically correct or polite, but because it would allow for more variety in story-telling. And that's the key, it should be for the story, it should add to it, rather than being forced in. If it is going to be forced in, then it is just as ridiculous as the crusades of homophobes, who might be all in favor of gay relationships in TOR, as long as they gave dark side points.
In conclusion, I have no conclusion.
P.S. Upon a second reading, I noticed this phrase "When a personal choice is singled out" Why would anyone ever choose to be gay? It sounds pretty stupid, if you ask me. Who in their right mind would choose to be hated and discriminated against? Doesn't sound like much of a choice to me. Maybe the underlying self isn't a choice.
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