Archive for May, 2009
Put on your thievin’ boots and get ready to ride shotgun in The Ballad of Gay Tony, boys! That’s the title that Rockstar has just announced for the second episode of Grand Theft Auto IV. The sequel to The Lost and Damned is the tale of Tony "Gay Tony" Prince, a nightclub impresario whose nickname may or may not be based upon his actual sexual proclivities. Playing as Tony’s bodyguard Luis Lopez, players will "struggle with the competing loyalties of family and friends, and with the uncertainty about who is real and who is fake in a world in which everyone has a price." Read more…
- Californian Supreme Court says it was OK to ban same sex marriage
- "We did not know that child abuse was a crime," says Catholic archbishop
- Aussie government admits less than a third of censorship list related to underage images
- Obama wants to keep photos of US soldiers raping women and kids secret
- Obama proposes Indefinite Preventive Detention without trial
- FBI ‘lured dimwits’ into terror plot to cause a bit of panic
- Bush didn’t invade Iraq for the Oil – but because God told him
- English schoolkids go on strike until CCTVs are removed from classes
- EU sues Sweden because they didn’t make a data retention law
- Die FDP ist immerhin ehrlich: “Wir wollen keine gerechte Gesellschaft”
- Danke liebe Regierung: Staat baut in Deutschland illegal Atom-Endlager
- AK Zensur beweist: Netzzenszur überflüssing, Seiten lassen sich einfach löschen
- CDU-Kulturstaatsminister fordert Zensur auch bei Urheberrechtsverletzungen
- Jetzt offiziell: Deutschland in Sachen Zensur schlimmer als China
- Jugendschutz = politische Zensur? Jugenschutzfilter sperrt Zeitungen und Parteiseiten
- Hausdurchsungen gibt es jetzt schon wegen einer MP3 im Wert von € 1,29
- BKA lügt mal wieder, diesmal zu den Inhalten der Zensurlisten
- “Demokratie” in italien: Berlusconi will das "nutzlose" Parlament entmachten
- Schweden bestes Land im EU-Sozialranking, Deutschland auf Platz 19 (von 27)
Gaming companies are struggling with the issue of how to control the content in their games, without silencing a vocal minority of gamers. In many states, gay and lesbian couples can now marry, but they can’t talk about it online if publishers censor the very words used to describe their sexual orientation.
Why is the issue of sexual orientation so explosive that the very act of saying the word "gay" or "lesbian" is sometimes against the rules? Bioware found itself on the wrong end of this controversy when a community manager gracelessly began locking threads that discussed the issue, and then claimed that there simply were no gay or lesbian characters in Star Wars. Maybe those words don’t exist in galaxies far, far, away, but the characters often do: Bioware themselves created a game with a character who laid down with another woman as with a man. Sony was a part of a similar controversy after the words "gay" and "Jew" were edited out of Home, the company’s social online service for PS3 owners. And Microsoft made headlines when the company banned a player who self-identified as a lesbian, claiming any notice of sexual orientation was against the terms of service.
In some ways it’s unfair to take the world of gaming to task for its immature handling of gay and lesbian issues. After all, it’s hard to find a game that takes any kind of relationship seriously. This is an art form that knows how to show two people killing each other nearly perfectly, but seems to turn into a bunch of fifth-graders when dealing with a kiss, much less when that kiss is between two men or two women. It’s clear that something has to give, although companies only seem to pay attention after receiving the wrong kind of attention for their policies.