The announcement for the first expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic has turned into a political hot topic.
Fox News reports, “Star Wars’ game segregates gay characters on gay planet.” In their colorful reporting they state:
The gay planet will appear only in an expansion pack called “Rise of the Hutt Cartel,” and it will include characters with canned, flirtatious dialog for same-sex players. The move has generated controversy among everyone involved, with some calling for a separation of sexual preference from the game, and others lambasting what they say feel like digital segregation.
Now that you have the fantasy version of events, here’s the reality. Bioware is not creating a “Gay Planet.” The planet Makeb is a paid addition to the existing game that will have NPCs (non-playable characters) with an option for a SGR (Same Gender Relationship.) How many will be there is un-known, but it will certainly not be an entire planet of gay characters.
The game is rated “T” for teen, which means that it isn’t for children. The game currently has beheadings, genocide, and romancing. Cut scenes involve your character interacting with NPCs with optional responses. Many of these options allow you to shoot the person you’re talking to. The option to flirt is another one and to this point was only available for man to woman relationships. Any parent that allows their young children to play this game is already showing questionable judgment. SGR should be the least of their worries unless they think the option to have homosexual relationships are worse than violence itself.
The “vocal opposition from thousands of angry gamers” statement is curious as it’s really just been a tiny minority fighting over this on the game’s website. With the game being a MMORPG (Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) topics are always heated as the game is continually being fixed and updated and players always fight over what the developers should spend time and resources on. SGR was just one of many suggestions made in the website’s suggestion box.
This isn’t the first time that Fox News has misrepresented SGR in a Bioware game. Back in 2008, Fox reported that Bioware’s Mass Effect game contained “ full frontal nudity.” It did not.