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Why Electronic Arts’ It Gets Better Video Is Worth Watching

I know what you’re thinking: Not another It Gets Better video. But wait! This one if from Electronic Arts, the video game producer behind Medal Of Honor and The Sims. And it stars its LGBT employees. Why is this significant? Because inside the video gaming industry, a deep secret lurks: homophobia is rampant. And it’s not just what you see displayed publicly by gaming companies. As we saw with Heroes of Newerth, the institutional homophobia of the industry can leak out into game play, so just imagine what’s going on inside these companies. (We’ve heard our fair share of stories about an unwritten Don’t Ask Don’t Tell rule that permeates the industry’s top firms.) So this video from EA, posted on the company’s official YouTube channel, is a small step to change the conversation. Yes, we’ve seen some positive developments, and who doesn’t like the idea of developers creating a hot gay sex scene? But if we’re ever going to get closer to, say, a leading gay gaming character, then we’re going to have to stamp out the industry’s phobia problem. And it starts with efforts like this one. Thanks, EA, for reminding us gays don’t just play video games. They create them, too.

By:           Matt Debord
On:           Dec 18, 2010
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 18 Comments
    • journey
      journey

      Wayyy! Better than any other celebrity it get better videos.

      Dec 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      Games with leading gay characters:

      Fable 3
      Dragon Age Origins
      GTA the ballad of Gay Tony
      Bully (Bisexual)

      Dec 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • j
      j

      @David: Notice how they’re all sandbox style createyourhero type games tho? Except maybe gay tony.

      Dec 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Diz
      Diz

      @David: Mass Effect should be on your list for the possible “lesbian” relationship. Though, for some reason you don’t even have the option of a m2m romance -_-

      Dec 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Meh
      Meh

      @David:

      Saints Row 2 is another one.

      If you’re playing as a female she’s pretty blatantly bisexual, if you’re playing as a male he’s…Something…Let’s go with ambiguous…

      Dec 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Plum
      Plum

      This article made me laugh. I’m a gay guy that went to video game school and worked with video game developers over the past several years. I have close friends and classmates working at various developers all across the board: Microsoft, ArenaNet, Trion, Kalloc, 5th Cell, etc. Your claims that homophobia is running rampant in this industry are completely false and unfounded. Just as with any other industry, you’ll find cases of homophobia with some companies, but don’t overgeneralize that to mean the entire industry is homophobic. If that were reasonable logic, we’d be able to conclude that homophobia is rampant in department stores, hotels, charities, etc.

      And seriously? Heroes of Newerth? Some no-name DOTA clone being used as evidence that the whole industry is that way, when even a source from the company said it was only because the owner of the company complained that no one considered anything he ever suggested, so it was made out of pity? Yeah, even that case doesn’t show homophobia in the entire company, it shows it in just one person that happens to hold power in the company.

      But yeah, homophobia in the gaming industry is not any more prominent than any other industry. This author is seriously deluded.

      Dec 18, 2010 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Owen
      Owen

      @journey: Agreed!

      This felt so genuine. Loved it.

      Good on you, EA.

      Dec 19, 2010 at 1:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Me. Neo
      Me. Neo

      I just know the article writer is going to back it up @Plum with in-depth studies and intervie… hey wait a minute this is Queerty, sorry about that.

      I agree Plum. The entire industry is no worse than any other, there’s jerks and a lot of tolerant and good people.

      Dec 19, 2010 at 2:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TommyOC
      TommyOC

      It’s the gamers, not the developers, who you have to really wory about.

      Dec 19, 2010 at 2:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      Lets also point out that they actually do this as a sacrifice to their bottom line because more homophobes buy games than homosexuals.

      If you really want to start looking at what the gaming industry really looks like then you need look no further than Blizzard Entertainment which has more homophobia in their games than exists in the Republican party.

      Dec 19, 2010 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Plum: Quick Google search:

      http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&q=blizzard+is+homophobic&btnG=Google+Search

      Blizzard and homophobia!

      The leading company in the industry is absolutely homophobic, and when (combined with Activision) it dwarfs every single one of the companies you mentioned, its pretty hard to say that Blizzard isn’t homophobic.

      Especially when you look at their new quest line in “Hillsbrad Foothills” revolving around “Johny Awesome” who is one of their “gay” blood elves that they use every single homophobic slur they can consider to dehumanize and insult.

      Dec 19, 2010 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      Quit blaming straights for all the gay bullying….gays bully each other all the time….

      Dec 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @alan brickman: Name some.

      Dec 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brianna
      Brianna

      “And it stars its LGBT employees.”

      - No it doesn’t. It stars its gay and lesbian employees.
      These people at no point use the archaic, classist, and
      racially insensitive “LGBT” to describe themselves. They
      use “gay”. Queerty should let people define themselves
      the way they wish.

      Dec 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ForeverGay
      ForeverGay

      I’m glad this video is reaching younger people, those that are most likely thinking about coming out because I’ve looked at the statistics (the graph icon under the video) on others videos and the people watching them are older and likely already out.

      Dec 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      lots of self promotion with this “cause”…just sayin…

      Dec 19, 2010 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kellye
      Kellye

      Another video game which I haven’t seen mentioned where you have the option create a gay lead is Bioware’s Jade Kingdom (same company as did Mass Effect).

      “‘And it stars its LGBT employees.’- No it doesn’t. It stars its gay and lesbian employees.These people at no point use the archaic, classist, and racially insensitive “LGBT” to describe themselves.”

      ^ How exactly is “LGBT” racially insensitive or classist? Trans people, bisexuals, and other gender-variant folks don’t necessarily identify as gay or lesbian, but still fall under the heading of “queers that catch crap from the straights”.

      And they need the It Gets Better Project just as much as gays and lesbians do. In fact, since the suicide rate for trans-folk is about 31%, with about 50% attempting suicide at some point before the age of 20, they probably need it more.

      Dec 21, 2010 at 11:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hamoboy
      hamoboy

      @Daez: Any MMORPG has huge amounts of homophobia, misogyny and racism. It’s just to be expected, because people are assholes, especially anonymous people. Most of the homophobia related articles regarded blizzard are due to interactions inside WOW, and not actual policy decisions from the company itself.
      Between EA, the second largest games company, and much more respected than activision, and Bioware, the makers of almost every hit nonJRPG RPG on PCs and consoles for the last 10 years or so, going out of its way to add lgbt content to its games, you can see that while homophobia is present, it sure isn’t “rampant”…

      Jan 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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