queer voices

Heroes Of Newerth Lets Players Choose Stereotypically Gay Voiceovers. To ‘Express’ Ourselves?

If “sandbox mode” is one way to play certain video games, then why not “nelly fag mode”? Heroes of Newerth, the sci-fi real-time-strategy title S2 Games released in May, wants gamers to be able to enjoy world conquering in all sorts of ways. Including having the announcer sound like some flaming homo.

Players can launch the “flamboyant pack,” which changes the sound effects for certain moves, like killing an opponent. Instead of a eerie masculine “bloodlust” sound clip, players will hear, “Cherry popper,” complete with inflection. “Hat tricks” becomes “It’s a threeway.” The company man explains in this preview video the new announcer packs are “very fun, very over the top,” because players like to “win in style.” (There is also a “girly girl” announcer pack.)

Gay-Nerds.com reached out to game maker S2 to see if they have any comment about the apparent stereotyping. The company responds: “The flamboyant pack is one of many voice pack options that will be available for HoN 2.0 players. The intention of offering a wider range of voice packs is to bring a broad representation of personalities to HoN that let gamers express and differentiate themselves.”

Is this a way to offer gay players a way to “express and differentiate themselves,” or straight players a way to make fun of fags? It’s similar (but not identical) to the situation Microsoft continues to face over its bizarre censorship rules about The Gay. On the one hand, we should applaud game makers for making their products appeal to LGBT consumers. On the other hand, this is an industry steeped in homophobia, from game producers and execs to reviewers and all the way down to players. Which means any gay-ish move in the industry warrants a critical eye.

Particularly here, where S2 Games is throwing up rainbow colored text, gay sex innuendos, and a stereotypically gay lilt in this voiceover pack. Something tells me this offering had little to do with catering to gay gamers who want their announcers to sound like queens, and everything to do with giving straight players a chance to ridicule queers.

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  • DavyJones

    It’s a joke; there are far more important, and for more disconcerting examples of homophobia and bigotry out there than this…

  • Brutus

    This is hilarious. I would use this pack.

  • thedarkchariot

    I agree. It’s just a joke guys, chill.

    I feel like straight guys using this in a “campy” sort of way actually widens the heteronormative image – It’s kinda like Kirby. I’m still mystified, to this day, how Kirby is an accepted part of straight guy gaming because it is adorably cute and pink.

  • raygstl

    oh lord.
    this is kind of hilarious.
    league of legends is still by far the more fun game to play.

  • skzip888

    Once again, why isn’t Bebe Neuwirth in this?

  • Alan

    Yes it sounds a bit campy but if its all in good fun then what’s the harm? Doesn’t sound like a case of promoting discrimination and it’s optional anyway…

  • greybat

    I want a Bebe Newerth Avatar, too! And an Ava Gardener Avatar…

  • derp

    It’s not really optional, you have to hear it when a person using that announcer pack kills/owns you.

  • jacknasty

    I think I’m ok with this, bu I don’t play video games. Just because something fits some stereotypes doesn’t mean the creators are implying all gay people are exactly like that. It is called the “flamboyant pack” not the “GLBTIQ Pack”. straight people can be flamboyant too.

    If I could design a pack though it would sound like the Molly Shannon Ana Gasteyer NPR ladies…now that would be humiliating to get pownd by

  • tonyd

    With the amount of Blood Elves (probably the most effeminate characters in the series)that play World of Warcraft and the voice-overs in this game, you’re taking it too far. LOL As a semi-gay-gamer, it’s good to see our fingerprints, even if a funny one, in the gaming world; it shows we are all kinds of people, not your cookie cutter bar queens. Now if they could only perfect the dyke blood war scream!

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