Handle With Care: Gamer Homophobia

By Kieron Gillen on October 6th, 2009 at 7:39 pm.


We’ve covered art mod series Radiator before, both first part Polaris and the second Handle With Care. Because we are all about the art-wank. Or wanking generally, in my case. However, some people are less into splendid art-ejaculate, and Robert Yang writes about their responses over in this week’s Escapist. Of course, their problem isn’t pretension or even iffy Half-life-two-level design. It’s because you were “tricked” into playing a gay protagonist…

You might have, as some players did, invented a female persona for your player character and assumed it was the same young “lady” dating Dylan from my previous mod, “Polaris.” And then you would find out, whether from seeing the name “James” so often or from reading forum posts – that I had managed to “trick” you into playing as a homosexual male.

Perhaps that made you angry enough to go to my website and, with the proud honor of being the first to post a comment on my work, you may have hastily written the following post: “Re relese [sic] the game without the GAY!”

His response, quite reasonably, is to tell them to sling their hook. There’s lots more in the article, which is an interesting examination of how even negligible homosexual content creates a disproportionately homophobic response.

Separate from the main topic, I admit one bit really disturbed me…

It is two months ago, when an editor at The Escapist suggested that readers might not fully appreciate my game design analysis of OkCupid in “Grinding the Dating Scene” if references to my preference for dudes stayed in the article. I agreed and changed it.

I mean, I understand the reasoning, but I’m deeply saddened by it.

Not much more to say than that, really.

Pah.

, .

271 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Jacques says:

    Disgusting, but hardly surprising.

  2. damien says:

    “… because we need to evolve past the same male power fantasies, those same damn games with big-muscled, half-naked men shooting their big thick … railguns … all over each other’s faces.”

    so much love for the article, but that bit most of all.

  3. Ado says:

    Indeed. I wish I was more surprised at such reactions and general homophobia in the gaming community, but saddly I can’t say I am. I believe it’s these kinds of things that lead to the perseption in society that gamers are generally immature fools.

    Just try and remember it’s usually the idiotic minority that shout loudest. Once we can tune these people out I think we’ll all be better off, as a community and in wider society too…

    • Howl says:

      It’s the closeted minority that are the most vocal. They need to get laid, get it out of their system and move on as their projection is painfully obvious to the majority of people, who really don’t care who others have sex with.

  4. Aubrey says:

    Not the first gay protagonist.

    Duke still hasn’t come out.

    • Ergates says:

      In more ways that one….

    • Dante says:

      So many comments, and not yet a Gears of War gag?

    • EaterOfCheese says:

      The answer to all this turmoil is simple people.

      1. Someone (Yang?) start a blog w/paypal donate link
      2. Get people to send in gamertags of homophobes on xbox live
      3. Mention Valve
      3. Use the several hundred thousand dollars in paypal account to get japanese tv personality Hard Gay on retainer (for more info on HG’s work, see youtube, got the love of pete: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4JGn2XAH9g
      4. Produce TV show for the internet. Hard Gay’s first assignment? Xbox Live users. (PSN & Wii can come later – Wii should be saved for last because of hilarity value)

  5. Earl_of_Josh says:

    Sad. I would say Robert should have kept his preferences in the article, since from a philosophical standpoint I enjoy the idea of having hateful people feel uncomfortable and no longer want to be part of the community. But, it seems just as (more?) likely it would produce a backlash from noisy bigots, so instead of them silently hating in the background, they would be loudly proclaiming it. I hope there is an equal an opposite outrage from the gaming community *against* this sort of hatred. Games should bring people from all walks of life together, and standing up against this sort of nonsense seems like a good place to start. I’d like to think of gamers as progressive and intellectual, but then I guess I do spend an inordinate amount of time reading RPS, so my data is skewed :-P

    • damien says:

      “Games should bring people from all walks of life together…” so we can virtually kill each other.

      maybe the core competitive undercurrents in our hobby have a tendency to bring out some of the (ugly?) tribalism left in our genes.

      turning even a temporary and virtual adversary into The Dreaded Them (“…see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women”) seems a natural byproduct of the fact that most games are based on some sort of conflict. that sort of Us vs. Them illusion might even (probably does) heighten player enjoyment of the game.

      the sort of verbal (racial / homophobic / generally hateful) taunts and slurs one hears while gaming with other people seem to be an expression of that.

      or perhaps the fact that shit-talking and slurrage is more evident as a game’s audience grows wider is further faux-evidence that people-in-general will say whatever they think they can get away with saying at any given time?

      supporting example: the internets. ;)

    • TheSombreroKid says:

      being a douce isn’t genetic it’s a choice ;)

    • damien says:

      i’m probably misinterpreting your use of the term “douche” here (taking it to mean that tribalism and the more hateful aspects of human nature are douchey), but:

      modern civility is rather recent in the social evolution of western man. take us back only a hundred or so years and hating the people across the imaginary border into another tribe / country / kingdom was a way of life and pretty much required for the survival of your own.

      we are a relative anomaly in that we get to play games based on conflict, war and random slaughter, instead of being forced to live it by our times.

      all that being said, i’d end up agreeing with you if you said that modern people really do like the sound of their own chat bubbles while they are being “douchey” to one another.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      Go back 100 years? It really isn’t that far back.

      For example, Communists.

    • Dracko says:

      Yeah, now we just fight our wars abroad instead of at home because that would make us “uncomfortable”.

    • Earl_of_Josh says:

      Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. Competition, and the anonymity of the web can definitely drive people to do stuff they otherwise might never consider in any other situation.

      That being said, I’m reminded of a quote from that movie about Steve Prefontaine Without Limits where Bowerman is talking about how there was more honor beating someone in the Olympic game competition, than there ever would be killing each other on a battlefield.

      I think its probably a product of all this blood bowl playing with RPS folks from all over the world, but for me its not just the fun of playing a game against someone, but my appreciation of the ingenuity of another human opponent.

      I guess what i mean is that we can certainly take competition and mold it into disdain for our opponent and that’ll definitely lead to some of the ridiculous trash talk you can run into online. But, I personally hope that’s the minority. It might be the games that I play cater to a different mentality, but for the most part I’ve found more respect than I have disrespect.

    • MajorManiac says:

      Thats just because the flights are cheaper. ;)

      Perhaps we hit on something here. Because (most) games seem to play on our competative side its only natural for us to become agressive to ‘others’.

    • damien says:

      “It might be the games that I play cater to a different mentality, but for the most part I’ve found more respect than I have disrespect.”

      excellent point. off the top of my head, contrasting the level of shit-talk between a game of red orchestra to that found in counterstrike would be helpful. they’re both almost identical games in terms of goals with similar gameplay. and yet the mentality of their players probably couldn’t be further apart.

      i sometimes suspect that the lower you set the level of skill / patience required to excel in any game community, the more “problem children” you’re likely to have.

      unsure if that theory plays out across the board, tho…

    • Earl_of_Josh says:

      You may be onto something there, I’m sure I’m not the first one to have this thought, but it seems difficult for me to picture two chess-players screaming things like “go suck a dick faggot” after a rook capture, while from what I’ve heard you might be hard pressed NOT to hear something like that during a public gaming session of Halo.

      Hmm, this actually makes me very curious. I wonder if feeds from online game chats are available from anywhere? It would be a really interesting experiment to filter chat transcripts (anonymously of course) from a variety of different genres with equitable numbers of players for a variety of derogatory terms.

      This would require some thought, since I can think of several parameters that could bias the data… and of course there would have to be complete transparency as to how you perform the statistics on the data for comparison, not to mention what is considered a “derogatory term”… still, that would be extremely interesting. (random sampling?)

      uh… what were we talking about?? There I go, hijacking the thread. :-P

    • Dante says:

      An interesting point, that macho, competitive environments encourage this sort of thing. One only has to look at the world of sport to see a similar example.

      Still, one would hope that gamers would be above that. We are, after all, geeks, we are the rejected, the social outcasts, must we cast out others in turn?

  6. Sinnerman says:

    I’ll admit that I stopped playing Polaris because I was too disgusted to go on.

    It wasn’t because I was uncomfortable with how intimate the character based on the mod maker was trying to be with me, although I was a little uncomfortable. It was because I had to look up at the stars and steam always forgets that I prefer to set mouselook to the only way any sane reasonable person uses mouselook when starting a new game and who wants to waste time pointing at stars anyway.

    • Senethro says:

      Oh, you be trying to start an inverted/non-inverted war!

    • Sinnerman says:

      I refuse to call it inverting because it is the only rational and moral way of mouse looking and inverting makes it sound like an alternative.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stijn says:

      Well, the direction your mouse moves in is inverted if you use that setting. Kind of makes sense, that terminology :P

    • JonFitt says:

      Up is up, that’s all there is too it. Have you told your parents that you’re an inverted mouse-looker?

    • Sinnerman says:

      You pull the mouse back and your view tilts back. How in goddesses name could that possibly be called inverted? You people were not raised right. I fear for the future.

    • TimRandall says:

      I only hope that someone who thinks the natural order of things is “pull back = look down” never gets to fly an aircraft that I’m a passenger in.

    • Sam says:

      Since when do you control your head with a joystick?

    • TimRandall says:

      You control yours with a mouse?

    • Earl_of_Josh says:

      Since the accident. *sob*

  7. Senethro says:

    Anyone remember how Microsoft decided you’re not allowed to inform other people you’re a lesbian on Xbox live? Theres a sickening number of youtube rants supporting MS which tick all the usual boxes such as blaming the victim, assuming that all lesbians who publicise it are doing it for attention (esp. male attention) and “open mindedly” saying they would accept them if only they just shut up about their identity. I know, I know, its a medium which brings out the lowest common denominator, right?

    I bet Xbox live circa 1950s would have had policies about not identifying that you’re black. People suck :(

  8. Ozzie says:

    I won’t preach to the choir.
    But yeah, he shouldn’t have edited out the implicit mention of his sexual preference of The Escapist article, just not to enrage some stupid fucks.

  9. Hobbes says:

    The Escapist is doing an entire issue on “Queer Eye for the Gamer Guy” with a number of interesting articles (of which Yang’s is one). Recommended reading, imho.

  10. Kong says:

    Sometimes I wonder how many female characters in MMOGs are actually gay? Many I guess. Good thing too. Maybe we are looking forward to a spectacular massive-multiplayer-outing one day. Any gay pride out there? Christopher WOW Day is coming! lol

    Reminds me of the gang of lesbians I once knew. The girls were great fun and loved Quake LAN parties.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      There is a Pride event in WoW, Proudmoore Pride.

    • Vinraith says:

      Is there any reason to think a gay male is more likely to make a female avatar than a straight male? Who’s more interested in watching a female posterior bouncing around for hours a day, after all?

    • Carra says:

      Who’s more interested in watching a female posterior bouncing around for hours a day, after all? Me, me! I always make female characters. It’s the whole reason why Lara Croft is female.

    • Howl says:

      I’m guessing it’s the other way around. Especially recently, with ripped avatars all over the place. I was playing Resi 5 with my married friend only the other day and we both commented on how outrageous our avatars assets were. Why would I play as the women when there is the lovely Chris with his impossibly big triceps and vesty top? =)

  11. Tom says:

    I just read this a few hours ago. It’s depressing (and not surprising in any way, to a gamer who knows what gamers are like) to see this kind of reaction to a small line in a mod. Think what it would have been like if the creator had made it even *slightly* more obvious that the avatar was gay.

    And as others have mentioned the “open-minded” wish that people would stop “acting” out their identities in games/online is stupidly disgusting, and quite similar to the response to this mod. Especially when you consider how, as gamers, we have to experience the heterosexuality and (often) whiteness of other gamers shoved in our faces, in every game, forum, and online match.

  12. Smee says:

    People are homophobic shocker, read all about it

    It’s relevant news for gamers of course, but labeling it as some special branch of “gaming homophobia” seems unfair in some uncertain way – surely the story is about some homophobic bastards who feel that their unpleasant worldview should be enforced in their past-time of choice, not that gamers as a whole are inherently homophobic? It seems to me that the problem with the reaction to Handle With Care and the Escapist editing example isn’t with the reaction of the gaming community, but the reaction of people.

    Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive. Homophobia’s a widespread problem and it pains me whenever I see it, but whenever I hear anything about it in the gaming sphere it strikes a special chord, probably because I like games more than other items of culture and want to defend them. Of course, there’s nothing anywhere that says that games are somehow immune to that sort of poisonous behaviour.

    On the other hand, Pah.

    • Smee says:

      (html editing and lack of edit functions make me cry)

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      I think this is true. Homophobia isn’t just an aspect of playing games and gaming communities, it is an aspect of life in general. The insults and off-hand comments you hear online isn’t really too different from the kind of thing you will hear from many groups of “normal” people, be it racist, sexist or homophobic.

      The difference is that we don’t treat the internet as if it were a public place. With our anonymity in tact we can say and do as we please, with limited repercussions. Using “fag” or “nigger” or “retard” or whatever prejudice you may want to incite is as safe to use on the internet as it is in your living room, surrounded by other bigoted people.

      On the Internet you find out what people are really like. It is disheartening.

  13. linfosoma says:

    Someday we’ll have our revenge!
    Well…not me, Im studying game design and I like zombies, guns and cars. But somebody else will, you’ll see!!

  14. Blast Hardcheese says:

    Hee hee hee! The way some people respond to this makes it seem like he’s implying they’re gay. Which he hasn’t done of course, so it makes this all very silly.

  15. Torgen says:

    Does this mean Robert Yang made these gamers his bitch?

    (Sorry, had to go for the cheap Romero joke.)

    Interesting that the homophobic gamer apparently enjoyed the game so much that he asked for a hetero version.

  16. wiper says:

    Hurray for homophobia!

    Of course, in this case it’s a mix of two things – straight-up homophobia, and the discomfort of being forced into a set role when ‘playing’ a protagonist. The latter is an issue for all games to an extent (even MMO’s, or strategy games; while the former allows you to say what you want, and the latter can avoid personalising the player at all, both limit your actions in a way – you’re always a leader of some description in the latter, and you’re always some sort of hero* in the former), but only becomes a strong issue in story-led games. Hence the mild backlash against the relationship between Alyx and Gordon Freeman. Of course, /hiding/ a facet of the player’s avatar only strengthens the jarring nature of being forced into a certain character when it is sprung, so again, had it been anything else that was hidden I’m sure it would have discomfited people.

    But not nearly as much. And without the disgusting reactions, which say more than simply “I don’t wish to play this sort of character” (the same sort of reaction that leads to me, say, avoiding Gears of War), but instead denounce an entire subset of people for an absurd reason.

    Ehh. People are stupid and bigoted. At least we frown upon such behaviour now. Hopefully society will just keep pulling in the right direction until there’s nothing left to frown on any more.

    *in the ancient greek, morally-ambiguous sense

    • Dinger says:

      Woah, woah WOAH. Trust me, you do not want to bring line “In the Ancient Greek, morally ambiguous sense” into a discussion about homosexuality.

      In other news, I’ve played male, female and “other” protagonists in games . Per locum a maiori I’m cool with sexual orientation and gender identity — although I have yet to see a game featuring a transsexual. Well, I’m sure there’s a Boneland mod out there, or probably even in the full game, so I should say “non-prurient” game.

    • wiper says:

      You’re probably right about mentioning the ancient Greeks, though it is worth noting that pederasty (which typefies ancient Greek male-male relationships) does not = homosexuality (and indeed that ‘sexuality’ as a concept was mostly alien to Greek thought). And stuff.

  17. wiper says:

    (worth noting I can’t actually read the articles at the moment – hilariously, the French school through which I’m accessing the internet hilariously blocks the Escapist – even though the site’s entirely in English, which you’d think they’d be happy for the students to be subjecting themselves to. Gah)

  18. TheSombreroKid says:

    remember, the internet is a free speach enviroment, the brainless and wittless can post here too, but we can also ignore them, i’ve always known there was homophobes out there, this incident changes nothing in that respect, i am sure most of them will grow up when thier balls drop and the rest will live out there lives knowing more now than ever that the world is fine with homosexuals but not with them…

    …and thier tiny penises :D

  19. Heliocentric says:

    Wait, these guys do realise why Gordon Freeman never banged Alyx don’t they?

    • Premium User Badge

      James G says:

      While reading this I was wondering what the reaction would be if the ending of HL2:Ep3 was Gordon and Barney finally getting that beer, and then taking things a bit further.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stijn says:

      I always kind of assumed that that couple you meet in Sandtraps (HL2 Chapter), one of them was called Laszlo I think, was gay. Guess I was the only one, or there’d have been some sort of uproar about it.

    • Flobulon says:

      Yeah, me too. That bit actually disproportionately affected me, emotionally.

    • Bhazor says:

      Not sure about them being a couple. I got more a student/mentor feel from it especially the “Greatest mind of his generation” line but they aren’t really there long enough to draw any kind of characterisation.

  20. Heliocentric says:

    The protagonist of dead rising was gay right? Sure thats more of a target than an art mod.

  21. Risingson says:

    There are LOTS of gay gamers (we are lots, I mean). And yes. I’ve noticed a lot of homophobia… not in videogames, but in internet generally. Clasifying something as “gay” is an example. Being surprised by something gay is a symptom. It’s just that there is still a long road to cross to normalize those things: it happened lots of times with movies, that people didn’t want to feel like a gay character. Homophobia in the most phobia sense of the term.

    And homoerotic gaming is something that has been around a lot. The game I love most with a blatant gay subtext is Another/Out of this World.

    • Dracko says:

      Oh, here we are.

      I’m not seeing that subtext. Care to expand upon that?

  22. Pace says:

    It’s sort of funny, I had wondered at the gay theme in Handle With Care, and why he seemed to be claiming it wasn’t a ‘statement’, wasn’t supposed to be a big deal. It never even occurred to me there might be a simple explanation.

    (also, I think the first-person nature of the game made the theme really hit home more than it would’ve otherwise.)

  23. Andrew Milne says:

    I long for the day where the fact a character is gay doesn’t matter. Nobody thinks anything of it, its like saying they have blue eyes or freckles, its just part of the character and everyone accepts it. It should inform our understanding of the game not drive people to mail bomb the authors.

    I’m not saying that because I want to belittle the reaction to the mod, but because the reaction is the furthest we can go from where we want to be.

    Lets not even start on the way “gay” appears to have been adopted by a large number of gamers to describe any and all behaviour that they don’t like or how “gay” is bad but “lesbian” is something to make sly remarks and wink at each other about.

    • Dave says:

      That one is kind of confusing. My sibling, born female, was a lesbian who called things ‘gay’ in a disparaging way. But now he identifies as male, and so I don’t know whether I’m now allowed to be outraged when he does that.

    • DK says:

      “Lets not even start on the way “gay” appears to have been adopted by a large number of gamers to describe any and all behaviour that they don’t like or how “gay” is bad but “lesbian” is something to make sly remarks and wink at each other about.”
      Please don’t call those people “gamers”. “Idiots” would be more appropriate. “Intelligence Impaired” if you want to be PC.

  24. Risingson says:

    I think that the way it’s not indiference, Andrew, as that is too close to the “I’m not interested in your private life” kind of statement. Phew. Sometimes I think that we still have a LONG way to travel…

    And I blame videogames for that education. That apparently innocent homophobia that has appeared once and again has never had a counterback, so the lesbian/gay character has never been considered naturally (with exceptions like Longest Journey, where, funny enough, there are those “your sex life has no interest to me” statements), but in a very negative way. And better not start to think about transexualism or travestism, because that makes me feel depressed. Designers and publishers should be a bit more responsible of what they are selling, I think.

  25. Poita says:

    Being disgusted by gayness in general is as natural a reaction as being disgusted by the notion of incest. Even the best scientists have found no evidence of how being gay benefits the spiecies; as every natural tendancy does in one way or another.

    I’m not saying that you guys are wrong on this. I’m just saying that it’s just your opinion that it’s wrong to be disgusted by gayness whether it’s homosexual or lesbian. You are starting from the assumption that it’s natural and therefore right/valid. The question is still not decided, certainly not scientifically. So those who are anti gay have just as much righ to their opinion and position as do those who are anti incest. With what level of maturity and civility they choose to express their opinion is another matter. I get the sense though that your real problem is with their actual position on the issue rather than their lack of civility and sensitivity.

    • Dracko says:

      How’s that bigotry working out for you?

    • dancingcrab says:

      @Poita
      Your logic is incorrect. Incest is harmful to the human race in a way that being homosexual could never be. Inbreeding leads to mutations; i.e. congenital birth defects and such. [EDIT for clarity:] This isn't the case with homosexuality or homosexual intercourse. It has nothing to do with natural or not natural, it about the human condition, your willingness to accept that which is different to you. To be open-minded and fair.
      Your opinion is, in my opinion, simply one of bigotry. I believe in people’s rights to express how they feel, but please don’t wrap up your silly argument in layers of nonsense.

      The Dude abides.

    • pillxthrills says:

      So would one who is disgusted by such ‘unnatural’ things should be disgusted by videogames and clothes, since I’d reckon these things are pretty unnatural too.

      Besides, you’ve built yourself a pretty strawman there, which needs burning. I don’t think the notion that incest is ‘disgusting’ tends to exist because it’s ‘unnatural’ but because it often involves coercion and abuse of superiority. Frankly, the analogy between incest and homosexuality doesn’t hold up.

      You state at the end that we should be upset over the rabblerousers’ lack of manners, but everything you say previous defies that sentiment. The “acceptability” of being homosexual (or asexual or what not) does not rest on ‘natural ways’ because, come on, like anything you do is natural anymore.

    • damien says:

      “Even the best scientists have found no evidence of how being gay benefits the spiecies; as every natural tendancy does in one way or another.”

      this all walks a very creepy line. paedophiles and homosexuals have often been tossed into the same basket and i’ve always found the reasoning for this to be a straw-man. “male paedophiles CAN have sex with boys, so ALL homosexuals wish to do the same…” i get as uneasy around “logic” like this as i do with people who use crime statistics in the US to bolster racist arguments (usually while blissfully ignoring the economic rather than racial aspects to those same statistics)

      also, is our “worth” really based upon how we benefit our “species”?

      do people who either haven’t reproduced or who just refuse to reproduce trigger the same repulsion?

    • Bhazor says:

      About this incest you keep talking about. What’s wrong with it exactly? The only real scientific reason I’m aware of is that the offspring is twice as likely to carry bad genes from the family like sickle cell anemia or downes syndrome. But this is balanced somewhat by being twice as likely to carry the good genes over such as immunities and being wicked on bass guitar. I’m not condoning incest, I just think people need to learn to justify why they oppose something rather than simply calling it disgusting or unnatural. After all the idea of smallpox vaccinations is pretty gross and definitely unnatural, jabbing a needle full o’ home grown death into a weeping child, but the outcome seems to be pretty OK.

    • Muzman says:

      Poita says:

      Being disgusted by gayness in general is as natural a reaction as being disgusted by the notion of incest. Even the best scientists have found no evidence of how being gay benefits the spiecies; as every natural tendancy does in one way or another.

      Haha. Fail Evolutionary Biology forever.

    • Poita says:

      @Drako, i won’t spend much time on you. Except to say that you are a retard. Not sharing yoru opinion doesn’t make someone a bigot. If you wanna talk with the grown ups then grow up.

      @dancing crab. Homosexuality is harmful if you understand the principles of energy. A species spends a lot of energy on each iteration and it gets a return on that energy by what each contributes towards the continuing line of DNA. Homosexuals and Lesbians do not continue the line. At the very best you can say that they do no good; speaking from an evolutionary point of view of course.
      What you need to understand is that emotions, and especially primal ones, are a language. Feeling are not ‘jus feelings’, they serve a very specific purpose. Where verbal language has a sophistication of design in complexity and subtlety, primal emotions such as response to pain, desire, disgust etc are extremely sophisticated in that they are unequivocal, there is nothing ambiguous about such emotions. They communicate something in a way that can not be misunderstood. If we feel disgust then it’s usually for a very good and practical reason. It’s to tell us to avoid. Our DNA programs into us disgust for the notion of sex with the same gender just as it does desire for sex with the other gender. Mutations, chemical imbalance, neurological glitches or neuro path deviation due to trauma can all mess up the system and in an infinite number of expressions. Some people, including myself, happen to be of the opinion that homosexuality is a deviation from the beneficial course that human DNA is on just as tens of thousands of other physical, mental and emotional deviations happen for various medical and social reasons.
      @pillxthrills. So you really think that if a 25yo girl or boy had an ongoing sexual relationship with a parent and displayed overt PDA then people would be fine with it and there would be no sense of disgust?
      You need to re learn what the word natural actually means or implies dude. Cities and clothes and cars and computers are all natural because there were made by natural creatures. Pollution or using forests in an unsustainable way is un natural because it ultimately diminishes the lives of even the species that is using it. There is a natural order for things. Going against that is what is un natural, not ‘being human’.

      @damian. Hmm not sure I mentioned pedophiles. Maybe you were reading a different post.

      @Bahzor. So you think incest is ok. You aren’t condoning it but you aren’t really against it either. I’ll leave your own comments to themself.

      The homosexual lobby and the left have done a good job at confusing the issue. They have done the same with handicapped people to such an extent that for example a deaf person who is suddenly able to have treatment to aquire hearing might actually choose never to do so because they have been convinced that their state is ‘natural’ and that having the opinion that there is a ‘norm’ is evil. The fact is there is normal and there is abnormal. Being deaf or blind is not a normal state. If possible it should be corrected. When you are more concerned with ‘feelings’ though then you become mentally and emotionally paralysed and unable to see what is normal or not. Just because one condition is more comfortable than another condition doesnt make it a right condition. There is natural and there is un natural. There is normal and there is abnormal. usually the natural and normal condition is written into the DNA and the expression of it benefits the species. The abnormal one is not and has no benefit or even a detriment to the species. So far the science on this issue points to homosexuality as being a deviation that is not beneficial.

    • Atalanta says:

      At the very best you can say that they do no good; speaking from an evolutionary point of view of course.

      Oh, of COURSE 9_9

      I was going to write a long comment on how you seem to be confused about how socialisation has real effects on how we view the world, and how cultural and societal norms can shape and change or perceptions on what is right and proper.

      And then I realised that you’re an undereducated homophobe who doesn’t understand even the basics of the science he’s trying to argue, so I’m going to go make dinner instead.

    • Bhazor says:

      Reply to Polita

      Wow. Treating homosexuals bad so they’ll suddenly cure themselves, blind people and the mentally ill being too thick to ask for medical attention and so much cod science I don’t know where to begin. Thats one hell of a comment you’ve made.

      So you still won’t tell me why you think incest is unnatural and wrong then?

      Actually I just thought of my favourite cod science line
      “Cities and clothes and cars and computers are all natural because there were made by natural creatures. Pollution or using forests in an unsustainable way is un natural because it ultimately diminishes the lives of even the species that is using it. There is a natural order for things.”
      Computers grow off trees then? I thought that was just Apples.

    • Dracko says:

      i won’t spend much time on you. Except to say that you are a retard. Not sharing yoru opinion doesn’t make someone a bigot.

      Using a term like “retard” in all earnest probably makes you a bigoted piece of shit.

      This isn’t something you can brush away with a “it’s just opinions, duder”. Opinions kill. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you can consider yourself an adult.

      Hating on gays does not make you a big man.

    • pillxthrills says:

      Yeah, Dude.
      That’s about the crappiest explanation of ‘natural’ I could have fathomed.
      Cars are natural because natural beings made them where as the pollution they cause is unnatural because… it diminishes the lives of it’s creator? Okay, pray tell how exactly clothes help you reproduce? I mean, that’s the core of your argument.

      I guess in the end just because you personally find something “disgusting” if it’s not effecting you directly, ignore it, and shut up. How exactly does a homosexual couple absolutely shatter your world and rip you apart? If it does, it’s not like the couple themselves directly interfered with your life, it’s because You, personally, are too much of a self-centered, egotistical bigot to realize that people probably think some of the things you do are pretty weird. Now, you could argue back that we are being bigots by not accepting your bigotry, except your intolerance actually effects other people negatively, through your perception and reactions to and of others.

      Regardless, your ‘natural’ argument is more asinine now that you… clarified yourself.

    • Dante says:

      “Even the best scientists have found no evidence of how being gay benefits the spiecies; as every natural tendancy does in one way or another.”

      Er… sorry, but you’re double wrong on this.

      First off, not everything in nature benefits the species, that’s not how evolution works. It has to be a significant detriment to the species in order to be selected against. The simplest explanation is the human airway, which crosses the oesophagus, and every year because of it, a few of us die of choking, but not enough to negate our other advantages.

      The latter is your assertion that being gay does not benefit the species. Homosexual behaviour has been observed widely throughout the animal kingdom, where evolution has let to select against it. Bonobo chimps, the species that most closely resembles humanity in sexual behaviour, use homosexual sex (as well as other kinds of casual sex) as a social bonding tool. The fact that it’s benefit is subtle and social rather than clear and biological does not make it any less real.

      In conclusion. Don’t try to justify yourself with science until you are more knowledgeable about it.

    • Poita says:

      @Atalanta. undereducated homophobe. Well I’m not undereducated. You don’t know anything about my education so that at least proves that you like to speak from ignorance. Well I’m an incestaphobe and as I view homosexuality as un natural then I guess I am a homophobe yes. Phobe is the Greek word for fear and it’s wise to fear things that are un natural. Dude, I was hoping for some logical reply from you but all you gave was an emotional splurge of nothingness.
      @Bhazor. eh, you actually need someone to tell you why incest is un natural and wrong?
      You think natural things have to grow on trees. How old are you dude? 14? A birds nest doesn’t grow on the tree but it’s constructed by the bird. Computers are useful to us and we construct them. Our brains and dexterity is natural so the result of that is too.

    • dancingcrab says:

      “@dancing crab. Homosexuality is harmful if you understand the principles of energy. A species spends a lot of energy on each iteration and it gets a return on that energy by what each contributes towards the continuing line of DNA. Homosexuals and Lesbians do not continue the line. At the very best you can say that they do no good; speaking from an evolutionary point of view of course.
      What you need to understand is that emotions, and especially primal ones, are a language. Feeling are not ‘jus feelings’, they serve a very specific purpose. Where verbal language has a sophistication of design in complexity and subtlety, primal emotions such as response to pain, desire, disgust etc are extremely sophisticated in that they are unequivocal, there is nothing ambiguous about such emotions. They communicate something in a way that can not be misunderstood. If we feel disgust then it’s usually for a very good and practical reason. It’s to tell us to avoid. Our DNA programs into us disgust for the notion of sex with the same gender just as it does desire for sex with the other gender. Mutations, chemical imbalance, neurological glitches or neuro path deviation due to trauma can all mess up the system and in an infinite number of expressions. Some people, including myself, happen to be of the opinion that homosexuality is a deviation from the beneficial course that human DNA is on just as tens of thousands of other physical, mental and emotional deviations happen for various medical and social reasons.”

      Hah! What complete drivel.

    • Earl_of_Josh says:

      @Poita

      First of all, telling people that they are “retards” is probably not going to get you a lot of respect on these forums.

      That being said, you do have a right to express your opinion, even if others don’t agree with it as long as you can maintain some civility while doing so (I imagine if your posts are too overly agressive they’ll be reaped).

      With that out of the way, I’m having some trouble with your logic. From what you’re saying, I think I understand that you believe Homosexuality is harmful as it contributes to a loss of genomic diversity? That I get. However, you immediately jump to feelings and emotions, specifically “primal emotions” where you place “pain, desire, disgust etc” together. Pain I can see the correlation, especially physical pain which is defined by specific chemical reactions mainly involving neural tissue brought on by a tangible discomfort. I lose you on the other ones though. Desire and disgust are far too broad a category of feelings to link to specific biochemical pathways. Certainly there are examples of each which we could think of that can be tied to DNA (perhaps a deficite of glucose causing fluctuations in leptin and ghrelin levels in the body, creating the feeling of “hunger”). But I’m pretty sure you can think of pathologic situations in which desire and disgust have nothing to do with DNA. For instance, identical twins, one likes peanut butter, the other thinks its disgusting. One wants red gloves, the other desires the green pair.

      I think you are mixing up social constructions with biochemistry, which isn’t completely unheard of. You keep going from “its bad for the population” to “I think its disgusting”. I think your mistake is that you are trying to tie the two together. Your argument breaks down because you’re saying you can’t help what you feel, and no one can. Except your feeling is that you are disgusted by homosexuality, and obviously there are many people (homosexuals for one?) that are not. If there was a specific biochemical pathway in the human genome that lead you to be disgusted with gays, then what is it? What benefit does that serve humanity? I would think you would be GLAD there were homosexuals, since from an evolutionary standpoint that means more reproductive possibilities for you. Also, if it were some mutation in the genome… why are there still gay people in the population? While they were off squandering their resources having non-reproductive sex with each other, wouldn’t they have extreme selection pressure against their existence?

      The same goes for your arguments for things that are “un-natural” or “incest”. Social constructs, not DNA based. If you need evidence against a “natural order” check out any other community that does things different than you. Hell, if polution and clearcutting forests get lumped into being “un-natural” look out the window. Shouldn’t you feel discusted whenever you see a logger or a politician that supported the clearcutting of the pacific northwest? For incest? Check out the bible. Used to be pretty natural. And those are just human examples, looking at closely related species (whose DNA closely resembles ours) you’ll find even more examples. Hell, you’ll probably celebrate the return of big cat species like the Cheetah where their only hope of survival is incest.

    • Bhazor says:

      You really need to be asked three times why two consenting adults taking contraceptive precautions can’t do what the jinkies they like?

      Also you didn’t get the joke then? It’s perfectly natural for a wee flu virus to spread and blossom and kill millions. Natural is not the same as good or beneficial.

    • Wulf says:

      Arguments like this always strike me as so ill-informed.

      It’s a fact that there are animals which do from time to time engage in homosexual sex; raccoons, dolphins, bears, even penguins!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior#Mammals

      That article has enough sources to be valid, and it saves me collecting all the links manually.

      Basically, to insist that it isn’t natural for humans to be gay is also to insist that it isn’t natural for animals to be gay. So animals are suddenly unnatural mutations and aberrations if they practise homosexual sex? Errr… no. They’re still animals, they’re just animals that mate with the same sex, which is a completely natural occurrence with some animals.

      So the whole idea of homosexuality not being natural kind of flies in the face of reality, so this is less about your fight against homosexuality being seen as natural, and more about your fight against reality. And this is a problem I see with a lot of people who share this opinion, ever fighting the good fight against the reality around them.

      Now I could understand if it were your opinion that gayness isn’t natural, it would be an ill-informed and incorrect opinion, but just an opinion, but factually homosexuality is natural, if something that’s practise by animals in the wild isn’t “natural”, then I don’t know what is.

      Then again though, the people who use “nature” often aren’t talking about mother nature, evolution, and all that good stuff, but more “The morality of God which I call nature.”

      Geez, those penguins must really be heathens. :p

      And I could go on like this all day! But I have better things to do. Seriously though, don’t try to present homosexuality as unnatural in a factual way, because that’s just a lie and it flies in the face of far too much evidence to the contrary. And it makes anyone who tries to do that clueless at best, and downright idiotic at worst.

    • Ergates says:

      Homosexuality is harmful if you understand the principles of energy. A species spends a lot of energy on each iteration and it gets a return on that energy by what each contributes towards the continuing line of DNA. Homosexuals and Lesbians do not continue the line. At the very best you can say that they do no good; speaking from an evolutionary point of view of course.

      a) Genetic diversity has nothing to do with energy.
      b) “Species” don’t do anything. The whole concept of species (and taxonomy in general) is a human construct, something we invented to make classifying living things easier. Individuals spend energy creating offspring – they do so for their own benefit (or the benefit of their genes anyway), not for the benefit of the “species”.
      c). Evolution doesn’t apply to humanity any more [at the moment anyway] as there is no longer any real form of selective pressure or isolation of populations. We’ll see what happens when the oil runs out though…
      d) Even if that weren’t the case, then all homosexuals are doing is excluding themselves from the genepool, and it’s not as if it’s a small genepool. If there were, about 12 humans left on earth, (6 men and 6 women), and half of them were gay and refused to have reproductive sex, then you might have a point about homosexuals being in someway harmful to the species. But we’re not in that situation, so you don’t. Or to put it another way – the point at which homosexuals not contributing to the genepool becomes a significant factor is way way past the point at which we are totally fucked anyway.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @poita
      “Even the best scientists have found no evidence of how being gay benefits the spiecies;”

      Well, except for the fact the behaviour it is still around after millions of years of evolution, which would indicate that it is either harmless or beneficial.

      Personally I like to think of us as nature’s way of providing a society with wildcards.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      The answer to the whole natural/evolution/energy argument can be put even more succinctly:

      Peacocks.

    • Ergates says:

      Don’t be silly, peas don’t have cocks, they’re plants!

  26. Donald Duck says:

    There is? I never saw it.. How? Must have been too young to see it.

  27. Donald Duck says:

    (And that was a reply to Risingson.)

  28. Risingson says:

    That’s a good one: be tolerant with me being intolerant with you, as you are intolerant with others I’m intolerant too and that’s the same.

  29. Risingson says:

    And Poita, don’t bring “natural” in this discussion: it’s the Godwin of this things.

  30. Dracko says:

    gross dudes kissing

    dykes with big tits are cool tho

    Time for this video to make the rounds again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6alOnuN-wCY

    • Earl_of_Josh says:

      Ugh, is that really a usual xbox live session? I’d be amused if there were even a few passing witty slanders.

  31. Donald Duck says:

    Hey Risingson – I can’t handle the reply system here obviou, but mind sharing your thoughts on Another World? It bugs me I missed that.

    • Dracko says:

      What’s this about Another World? Is there a brilliant blog post I should be reading?

  32. Donald Duck says:

    Or spell.

  33. TimRandall says:

    But being gay IS natural. Ask any bonobo ape (or *insert several other species here*).

    As for whether there is any advantage to a species of homosexual behaviour, wouldn’t it be better to ask whether there’s any advantage of homophobic behaviour? Why restrict oneself to sexual activity that has the potential to produce offspring? Is that the only potential benefit of sexuality you can think of?

    • Bhazor says:

      Actually there are a few ways that homosexuality could benefit a group. The ancient Greeks were rumoured to encourage their soldiers into get some hot man action as a way of cementing very strong bonds within the regiments. Theres also sex as exercise both traditional muscle tuning and in terms of making a guy more potent or a lady more fertile without fear of pregnancy.
      Homophobia on the other hand? Not so useful.

    • Unlucky Irish says:

      Actually this “cementing very strong bonds” you speak of was in reality institutionalised rape (a tradition that actually carries on in many modern militarises), as was much of Ancient Greek homosexuality in general. Of course what the Greeks did has little or no bearing on modern gay “culture”* and it should never be used in defence of homosexuality as it can only back-fire.

      *As much as i loathe to use that phrase in this context.

    • Bhazor says:

      Well you could say the same about marriage for the past 20,000 years. Marital rape wasn’t classed as a crime until the 1970’s. Whether it was emotional bonds or some sort of dominance or power thing it was still serving a use.

  34. Risingson says:

    Hi Donald. Today while I was playing it I realized of more and more signs of the homoerotic winks of that game, and there are many.

    The first obvious one is how the main characters look like the gay cliché: Lester, the scientific, is slim and kind of… feminish? look how he moves. Now look at the first encounter with the alien buddy. That big muscled alien buddy, who only could lack the moustache to look like the opposite cliché: the manly gay. That first encounter… have you realized of the sexual tension the game implies? A direct look? In the jail? wink, wink…

    And not to mention the very phallic aspects of many enemies, from the slimes, the spikes, the tentacular plants… the always violent aspect of that game makes it have an atmosphere like a Genet tale: it looks like all the hazards are sex-related. There is even a sauna/turkish baths included, if you wanted another wink.

    And then there is the ending, which is, simply, the most beautiful love story ending I’ve ever seen in a videogame. And look at the symbols. The freedom. The wings…

    Now, there is subtext or there isn’t? :)

  35. Donald Duck says:

    Sorry Dracko, I don’t have anything much better than this to say about the whole ordeal: dumb fucking racists and homophobes should be neutered or shot or at least get a good beating until they understand what a bunch of assholes they are and that it’s their fault the planet is in the condition it is.

    But Risington had a point about an old favourite game of mine, that I completely missed, so I was intruiged. Won’t drag the topic away anymore, carry on.

    • Dracko says:

      If you want to get rid of people ruining the planet, why stop at racists and homophobes?

  36. Hug_dealer says:

    You guys don't even want to know what i did for a few caps in fallout 2.

    • Robert Yang says:

      Ha, I did that too in the Den. I think the first time I refused, and so he shot me in the face with a shotgun. What an awesome game.

    • damien says:

      @ hug_dealer:

      best reply in the thread. <3

    • Bhazor says:

      I’m not sure if it’s the same part but I remember being quite insulted when I didn’t have the charisma/chat skills to seduce a same sex character in the game. Bahhh!

  37. Donald Duck says:

    Thanks for the reply Risington, that definitely puts things in perspective. I should go through it. Back when I had an Amiga and played it I was probably too young to see anything sexual anywhere, and my pirated disks stopped working arounf the turkish bath scene, so I never saw the ending.
    But yeah, heh the alien could definitely look a bit like Freddy without a moustache. It’s an arty game, I think you’re right.

  38. Lilliput King says:

    I’ve been trying to think of a way to play devil’s advocate here without it being completely ridiculous, and I’m fairly stumped. What can you say?

    Perhaps you could comment on how interactivity makes ‘roleplaying’ in games a different kettle o fish to reading about a gay protagonist in a novel, or watching one in a film. You could say it’s perhaps understandable players had difficulty playing as a character so different to them, and doing things they find themselves uncomfortable with. But very few people find difficulty in killing in games, and murder is a far more reprehensible action than being homosexual in, I imagine, the eyes of the vast majority.

    That argument would also assume that homophobia isn’t an evil, while acting in a homophobic way is. Which is a difficult one to tackle. Of course, to my crazy super-liberal eyes, being homophobic is just fine, along with being racist, and all those other things people hate so much. Expressing your opinions, either way, on any of those subjects or any others is pretty much fine too. In fact, it’s more than fine. It’s a basic and insanely important human right. Of course, that doesn’t extend to treating people of another background to you differently – there are quite rightly laws against discrimination – or treating them in a manner that would be an unacceptable way to treat any human being.

    But you should be able to think it. And you should be able to say it. I wouldn’t bring this up if there wasn’t anti-free speech laws at work in the UK currently – it’s a fragile thing.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      @Lilliput King: Sure, people have a right to believe what they want and to express those beliefs. But there’s a distinction between having the right to do something and it being a good idea to do it. There’s a difference, for that matter, between having a right to do something and having that something be the morally correct thing to do. Most of us have all sorts of rights, and others also have the right to think of us as stupid assholes if we exercise our rights in stupid or irresponsible or morally wrong ways. Sometimes an action can be legally protected and still be the morally wrong thing to do.

    • Atalanta says:

      You could say it’s perhaps understandable players had difficulty playing as a character so different to them, and doing things they find themselves uncomfortable with.

      In addition to the comments you’ve already made, this is a bad argument for another reason — there aren’t a lot of games made where the player character is a mixed-race bisexual woman. So either all of us who aren’t straight white males are either gaming because we’re masochists, or we’re just magically more understanding and accepting of others.

      Plus it sets up straight white maleness as the default, proper, normal view, which I kind of resent, but that particular argument only holds if you actually want to create a welcoming gaming environment for everyone, which is not something I’m convinced most people want.

    • Atalanta says:

      Oh hell, that’s not even sort of as clear as I thought it was. Sorry, I’m hopped up on cold medication right now and can’t English too good no more.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @invisiblejesus

      Valid point. I don’t, of course, defend what they have to say, merely their right to say it. That said, If you’ll allow me the liberty I’ll wheel out the cumbersome tired old concept of moral relativism to point out that your concept of morally right only really applies to you, and is patently unreliable. I’m not sure if you’re speaking from the point of view of your own ethics or of society’s, but either way it holds true. Consider that homosexuality was both legally and largely morally wrong till fairly recently. The people who wished to change that would have been excercising their free speech to campaign for their ‘morally wrong’ point of view.

      @Atalanta

      I imagine those that complained were white and male, so the justification would only apply to them. I’m not sure why I think this. It’s just a feeling.

      Also, seems we are in the same boat :( I can’t afford cold medicine so I’m toughing it out with loud debate.

  39. NeonBlackJack says:

    This kind of thing makes me so sad, but it also makes me quake in my boots at the terrible tidalwave of ignorance you need to charge headfirst into if you make an attempt to address it. Big sigh…

  40. Premium User Badge

    Arathain says:

    On an aside of sorts, my general approach to bigotry of all sorts in multiplayer games (FPSs in particular, since that’s where it’s most obvious) is the good old ragequit. If someone says something bigoted, or puts up some sort of disgusting spray, I’ll say what I think on general chat, and leave the server. I don’t want to be part of the fun of someone who thinks like that. I want them to know there are people out there who aren’t indifferent to their hatred.

    Sometimes for a lesser offence I’ll just say something, and only leave if they continue to be jerks, because there’s no point in arguing with them.

    I just think it’s important to say something. Don’t make a scene, but don’t give assent by silence.

  41. EyeMessiah says:

    @Poita

    There is nothing wrong with being disgusted. Being disgusted is perfectly normal, it happens to normal people all the time.

    The key is realising that its mostly a wholly meaningless response (unless you were considering eating some rotting carrion or somesuch) and just gritting your teeth and getting over it.

    Taking your worthless disgust and publishing it as a worthless rant on the internet is, well, worthless.

    If only.

    • Poita says:

      @eye. yeah, i’m sure nature spent almost two billion years refining and programing disgust into all species and specifically humans for no reason at all.

      The capacity for disgust is hardwired into our DNA and it serves as a kind of ‘stored wisdom’. there are certain things that are too dangerous for us to have to learn by trial and error so we are given an inate sense of it right off. Without noticing it you feel disgust thousands of times a day. Just like pain, or the potential for pain, we steer our way through our day on a path of avoidance of things that we shouldn’t experience. We only feel the pain or disgust when we happen to get to near to the experience.
      The system can be interfered and confused by a life time of propaganda but generally the disgust for gays that the average gamer feels and expresses is natural. They might go about expressing it in a cruel way but the basic feeling is not un natural at all.

    • Dante says:

      @ Poita

      Ah, the old genetic response. I find it odd that proponents of this theory always reduce genetic disposition to it’s most base instincts. Apparently ignoring the fact that increasing complex societal interaction is what has made us the dominant species.

      Overriding ones natural responses is what makes us human. Give into them and we are little more than animals.

    • pedant says:

      @poita “. yeah, i’m sure nature spent almost two billion years refining ”

      And yet we still have backs designed for walking on all fours, appendixes that spontaneously kill us and spontaneous cancer. That refinement seems somewhat less than refined.

      As for disgust for gays being natural, remember that the founders of modern civilization and the finest philosophers of all time very much enjoyed sex with men and older boys. Or that pretty much every truly disgusting behaviour we can think of is very natural. For starters just check out dolphins. Dolphins are such assholes…

      And if digust is a good indicator of something that is wrong in mother nature then hey, you fail. Along with spiders and ravioli. Nothing more disgusting than that.

    • Bhazor says:

      Then theres the Etoro tribe which thinks man on man oral sex is an essential part of becoming a man and the very liberal approach of the Ancient Greeks.

  42. damian says:

    “modern civility is rather recent in the social evolution of western man. take us back only a hundred or so years and hating the people across the imaginary border into another tribe / country / kingdom was a way of life and pretty much required for the survival of your own. ”

    Even though we share a moniker, I cannot dissagree more with this flimsy, unresearched piece of nonsense.
    Seriously, did you stop thinking when you got out of school?
    I don’t really know much about the subject at hand to make any kind of point. At least I can admit when I’M down on my homework.

    • Bhazor says:

      You might want to look into the attitudes of The British Empire before you dismiss the argument so rudely or read the slave trade or the East India Company to see how different peoples were completely dehumanised by England alone. Churchill for example advocated the use of gas on what is now Iraq as a way of inspiring “Some lively terror among the uncivilised mud Arabs”. Oh yes, he was also pro mandatory sterilisation for the mentally handicapped and was voted The Greatest Britain of all time.

  43. EyeMessiah says:

    @Halo 3

    I love that his alias is GayBoy and that his detractors, in a moment of sheer unprecedented genius spin-that-around and mock him by calling him “GayBoy”.

    • Ergates says:

      I went to school with a guy called Dickon Head. Yes, really.

      The funny thing was, that not once did I ever hear anyone making a joke about it. It would have been just too easy.

  44. The Pink Ninja says:

    The fact is the majority of Gamers are knuckle-draggers with hairy palms.

    For undeniable proof I point you in the way of any online FPS shooter.

    The PCG TF2 server included.

  45. army of none says:

    What the bloody hell. Handle with Care was a brilliant mod, and the issue of the relationship being between two guys shouldn’t matter at all! Homophobia for the loss.

  46. invisiblejesus says:

    @Poita: Maybe you’re right about disgust being natural. Let’s just say for the sake of discussion that it’s true. So what? It’s natural for me to want to sleep with my best friend’s girlfriend, she’s a great looking woman. It’s natural for me to want to hurt my upstairs neighbors when they keep me awake late at night making noise. Neither of those things are morally acceptable things to do, despite being perfectly natural. On the flip side, we’re communicating via the internet on a site about video games. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t born with an internet-capable gaming computer in my hands, so I’m going to go ahead and call that entirely unnatural. But I doubt any reasonable person would say there’s anything morally wrong with it. Natural or unnatural is fine and all, but it doesn’t carry moral significance in and of itself.

  47. Player2 says:

    I wanna see this taken a step further. Let’s have Bungee announce that Master Chief is gay.

    Oh lord what I would give for this to happen.

    • Dante says:

      I’m still holding out hope for Gears of War 3 to end it a great big manly make out session between Dom and Marcus.

  48. Dracko says:

    Poita, I find you disgusting. What’s your evolutionary rationalisation as to how misguided that is?

    • Taillefer says:

      You’ll have to try and forgive his confusion caused by a life time of propaganda.

  49. Helm says:

    re: Another World and gay subtext

    I don’t begrudge you the analysis, I’m open to any point of view on anything. Yes, the game has objects that are round and occasionally long in them, yes there is a bath-house (with naked women in them, but let’s disregard, after all, when you crash in there they are all shocked and then you’re running away from them!) yes you meet an alien that is physically much larger than you (and who touches you), yes the main character seems to be a weak, nerdy recluse (besides driving in a Ferrari, but then again, Carmack has ferraris and that doesn’t make him any less of a nerd) so alright, you can see in that some sexual metaphor.

    What’s this telling me though is that you’re a human being and you’re perusing a piece of art made by a human being. I don’t know if I can make this clearer, but that entry-level Freudianisms that one can apply to anything don’t really illuminate what they’re analyzing in any deeper level than the fundamental ‘the people that made this art have sexual impulses of some type’. Is that so interesting in itself?

    Perhaps it’s a point of intellectual progress to look at Another World and get from it alternate sexual readings. I kinda worry if it’s something we should stop at so much, though. Anyone can read anything into anything, it’s not so encouraging when the readings are epidermic.

    On the other thread of this conversation where this user is explaining biological imperative and evolution to support that being gay is unnatural, he perhaps should ponder more on how biological determinism undermines any metaphysical concept of free-will. So if people are turning out gay, they’re turning out gay through the normal (read: deterministic) channels, they’re not choosing at any point of the way to sin against nature. Either everyone’s got nature on their side, on nobody does, as far as these systems of approach go. Also there’s something to be said about the difference between descriptive/prescriptive moral statements in relation to biological determinism.

    • pillxthrills says:

      Now, that’s just a nice piece of writing.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Hehe, enjoyed reading this.

      As regards determinism, it’s unfair to criticise him on a point he didn’t actually make. He could be suggesting that homosexuality is a choice, however potentially misguided that would be.

    • Helm says:

      I have some trouble with proponents of hard evolutionary views that also shoehorn some metaphysical free will in there somewhere, somehow, but yes, perhaps he did mean something like that and it’s not wise to just assume otherwise because it’d make more sense.

    • Risingson says:

      Helm, yes, it is interesting. Because there is an obvious subtext, intentional or not, as there is a subtext, and yes, it is important. And there is nothing bad about it, it does not corrupt the game, and so on. Homoeroticism and gay subtext is everywhere, and it hasn’t caused the demise of occidental culture for now.

      “I kinda worry if it’s something we should stop at so much, though. Anyone can read anything into anything, it’s not so encouraging when the readings are epidermic.”

      Helm, no, simply no. We have suffered this in movies for a long time, deniying the homoeroticism in cases like Ben Hur “because it is overinterpretation”, and also i can go a step backward and say that it is a fear of just simple interpretation of symbols. Like “I don’t know why you think that much about it, you are rare, just enjoy it as it is as everyone”. And that is something that is related to being “natural”, to alienism, something I do not like. Interpretation is fine, as long as it is reasoned. “Intellectual”? Maybe. But don’t use that term in such a negative way.

  50. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    This might be as good as any place to ask this question which has been bugging me for a while. Is there a word other than “gay” I can use to speak derogatory about something that is too feminine for my tastes? As in “No, I’m not wearing a pink shirt. That’s just gay.” I want to express my disgust at wearing a pink shirt, so that the other person immediately stops any attempt at convincing me to wear one. But I don’t want to use the word “gay” for that, as that is just mean to gay people. So which other word or words could I use in that context?

    • Dante says:

      Girly?

    • Lilliput King says:

      “Too effeminate for me, I’m a red blooded male and like man things such as boobs. Woo, boobs.”

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      You say “Pink’s not my colour.” You don’t make any negative connections between that and anything to do with other people. Thus girly is also right out.

      Remember, when we’re using a reference to a group of people as a synonym for ‘bad’, that’s a form of bigotry. In most cases, a somewhat minor one, but there nonetheless.

    • TimRandall says:

      You could say, “dude, that’s gay… and not in the good way either.”

    • Dante says:

      Joking aside ‘camp’ is a perfectly acceptable word to use on such occasions.