Orson Scott Card Writing Firefall’s Story

By John Walker on July 6th, 2011 at 10:46 am.

Jetpacks!!!!!

Firefall devs, Red 5, have revealed that their Tribes-a-like online shooter has its story written by Orson Scott Card, he behind the SF novel Enders Game, and other games including the exquisite Shadow Complex. Some will greet this news with enthusiasm, as it means the already promising action MMO will have something deeper than “the man shoots the other man” as a backstory. Others will start scrawling protest banners.

Card will be writing the game’s story, while his daughter, Emily Janice Card, will be collaborating with him on a manga that will accompany it all and be put out for free. Much like the game.

Here’s the thing. As repulsive as you might find Card’s views on homosexuality (and let’s be clear, his views are repulsive), the man pens a decent game story. Wagner sure knew how to write a tune, but I’m not sure I’d want to sit down at his table for tea. Would I want to give Wagner my money? Probably not. You’re capable of making your own mind up.

You can see Red 5 and Card chatting about his involvement here:

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275 Comments »

  1. icupnimpn2 says:

    *edit* this was supposed to be a direct response to someone’s comment, but somehow was posted as a solo comment at the end of the list. Attempting to repost in the correct place.

  2. Deano2099 says:

    @fraek I agree entirely with your point that homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children after they get married. Well said.

  3. Dawngreeter says:

    So, I haven’t read Ender’s Game, though I’ve heard of it. In light of this dicussion I thought I’d look it up on Wikipedia. I see that many of the people here express a point about Card not expressing his views in his written work makes his written work acceptable. This is what I found out about Ender’s Game from 2 minutes spent on Wikipedia.

    Ender’s Game is about a guy who kills all the aliens which are called Buggers.

    Let me distill it further.

    Ender’s Game is about a guy exterminating buggers.

    You’re all very welcome.

    • Felixader says:

      You practically know nothing about the book. ^_^

      I actually like the book, i even bougth it in english since i couldn’t be shure to get a unabridged version in german and i really find it very interesting.

      Thing is that the book actually is less about the War itself then about the shit the organisation puts the boy called Ender trough, more or less psycholochicly destroying him in the process, to win said war.

    • lightswitch37 says:

      MY, WHAT A GREAT DEAL OF INSIGHT YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO THIS DISCUSSION.

      On a side note, thanks for pointing out at the beginning of your statement how lazy you are. Duly noted.

    • droid says:

      Well, humanity is fighting a war against alien aggressors it doesn’t understand. It is only realistic that a derogatory term be developed or re-purposed when there is that much hatred. See also: Homophobe, Abomination.

    • Dave L. says:

      I don’t see how anybody could read Card and say that he isn’t dumping his politics and religion and other beliefs into his work. In Ender’s Game he creates a world where, after a major war against an alien threat that had the potential to wipe out humanity (how is never made very clear, since the alien fleet never got any closer to Earth than the asteroid belt, iirc), they outlaw religion as support to putting Earth on a continuous war production footing (pretty blatantly playing into his idea that the evil Socialist Left is always persecuting the good Christian Right). Which makes absolutely no sense, since, historically, appeals to religion form the backbone of almost all war propaganda (Soviet propoganda is a notable pseudo-exception, as it was based more on the idea of the State as God), and if you’re fighting an alien race that cannot possibly have any similarities to any culture on Earth, the ‘God created mankind in His image’ idea becomes especially powerful as a propaganda tool.

      There is the naming of the aliens ‘the buggers.’ Which he attempts to handwave away by saying that they’re vaguely insectoid in appearance and social structure, but that being the case, there’s no real need to further dehumanize the enemy beyond calling them ‘bugs’ (here Card’s defenders will no doubt say that he was trying to avoid confusion with Starship Troopers). That would be like making the official slur for the Japanese in WWII be ‘the faggots.’

      There is a rampant, borderline Golding-esque, hatred of children in EVERYTHING he writes. Seriously: Ender Wiggin: semi-intentionally murderous little shit defending himself from EVEN MORE MURDEROUS LITTLE SHITS. Bean, in Ender’s Shadow: murderous little shit. Obadiah Stane in Ultimate Iron Man: spectacularly murderous little shit. Kid Tony Stark in UIM? Not quite murderous, but rampantly sociopathic.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      “You practically know nothing about the book. ^_^”

      Yes, that’s what I said. All I know is I’ve heard people mention it in a vaguely positive context. So I looked it up. A prominent idea embedded in the book seems to be that it is appropriate and natural for a human society to equate insectoid aliens who almost cause human extinction with homosexuals.

  4. lightswitch37 says:

    Alright homophobephobes. This game is free to play right? Has anyone even questioned whether people play the game affects whether Card gets paid? I’m no industry insider, but I would assume not. These are the facts that need to be discussed before everyone runs around screaming “boycott!” and a whole lot of people other than Card get screwed over because they happened to land a programming job with a game company who happened to hire a freelancer you disliked. Always check for civilians behind your target before you go red.

    Secondly, I realize most of you are so stuck in a one way of thinking that examining another is repulsive to you. But perhaps you should seek out the heart of a mans’ intent before you call him disgusting and repulsive. While at the end of the day you may disagree with his conclusions, you may realize he’s not so different from you at all.

    • MD says:

      I don’t think it really matters whether Card’s payment is tied to player numbers (presumably not) and/or revenue (who knows). If it is made clear that anything he works on will face a significant boycott, he’ll become less employable.

      Secondly, regardless of his motivations and the content of his heart, the relevant fact (to me) is that he is actively campaigning for a cause I believe is wrong and harmful. His position may be based on genuine faith and/or a sincere desire to create a better world; but (in my opinion) he’s still wrong, and (in my opinion) his actions are still harmful.

      Therefore, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to attempt to reduce his income stream and position within the entertainment industry, both of which seem relevant to his ability to campaign effectively against gay rights.

    • Ashrik says:

      Incredibly interesting post when considered along side the essay on Ender’s Game which takes the author to task for the message that intent matters more than action undertaken. Why do you think it is so important to understand Card’s intent when he lobbies government for laws against homosexuals? I’m sure that all bigots, through out all of time, have had their reasons. You can bet Godwin’s Law on that.

  5. PleasingFungus says:

    “As repulsive as you might find Card’s views on homosexuality (and let’s be clear, his views are repulsive), the man pens a decent game story.”

    Have you seen Shadow Complex? Great game; hilariously bad story.

  6. thebigJ_A says:

    Shadow Complex was great, but it had almost no story to speak of, just generic bad-guy stuff.

    Which is fine, but after Chair making such a big deal of hiring the bigot as their writer, it was kind of funny.

  7. lupusaeth says:

    Why Card, why? I won’t be able to read Ender’s Game the same way again.

  8. jymkata says:

    I kind of maybe stole my copy of Ender’s Game because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
    I encourage anyone interested in it to do the same.
    I didn’t feel like I could ever pay for it because as a massive gaylord, this is an issue that directly affects the way that at least a part of my identity will be viewed. (I was also going through a bit of a ‘I think I’m a gentleman thief’ phase)
    Although maybe leave like a £5 at the shop.
    Or don’t.

  9. mattlambertson says:

    I think that there is a lot more to OSC than meets the eye, and that the “homophobia” accusations are more to do with his unfortunate association with his church than with his personal opinions themselves. I have read much of his body of work and have never seen him make an overtly homophobic comment in his novels or elsewhere. Most fascinatingly, one of his earliest novels, called “Songmaster”, is in large part about homosexuality and portrays it in a, if not positive, then at least a neutral light, and fairly enough that it prompts negative reviews from homophobes on Amazon. I think he just became a lot more conservative after he had children, but there’s a genious mind lurking somewhere in there.

  10. C Ellis says:

    I voiced my displeasure at Card being hired and about twenty posts were removed including anything I said to explain myself. The forum isn’t that active but they have 24/7 fanboy coverage so rage ensued. Red 5′s mod claimed it was removed due to politics being involved. First of all it’s religion, and an insane one at that, not politics, and secondly I was only speaking about not supporting a product that uses Card and even makes a selling point of it.

    My mistake was to attempt discourse, I should have went with the standard “U FUKN SUK” and posted a cat picture of some sort. To be fair most of the people actually involved were civil, just a couple were prats. But the thing that chapped my ass was they left posts I made out of context so it looked like I just stopped by to tell people how cool Red 5 was. Dickbaggery in my unlearned opine.

  11. Urfin says:

    Why the hell would I care what some (any) writer guy thinks about gays? He’s not even a good writer, which IS actually worrisome as far as the game is concerned.

  12. Crazy Horse says:

    Wrong thread

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