LGBT Content In Video Games: For Art, Yes, For Politics, No
Sticky issue be damned; this needs to be said.
There has been lots of talk lately about including the "LGBT" culture (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) in video games. Obviously, we've gone through some of this before, when the question of openly gay virtual characters hit the headlines some years back. I assume we all remember that.
And I'll simply repeat before what I said then- go right ahead. If developers want to utilize such content for the sake of telling their story, so they convey the vision they have in their heads, fine. Won't bother me in the slightest. It's a reflection of the way the world is now, so by all means, reflect away. Regardless of your beliefs, art is very much about reflecting society and if we dare label video games as art, then we should stand by this historic truism.
However, there is one giant caveat to all this. If it's for the sake of art, fine; if it's for the purpose of a transparent political agenda, no. Don't waste my time and don't insult me. Don't hire a Transgender individual to write a story featuring that content unless that person is the best person for the job. Do not place an agenda over talent. We do it every single day in enough venues and it's enough to make one wince, because it really is painfully insulting. Don't place LGBT content into a game if it has no place being there. Don't illogically implant it just to make a "support statement."
See, this works both ways. If we are going to label games art, and we accept that art can and should reflect the current state of civilization, we should also accept art as the sacred form of communication it is. Art can be used to break down social barriers but that should never be the primary purpose of art. Ibsen's "A Doll's House" was revolutionary for women's rights but it was also a high-quality piece of work. The latter is what's most important because that message wouldn't have been properly stated without that quality. In short, don't produce a piece of crap just because you have a political agenda. It insults art as a medium.
Talent and quality come first. If a gay individual can write the best script for a game you want to make, great. Go for it. If you've got a plot where some sort of LGBT content is essential, I've got no issue. If it's obvious that such content only exists to make a point, no thank you. If I want that, I'll just pick up any newspaper in the country and look at the front page. Journalism can keep its agenda. Art shouldn't be compromised for any reason ever. As an amateur artist, I will always believe this.
8/4/2013 9:29:27 PM Ben Dutka