Sometimes, with the benefit of time and distance and the clarity of deep calm thought, you come to realize that … Seriously, what even were they trying to do with this miserable excuse for same gender romance inclusion???
Or, in other words, forgive the lack of screencaps and head below the cut for my thoughts on writing same-gender romance in gaming after revisiting Star Wars: The Old Republic Rise of the Hutt Cartel.
So, for once, I do not think I need to reassure you, dear readers, that I don’t really mean that something is 100% very bad no good but rather that, if you understood every word I wrote in the title, I a) am absolutely serious b) definitely do understand the … fraught feelings us LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online) players have towards session play quests.
I have kicked the leeches. I have kicked the leeches more than once and am sure I will again. And yet – I do also have a certain fondness for session play and a desire for it to stick around as an occasional mechanic. And I also, as this article will show, think it can be used to really great purpose and effect.
Unsurprisingly, I also like epic battles. Quite a bit. But, that masochism aside (I kid, I kid, but kidding is more fun than serious answers 😛 ), it’s time to head below the “read more” cut for a discussion of consent, choice, Isildur (and his descendants) kind of being a big time jerk, point of view, empathy, and how LOTRO chooses to engage with the Paths of the Dead section of its source material.
Shrew’s eye view heading north in the Dead Marshes.
What I’m about to discuss is the type of thing you don a full-body hazmat suit for (I kid, I kid … maybe), and that is far from restricted to games and gaming as an issue. However, it’s such a big topic that I could easily lose the discussion for the sake of the examples, so – on with the show!
Although I will mention this show because it kind of crystallizes a lot of the complaints versus reality of queer content being inherently inappropriate for children/children’s programming and het content being viewed as so neutral the people complaining about queer content don’t even notice it’s there.
Not that I think any of the relationships and interactions on Steven Universe are inappropriate for younger viewers, but the only pair we see get up close and … fluid swapping is the m/f pairing of Lars and Sadie. Although Sapphire apparently does kiss away one of the tears on Ruby’s cheek earlier in their dance.
Fair warnings for this post:
- I don’t think any and all behaviour towards other players is acceptable so if you’re the type of person to use care bear to mean something other than this guy and his friends, this post is not for you
Well, ‘actually’ … consent is an important part of PvP mechanics in MMORPGs and toxic player interactions are not an inherent or necessary part of gaming.
- I will not actually be naming the game I’m going to talk about (because its community gets virulently angry at anyone talking about problems with the game community and the game mechanics that both allow and encourage toxic behaviour and environments), so any pictures or gifs will be off-topic ones. Probably/possibly Transformers related because that’s what I have on hand. That or Catwoman comic pages from the 1990s.
I will admit this panel is a good description of what happens in world chat when they realize another player is female though.
Now, head below the cut for my discussion of some previous high and low points of other MMORPGs, player behaviour, and how I honestly did not think I’d have to add checking the PvP set-up of a game onto my list of criteria for finding a game to try.
Megatron thought it would be lackluster storytelling or a lack of replayability or a frustrating push to throw large amounts of money into the game that would lead him to move on. He never thought he wouldn’t even be able to turn in and pick up quests and get his armour repaired because of other players. And Nautica’s character just died trying to walk to the bottom of the hill from town to pick up the next bunch of quests.