Keep Hate out of Imaginary Worlds–there’s more than enough in the real one.
Stories are my haven. My safe place. Whether I’m escaping into a good book between classes, or surreptitiously watching Dr. Who while I’m doing homework, or snatching a few hours of escape through video games on the weekend–I fill my life with stories that both allow me to escape from reality, and teach me how to deal with it when I have to go back.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this. The mere fact that you’re reading this blog means that you have probably experienced the same thing. So, I’m sure you’ll also understand my anger and frustration when I find the very worst parts of reality infiltrating into the stories we cherish.
A recent article in atomic discloses the latest attempt to drag real-world hate into stories, and this time it’s hit the video game company Electronic Arts (EA). While EA may not be the the greatest company in the world, they’re currently receiving thousands of hate letters and even being boycotted, all for including same-sex relationships in some of their games.That’s right, they’re being boycotted for being inclusive. Go figure.
As if this isn’t enough to make you want to bang your head on the desk for a while, EA was also consumer-voted the Worst Company in the World–soundly beating out “companies that pay slave wages to employees, that foreclose on homes and put families onto the street, or that have work conditions so dire that the company’s a by-word for work-place violence.” (atomic)
The good news is that EA seems to be holding firm, refusing to to allow the outcry to change its plans for future games. It has also firmly rejected the notion that it was forced or persuaded by anyone to include such stories in its games.
“EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games. However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don’t tolerate hate speech on our forums.” ~Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications at EA
Hard on the heels of the racist outcry surrounding The Hunger Games movie, this story gains even more in importance. Really, it’s bad enough that we have to deal with haters and bigots in the real world, keep them out of our stories. Or, if they have to be there, let it be in the capacity of ass-kickees.
It’s important, however, to let companies like EA know that their audience isn’t just made up of haters and homophobes. Our friends at AllOut have created a petition to tell EA that it’s doing the right thing. Sign it and keep hate out of our havens. (Plus, there’s a really cute picture of Yoda).