“STFU and GTFO”

Priceless quote from a commenter on a recent Joystiq post about Gaymer.org (emphasis mine):

I’m sick of hearing about gay gamers and female gamers. When 90% of their audience is straight men, why would any developer care about any of you? I know that trying to segregate yourselves is a lame attempt at getting a bit of love from devs, but it’s not going to happen. Oh sure, some indie game company is going to come along and throw a gay romance and whatever it is that women like in there games, into one of their games, and their sales will see a spike from what they’d have been without, but will you ever see Mario having homosexual relations with another man (like Toad)? No. And if you ever did, I’d be willing to give up gaming right then and there. So here is a bit of a reality check from me to you; You are not special, you aren’t entitled to anything, and you really need to just STFU and GTFO.

  1. If he’s going to quit playing videogames just because Mario and Toad get into a relationship, then gaming culture as a whole will probably be better off without him. How childish.
  2.  Someone seems to be a little over-protective of their heterosexual male gamer “club”. He’s assuming that 90% of the gaming market is composed of straight males, but that’s just not true, at least for the male bit of his assertion. Attitudes like this alienate many gamers who aren’t male and who aren’t heterosexual. It’s just embarrassing behaviour. And people like him wonder why LGBT gamers and women gamers have formed their own online communities when they get treated this way on general gaming sites? Also, he’s telling us to “STFU and GTFO”. Who is being unwelcoming to whom?
  3. LGBT gamers and women gamers don’t want special treatment. They want to be treated without the kind of hatred and venom displayed there. The idea that some people have to speak out or even fight in order to be treated with respect is completely foreign to this person, thus he regards it as people seeking special treatment.
  4. The comments to the post, as a whole, are actually pretty tame as far as homophobia goes.  I’m not excusing it, of course, I’m just saying that I’ve seen a lot worse. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

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  9 comments for ““STFU and GTFO”

  1. Tom
    9 May 2007 at 03:46

    To be honest, I probably would stop gaming if Nintendo ever felt the need to insert a gay relationship into Mario.

    Of course, developers always want to know about corners of the market which are being poorly serviced though – that way money lies. As a gamer, I’m indifferent to gay gamers (gay? female? three arms? do I care… Well, maybe if you have three arms because that’s just cheating!) – as a developer I want to know if I can see them something :-)

  2. 9 May 2007 at 06:47

    I am so frustrated with people not realizing how diverse the demographics of gamers actually are. I feel that there’s a bunch of us (at least on the internets) that are pointing out that 90% of gamers aren’t straight, white, young men.

  3. 9 May 2007 at 07:39

    Gah! Hello reason I don’t really read the responses on most big blogs.

    And hello – major studios like Rockstar and Lionhead have already included gay angles into their characters.

    Plus – 10% of any market is a considerable portion. If I did something at work that strongly alienated 10% of our demographic, I’d be having some unpleasant chats with our upper management.

  4. 9 May 2007 at 11:08

    Tom: Thanks for commenting. :D I think it’s highly unlikely that Nintendo would ever put Mario and Toad into a relationship with each other. The details of the interpersonal relationships and romances amongst characters in the Mario games are rarely the focus of the games. Relationships are there, of course, but it’s not the focus.

    Arguably, there already is a queer presence in the Mario games. Remember Birdo from Super Mario Bros. 2? “He thinks he is a girl and he spits eggs from his mouth. He’d rather be called ‘Birdetta”. Birdo is a very minor character, however.

    The point is, though, the Mario characters have an established history that fans have grown accustomed to. For Nintendo to upset their established fan base by introducing significant changes into the history of those characters is unlikely. New characters? Maybe, however it would put Nintendo on the defensive against people who would accuse them of tokenism.

    I think the onus is on developers to just be a bit more sensitive. They don’t have to make “gay games” (what are “gay games”, anyway?) People who aren’t male and who aren’t straight will still buy videogames (if they are good), regardless of the game characters’ sexual orientation.

    Something to keep in mind, though is that we, probably moreso than the target audience, are looking more closely at how developers treat their characters… Whether they’re real, stereotypical, caricatures, are portrayed offensively, diversity, etc.

  5. 9 May 2007 at 13:55

    Oh, come on. Toad’s been giving smoldering looks to Mario for years. “Our princess is in another castle,” he says, adding offscreen “but I’m right here!”

    When it comes to the Mushroom Kingdom, there are so many phallic symbol jokes, but so little time.

  6. 9 May 2007 at 14:24

    I think they’re just going to continue to string us along like Sam Raimi did with Xena for most of its run. Xena and Gabrielle — just “friends” — RIGHT. :P

  7. 20 May 2007 at 13:18

  8. spacecoyote
    21 May 2007 at 10:12

    The problem isn’t how many gay/female gamers there are (they exist) and whether or not we’ll see more games like Barbie Horse Adventure (we will).

    My question is why oh why would anyone, gay, straight or otherwise, want to have specific gay or straight games? Who cares? Outside of kids games that is, where sex of any kind would be inappropriate.

    Speaking to the ‘core’ straight male gamer: If there’s adult content in your game which you’re ok with (Hell you probably think two girls kissing is hot.) then shouldn’t you be able to handle two guys kissing? Conversely to the gay “community”: Don’t be so obsessed about your sexual orientation. Most games don’t deal with sex at all and a lot of studios are already taking gay preference more and more into account. If you really want a gays-only game, just write one for f’s sake, no one is stopping you :)

  9. 22 May 2007 at 10:23

    Most games don’t deal with sex specifically, however most games do contain references to heterosexuality in passing. It’s like when you mention to your friends that you’re going to dinner with your boyfriend. The topic of that sentence is not sex, but that statement explicitly references your sexual orientation.

    I am probably as “obsessed” with my sexual orientation as straight people are, but one difference is that the media (films, games, etc.) tells me that I don’t exist, and if I do exist, I’m usually the villain. If I happen to mention, in passing, (as in the example above) that I’m going to dinner with my same-sex partner (hypothetically), people are likely to say that I’m “flaunting it”, when in truth, I’m just doing the same thing that heterosexuals do.

    What I am arguing is that games, even if they are not about sex, do still contain references to sexual orientation, and usually it’s heterosexual. I’m not advocating that developers should start making games only for homosexuals (though I wouldn’t care if they did). What I would like to see is more _diversity_ in the content of games that developers are _already_ making.

    Personally, I’d like it if there were more women in games, full stop. There are some games set in the future where the game world is almost entirely populated by men (Gears of War, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., etc.) If that’s not fucked up and just plain weird, I don’t know what is. And correct me if I’m wrong, the storyline of those games isn’t about how the women have disappeared. It’s just taken for granted that there are very few, if any, woman in existence in those game worlds.

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