Star Wars is not Ghey!

The upcoming video game Star Wars: The Old Republic, has flirted with controversy on the Bioware forums. Just a quick summary, as you can find the info in various places, on the forums the community manager Sean Dahlberg shut down some threads discussing same-sex relations in the MMPORG and also cut out certain words like ‘lesbian’ etc. From io9, we have the post by Sean:

As I have stated before, these are terms that do not exist in Star Wars.

Thread Closed.

Needless to say this caused outrage, counter-outrage, a discussion of rights, the place of sexuality in Star Wars, video games, life, etc. And lots and lots of hand-wringing. Quickly, Bioware has issued a retraction, an apology and a reinsertion and opening of same-sex threads and language on the forum.

Now, I happened to go peruse bioware forum threads regarding this issue after they got reopened. Interestingly, and occasionally sadly, the forums reflect a variety of views on the issue (as I mention in the last paragraph). But, what made me stop reading  was how privileged and subtly homophobic so many of the comments were. Under the guise of two main points–1) It’s just a game, and 2) you’re manufacturing a controversy! (often with the “you’re injecting your sexuality into it!!!)–many many commentators allowed themselves to forget that straight relationships pervade the series, and that there are homosexual relationships in Star Wars already. What hit home most to me was that straight sexuality already pervades the setting. So, the many comments that imply that homosexuals (leave alone BTQI) are imposing their sexuality on the game, don’t realize how the game is already imposing a sexuality. Ahhh… privilage.  The forum is here, and though I couldn’t read more than a page and a half, if anyone can brave it and report back, I’d like to hear other opinions.

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