Okay, so I love new media. I love all of the options that new media gives the user/consumer. I love how some game enable two players vastly different experiences. My case study for these? The Mass Effect series.
If you don’t know what Mass Effect is, it’s a wildly successful trilogy of games (and books and iOS games) based in a futuristic galactic setting. Shephard (Last name… You change the first name, depending on if you play as a guy or girl) leads a group of humans and aliens in a fight against those-that-would-destroy-the-galaxy.
Still with me?
Without getting into too many of the specifics (and I write for a Video Game website, so some of the traffic that comes through here would be waaay too bored if I did that), you get to choose a lot of what you do in the game. You can choose to protect some alien races, leave others alone, and fall in love with your choice of shipmates (there are some restrictions: no robot love…).
You get to choose how you play, and you choose the story at you want told to you.
But, and this is a tiny but IMHO, there are so many choices, that you can do some things that certain groups don’t like. Have sex with aliens? Nope, no one cares about that (besides trying to figure out how different alien races are able to sync up their genitalia or flagella or whatever). Murdering thousands of evil aliens with shotguns and bionic powers? Nope, no one seems to mind about the violence… Same-sex sex?
Enter in the insane. And by insane, I mean the Florida Family Association and the Family Research Center (no hyperlinks, because I don’t want to link to Hate Groups). The FFA and FRC spend their time “protecting” core values for children and families around the country. While I admire their zeal and passion, they have seriously missed some key points in their push to censor EA:
- You never HAVE to make your character gay. Period. Seriously.
- It seems to me that they should really be more concerned with the violence in the games. If they are actually worried about issues that affect families, isn’t the fact that you go around shooting aliens in the face a little more troublesome?
- Let me repeat: You never HAVE to make your character gay.
- The game is rated M, like you know, for Mature, meaning that you have to be 17 or older to play it. Am I missing something here?
- It’s a fucking game.
So FFA and FRC, go back to fighting your stupid battles against gays in the military and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (seriously? What’s wrong with them?) . Leave EA alone (they’ve got enough to worry about right now, what with being voted the worst company in America for 2012, but seriously… Why not Monsanto or one of the tobacco companies? WTF?).
And I’ll keep my eye on you two, because I’ve never seen a single group as wrong as you two on so many levels. Oh, and here’s one more for you: