EA Is Hosting A Conference Next Week To Talk About Gay Rights And Gaming

While Electronic Arts certainly doesn't have the best reputation among hardcore gamers, they do have a good track record for supporting gay rights. And next week, the giant video game publisher is holding a conference to talk about all sorts of LGBT issues.

Kotaku just got an invite today. Here's the whole thing:

You Are Invited to EA's LGBT Full Spectrum Event

March 7, 2013 | New York, NY

EA and the Human Rights Campaign Address

the Full Spectrum of LGBT Issues in Gaming

Join Electronic Arts, a leading creator and advocate for LGBT issues in entertainment and media, as we host a half-day of open dialogue and panel discussions covering:

  • The origin of homophobia in games;
  • The development of authentic LGBT characters and scenarios;
  • The difference between exclusive and inclusive language;
  • Creating and promoting inclusive work environments for LGBT employees in the digital entertainment industry.

This event features members of the HRC, Ford Foundation and video game developers and professionals to discuss the leading issues facing equality in the video game industry.

The Full Spectrum will feature a fireside chat with NFL linebacker and Super Bowl Champion Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens to discuss the challenges in creating an inclusive culture and supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage despite harsh criticism and opposition.


Comments

    This is Gay!

    Why EA, must you divide my opinion so much?

    I want to hate you for being a soulless, money-grubbing jerk who sees your customers as nothing more than walking wallets, but then you continue to show support for a good cause such as LGBT rights.

    seriously though, kudos to EA for doing this. Hopefully with such a giant name behind the cause, a bit more acceptance will start to happen in the gaming community.

      What we need is for a whole bunch of gay people attending this event to speak out against ruining full-priced games with micro-transactions.

        I can see it now. the conference ends with the words:

        "...and that is how we, the LGBT gaming community, along with EA, plan to bring equality, tolerance and a mindset that values the right to live how you want to live, regardless of your sexual preference, to gamers worldwide. Thank you.

        ...also, fuck micro-transactions."

        Last edited 28/02/13 3:42 pm

          I'm pretty sure the Magna Carta ended the same way.

      I have no doubt that is the exact reason they're doing this.

        Does it matter though?
        As long as it's actually doing something good for the gay community, the motivations behind it shouldn't really matter.

    Does the Westboro Baptist Church know? (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    Good for EA. Thumbs up.

    All this coming from the same people who decided the best way to handle gay marriage was to have it isolated to one planet in a galaxy far far away.

      as opposed to not having it at all?

      theres a long way to go yet, but its a start.

        Well, sometimes it's better to not have it than put in something that can easily be misconstrued as strong prejudice against the very people you're trying to support.

    So deadspace 4 will have Isaac and carver gay romance forced in.

    When i read this i see WE WANT MORE MONEY FROM THIS DEMOGRAPHIC LETS PUT IN UNESSISARY CHARACTERS AND ROMANCE OPTIONS.

    I cant wait till in EA sports games you can just have a big orgy out on the field.

      Christ, your cliches are from like 1972 you mouth breathing fuck.

        Also, you post some inflammatory, redneck shit in every single kotaku post that mentions gay people. That is fucking sad.

      Oooh, maybe I can send them my Isaac/Carver slashfic and get a tasty cheque...

      I thought you had hit rock bottom retardation until I saw

      'UNESSISARY'

      READ IT OUT TO YOURSELF SLOWLY POOKIE

      DOES IT SOUND LIKE A REAL WORD

      Props to your desire to engage in virtual gay orgies though I think that is a little unicessarsseray.

      Hahahaha you are spot on!

      All that's going to come of this is companies have to FIND somewhere to put gay themes were its irrelevant to the users experience...

      It's just forcing it down everyone's throat...

        Yep, you are a drooling, inbred dumb fuck.

        Choice is never forced, if anything this at least means my female characters will get a little bit of action instead of being forced to romance - say - garrus when I play ME:2.

        Also I enjoyed your imagery of "forcing it down a throat" in reference to gay rights. Makes me wonder exactly where your mind is going (and what you are repressing).

    Well done EA! But you need to piss off with the micro-transactions.

    EA: Great at being nice people to homosexuals, great at being assholes to their customers.

    As much as this is a problem and a relevant problem in modern politics and society, this does nothing to make me like EA anymore, as it is doubtlessly a move to gain more favour to EA and make people hate them less for being satanic in every other aspect.

      Well, if you wanna bring ol' Lucifer into it, then there's absolutely nothing incongruent with their approach at all, since - biblically - homosexuality is evil. Just like eating shellfish, or getting a tattoo. Strange that only one of those is controversial, though... I just wanna eat prawns, OK?! DON'T JUDGE ME.

        Don't forget wearing clothing of mixed fabrics. Poly cotton? Enjoy hell you devilspawn!

    It's a positive move, but I'd rather they hold an event that is just generally on sexuality in games or human rights issues in games. All but their first dot-point are just as important for non-LGBT individuals, and and are experienced by non-LGBT people as well.

    As for the first one, erotophobia (of which homphobia is a part) is the larger issue - conservative go ape-shit over any sex at all being featured in a game: gay, straight or other. You need to get that hysterical reaction dealt with before you can seriously deal with specific types of sexual relationships and sexual activity in games.

      True, but at least it's less difficult to tackle. It's one thing to argue, "Hey, we should be more respectful of people who have a different sexuality than to what are portraying," it's another to argue, "We should be more open and tolerant of all sexuality and attempts to deal with it in games." (Even if it's just sensationalizing for titilzation.) At least with the former, you can say that there is something inconsistent about attitudes. Inconsistency is easier to rally around.

      If you say, "We want to do more with sex in games," someone can dig their heels in and say, "No!" and be seen to be taking the moral high ground. If you say, "We want to stop discriminating against a certain group," someone digging their heels in to say, "No!" sounds like they're endorsing that discrimination.

        Point taken. The argument seems to be difficult both ways, though. The conservative defence of the DOMA in the US at the moment is targeted at LGBT being a "slippery slope", with commentators frothing about "allow gay marriage, and what's to stop someone marrying a turtle? Or three turtles? Or two men, five women and a horse?" and so on. Talking about sex in general doesn't get these guys writing to their Congressman, but even hint at gay sex and out come the burning effigies and (highly selective) biblical references.

        Maybe I'm getting too cynical, but I can see this as a way for EA to actually slow progress down, as well. "Thanks for talking to us, LGBT community. We'll take your ideas, examine them, develop a series of memos for our development teams, what for them to implement them, take games to the market, sell them for a while, ask you back to discuss the results against our memos based on your ideas, refine, and in ... say, 20-30 years, problem solved". Honestly, I don't think that's the case, because as the article mentioned EA's progress in this area is actually fairly reasonable in comparison to other major publishers - I suspect it's to diffuse future criticism of LGBT representation in games by saying that "we spoke to the LGBT community, and this new gay planet is based on their feedback". Even so, a conference is rarely the precursor to definitive action, though hopefully in this case it will be.

    I yearn for the day that the issue of someones sexuality is not that important.

      yeah this. I don't mind if a character, two, three or however many characters are gay/bi/trans... I really don't mind at all.

      what I do mind is when its forced upon you in a patronizing manner. companies need to stop writing 'gay' characters, and start writing characters who are gay.

      Last edited 28/02/13 5:47 pm

        Yeah, like the shuttle pilot in ME3, or Traynor, also in ME3. An EA game... Hey. What gives?

    The LGBT movement has nothing to do with "equality" or "inclusiveness." This is really about nothing more than hijacking video games for use in political indoctrination.

      Strange I must have missed when the LBGT community scraped it's pennies together and bought EA games solely so they could have conference about gay rights and then secretly use that for political indoctrination. I'm glad at least someone out there is onto the scheme though.

        I never said or implied anything about anyone purchasing EA, and I don't see how that could possibly have anything to do with what I said.

        There's also nothing secret about any of this.

    It's a huge issue. Not a day goes by where I don't play an online game and watch someone call someone else a "fag", or "gay". They are seen as derogatory terms to an an entire generation.

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