The Unquestioned Homophobia In Battlefield 3

The Unquestioned Homophobia In Battlefield 3

The first time I heard “I’m getting my shit pushed in!” during a multiplayer match of Battlefield 3 was from the mouth of an acquaintance in Party chat. I assumed he and his friends were laughing at how ridiculous it sounded, because robbed of context it did sound pretty funny.

I’ve since come to realise he was parroting and mocking scripted dialogue from within Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer, and somehow this homophobic content has escaped the notice of the video game press for nearly three months.

I try to be very sensitive about homosexual prejudice in culture but even I didn’t realise the implications of this dialogue until I started paying concerted attention to it.

The Operation Metro map in Battlefield 3 is a close-quarters environment, which means players spend a lot of time in close proximity to their teammates. Once I started paying attention I realised that when I was playing as the Americans on the Operation Metro map I was being pummelled with a torrent of “I’m getting fucked up the arse over here!” and “Fuck, I’m getting my shit pushed in here!” from all directions while my team waded through the meat grinder. That’s because the problematic dialogue seems tied to the suppression mechanic that blurs visuals and reduces accuracy when enemy bullets are coming close to but not hitting a player.

The connection to the suppression mechanic is the key to unpacking these statements. A soldier is taking close fire from the enemy, which means he’s in trouble. He wants to convey that to his squadmates, so he uses the metaphor of anal sex to indicate he’s being attacked and needs help. It’s assumed that his male squadmate will interpret a reference to anal sex as a negative statement because the squadmate would find anal sex repulsive by default. The homophobia is implied. I don’t think it’s intentional. I think DICE wants this dialogue to sound gritty and lend to the illusion that players are actually fighting in a war.

Battlefield: Bad Company was playful. It introduced a squad of goofy protagonists to star in the franchise’s first campaign. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 toned down on the antics, dulled the characters and gave us a campaign that took itself more seriously. Battlefield 3 is downright humourless, and we need look no further than the rivalry between the Battlefield and Call of Duty series for an explanation as to why. Electronic Arts wants their piece of the military shooter pie, and COD has set a gritty tone for the genre. 2010’s Medal of honour reboot didn’t give EA the market share it wanted, so Battlefield 3 had to get serious for EA’s second try.

“I’m getting f**ked up the arse over here,” as heard in Battlefield 3 multiplayer.

You can see the same evolution in the multiplayer components of the last three Battlefield games. Bad Company 1’s multiplayer had goofy, rockabilly guitar licks and Midwestern voices that harkened back to the character of Private Haggard, the dim-witted pyromaniac who provided comic relief in the campaign. Bad Company 2’s multiplayer was a much more intense audio experience, with foul-mouthed soldiers yelling “Payback’s a bitch, motherfucker!” and other manly-man shouts during combat. DICE ostensibly chose to insert this homophobic dialogue into Battlefield 3 multiplayer in an attempt to increase the realism even further.

Homophobia in the United States military is definitively a real-life problem, so it’s entirely probable that one could hear this kind of speech during combat in the American Army. One has to look no further than the debate over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the policy of the American military that gay servicemen and servicewomen who outed themselves were to be discharged on account of morale issues. That policy has since been rescinded, and one has to wonder whether homophobic rhetoric on the battlefield from now on is a potential morale problem in frontline infantry units.

The military also has a tragic problem with rape in general, including male-on-male rape which often goes unreported due to the rampant homophobia in our armed forces and requisite shame in reporting the crime. Rape operates in the military along the same lines that it operates in prisons. Raping another man anally is an act of forced submission meted out if someone isn’t being “manly” enough, or has offended someone in authority. Newsweek tackled the issue in April of last year.

Greg Jeloudov was 35 and new to America when he decided to join the Army. Like most soldiers, he was driven by both patriotism for his adopted homeland and the pragmatic notion that the military could be a first step in a career that would enable him to provide for his new family. Instead, Jeloudov arrived at Fort Benning, Ga., for basic training in May 2009, in the middle of the economic crisis and rising xenophobia. The soldiers in his unit, responding to his Russian accent and New York City address, called him a “champagne socialist” and a “commie faggot.” He was, he told NEWSWEEK, “in the middle of the viper’s pit.” Less than two weeks after arriving on base, he was gang-raped in the barracks by men who said they were showing him who was in charge of the United States. When he reported the attack to unit commanders, he says they told him, “It must have been your fault. You must have provoked them.”

When we talk about “realism” in military first person shooters, we’re not talking about true depiction of reality. Shows like Generation Kill and movies like Full Metal Jacket are depictions of hyper-reality. They’re media real. The Hurt Locker, which was celebrated as a realistic, gritty depiction of the horrors of our War on Terror came under criticism by real-life Iraq War veterans for its numerous inaccuracies. There is no such thing as reality in media depictions of war unless they’re documentaries.

Battlefield 3 would be no less hyper-real with these lines of homophobic dialogue removed. Even if homophobia isn’t intentional, it’s still harmful because it contributes to a culture of shame around homosexuality. We asked DICE for comment but Electronic Arts PR told us the developers couldn’t make our publish date for this feature and added “[Battlefield 3] is an M rated game.” I would have liked to have asked DICE what their motivations were for inserting this specific dialogue in the game. I also would have liked to know whether it occurred to them that doing so might be problematic. I presume not, because it’s unlikely either EA or DICE expected anyone to be looking at Battlefield 3 this closely.

The most common criticism of games like Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty is that they make light of the realities of war. Activision’s tag line “There’s a soldier in all of us” is catching flak precisely for this reason. Doesn’t this homophobic dialogue in Battlefield 3 make light of the reality of homophobia in the American military and the 50,000 male veterans who screened positive for “military sexual trauma” in 2010? Yet this dialogue has flown under our collective radar so far.

“I’m getting my shit pushed in here,” another of Battlefield 3’s more colourful quips.

If we talk about the influence of media on culture, the media which is digested the most is the media with the greatest influence on culture. Military first person shooter games taken collectively are one of the most popular genres in the entire video game industry. Games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are, from this point of view, two of the most culturally significant video games currently in circulation.

It’s easy to gloss over close analysis of these games and wave them away as stupid shooters designed for dudebros in no small part on account of the famously horrific online behaviour of their players, but the cultural significance of these games demands the full scrutiny of our critical attentions rather than bored dismissal or oblivious immersion in pure mechanics. If we don’t ask whether inserting homophobic dialogue which doesn’t arguably make the game better is justifiable, we can’t tell developers that they ought to think twice about making decisions which arguably make the real world worse.

Dennis Scimeca is a freelance journalist from Boston, MA. His weekly video game opinion column, First Person, runs Thursdays on The Escapist. You can reach him through his blog, Punching Snakes, or follow his random excitations on Twitter: @DennisScimeca.

Comments

    • I agree. It’s a game. The OP is obvisously hyper-sensitive to homophobic allusions in pop-culture. Your breakdown of why these statements are homophoic is an emotional connection that you have invented in your mind, based on your OWN biased viewpoint (which, granted we all have). Most rational people will not see the verbal hate crime you are alluding too. Sorry, the OP is out of touch with rational, reasonable discourse. In other words, the OP is emotional, rather than logical, and there is no way to argue/dialogue with subjective viewpoints

      • Cool, so it’d also be an emotional/non-arguable point if it had been a discussion of BF3 featuring lines like “I’m getting ni**ered over here!” or “Stop Jewing the ammo!” or something?

        SPOILER ALERT any dialogue that could be deemed offensive carries equal weight! It’s not NECESSARY to the game to make sh*tpacking allusions or whatever so it could just as easily not have been in there. ‘Most rational people’ would see the merit in not causing potential offense when there’s no need to. 🙂

        Also your speech pattern makes you sound like you want to be a Vulcan! “It’s only logical, Jim.”

        • But gay isn’t mentioned once in the dialogue, plenty of straight people do anal sex I think the writer of this article is a little bit stereotypical if he thinks that all gay people and only gay people have anal sex.

          • Well, there aren’t any female soldiers screaming “I’m getting my shit pushed in here!”, so there’s really only one way to take lines like that.

            Yeah, it’s offensive, but it’s really only offensive if you stop and think about it. What Dennis Scimeca here is trying to say is that lines like that are indicative of culture as a whole. We think that it’s fine to talk like that because vaguely homophobic dialogue has seeped enough into popculture.

            It’s just like ‘Matt’ said, if this dialogue was related to things which are ‘not cool’ to talk about, more people would think that it’s a bigger deal.

            “I’m getting screwed like a Hajij bitch over here!”

            “This is for 9/11, baby! Whoo! USA!”

          • I don’t think the dialogue is anything to do with sexuality. It’s to do with getting raped, metaphorically. I’m sure even gay guys would not like to be ‘raped in the ass’ by a torrent of bullets, or by anything else. They’re not saying they’re being lovingly caressed from behind. They’re saying they’re getting raped.

          • Except ‘rape’ isn’t actually being referred to at all, except in the implicit assumption that ‘getting fucked up the ass’ is automatically rape. Which runs straight back into the systemic homophobia that the author was ranting about.

            But hey, expecting people who’ve been indoctrinated into this culture of insidious homophobia and sexism to see what they’re being fed and raised on was probably expecting too much.

  • What a stupid, ludicrous article. He’s reading far too much into it. The ‘shit pushed in’ bit refers to the enemy encroaching on him and his position, its not refering to bum fun. By this logic if a female character yelled ‘I’m getting fucked over here’ then that too would be all about rape. This guy’s a troll.

    • “I’m locked down over here” could indicate that the person is in a similar situation to being held down and raped by the enemy /sarcasm

      “here take this medkit” says to me for sure that the person has been raped by many people and thus needs medical attention for his wounds.

      “want some of this” when you knife kill someone is a blatant attack on homosexuals as the knife represents a penis and you are shouting that phrase whilst raping them in the chest with it

      What a load of crap

    • You’re right, he is reading too much into it. That’s exactly what made it an interesting – and poignant – article. This sort of thing is well worth discussing, and arguing about, not flippantly dismissed in such a juvenile manner.

      Do you walk around with your head in the clouds, not thinking deeply about the actions of others around you, or indeed thinking about your own actions, and the wider effects, beyond the vibrations of yours and those around you eardrums?

    • I agree it’s taking it a little to literally. If one were to say ‘I’m getting f**ked up!’ it’s a euphemism that his condition is worsening drastically and isn’t about getting literally sexed.

      I agree with what Clint Eastwood said about gay marriage in it’s entirety including the bit about making a big issue about things we shouldn’t be.

  • Can’t say I’ve heard ” I’m getting fucked up the was over here” in bf3 before. Wow one awkward comment in a videogame lets get out that cotton wool again

    • Being homophobic isn’t really a problem, as our prejudices are only partly under our control. But being vocally homophobic is an issue, because not only does it attempt to unfairly sway others to your way of thinking, but also has a profound effect upon the morale of homosexuals, making them feel persecuted for the lifestyle they probably didn’t choose to lead.

      The suicide rate for gay teens is astronomical and unacceptable.

      Previous generations had equal rights movements for women and for people of colour. Our generation’s battle is going to be to normalise and generate acceptance for the concept of homosexual behaviour.

      • Oh Shane…

        Wouldn’t you agree that people who are saying it is right to be gay is just as “unfairly sway others to your way of thinking” just as much as those who say it is wrong to be gay? And if not, how are they different?

        I don’t see how you can justify censorship on the one side and advocate your own opinion on the other.

        • No one is implying it’s “right” to be gay, we are just saying it’s OK to be gay! Don’t twist peoples words.

          • I’m not twisting anybodies word. If you say something is Ok then you are effectively saying that it is the right thing to do in life. That doesn’t mean it’s the only avenue that everyone should take.

            Plus, I don’t think a hypothetical persons word could be twisted 🙂

          • Oh…..well lets look at this. One person says its wrong to be gay and a hundred confused teens launch themselves from stools with ropes tightly coiled about their throats. One person says its ok to be gay…..and …….the world continues turning…..but with a little less sadness and nobody feeling like their existence is being called into question……..yes your point about the two being the same is completely on the money.

            BTW, I don’t agree with the above rant but ffs equality for all and really if your opinion harms another human being then keep it inside and act with a little compassion.

          • Why should I punish Person A for Person B’s choice?

            If you ban people for their opinion… whether you think it’s wrong or right. then your logically saying people should ban your opinion.

        • I take your point, and will agree somewhat by saying that Mardi Gras is the over-the-top counterargument to vehement homophobia. I’d rather not be beat over the head with it from either side of the argument, but adopt a strong live-and-let-live policy.

          For me, I believe everyone has the right to live their life the way they want, as long as it imposes no direct harm upon others. I appreciate that not everyone believes the same thing.

          I don’t agree that it’s okay to bully and belittle folks (directly or indirectly) to the point where they hate themselves and the way they’re wired.

          • “For me, I believe everyone has the right to live their life the way they want, as long as it imposes no direct harm upon others. I appreciate that not everyone believes the same thing. ” – I 100% agree with you.

            But I also think everyone has a right to their opinion. You can’t force someone not to have it. Otherwise you would be saying someone is allowed to force you not to have yours.

          • Have your opinion. I don’t care. Just don’t be loud about it. Repeat: I DON’T CARE. 🙂

          • “Have your opinion. I don’t care. Just don’t be loud about it. Repeat: I DON’T CARE. :)”

            Isn’t protesting about being loud and being heard? 🙂

    • LDX – Really?

      Shane – You’ve hit it on the nail my friend- “but also has a profound effect upon the morale of homosexuals, making them feel persecuted for the lifestyle they probably didn’t choose to lead.”

      I’m gay, and you’re right, I never asked to be. Not that I’d want to be any other way because I’m comfortable in my own skin, but to constantly hear all the slander and slurs especially in such things as video games, well, it’s just tiring. People tend to forget that even in Ancient civilizations, homosexuality was practised, and accepted to a degree. Homophobia is purely a product of the last 2500 years of history.

      And by now, we really should know better. I don’t judge a soul. The colour of your skin? Who cares. The fact you may be of the opposite gender? Meh.

      It’s time to move past the fickle prejudices that sections of our society and the media still display and try their utmost to uphold.

      • Would you be offended to hear the ‘fucked in the arse’ line in BF3? I’m sure there are gay men and straight women as well as straight men that dislike the thought of anal sex. Should the mention of anal sex immediately be related to gay men and rape?

        Would these in-game quotes cause you to write an over the top, rash piece of sensationalist journalism that twists a sensitive and appalling subject into a today tonight/ current affair style shitty article that is fast becoming the norm for kotaku?

        Should we just be wanking off to cosplay instead?

        Will Mark Serrells ever address the issue of the decline of quality across the board in the US articles an the relationship between the two kotakus? Is he like an alternate universe Kerry Packer who chooses not to ring up and say ‘get that shit off the air’ about that trashy video show that would seem right at home with a headline from Ashcraft?

        • “Should the mention of anal sex immediately be related to gay men and rape?”

          Have you tried to thoughtfully answer that yourself, with well rounded reasons for and against? It may not be immediately related to gay men and rape, but in the context (which is what this author was talking about), it seems that is exactly what is implied by the use of this language in BF3. See any number of different articles on man-on-man rape, with homophobic prejudices, in the army. THe author even mentions one such case!

          For sure, it may just be an attempt at authenticity, but the author is asking you to decide for yourself; “is it necessatry”? Does it add anything to the game, or dtract from it?

          “Would these in-game quotes cause you to write an over the top, rash piece of sensationalist journalism that twists a sensitive and appalling subject into at day tonight/current affair style shitty article that is fast becoming the norm for kotaku?”

          Opinions, man. Just for a moment, remove the red mist and try to wear the hat of someone of someone who agrees with the author. Where does this lead you? This was pretty far from sensationalist, and it’s an awfully long bow to draw a comparison to TT/ACA.

          “Should we just be wanking off to cosplay instead?”

          Not only a strawman, but ridiculous. You’re showing your age and lack of thought processes here.

          Your last paragraph is unrelated, but worth discussing, but not here and now. Kotaku_US is very annoying.

          • Its taking two minor pieces of dialogue and basically accusing Dice and EA of being homophobes who are somehow inciting rape, and it’s using real cases of rape in the armed forces as examples as if they’re related to these two quotes. Games cause army rape! That’s pretty sensationalist.

            The cosplay comment was meant as an interesting juxtaposition to this article and how the objectification of women is prevalent on this site. Sorry if it went over your head, age, and thought processes.

            Any more business buzzwords bullshit like red mist hat, straw man, glass ceiling crap you want to trot out?

          • The author specifically said he didn’t think it was an intentional jape against homosexuals…. soooooo he never said they were homophobes.

          • Straw man is not a business buzzword, he was saying your argument was illogical.

            Another example: the article above does not at any time state or imply that games are causing army rape; which is what you are criticising. This is another straw-man argument: You are creating an easy to dismiss argument yourself, attributing it to the other person, and then shooting them down for it. It’s ridiculous.

            Read the last two paragraphs again, and again, until you understand what is being said here.

      • “Being homophobic isn’t really a problem, as our prejudices are only partly under our control. But being vocally homophobic is an issue…”

    • Why is it wrong to be ignorant? Why is it wrong to be afraid or hateful against someone just because they are attracted to a different gender than you? Why is it wrong to be a coward and a moron who can’t think for himself and hides behind baseless, uninformed and unintelligent opinions?

      Why indeed.

      • “Why is it wrong to be ignorant?”
        Unfair attack, no substantiating evidence and rhetorically attributed views.

        “Why is it wrong to be afraid or hateful against someone just because they are attracted to a different gender than you?”
        Rhetorical question with no real meaning due to sweeping generalisations and attributed views.

        “Why is it wrong to be a coward and a moron who can’t think for himself and hides behind baseless, uninformed and unintelligent opinions?”
        Irrelevant, and unproven in any context.

        Now, this isn’t a personal attack. I’m just saying it’s a terrible response, the sort that usually appears when people get angry, and thus, somewhat impaired.

        I’m sorry, but to answer a question you need an answer, not more questions.

    • Because it’s being prejudiced against a person for a part of their personally they have no control over maybe? No better than racism, sexism, ageism, etc.

      That aside, yeah, I’m no fan of the article. It’s reading too much when there’s little there.

  • Read from actual Iraq veterans that the most innacurate thing about Generation Kill was the “live ammunition” they were carrying around were mistakenly marked as blanks.

    • My best friend is gay and we both play Battlefield 3. I know for a fact he would not be offended (and would no doubt laugh) at hearing such a line if dialogue, but I know a few straight people would be. I may be offensive to some people, but I don’t think it’s exclusive to homosexuals and claiming that it is could be actually be offensive to others too.

    • The hell makes you think we’re different to straight gamers? We’re not all too busy working on our hair and nails to grind BF3 for hours!

  • So if my girlfriend and I are into some weird shit.. And I HAPPEN to enjoy being anally penetrated via the use of my girlfriends strap on dildo…. Am I not allowed to have a say in all of this because OBVIOUSLY it’s all about homophobia right??

    Of course it can be read that way, but you see what you want to see in something that was never explained.

    But if you’re going to point it out as though it’s fact that is is blatantly homophobic, then I call bullshit! Just cause gay blokes can take it in the behind doesn’t mean that I’m gay for taking it in the arse..

    In fact, I’m a little sensitive to the issue, it’s hard being a young male with anal related fetishes, always being likened to a homosexual male, it’s an unfair prejudice, gay men don’t own anal sex….

    Seriously, what what a load of shit… <– 😛

  • I’ve noticed this dialogue as well, but I didn’t actually make any connection with homophobia. I heard it in a kind of prison sex assertion of dominance context, which I see as somehow removed from what most people experience as homosexuality and which probably shouldn’t be lumped together as homosexuality. Hey I’m not gay though, so don’t let me decide whether to get offended or not.

  • Discrimination, homophobia, racism, sexism….. all of you need to stfu, grow some balls and broaden your shoulders. I have had it up to my eyeballs with the current pansy ass generation whinging whenever something isn’t PC.

    To every single person on this planet that is PC, fuck off and die.

  • Homosexuality has been observed in over 1500 species (that we know of), homophobia is evident in only one species.
    Homophobia really isn’t a bad thing, a person is entitled to their own personal opinion, but anyone who has an irrational fear of anything, i would suggest educating themselves in the matter.

    I have a friend who was perpetually angered and disgusted by people with down syndrome, then he ended up in hospital for a few months after a car accident, and the intern that was working with his physiotherapist had down syndrome. Now my friend volunteers at schools and camps raising awareness about down syndrome social acceptance after becoming great friends with the intern who helped him learn to walk again.

    So moral of the story, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I recently got in an argument with a friend about Brokeback Mountain, he refused to watch it because he’s “not a fan of butt sex” and i said I’m not a fan of it either, but it’s a great, tragic love story, not a porno about butt sex. He got overly huffy about the situation and said it grosses him out watching gay guys in movies. And i proposed, so how do you think it makes gay people feel having to see heterosexuality every where they go, morning noon and night. A straight person can go a whole week of tv watching, internet streaming, and living and they’d be unlikely to see a homosexual couple represented in some normal way. Gay people could barely go a few hours without having to see heterosexuality in some form around them.

    Gay people are used to it because it’s been exposed to them their whole existence, it’s normalized.

    once we normalize homosexuality, homophobia won’t take such a toll on humanity. Educate yourselves, realise that it is not a choice to be gay, and there’s nothing wrong with homosexuals, they’re not disabled in any way, they’re people just like you, and if you have a problem with them, there’s more of a problem with you I’d say.

    • “Gay people are used to it because it’s been exposed to them their whole existence, it’s normalized. once we normalize homosexuality, homophobia won’t take such a toll on humanity.” – well said Emma

  • Having other soldiers yell “im having my shit pushed in here” is in context to what is happening in the game and from a gamers point of view is appropriate for various reasons

    -it draws your attention to the fact that your teammate is in trouble and is more likely to get your attention.
    -from a layman’s perspective it is what you expect someone to say in that situation.
    -its more effective than the other character yelling something like “im heavily suppressed please shoot them for me”

    I agree with mark that the military is a very homophobic environment and this is just a representation of that, i just believe it is art reflecting reality.

    I dont believe it is out of place in this game.

    Its a not so serious game (multiplayer) about a very serious issue, and nothing they can do can make it realistic of being in that terrible situation, if it was it wouldnt be worth playing except for the crazy hardcore simmers out there.

    This is just one more aspect of the developers increasing the reality, as they are striving for. There have been some changes from the beta toning the swearing down, for example when you lose a match you don’t hear someone yell “were so fucked” its just the music.

  • “Let’s create a mountain out of a molehill, stick the words “gay” and “homophobia” in it, and get ourselves some more clicks gentleman” – Kotaku CA editor

  • There are some pretty sad comments being made in here. I can’t believe how many of you are defending this. Is your enjoyment of BF3 so intricately connected to the fact that a guy says “I’m getting my shit pushed in here”? What do you straight guys have to lose if we just don’t say things like that?

    And for the poster above claiming realism. You need as much of a reality check as I’ve ever seen.

    • Please refer to my post earlier about my girflriend and I’s fetish based sex life… I’m a straight guy who happens to be into anal fetish, that fact you try and blanket us ‘straight guys’ is actually really offensive. Please don’t lump me into that group assuming I don’t enjoy anal related pleasures and think that I am unaffected by what is being said in the game. I empathise with the characters making that claim, because it’s an analogy that can very much be related, do you disagree?

      If so, why? Based on the analogy being incorrect, or because you equate the comment as something related only to homosexuals, thus, ignoring the large culture of straight males and females who could also relate to, ‘getting fucked in the arse over here’?

      Because I’m not gay now apparently I’m, ‘Some straight guy with nothing to lose/ gain’ from what’s been said… I’d prefer it if you made the correct distinctions between us, please try not to offend me again…

    • I wouldn’t defend it, but I think the author is wrong to deride it as well. Personally I could take it or leave it, but the assumption that a fairly common turn of phrase in the military is inherently homophobic isn’t made. The fact is, most guys wouldn’t want to be fucked in the ass. That’s not homophobic – thats just a heterosexual preference.

      • Exactly… I mean for fuck sake, I have mates who are female who often say, ‘Oh fuck me in the arse…’ when expressing displeasure at something..
        NOW… If, and from MOST accounts I’ll say, not all :P, if being anally penetrated is both uncomfortable, painful and just straight out displeasing, I can EASILY see why someone would say something similar to the characters in BF3…

        Most people turn to expletives in times of distaste and uncertainty, and warfare would be number 1 for uncertainty, fear and displeasure given the situations they are put in..

        INSTEAD of complaining about the game, maybe we should expect soldiers to use proper english when talking on the battlefield amidst live fire??

        Come on, this is taking it just to bloody far!

  • I don’t understand why people have such a negative reaction to articles like this. There’s nothing wrong with discussions about all aspects of gaming on this website. Claiming that this article is just a ‘gay’ article is narrow minded. Rather than flaming the writer and the article for being wrong, why not try and tackle the issues raised thoughtfully and logically?

    Talking about these parts of gaming culture and game design shouldn’t be something we condemn. It should be encouraged. Even if it doesn’t change anything in the games themselves, it could lead to more awareness amongst the community of it’s own members.

  • a phobia is an irrational fear.

    People whom find homosexuality to be morally wrong, or to be a genetic defect, aren’t displaying an irrational fear of homosexuals. Screaming ‘homophobia’ at all of these people doesn’t really amount to anything more than ad hominem.

    with that said, I think it’s dumb to expect everything to be politically correct. It’s even dumber to WANT everything to be politically correct. what a dull, gray world you wish to live in.

  • Isn’t CoD and BF3 like the two staple games for uneducated idiots at the moment? They’re the sort of people who would make stupid gay jokes, so it does kinda fit…

  • I’m sorry but in the context of what is being said this is acceptable.

    Try to picture yourself as the person you are playing, you wouldn’t adopt a formal register, you are scared for your life.

    My 2C

  • I wonder, where does this stop? If people are to have their own views censored at attempted to be stamped out by others in the name of progression, then what better are we than puppets? We are all entitled to our own opinions. If our own opinions are taken away, then we’re left with all the same person. That would be very dull.

  • What a load of shit this article is

    Learn about the contextualization and intent of what is being said BEFORE applying meaning.

    The soldier isn’t saying “help I am about to be raped by a gay man” (authors implied meaning) the solider is saying “This is getting rough here and if you can assist me that would be nice”

    Homophobia is all about intent, not about how certain words are strung together. The soldiers aren’t hating on homosexuals at all, the language is coarse but in context acceptable.

    Language is all about communicating a message, and communication is 2 way, the speaker and the listener, both parties need to be able to understand what is being said, contextually, for it to have any meaning, and as far as meaning is concerned this is not homophobic

    • What you say is true, in the context of military teams under live fire.

      This article is about a different context: a video game being consumed in the comfort of peoples’ homes. The author is talking about communication between the game and the player, not between the characters in the game.

      If you re-read the final 2 paragraphs, you might understand that it is this communication that the author suggests needs discussion, not the communication between soldiers.

      • Homophobia is all about intent? Where on Earth did you get that idea? Prejudice of any kind is all about effects not intents. That’s half of where the whole notion of “Privilege” (as used in minority rights disscussions) comes from.

        It’s not good enough to “Not mean to” reinforce a culture of oppression and second-class citizenry if that’s what you end up doing. That’s why there’s such a fuss about people using “gay” as an insult. Because every time you do, no matter how pure as the driven snow your intentions may be you ARE reinforcing a mindset by which gay = bad.

        Likewise when you call a man a “c*cksucker” as an insult, you are saying, in effect, “You are a man who performs fellatio and thereby are gay or bi and therefore bad.” Likewise when you say “I’m being f*cked up the arse over here” to mean “Help help” you are either making light of anal rape in a military setting or you are passing moral judgement on people who engage in anal sex. There is no third option whereby the use of that phrase magically doesn’t either make light of rape or tacitly insult gay people. And no amount of good intention can change that fact.

      • Also, sorry Tunblor, apparently I fail at internet. My comment was intended as a reply to Davroz not you.

  • I’m honestly a little worried about some of the comments on here. People are entitled to their opinions, so I’m not going to go white knighting and report the majority of them (despite feeling self righteous enough to do it, but hey, that’s me 😛 ), but seriously, I think a few people here could stand a little education on the matter before posting things like “What’s wrong with homophobia?”.

    Might as well ask “What’s wrong with rape?”.

    Ignorance here is most certainly NOT bliss.

    • Look, I get what you mean entirely, but let me try to clear something up.

      1. There’s technically nothing wrong with BEING homophobic. Phobias are by definition ‘Irrational fears’. If you happen to irrationally fear gay men, then I have no right to condemn you, because I may as well condemn claustrophobics, arachnophobes etc…

      I can’t do that, because it would be unfair to imply that any of those phobias be treated any differently. HOWEVER, if the ACTIONS of said phobe impede of the living quality of another then obviously issues arise etc.

      So really, there’s nothing WRONG with being homophobic, much the same as having morale issues with it, or hell, for the sake of argument, scientific arguments against it, e.g… Being gay immediately knocks out 2 possible alpha males from reproducing and continuing our species, dead weight really..

      But that’s not the case, these are just people who happen to live their lives a different way to some others, the same way arabs have different living conidtions than say people in the US etc.. that’s it, that’s ALL there is to it.

      The sooner we realise this and move the fuck on, the less these headlines will come up, because these articles are NOT thought provoking, they are clicktastic headlines full of sensatinalist crap.

      BF3 creators are NOT homophobic, they sure as hell did NOT put this in the game to have a go at gay people, as I said, anal sex existed before gay people, so if you don’t mind I’m going to go back and have heterosexual anal sex with my girlfriend…. blah!

      • I think the unfortunate thing is that the definition of homophobia has moved away from being an irrational fear to being a dislike (or even hatred) of something different. I agree that a true phobia (which homophobia CAN be, but from my view generally isn’t) is not something to judge or condemn a person on. I also agree that DICE/EA doesn’t appear to have any ill will towards the LGBT community.
        I guess it’s just one of those things that people are always going to be pretty trigger happy about, regardless of which side of the argument they’re on.

        • And here I type agreeing with you 100%… That’s what it seems to me also. That ‘Homophobia’ is being scape goated for ‘Hating on gay people actively’
          It’s 2 completely different things. Hate itself is a useless excersise, and hating gay people for what? Living their life a certain way? That’s bullshit…

          But this article is equally as useless.. Whatever may be said, this article does nothing constructive or even thought provoking in relationship to something which actually IS a big deal in most countries currently…

          It’s a trivial thing to pluck out of something which in this CONTEXT is entirely exceptable. I mean come on, they are getting fucking shot at… Do you have any idea how much I swear on the soccer field when I play? It’s just a stupid thing we do as humans, we swear and cuss, who the hell is going to careful construct there sentences and wording when theres about 3 seconds between life and death?

          Usually I couldn’t give a toss about the US Kotaku articles, big deal, but this for me is hitting the point of unbearable. It’s trivializing the issue!

          The headline may as well have been, ‘O oh! BF3 said a naughty word’. But he didn’t he made an article about something in the game which is not implied in the way the whole article is wirtten. It’s really disappointing. 🙁

  • I am gay and i find this article absolutely stupid. When hearing the dialogue, i didn’t even think twice about it. @Darvoz summed the whole thing up nicely.

    “The soldier isn’t saying “help I am about to be raped by a gay man” (authors implied meaning) the solider is saying “This is getting rough here and if you can assist me that would be nice””

    Could the author seriously get anymore politically correct?

    What’s next? An article about BF3 racism saying that the game is racist because theres only 2 black men and the erst are white?

  • “Offense is often taken, not given.” This is a clear case of that saying being applied. This is a whole load of drivel revolving around a couple of harmless lines. I also strongly doubt that in a warzone, even if a soldier did make a slightly homophobic comment, that the others would pull him aside and give him a 30 minute lecture on sensitivity and tolerance. I am gay and this doesn’t offend me in the slightest. Grow a pair, Dennis!

  • Well considering “Generation Kill” was probably one of their source material pieces I’m not suprised.

    One of the lines in that film is a marine saying “are you listening to how homo-erotic these things we’re saying are?!”

    Also, I took the “shit pushed in” line more as “I’m getting (bullet) raped over here!” Not about rape than homophobia.

  • Judging from the comments, very few people even understood what was said in this article.

    The author is talking about discussing whether the game companies should use this stuff in a cultural medium.

    NOT whether soldiers should use this type of communication in a live war-zone.

    The fact real soldiers communicate like this is not automatic justification for their inclusion: because whether or not something happens in reality does not lessen it’s impact or effect on our culture. For example, graphic sexual penetration, violence, drug use etc are things that many people experience in reality, but they should not necessarily be represented explicitly in our media. This is debatable, and that is my point.

    The author is leaning towards the old homophobic alarmism, but looking past a few shortcomings what I took from the article was very valid: it is worth DISCUSSING these things.

    • In that case, in response to what you summized the article to mean, here’s my response.

      YES, I think it’s perfectly fine to represent this in game. If you are toting your medium as, ‘Realistic shooter 3’, then you better well be doing your best to achieve that realism damn it. Otherwise back I go playing fantasy styled Halo shooters!

      I read the comments in the article referring to the game speech and went, ‘Haha, sounds like something I’d say if that were me’.

      And to ME, that adds realism, that adds a sense of connection and relation to the character. Now… if this is INDEED ‘Realistic shooter 3’, why are we condemning it for merely trying to be what it’s trying to be?

      It’s not, ‘Homophobic shooter 2011: Pot shots at gay blokes’ it’s a game about individuals conducting physical warefare and we as a player are meant to feel as much realism as possible given a controller and a TV screen!

      So go on.. why is that wrong? Is it wrong because what was said could be misconstrued as being potentially homophobic in nature? Or is it wrong to the extent of realism and imposition of realworld experience and speech connected to the gameplay?

      While we are at it, maybe being able to go on a relationship adventure with the characters of Mass Effect might be taking it a bit too far… I mean have you seen Thane??? Surely they are alluding to beastiality in that relationship course?

      He is a very insticntive creature who exhibits many characteristics of that of a hunting based mammal. Hell.. he looks like an aquatic sea creature. So is it not wrong to depict that?

      I’m obviously being over the top, but you can’t pick and choose how real you go if you’re going down this road.

      If something is made that you don’t happen to like, don’t play it. That may sound like a cop out but yo CAN’T please everyone at one time with one thing… Christianity tried that, now look?

      • Thanks for your well reasoned response.

        I had an enormous reply typed, but it boiled down to this: if you perceive an issue to be bigger in a community than others perceive it to be, you will be offended and others will not.

        If people are offended by parts of Military culture (sexism, racism, gay-hate) then why consume media based on the military? This sounds good, but the problem with this is: the people who choose to avoid military culture experience the splash damage of people who consume broad media. Kids/idiots/arseholes (or all three) play military games, and apply the culture elsewhere. I see it in multiplayer games, schools, online communities, etc and even though I’m not gay, it really annoys me for some reason.

        I understand this is an issue more with the arseholes than with the media, BUT: If the soldiers had screamed “I’m getting fuckin’ hammered here!” instead of something homoerotic, would the realism have been shattered? For me, no: so I thought why add something (however minor) that could possibly add to a community issue (young males often being anti-gay morons)?

        My judgement of the community issue of bestiality is that it’s too minor for me to worry about it being represented in games; apart from that trio recently convicted in Australia…hmmm……Possible article?

  • I have to say, I noticed the comments in question (as well as a few others) whilst playing the game myself well before this article was published. I was surprised by them when I heard them, if not a little taken back. I’m a bit disappointed with the reaction to this article, seeing the majority of folks choosing to defend the language use, suggesting that the article was written as an impassioned, emotional and irrational plea, when I saw so little evidence of this myself. We still live in a world where people are violently bashed, or worse, for simply either being gay, or being perceived as such (not to mention every other form of discrimination in between). In my mind, any showing of a public acceptance of homophobia is outright unacceptable to me, at least until things like gay marriage is accepted and hate crimes have diminished substantially. It’s things like games and movies that set so many examples that people don’t seem to recognise or acknowledge, precedents that exist on sub-conscious levels that yes, impact us socially without us realising it. and again, it’s a disappointment to see so many shrug off the importance of this scrutiny.

    I understand the argument that forceful anal sex goes against a preference of traditionally heterosexual behaviour (with exceptions of course), and that one could argue the use of the phrases in-game simply represent the expression of being forced into a situation the individual would rather not be in, but we ALL KNOW how homophobic America’s Army actually is, and THAT’S the problem with these potentially homophobic remarks. these remarks are a potential depiction of homophobic behaviour that is CURRENTLY OCCURRING, beyond simple word use (eg. the immigrant mentioned in the article). so many people here are trying to draw attention away from this because being PC is “so 2011”, and people should just grow some balls etc. but honestly, to have dialogue like this in a game that’s attempting to inject realism by adding elements of it here and there just seems unnecessary. I’m pretty sure that’s what this article was suggesting, and I agree. I don’t think it’s an over-reaction by any stretch. you just need to pay a little attention to the world around you to realise it could be a shitload better if people were forced to consider their ill-constructed perceptions of the people around them.

    I’m not gay but i sympathise with those being alienated because of something they have no control over or choose to be a part of when it harms no other, and am constantly frustrated by the narrow minds and innate learning difficulties so many seem to demonstrate. intelligence and awareness is rare and a privilege, stop condemning those attempting to incite either. if you think the article is unnecessary, maybe you’re lucky enough to live in a world small enough to account for your short-sighted nature.

    • Dude, you’re not wrong at all, and I share your sentiments, it’s just a shit situation that gay people, or most people are not openly accepted into the world… It’s pretty crap..

      I just think that this is digging into something that isn’t there. I’ve read the stories about the homophobic nature of the US army. But then it just becomes an issue of painting everyone with the same brush isn’t it?

      You said as long as racism/ sexism/ homophobia/ gay bashings exist etc, we should be more sensitive to the situation right?

      Well I say quite the opposite. What’s better, treating them as ‘special’ or ‘more sensitively’ because some fucking idiots are parasites to the Earth and are ruining for the rest of us??? Or to stamp out the stereotype, and just BE normal…

      I for one, did NOT try to look into this to alienate gay people and go, HEY! They’re saying this because it’s about GAY people…
      No.. I read it and thought something much less discriminative or specific to sexual orientation. I thought, ‘Haha, I’d probably say that’. Because I do, I generally swear and cuss and use the displeasure of anything entering or exist my rearend as a descriptive nature. It’s got absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality, and why WOULD it? They happen either enjoy or tolerate anal sex, so why would I MYSELF, the person with the controller sit there and think at any point that this is a stab at, or about something relating to homosexual sex and/ or man-on-man rape. To me, THAT definition, explanation for this is the weird and offensive one. And I’m offended people would think that, because then immediately, you may as well infer that when I myself mention my distaste in my own anal penetration it’s somehow related to man-on-man rape of homosexual intercourse.

      It’s just not neccessary, drawing more focus on the issue does more worse than good. Didn’t your teacher ever say if you just avoid a bully and don’t fuel the fire they’ll shut up? This whole issue is the bully and we are making it worse 🙂

      • I think you’ve misunderstood the reason why i think the article exists. I don’t think the article is trying to suggest that the potentially homophobic remarks being made in the game are there to incite homophobia. infact the writer states that he thinks the homophobia is unintentional.

        i don’t doubt that your perspective is sound, but my point about attempting to incite awareness still stands. i honestly think it’s worthwhile trying to draw attention to, and if need be, demonise an unintelligent and irrational approach to any subject, especially one so relevant to so many that’s caused so much harm in the past, and continues to do so. your attitude to me sounds more like sweeping a problem under a rug after accepting that there’s little that can be done about it, or ignoring it and living day to day regardless of the threat (like how it’s best to treat terrorism or bullying). To me, that feels like an irresponsible way to react to this particular situation, especially in a day and age when information and opinion is so readily accessible (and undeniably influential) through so many forms of social media (blogs included).

        when you say, the article’s digging into something that isn’t there, for me, all you have to hear is the potential in the language for there to be an issue. i’m not so much asserting that WE should be more sensitive to potentially alienating material (especially if we’re aware of the problems at hand), more that it’s helpful to be conscious of it, and to attempt to spread this consciousness where-ever we can if we think it might help. I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with potentially homophobic remarks in a game if i didn’t believe homophobia to be a continuous problem.

        • And in the same way, I’m not disagreeing with your view, end game in this. You’re issue is more of the awareness etc, I understand.

          But then explain to me what are we to be aware of in THIS instance and what do you expect to come of our awareness, how are we to act on it?

          I will HAPPILY say, ‘Hey you know what, that comment COULD be homophobic’.. And that’s where I stop, because I’m not going to continue a thought process which from how I’m receiving the message seems NOT to be the case.

          I’m aware that there ARE people out there who’ll probably go, ‘Yeah! Fucking fudge packers’ etc.. and personally we’d potentially be better off if they took themselves and mates out back and ended it, but again, I’m not going to allow people who stupidly have those ideas to impede on how I talk, walk and act in my day to day life.

          Nor should it… I play BF3, I have a good time shooting shit and potentially having a laugh etc… I go out later and one of my gay friends happens to be there, and I enjoy their company. No connection is made between the two because why would I make that connection? It’s NOT what concerns me, I want to enjoy my evening with a friend. What should I do, ‘Hey.. you know, BF3 has a guy yelling out, “I’m getting fucked in the arse here”, that’s pretty homophobic of him..’

          I’m atleast 99.99% sure my mate would ask me why the fuck I even mentioned it. Because it’s making an issue to do that, to make him aware of something that has the potential to show prejudice etc when it may NOT be is actually having more of an ill effect.

          It’s not sweeping it under the rug, it’s just NOT making an issue of something that’s for better or worse, NOT an issue unless you look for it. Do you, or do you not agree, or think, that the characters chosen lines were put in there to reflect the apparent US Army issues with homosexuality, or because it is both likely/ probable that the average Joe would have a similar choice of expletives in a similar situation???

          • i have to go out to lunch, but i am interested in continuing this discussion afterwards 😀

          • Totally dude, it’s nice to be able to discuss this with some one who is actually presenting another view and evidence, experience to back it up. Cheers 🙂

  • Sadly, this just points out the BF:BC stood out just by being goofy and funny. I LOVED that game. The story line was great! A breath of fresh air from insurgents this and maniacal russian that. They were in it for the money! Not the overused uh-oh WMD’s.

    Also it was so open and paced to YOUR speed. Here’s the map, here’s the objectives, you get there in a golf cart? Whatever!

    BF:BC lost it’s soul because EA were too scared to make it unlike the others. Therefore BF3 has to be like the others (way better than MW3 btw).

    Anyway, they used the term “Push my shit in” in that movie Training Day and it sounded like it was prison lingo.

  • Dennis Scimeca clearly hasn’t heard of pegging otherwise he wouldn’t be so narrowminded as to immediately associate the dialogue with homophobia.

    Its about being dominated, subjugated, nothing more, nothing less.

    This is just another case of a games “journalist” making a straw man argument in attempt to appear like a hard hitting journalist tackling the real ~issues~

  • …but isn’t the reference in the game more about being “raped” rather than being “homosexed”? Sure, rape is not a light topic to talk about either, but in the context you’d argue that in a bad situation, the metaphor is clearly reffering to the negative implications of rape rather than any actual references to homosexuality.

    I understand the passion against seeing homophibia in media and I fully support it, but I think this writer has made a knee-jerk assumption and then ran with it for 1300 words.

  • Articles like this and their over hyped political correctness screws up a lot of the good stuff in this world…
    If it was a reference to fudge packing, then.. we would have shit flying everywhere… wait did i just get analy raped?

  • Scimeca nobody is going to care about harmless throwaway dialogue in a video game while there is real genuine homophobia out there in the real world

  • wow

    are you autistic or something, this would have to be the last thing i would think about in a battlefield game EVER

  • Talk about opening a can of worms.

    Why is it offensive for a game to have homophobia, racism, sexism or the likes in them, but its more than ok for movies to be full of it?

    I’m not defending or attacking either, I’m just wondering. Is it because your more “involved” while playing a game?

  • How could I be so callous. I didn’t realise this was like blackface for gay people. Oh the shame.

    What bloody nonsense. Who cares? It’s a game about shooting people. The Political Correctness Brigade will complain about anything. Do I have to google everything before open my mouth for fear of getting my metaphorical shit pushed in by lefties? I’ve known a few out-loud-and-proud gays in my time who use the word fag in a derogatory manner too.

    Heck everyone jokes about death even though we all know someone close who’s died. Why does anal sex get religious status? Lighten up.

  • See I felt that the gritty dialogue in BC2’s multiplayer is what sold it for me, similarly they’ve kept that up with BF3, if you’re getting shot at I don’t how un-PC it is – you’re gonna yell every variation of the words “shit” and “fuck” in the book!

  • This is absolutely most hilarious article ever. Yeah bud, BF3 does say that. Yep, it’s not language you would use in church, but you know what, it is absolutely the type of language used in the military. I’ve spent several years in the military and other related professions, and we never sugar coated. There was no “Please pass the salt.” in the chow hall, it was “Hey Dickhead, when you quit jerking off, throw the fucking salt down here.” When you are in the field and under fire, there is no homophobia, it’s everyone grab a damn gun and kill that sonofabitch before he kills you. Manners, gender orientation, and worry about trans fat go out the freaking window.

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