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Petition Aims to Fire Bioware Writer for Stereotyping Homosexuals

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Recently, Dragon Age 2's lead writer David Gaider had to defend the game for not offering more straight male romance options. Now some Dragon Age players are angry about the game's portrayal of gay characters, going as far as asking for Gaider's termination from Bioware. The petition, entitled "Fire David Gaider for Stereotyping Gays," will need more than a mere 200 signatures to accomplish its goal, but the sentiment is certainly there for an outspoken minority.

The petition argues that the handling of gay relationships is "stereotyping homosexuals in such a disrespectful way." When you shun the advances of one of the game's gay characters, you receive rivalry points: "It felt very odd that my male companions kept making passes at me, when I never found any interest or even flirted with them. This sort of thing shows that gays are unable to be normal people and think nothing about sex. This is the type of garbage that has people believe that gays shouldn't serve in the military. We are human beings that are the same as everyone else!"

A counter-petition, "Support BioWare's David Gaider," has received over 300 signatures as of this posting. The most obvious counterpoint made is that it hurts to get rejected by someone regardless of your sexual preference, so gaining rivalry points seems to follow logic. The counter-petition also praises Bioware and Gaider for even addressing homosexuality in the industry at all:

"The inclusion of gay subject matter in the Dragon Age series has been a welcome one, all the more so when set against the backdrop of an industry in which such subject matter has historically been rather mute. That shouldn't be taken as a snipe against the industry—in fact, sexuality rarely plays a part in any game—but to see BioWare, and David Gaider in particular, taking such a progressive stance on GLBT issues is highly encouraging, contributing to a climate in which homosexuality is treated with the normalcy to which it should be entitled."

Even Bioshock creator Ken Levine got in on the discussion via Twitter: "Writers don't have a responsibility to make exclusively noble gay characters, they have a responsibility to portray human gay characters."

Whatever your thoughts on the issue (share 'em below), the fact that Bioware games spark these kinds of discussions, even when framed in negativity, is a good thing. These discussions wouldn't have occurred in games ten years ago, so Bioware deserves credit for broaching the topic.

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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