EA Hosts LGBT Event

EA Rainbow Logo
EA Rainbow – I kinda love this image

As much of a debacle as EA can make of things, they can get a few things right too.  EA hosted an LGBT event called “Full Spectrum” to explore the role of LGBT representation in the video game industry.  The event had panels headed by Hilary Rosen, former CEO of the RIAA, which has it’s own sordid history.  Interestingly, she makes references to trying to “Silence Hip-hop,” and then says “Preaching doesn’t work.”  I’m really interested in the context of that statement, the Gamasutra article leaves it somewhat ambiguous.  The event also had several other industry veterans who’s who talking the issues of LGBT interests in the industry.

The general consensus seems to be that diversity in the workplace will help increase diversity in the games.  Currently, the white male protagonist dominates the leading roles in games almost exclusively, with a few nods to overly sexualized female characters.  The hope is that by increasing diversity amongst the developers, that will lead to increased diversity in games by taking away the exclusivity of the white male making games.  I’m not 100% sure I think that this will make a difference, but there’s also a chance.  As the article cites, BioWare as a company has been very encouraging of same-sex relationships, as they are possible (if limited) in most of their games.

As a gaymer myself, I think it would be interesting to have more varied options for same sex relationships.  In most games (though not all), same-sex relationships are generally between the player and the giant, glaring homosexual stereotype.  I really enjoyed the way that Guild Wars 2 handled same sex relationships — they just were.  There was no special pomp or circumstance around it, they just were as we expected them to be….just a thing.  In Dragon Age, I remember the one bisexual character, Zevran, who I felt was portrayed as maybe a little more promiscuous than necessary.  With that though comes the question of did they make promiscuous because he was gay (or bisexual), or was he promiscuous and they just tacked on the gay aspect?

Regardless, it’s great to see companies taking a step up to address sexuality in games…and well, basically everything that’s not a giant white guy killing everyone else.

 

Via: Gamasutra

Final Fantasy Distant Worlds is Amazing

Over the weekend, a group of my friends and I went to the Distant Worlds show here in the burgh.  While I enjoy the Final Fantasy games, I’ve never been the biggest FF fan, but I thought the experience would be fun, and my friends were all crazy geeked out about it. 

Similar to the Video Games Live concert series, but dedicated entirely to the Final Fantasy franchise.  The concert was just a little over two hours, and outside of a mic-squeal during a classic guitar solo, everything was flawless. 

I didn’t really know what expect–I had played games before, but it’s not horribly often that the music makes a lasting impression.  Not that the music is bad or not memorable, but rather that it just jives for me in the “atmosphere” of the game. 

There are still some songs that really stick out for me — like the theme to Dragon Age: Origin, The Lament of the Highbourne, and a few others.  I have to say, I wish I had paid a bit more attention.  I loved the concert–it was definitely worth the costs of the tickets.  In particular, I loved Zanarkand, but the Chocobo Swing (and the accompanying video) was awesome as well. 

All in all, if you have the chance to see this in concert, definitely go.  The tickets might be a little pricey, but it was totally worth it.  Such a great experience.  I don’t think I need to reiterate the awesome atmosphere of live music — that’s only enhanced here. 

Bounce on over to their site to take a gander – Final Fantasy Distant World