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BioWare Stands Tall

In a (not so) stunning display of bigotry, the Family Research Council (article from Gamespot) says BioWare has ‘gone to the dark side’ because of the promise to include same-gender romance in the MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. I find it appalling that BioWare is being blasted for once again choosing to include everyone in their games.

Let me be clear, I’m an advocate for equal treatment of everyone, regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation, relationship status, or religion. I previously wrote a post applauding BioWare and David Gaider (Lead Writer of Dragon Age series and novels) for the statement “We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention.” yet again for making their games for everyone, whether they’re straight or gay, male or female and everything in between.

There have been several articles written and research done on children who grow up in households with same-gender parents. The studies show that these children are as well adjusted as their counterparts.

“Current claims that children need both a mother and father are spurious because they attribute to the gender of parents benefits that correlate primarily with the number and marital status of a child’s parents since infancy. At this point no research supports the widely held conviction that the gender of parents matters for child well-being. To ascertain whether any particular form of family is ideal would demand sorting a formidable array of often inextricable family and social variables. We predict that even ‘‘ideal’’ research designs will find instead that ideal parenting comes in many different genres and genders.”
(Biblarz, T. J. and Stacey, J. (2010), How Does the Gender of Parents Matter?. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72: 3–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00678.x)

Families come in all colors, shapes and sizes, outside the standard you see on tv. Children can be loved and raised well in many different types of families. I don’t believe that BioWare is ‘ruining’ children who play their game because of allowing same-gender romance.

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oh, and BioWare definitely got my money. :) I was in the beta for StarWars The Old Republic. I pre-ordered the game. I also have been casually playing the MMO. SWTOR and BioWare are Phyrra approved.

  • From our partners
    • Angela

      I’m so glad BioWare didn’t cave to bigotry and discrimination from the Family Research Council. I too was in the beta and already purchased the game (Collector’s edition FTW!) This decision just confirms my continued support via monthly subscription.
      Thank you for highlighting BioWare’s continued support an inclusion of the LGBT community.

      • Phyrra

        Ray bought the Collector’s edition, too. I just bought the regular version, but I’m happy with it :)

        You’re quite welcome! <3

    • Emi at Project Swatch

      Thank you so much for this post. As a gay woman, it means really a lot to me when companies create games like this, and even more when I read that people support them for it.

      The Biblarz & Stacy article is particularly excellent – have you read the full text? I don’t think it’s available online for free, but I’d be happy to email it to you, or anyone, that is interested.

      • Phyrra

        I would love to read the full article. I could only see limited article information via Google Scholar.

        • Emi at Project Swatch

          I’m on my iPad right now, but I’ll email you the article this evening when I’m on a computer! I think I have it saved to my hard drive from a class last semester, but if not I have access because I’m a student.

          • Phyrra

            Very cool :) Yeah, I just KNEW (from having a degree in Anthropology) that there were studies out there that backed up my position, so I dug around on Google scholar. I sort of wish that they had those studies available to everyone for free, to help educate the public.

    • Heidi

      When I was 2, my parents divorced. My mom found a partner in another female and I was raised with her son, back in the days when it was all in the closet. I can attest that I’m indeed normal and went on to marry and have a son of my own. My father was very religious and resents my relationship with my mother and her partner. My father moved 3.000 miles away when I was 3 and I only saw him a couple of times until I was in high school. He wanted me to give up a relationship with my mom and her partner in order to have a relationship with him. It was an easy choice for me. He was never there for me when I ripped my fingernail off, he skipped out on child support for most of my childhood and was upset that my son called him grandpa. UHHH, no thanks. He is the one missing out, all because he feels the need to judge. I feel sorry for him. Bioware has my vote. It’s gods job to judge, not mine. I only hope this wasn’t TMI but it is my opinion.

      • Phyrra

        Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is definitely not ‘TMI.’ I’m very glad that you were able to have loving parents in your mom and her partner. It’s awesome that you’ve gone on to be a loving mom :)

        • Heidi

          Hopefully in the next few years my 28 year old will give me a grand baby ! (I’m 48) Thanks for posing your opinions. I’m sorry there are still people out there who can’t just let people go through life living honest , happy lives.

          • Phyrra

            OMG that is awesome! You’re quite welcome :)

    • http://cupcakesquirkycorner.blogspot.com/ Christie Brooks

      As a single mom I try to teach my girls that just because someone is living their life different than we are doesn’t make it bad, it makes it a learning experience. I find it so sad that there are people out there who can not accept that loving families can be a single mom/dad, 2 dads, 2 moms, or a mom and dad. If me accepting that there are different types of families/relationships means I am a part of the “dark side” I’m happy to be there, I’ll just light a candle and be thankful for the amazing people I know because I embrace ALL relationships.

      • Phyrra

        I’m very happy to hear how you’re teaching your girls about tolerance and acceptance.

    • http://libbyspinkvanity.blogspot.com Kimberly

      Good post!

      None of my friends that were raised in a non-traditional family are corrupted, in trouble with the law, or any other demise that can be thrown out there. Actually, the people I know that have had issues come from what is labeled a traditional family setting.

      Gracious! It’s a game! If they want to rag on a game that is a bad influence, let them dig up ‘Mystery Date’!!

      • Phyrra

        Thank you, K, for sharing your perspective! I really appreciate it :)

    • http://www.theprettyexclusive.com Erin M.

      Bioware is my favorite company because of this. <3 You and Bioware rule Phyrra!

      • Phyrra

        Aww thank you Erin! *big hugs*

    • http://blacknailpolishandlipgloss.blogspot.com EvilAngel

      As a mother of 1 grown (and happily married) child and 3 young children I personally want my children to understand, accept, and know that love does not come in one size fits all. A game allowing/showing diversity in relationships is at least reality and not emotionally damaging to my game loving wee ones. BioWare will get my money and my respect for standing their ground and refusing to brush reality under the proverbial rug to appease some ignorant and small minded group of control freaks. I love you for writing this and I hope someday people who live with their eyes and minds closed can take a bit from my culture where Two-Spirit people (not straight or those who identify outside their own gender) are respected and considered to have been given a very special gift.

      • Phyrra

        Thank you so much Andrea!

    • http://prettymaking.blogspot.com Mandy

      I hope that other companies learn from and begin to follow in BioWare’s footsteps. I think they did a great thing in choosing to not discriminate in people’s personal relationship choices.

      • Phyrra

        Me too Mandy. I think it’s fantastic.

    • lunableu

      I have always been on the ‘dark side’, in that I’ve never been able to understand why people can’t see what is so obvious to me. Love is love. It doesn’t matter to me what gender a person and their partner(s) are. It’s not my place to pass judgement on anyone. I’m so glad that there is at least one company willing to take a stand. You know that I’m not a gamer, but if I were this would make me even more inclined to purchase their product. I hope at some point posts like this won’t even be necessary. I hope…

      • Phyrra

        Thanks for your support Lynn. I’m glad to know that you’re on this side :)

    • Marta

      I’m not limited to liking men and in my opinion gays and lesbians don’t need support they just need to stop being treated as freaks or attacked by people who don’t even know them. Same way I don’t feel I need to justify my choices in life if I see men around me taking more eccentric paths and not being questioned. Also YES I can carry all the groceries by myself. The whole 2 bags -.-”
      Equal should be just equal, otherwise some paranoid groups or bored people will start talking about lobbies and conspiracies.
      Anyways Bioware has my undying love, always, forever, just for the Baldur’s Gate saga (I’m under 30 but a oldies D&D geek), and including those choices in modern games makes complete sense to me.

      • Phyrra

        I agree, equal should just be equal. I can’t wait until we get there.

        • Marta

          Agreed… here in Spain we just got legalized gay marriage and now there’s rumours the new government may unconstitutionalize it -.- So that’s rights for you; years of work to gain them, a second of burocracy to lose them.
          At least now people have more freedom to express themselves and that makes them stronger.
          Also, let’s be honest: diversity, in makeup and life, is more fun. The more choices we are allowed to make in our lives the better. And when in doubt, treat everyone equally, really it’s just easier.

    • http://rockrollglam.com Ivy

      Hear, hear! I just spent about $100 on the Collector’s Edition of ME3 and the ME art book and this makes me feel really good about that decision. I’m so glad Bioware is dedicated to making inclusive games in a world where most devs cater to the lowest possible denominator.

      I had heard before of the guy who ranted about gay relationship options in Dragon Age 2, but this is the first time I read the full thing. Wow, what an asshat. Like almost every other dev already doesn’t try to please the straight male gamer!

      • Phyrra

        It’s nice to see the white male privilege not being pandered to. I like the all inclusive nature of BioWare.

    • Mjolnir

      This is one of the many reasons why I love Bioware. Gaider’s response to the angry little bastard was priceless and he wins my respect for sticking to his guns. I recently read an article on Rolling Stone about a whole school district currently in the spotlight for discriminating against LGBT students– also, not surprisingly, it’s Michele Bachman’s district.

      • Phyrra

        Wow, also not a surprise :( Yeah BioWare is awesome. I wish I worked for them!

    • http://www.beautyraid.com Zelda

      I am always so happy with what Bioware puts out. It is quality, well-thought-out, and a great gaming experience. I loved the Beta and have been playing my heart out with some friends – Dark Side, PvP server Veela! I have a Healer Mercenary and a DPS Assassin. LOVE IT!

      • Phyrra

        Sweet!

    • http://www.baroque-in-babylon.blogspot.com Tianne Pierce

      I am not an exclusivist by any stretch, nor am I anti-gay/gender/what have you. BUT I will say that I personally tire of the rhetoric that heterosexual marriage between man and woman is being viewed as akin to bigotry. Same sex marriage and love is understandably pertinent, but not at the expense of traditional relationships. If you look at the human body it was made to complement the union of a man and woman- the result of such creates children and this at a very basic biological level implies that man and woman are needful and not just for molecular contributions. I believe that a family works best when a man and woman equally raise their children in a home of love and respect. This isn’t to say that same sex families are inappropriate, it’s just a sheer mockery of basic human anatomy to imply that heterosexual marriage is some outdated moral code instead of a fundamentally natural human social unit. I’m sorry but gender does have a postiive benefit as both play a vital role in the development of a child socially and emotionally and this is founded in a lot of psychological background, beyond one quoted study. I find it frustrating and annoying that this traditional viewpoint is under so much scrutiny when truthfully, gay rights have their place but not in front of the nuclear family unit.

      • Phyrra

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a heterosexual marriage. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with a lesbian or gay marriage. Like I said above, I really truly think everyone should be treated equally, with respect, regardless of if they’re gay, straight, aesexual, transsexual, polyamorous, black, white, red, yellow, atheist Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc.

        I actually looked up several different studies in Google scholar to make sure I had a good enough basis for my response.

      • Marta

        Like I said before it isn’t a competition. Gay people aren’t eating heterosexual marriage territory, they’re trying to establish their own. Problem is people get threatened with unconventional family models and then they get defensive, but honestly Tianne have you ever heard anyone ever said “gay rights should be in front of the nuclear family unit”? No. This is like when your granma didn’t want you going out late and told you about “some that happened a while ago..” most cases, it was just an urban legend. But she was escalating reality to express her concerns, like you are doing now. Two gender families will keep existing forever. It’s a great model that has worked for thousand of years. I just don’t see any problem with children raised by same sex couples because the roles the parents need to play in chilhood have very little to do with sex preferences and a lot to do with love and responsibility.

      • http://eyeconicmakeup.blogspot.com/ Heather

        You’re right, those poor heterosexuals get discriminated against so much, won’t someone think of the powerful majority? What a load of shit. For someone who claims not to be discriminatory, you’re sure spouting off a lot of bigoted rhetoric.

      • http://www.sihayadesigns.com Christina

        Tianne– “This isn’t to say that same sex families are inappropriate” is in direct opposition to “gay rights have their place but not in front of the nuclear family unit.” You are implying that non-traditional families are shameful, something that should not be publicly shown or represented in the perceived mainstream. This is wrong.

        “it’s just a sheer mockery of basic human anatomy to imply that heterosexual marriage is some outdated moral code instead of a fundamentally natural human social unit.”

        a) Our bodies interlock in all sorts of ways. The way that makes babies is just ONE of them. (The anatomy argument is also problematic in that it implies marriage is only for the purpose of baby-making, and yet no one has said we should deny infertile couples the right to marry…)

        b) No one said that heterosexual marriage is outdated. We’re just saying that “marriage” should be open for all people– gay AND straight to enjoy. Advocating for equality is not putting one above the other.

        I am a lady in a heterosexual marriage. Well, a male/female marriage, anyway, as only one of us identifies as heterosexual. I don’t feel that anyone else’s marital status in any way impacts my own. When two of my best (gay) friends get married this summer, it won’t cheapen my own vows or make them somehow less substantial. It won’t negatively impact my own marriage in any way. I will welcome them to the institution with open arms, happy to witness that they want to commit to one another for life. ‘Cause that’s what marriage is really all about.

    • http://pixelatedtoys.com Pixel

      As a pansexual woman, I love that game makers are acknowledging that sexual attraction is not limited to just a man and a woman! Go BioWare for not limiting their character’s choices or their gamers!

      Thank you for posting this…I definitely think I need to pick up a copy of this game now!

    • http://cydonianmakeup.blogspot.com Wendy

      I’ve always been a lurker until now, so here’s my first comment… *drumroll*… thank you for posting this! I give mad props to Bioware for doing what’s right and fair to ALL players of their games. I find it really disturbing that so many people get upset about this topic, and most of the people probably have never played a video game in their life and probably never will. Why does a video game need to bring up such sensitive social topics? (In the sense of people saying how wrong homosexual relationships are). If you don’t want one, don’t have one. You can’t turn your head and act like it doesn’t exist though! Bottom line, it’s a video game. Why not make all options explorable? I can have blue skin if I want in some games, or tattoos, why is that any different? Ugh. I just don’t understand why people care. Everyone deserves basic human rights, no matter who they share a bed with (and this includes marriage and adoption, sorry.)

    • http://eyelinerandspraypaint.blogspot.com Robyn

      Go Bioware! So many more companies should follow suit, it shouldn’t even be an issue. I’m not a big gamer but I have a lot of respect for this company (not just because of equality issues, they just seem pretty awesome generally.)

    • http://manicuredslayer.blogspot.com ManicuredSlayer

      Good for them (and you!) As a bi mom, I think I’m doing a pretty damn good job of raising my kids to be kind, compassionate and respectful of all. I was tickled when my 16yo daughter told me she had joined the Gay/Straight alliance at school (they’re having a get together this weekend and are all celebrating the shooting down of Prop 8).

      And the two parent thing–what a joke. I mean seriously–let’s consider military families where Mom is holding down the fort for a year or more….

      My sister is technically a single mom. Her son’s father lives and works in another state. (We are hoping he finds a job here soon). But not only is my nephew extremely bright, he’s happy, well adjusted. To suggest that mommy & daddy is the only definition of family is an insult to so many.

      *hopping off my soapbox*

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