LGBT equality is 'civil rights issue of our time', says Zynga

Social game publisher joins EA in taking a stand against discrimination.

by

Game publishers Zynga and Electronic Arts have spoken out on marriage inequality in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz.

EA and Zynga support marriage equality.

Both publishers are among a number of companies that publicly oppose the Defense of Marriage Act in the US, which legally defines marriage as an act between one man and one woman.

In the interview, Zynga and EA revealed that neither company suffered a backlash from customers or investors over their public stance, calling it a "non-issue" from an investor perspective.

Zynga general counsel Reggie Davis referred to LGBT equality as "the civil rights issue of our time", saying that the US has a long way to go.

"There are 13-, 14-, 15-year-old boys and girls committing suicide throughout a lot of the country, because they can't come to grips in their community with being who they are," Davis told the publication.

"We're very vocal about our position, and people ultimately have an option to invest in the company or not. As long as there's good disclosure around what your commitments are at the company, then people can make informed decisions as to whether they want to invest in you or not."

Electronic Arts head of global diversity and inclusion Ginger Maseda took a similar stance.

"There have been no questions, comments, or concerns raised from our investors with regards to support for LGBT initiatives in the community or having LGBT characters in our games," Maseda said.

Discussion

0 comments
Double_Wide
Double_Wide

We couldn't just stick to gaming conversations could we, GS? Had throw in some controversy and cause a HUGE flame war once again!

crushbrain
crushbrain

Civil rights? It isn't morally wrong to be black. You can't compare lbgt with civil rights.

Apastron
Apastron

...

 

How many 13, 14 and 15 year olds have killed themselves because marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman?

 

This is rich coming from EA of all companies.  I'm guessing they've never heard any of the communication that goes on during Battlefield games.

modernsocks
modernsocks

Also, Gamespot, when it was joined with Gamefaqs, had a very anti-homosexual policy, they would delete any pro-homosexual posts and even go so far as to ban people for expressing any pro-homosexual opinion. Strange when you consider what the suffix of "gamefaqs" means.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

I know whose games I'm not buying. 

PesmergaYuber
PesmergaYuber

EA cares about LBGT rights only so far as it is good publicity.

 

Besides the only way LBGT people will be equal is if society stops referring to them as LBGT, and just use their names instead....

 

The problem is that once someone labels themselves as LBGT that is what they are know as "Oh theres Ryan, hes gay" instead of "Theres Ryan, hes a cool guy". Being gay becomes their identity rather than just being themselves. Same with race, there are no blacks, whites, arabs, or latinos, there are just people!

tmacman
tmacman

Oh no gamespot, you're opening into quite possibly the stupidest can of worms I've ever seen. Hopefully you've got the mods ready because comments are going to be rated "R".

riff_farmer
riff_farmer

Everyone should publicly support LBGT rights exactly because it is the right thing to do.  If you were LBGT, wouldn't it be good for you to see non LBGT persons stand up for who you are?

 

That's the kind of society I WANT to live in.  Good on anyone who wants to take a few precious minutes of their time to do that.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 You know I didn't have a problem with LGBT rights until 2K Marin made my favourite game (X-COM) into a boring  social commentary about LGBT! No really!

 

They didn't use any ideas or gameplay from X-COM what-so-ever. They just seem to look at every other game on the xbox 360/PS3 and said 'what is both populer and kind-of plays like a strategy game?' Then used the X-COM name as a trojan horse for LGBT. I wish I was joking.

Here's the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SH19sgisEk&feature=player_detailpage#t=1219s

 

There's also a interview at ***gamer with Jordan Thomas, But I can't get the link to work.

My point is: if 2K Marin wasn't thinking about LGBT,  then they could've made a cool sci-fi game like Endless Space, Carrier Command, BattleZone 2, Command & Conquer: Renegade, Dragon Commander, Prey 2 or something weird. But no they made one of the most boringest and linear FPSs I've ever seen, just to give us LGBT propaganda!

mamelon2012
mamelon2012

Couldnt agree more @hartattk.  Gotta love when people feel the need to tie in political views to everything.  Politics has polluted most forms of media as it is... leave it out of videogames

 

hartattk
hartattk

"LGBT equality is [the] civil rights issue of our time," aaaannd blatant plagiarism is the issue you're trying to hide.

 

Here's a tip: stop shoehorning relationships into games, focus on gameplay and LGBT equality wont be an issue.

kuda001
kuda001

Two soulless, faceless corporations supporting LGBT equality. Hmmm... nope, nothing wrong there.

nurnberg
nurnberg

What is this?  An attempt to look politically correct in public?  Sorry Zynga, but this won't improve the sales of your horrible shovelware.

joke_man
joke_man

 @crushbrain

 Ironically, people have justified slavery as moral the same way people today justify their moral apprehensions towards same sex marriage...The literal argument was that the enslavement of blacks was condoned and encouraged by the Bible, for which Christians were the mouthpiece for slavery for most of our history.

Furthermore, whose morality are you referring?  Your own?  Why should your religious philosophy, or whatever, dictate that the line should be drawn at same sex? Especially when history has already shown how reprehensible we can be and how much we truly compromise true 'morals.' 

cloud75x
cloud75x

 @Rayzakk says the gamer who owns DA2 and various JRPG's made in a country that supports equality.

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

 @riff_farmerFirst, why not call it LBGTP or LBGTPB (P = Poligamist, B = Beastiality)?  Bisexual is included in your clique, and marriage is between two people.  You really can't be claiming marriage is for Bisexuals when they can't decide which sex they prefer.  The mixed up hormone theory doesn't apply to them.  Same with Transgender...what can you say about that.  Typically one gender has a greater dominance, and that person should essentially be surgically corrected to the appropriate gender, which probably eliminates the whole same sex argument for them.  Then sooner or later the crazies who love dogs, cats, farm animals are going to want in on the parade as well.

 

The concept of civil unions for LG people make perfect sense, marriage does not.  Civil unions should not be equal to marriages.  Employers should not have to cover health care for LG couples, but can if they desire.  The government should not provide tax benefits to LG couples and the states should have the right to determine if/when civil union couples can legally adopt/raise children.  The head of household recieves tax benefits for child rearing regardless of martial status and health care is available to an adopted child.

 

Marriage is a tradition that dates back thousands of years and shouldn't be changed because a few LG people feel discriminated against.  in it's simple most basic form, marriage is a celebration about procreation and for the human race to continue procreation must continue.  The government should encourage procreation and the process that creates it.  If you wish to choose a LG lifestyle, that's fine and dandy, that's your choice.  That in no way entitles you to the exact same benefits (or should I damnacles sword) as a heterosexual couple.  You can't get everything you want in life and life isn't fair.  Deal with it and move on.

 

Lastly, if you really want your LG partner to make life-changing decisions for you, you don't need to be married.  Appoint power of attorney to them and problem solved. 

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @riff_farmer  Oh? Well 2K Marin publicly supports LBGT and took my favourite strategy game (X-COM)  and made it into a boring FPS with LBGT-right. And all I keep thinking is: if 2K Marin wasn't about LBGT, then the game wouldn't be a boring and linear FPS.

mechmaster525
mechmaster525

 @PodXCOM I'm so confused as to what you or anyone on this article is arguing about because none of it makes any sense...at all! First off XCOM is not a first person shooter. That youtube video is from over a year ago when, presumably, XCOM was going to be a first person shooter. Now, time check, it's out and it's almost an exact remake of the original with turn based strategy and everything. Lastly, how is XCOM at all an LGBT statement. I'm currently in the process of playing it and I haven't caught any wifts of LGBT propaganda...unless one of the characters or aliens is homosexual...in which case it went right over my head anyway. I also never played the old XCOM games, but I'm pretty sure they weren't an LGBT statement either. So could someone enlighten me as to what we're arguing about or what XCOM game you guys are talking about?

 

evil-zodiark
evil-zodiark

 @Hurvl in my opinio games  should stay the hell out of politics... that shit corrupts everything it touchs ....

modernsocks
modernsocks

 @cloud75x  @Rayzakk Well, not being able to romance Carver meant Dragon Age 2 was a no buy. The same goes for there having been no same-sex romance options.

hyperbolel
hyperbolel

 @Suaron_x  @riff_farmer  Don't forget the people who want to marry their own relatives. They'll want in on all this equality nazism as well.

riff_farmer
riff_farmer

 @Suaron_x 

 

First, non sequitir (look it up).  Even if someone isn't sure about their sexual preference, it doesn't follow that person shouldn't be allowed to marry.  The point at issue is that the sexual preference of an individual IS NOT a proper criterion for whether that person should equally benefit from marriage.

 

Second, all your points about what sort of benefits civil unions entail are question begging.  In other words, each and every claim lacks an argument for that claim.  That is poor reasoning on your part.

 

Thirdly, in Canada marriage falls under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Given that Canada endorses norms of equality for all persons, it makes sense that LBGT should also have the right to marriage.  Ethically speaking, history doesn't matter.  Slavery, racism, sexism were historical practices.  that doesn't make them right. 

 

For the record I am not LBGT.  I am a heterosexual male.  More importantly though, I am a privy to rational argument.  By your account I can't say the same, and that's why your poorly reasoned argument is not persuasive.  You should take some philosophy or critical thinking classes. /end discussion

riff_farmer
riff_farmer

 @PodXCOM 

 

What?  That doesn't make any sense?  Are you seriously saying that the only way a game publisher can make an exciting and non linear FPS is if they don't endorse LBGT rights?

 

Obviously that is false (e.g. ME3 was decent), and it sounds borderline crazy.  All we need is one truly great non linear FPS game by 2K Marin (or any game publisher which endorses LBGT for that matter) to prove your claim false.  Many more games will be published.  Think about that. You need to carefully consider such outlandish claims.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @mechmaster525  Oh, I'm sorry. You see, there are two teams and each of them are making a game name  X-COM .

 

Firaxis made the turn based strategy which you are playing right now, XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

 

Then there is 2K Marin's XCOM, which was a FPS. 2K Marin wanted to make a LGBT statement, not Firaxis. 2K Marin didn't want anything to do with X-COM, so they made their own thing.

 

It's really sad, because I really wanted a FPS strategy game.

 

Hope that clears things up for you. :)

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @evil-zodiarkMaking good games is priority number one, but it doesn't hurt with a little variety, like having other than bodybuilder sized white men in the game. That all depends on the game of course. You shouldn't tailor the game to suit political agendas, but if it won't clash with the setting or story, you might consider if you want to insert a female/non-caucasian in the game who are more than just "because we needed to add X to pander to Y". No half-assed attempt if you're even considering to go outside the stereotypical boundaries. It's better that you make Gears of War 13 and make it good, than inserting some politcally correct person that feels tacked on.

hyperbolel
hyperbolel

 @kungfuj0  @modernsocks  @cloud75x  @Rayzakk LoL yeah. Romancing your own relatives. This is just one of the inevitable destinations of all this moral relativity and equality fascism. Everyone will want in at this party.

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

 @modernsocks  @cloud75x  @Rayzakk

 You do know that Carver is your BROTHER in that game, right???  That wasn't a same-sex issue, as there was plenty of that in the game.  That was an INCEST issue!

hyperbolel
hyperbolel

 @joke_man  @Suaron_x  @riff_farmer Well man, for some of us here is no such thing as moral relativity. All  ideologies, principles, cultures and religions  social values ETC are not equal, and saying they are is one of the most insidious lies we face today. We are all more equal and accepting in society than we ever were but if you look, it turns out slavery,  in the world is bigger than it ever was. It's taken the form of worldwide human trafficking and serial human rights violations. No one really gives a shit I mean it's poor people involved. It makes the trans Atlantic slave trade look like a lemonade stand. We have not really progressed at all. If it's legal in a law book I guess that makes it ok  for you then no need for further argument, it's all just relative, who are we to judge if someone wants to plow the other half of a person that isn't their  own sister. I believe in tolerance, social justice, equality as much as anyone. But it sounds like in your case and many others here, the medicine has become the disease. Good luck man, don't take it personal, I respect your opinion enough to tell you how shitty I think it is. Get accustomed  to being dictated to by fascists on all sides, it will never end.

joke_man
joke_man

 @hyperbolel  @Suaron_x  @riff_farmer

 BTW, in many states you can marry relatives (i.e. cousins or 2nd cousins)...You're the one, however, using a form of "nazism" to say what others cannot and/or can do based on some criterion...Should there be a line drawn? Sure, but why should your religious philosophy, or whatever, dictate that the line should be drawn at same sex.  It's the same type of argument that promoted slavery 100+ years ago...

riff_farmer
riff_farmer

 @TohouAsura

 

Wrong.  I didn't say why refusing LBGT persons the right to marry is unjustifiable on moral grounds, and I certainly am not appealing to history as a moral justification either.  To be more specific, moral norms governing equality, fairness, respect, and justice WOULD justify extending marriage rights to LBGT persons. 

 

I'm not an anarchist, nor is my argument predicated on anarchism. That is a straw man on your part (look it up).  You may feel marriage can ONLY be understood in a traditional manner, but I would definitely argue otherwise i.e. on ethical grounds because marriage IS a normative practice.

 

You forget that even if LBGT persons are conferred the right to marry, heterosexual people still can as well.  The big problem for you it seems is that by extending the range of whom can marry it violates the "sanctity" or "tradition" of marriage.  I call it BS.  So what if it doesn't feel special now for YOU.  Other people matter as well.  It is discriminatory for no reason other than "tradition" i.e. it has been this way for a long time SO lets keep it this way.  Would you say the same about slavery, sexism, and racism?

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

 @riff_farmer  @Suaron_x But YOU are using it as moral justification. You say marriage for heteros only is something on the same level as Slavery and racism, but it's really not, it's tradition, and has nothing to do with human rights.

 

This anarchist attitude of "f*ck the rules!" is irritating me. Marriage is a ceremony written in the same bible that condemns homosexuality, you are supposed to be aware of that. It's not just a "status" change with tax benefits and life-ruining divorces. It's a TRADITION.

riff_farmer
riff_farmer

 @TohouAsura  @Suaron_x 

 

Your only repeating what I said.  Appeal to history/tradition isn't a moral justification. 

 

Do you have some other point you're trying to make?

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

 @riff_farmer  @Suaron_x "Slavery, racism, sexism were historical practices.  that doesn't make them right. "

 

That doesn't make them wrong either, it makes them history.

 

Your moral battles aren't getting anywhere.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @riff_farmer  I posted my reply a day ago, can you see it? I hope it's not being blocked again.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @riff_farmer 

 

It's a long story, so I have to cut some parts out. And I keep getting blocked for some reason. Maybe I can't say the g-word or something.

 

What happen was 2K Marin was told to make a FPS X-COM. X-COM was a Sci-fi  strategy game about reverse engineering alien tech. But Marin didn't want to have any of that, lied about being "big fans" over and over, and changed *everything* to suit *their* needs in a Message of Tolerance story. Like move it back 60 years ago in the USA, and make it about all the civil-rights movement.... with some aliens

 

There was no X-COM aliens, no X-COM tech,  no X-COM gameplay, no X-COM plot, no X-COM anything! Just One or two name references forced in.

 

Here's a interview with Marin's Jordan Thomas

 

Interviewer: "I commented that it sounded like XCOM was really more of a 60's period piece that happened to use aliens as a catalyst to bring out the social climate."

JT: "As a narrative guy, absolutely. To both mutate and express the inner conflicts of the period."

JT: "As a narrative guy, it's the reason I'm excited to work on the game. The setting was chosen very specifically...."

 

Electric Playground: With the game set in 1962, are we going to see any historical figures making cameos?

Morgan Gray: We are definitely going to be touching on everything that we can legally do [laughs]. It’s such a specific year, it’s not arbitrary. There will be historical cameos, a lot of historical reference… We’ll be touching on real things that occurred, we’ll touch on unreal things that have been altered in our alternate timeline. We picked 1962 for a very specific reason, so we’re really going to try to own that period.

 

You see, adding something like "historical cameos" takes a lot of resources and time, so because of that, they cut out all the strategy, plot, and gameplay of X-COM to make way for the Message of Tolerance.

 

On top of that, they feel they are doing a big enough risk having a LBGT character without forcing in untested gameplay like that of X-COM.  What a slap to the face! They take the name X-COM to make their game more populer, but won't use the gameplay or setting. It sounds like they would rename it Call of Duty if they could.

 

 

I don't know  if you'll reply back or even if you are reading this, but I hope you understand now.

evil-zodiark
evil-zodiark

 @Hurvl i agree but as you can see EA and zynga are already using politics to market their games ....