Tuesday, January 31, 2006

That's so gay...

One of the most-used sentences on the general chat of most normal servers I have looked into with World of Warcraft. Now, are the accounts of the endless gay-bashers suspended? No, didn't think so. But when somebody announces that a guild is GLBT friendly (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender), that's reason for a warning.

A lot more on this at Terra Nova, Boing Boing and The Guardian's gamesblog. **Update: I think Utopian Hell has an interesting take on this too. found by way of Dr B.**

I want to address the suspense of disbelief.

One of the most impressive characters I have had, in the manner that it made other people think, develop roleplay, plot, scheme and in all other manners get deeply immersed in the game universe, was a male gay elf. He never cybered (at least that I can remember), had no partner and was not looking for one. He was evil through and through, so not a gay posterboy for tolerance and loving understanding. What he did was to make people extremely uncomfortable, and in need of reconsidering what they offered him. Rather than offering their nubile bodies in trade for service and position, elf maidens had to work for it. Rather than assume easy manly understanding, male characters would find themselves at the mercy of another man who might have a sexual interest in them. He poked at their routines and assumptions, and the roleplay got much, much better from it. I have since heard of tributes to this character, as other players have used the name and created him the way they felt he should be played. I am quite touched.

I did get a chunk of gay-bashing aggression too. People who had no idea I was a woman, married and mother of two children, tended to get OOCly rather unfriendly. I never cared to enlighten them. The rest of the players bashed right back, and I felt it would have been too easy to take the easy way out: "but I am not really like this..."

Anyway, the point is: Anything we can imagine in human relationships is possible to imagine in humanoid relationships. And you can add some other perversities. Would human/tauren couplings be considered straight, or zoophilia? Gnomes, which look like children, with their pigtails and childlike bodies - are they an invitation to pedophilia? And the undead... really... Just don't get me started at the behaviour of the succubi. Wow is not a safe place if you start bothering about references and possibilities of sexual transgression, experimentation and deviancy. There is even a pool filled with deviate FISH! And for some reason, in this universe which is so thrilling because it is so rich on references to non-mainstream behaviour, one way of loving is discouraged.

I wonder if I should create a female gnome and start looking for a daddy for her. A guild for gnomes and their daddies. Although... how long before all the gnome players would be police hoping to catch somebody asking for a real world meeting? Would make for some really interesting guild get-togethers.

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