Technology » Video Games

Let The Gay Force Be With You

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Jan 17, 2013
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Let the gay force be with you.

Players who pick up in the new Star Wars computer game "The Rise of the Hutt Cartel," will encounter a special planet - one that may interest some gaymers, Forbesreports.

The role-playing game, which is an expansion pack for the game "Star Wars: The Old Republic" and hits stores in Spring 2013, allows players to choose their own adventure and even gives the option to have a same-sex relationship. The option for the relationship occurs on the gay planet Makeb, a land where it’s not uncommon for its inhabitants to have same-sex partners.

"We are adding SGR [same gender romance] with some NPCs [non-player characters] on Makeb [a planet invaded by the Hutt Cartel] and do intend on pursuing more SGR options in the future," Jeff Hickman, executive producer of "Star Wars: The Old Republic," said.

Forbes notes, however, that that the game’s main characters cannot engage in a same-sex relationship and only the game’s NPCs can do so.

"I realize that we promised SGR to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character," Hickman said. "Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game free-to-play. As we have said in the past, allowing same-gender romance is something we are very supportive of."

Still, activists are pleased with the inclusion of gay relationships in the game. Toni Rocca, community director for GaymerConnect (an organization that runs the first LGBT gamer event called Gaymer X) said, "This has been a long time coming. We’re excited to see the game companies recognizing the diversity of their fans and we expect to see this trend continue."

The U.K. newspaper the Sun reports that officials from BioWare, the Canadian studio behind "Cartel," said they added the same-sex relationship option after feeling pressured by gay fans. The article also points out that some gamers don’t like the way the gay characters have been segregated and say the video game’s developers created a "gay ghetto."

In related news, in May, it was revealed that there would be a gay sex scene in the action role-playing ame "Mass Effect 3." Players can make Commander Shepard gay, straight or have no sexual preference but if they do make him attracted to men, they will encounter a scandalous sex scene with a blue-eyed black man named Cortez, who recently lost his husband in a war.

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