Popular video game producer Electronic Arts (EA) is fighting back after facing an avalanche of rightwing criticism for its decision to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) content in recent games.
Speaking to Games Industry International, EA's Vice President of Corporate Communications Jeff Brown slammed criticism of the same-sex content -- seen most notably "Mass Effect 3" and "Star Wars: The Old Republic" -- as "political harassment."
Brown also went on to deny accusations that EA's creative teams had been pressured into incorporating the LGBT content. "EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games," he said. "However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don't tolerate hate speech on our forums."
The games reportedly sparked the ire of the American Decency Association, which slammed creator BioWare for pandering to “homosexual extremists," Right Wing Watch notes. Last month, the Florida Family Association went even further, suggesting that the creators could create "Darth VaPaula, a (mock) transgender version of Darth Vader -- RuPaul, for kids to choose as their action player."
"There were no LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) characters in any of the 'Star Wars' movies," officials noted. "So if BioWare, the maker of 'Star Wars' video games, adds LGBT characters for kids to select as their action figure it could be something like Darth RuPaula, a combination of Darth Vader, one of the most popular 'Star Wars' characters, and RuPaul, the renown transgender cross dresser."
Meanwhile, other video games seem to be following suit. As Unicorn Booty blogger Kevin Farrell points out, a kiss between two male soldiers is featured in the latest commercial for "The Sims" franchise (watch that video above).
Take a look at some other claims about the LGBT community below: