Daily Beast Decries 'Homophobic and Sexist Environments' in Video Game Industry
Tauriq Moosa slammed Nintendo in a Monday item for The Daily Beast for supposedly perpetuating "anti-gay bigotry." The writer singled out the Japanese video game company for rejecting same-sex relationships as an option in its "life simulator" game Tomodachi Life, and lamented that its decision "has a huge effect on creative media, on culture, and thus people themselves."
Moosa used the Nintendo controversy as a jumping off to hammer the video game industry in general for its apparent negative attitudes towards homosexuals and women:
Video games, like much of the tech industry, tend to be orientated toward (but not be totally dominated by) straight young men—this seems often to create homophobic and sexist environments because it is perceived to be an enclosed system where such attitudes can thrive (as we saw in comic books, too). In many parts of gaming, homophobic slurs are allowed without blinking in major companies' conventions, proudly shown to the world; sexism is even more prevalent, in many, horrible ways.
The author, who is a "tutor in ethics, bioethics and critical thinking at the University of Cape Town, South Africa," led his article, "The Video Game Industry Is Too White, Straight, and Male for Its Own Good," by first hyping how "it seems like a good time for the LGBT community" due to the fact that "the Eurovision Song Contest was won by a genderqueer performer and the NFL drafted its first openly gay player." He quickly added, however, that this "progress isn't extending to another powerful cultural sphere: video games."
Moosa continued by outlining the apparent problem with Nintendo's decision to not include same-sex relationships in its recent release:
Fans of Nintendo's life simulator, Tomodachi Life, hoped the company would allow same-sex relationships when the game was brought to the Western market, but the company rejected the request:
"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of 'Tomodachi Life'...The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation....Apparently representing the harmless love of two consenting adults is "social commentary"; the "playful alternate world" of Tomodachi Life is a god who controls Nintendo, since they clearly are unable to change anything about the world they created....
There seems more controversy behind removing an entire people instead of making their sexual identities one of many options—i.e. gay relationships exist alongside other kinds of sexualities, as it does in, you know, reality.
Imagine if the tables were turned and social conservatives were calling on Nintendo to take out sexually-explicit or ultra-violent material from the game. It is reasonable to conclude that Moosa would be among those defending the artistic vision and/or the free speech rights of the producers of the game. But since it runs afoul of his far-left vision, they must confirm to his ideology.
The "tutor in ethics" then attacked the supposed "homophobic and sexist environments" in the video game world, and asserted that "bigoted attitudes can thrive due to top-down attitudes like Nintendo's...because...[they] market to their core white, male demographic. Consider: when's the last time a major video game franchise had a pre-written brown-skinned character? And the game industry's attitude toward women protagonists is almost as vile as Hollywood's." So in addition to being anti-LGBT and anti-woman, the video game industry is also apparently racist.
Moosa more overtly used race as an example to drive his point later in the article:
It sounds silly to many people, but imagine if a game company made a product that only allowed white-skinned avatars to marry other white-skinned avatars because doing otherwise would be "social commentary." Indeed, remember when "inter-race marriage" was an issue—but, again, only because bigots made it so. More of us hopefully view skin color as irrelevant to relationships (and indeed everything else). Why can't we do the same for someone's sex and sexual orientation? Why won't Nintendo?
The writer concluded that "the ubiquitous antagonism they're witnessing is a demonstration that gamers, and people in general, are no longer tolerant of bigoted attitudes and it's the companies themselves that have some catching up to do."
Moosa's screed is the latest in a series of attacks from left-wing websites on the supposed bigotry in "geek" culture. Back in April 2014, Salon lamented how the movie depictions of Spider-Man and other superheroes are all "straight, white men." The online magazine also targeted a renowned Nintendo game in October 2013 for its "deeply problematic" handling of "class, race, gender and animal rights."