Rebel alliance slams Star Wars game over gay characters

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It could be described as a period of uncivil war, the Family Research Council striking from a hidden base in Washington, DC, attempting to win their first victory against the Bioware gaming empire.

Only in this case, the empire seems to be doing good.

Star Wars: The Old Republic, a online role-playing game based in the Star Wars universe and developed by Bioware, has come under fire for its plans to include a gay storyline.

The Family Research Council, based in the US capital, are trying to drum up support for a rebellion against progressive video-gaming.

Tony Perkins, President of the FRC wrote: “In a galaxy not so far far away, Star Wars gamers have already gone to the dark side. The new video game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, has added a special feature: gay relationships.

“Bioware, the company that developed the game, said it’s launching a same-sex romance component to satisfy some complaints.

“That surprised a lot of gamers, since Bioware had made it clear in 2009 that “gay” and “lesbian” don’t exist in the Star Wars universe.”

The announcement was made by Bioware in September 2011.

The company said: “Due to the design constraints of a fully voiced MMO [massively multiplayer online game] of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set. Same gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature.

“Because The Old Republic is an MMO, the game will live on through content expansions which allow us to include content and features that could not be included at launch, including the addition of more companion characters who will have additional romance options.”

Bioware was commended for listening to the gaming community after one of the moderators on its forum reportedly told fans in 2009 that the term “gay” did not exist in the Star Wars universe.

In 2009, Dragon Age: Origins was released by Bioware and included a fireside embrace between two male characters.

Now Perkins continues on behalf of the FRC: “Since the announcement, homosexuals have been celebrating the news, but parents sure aren’t [sic]. On the game’s website, there are more than 300 pages of comments – a lot of them expressing anger that their kids will be exposed to this Star Warped way of thinking. You can join them by logging on and speaking up. It’s time to show companies who the Force is really with!”

In 2007, Bioware included a lesbian storyline in its Mass Effect game.

The “scene of lesbian intimacy” led to the game being briefly banned in Singapore.

The Family Research Council supported a move last year to drop Haruki Murakami’s critically acclaimed Norwegian Wood from a New Jersey school’s reading list, citing the “homosexual agenda”.

The organisation was classified as a ‘hate group’ in 2010 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a listing it called “slanderous”.

The game was announced in 2008 and developed by teams in Austin, Texas and at Bioware’s headquarters in Alberta, Canada at an estimated cost of $150-200 million.

Released in December, the updates which include gay characters have yet to be implemented.