US: Electronic Arts hosts event focussing on LGBT issues in video games

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Video games company Electronic Arts (EA) is hosting an event in New York today focussing on LGBT issues within the gaming industry.

At the EA Full Spectrum event, the company will be working with human rights groups the Human Rights Campaign and Ford Foundation to discuss issues from taking a stand against the Defense of Marriage Act to gay romance within video games, and getting involved in gay pride events.

A statement on EA’s website read: “We’ve always been met with some opposition and hateful comments. It got us thinking here that it was time to bring people together to talk about these issues and not sweep them under the rug.”

The New York event can be followed on Twitter by following @EAFullSpectrum and hashtag #H8IsNotAGame, and users are encouraged to join the dialoge by sharing their own stories, or say why it is important to take a stand against homophobia.

Super Bowl Champion and equal rights advocate, Brendon Ayanbadejo, will join the event to discuss overcoming prejudices in the face of opposition. He will discuss creating an inclusive environment in a “traditionally closed off” culture.

Panels will also discuss how to define problems of hate in video games, and EA’s repsponsibility in enacting real change for inclusivity.

Homophobia, and the origin of homophobia in video games will be addressed, as well as the development of introducing authentic LGBT characters into video game

In January, Electronic Arts joined coalition of businesses has formed in support of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, to allow equal marriage recognition to same-sex couples federally.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, of the Baltimore Ravens, the team which won this year’s Super Bowl, and Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, penned a brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down legislation preventing equal marriage.