Long time Dragon*Con attendees may have had the privilege of running into Anthony Daniels among the mass of celebrity guests we’ve seen over the years. You may not have recognized him, however, unless you actually struck up a conversation. Mr. Daniels, as many of you know, is the actor behind C-3PO from the Star Wars universe. While I’ve never had the occasion to meet him myself, I understand he’s a very charming and affable guy.
Now you may be wondering why I’d be bringing him up in a post on the Dragon*Con MMORPG track site. Or you may be wondering what you’re going to have for lunch. I don’t know. I’m not you.
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah. Right. Anthony Daniels. Star Wars. Ok. A good number of you that have come to our panels in the past are fans of Sony’s Star Wars Galaxies, and we’ve also heard a lot of buzz about the upcoming Star Wars : The Old Republic from Bioware. A lot of Star Wars fans like to joke that C-3PO is the “gay robot” from the Star Wars mythos (although in the interest of full disclosure I understand Mr. Daniels has gotten quite friendly with some of the ladies in the Dawn lookalike contest in the past, so the actor himself likely isn’t gay…just British).
How does all of this tie together? Well, according to at least one community moderator over on the Bioware site not only was C-3PO a confirmed homosexual but the terms “homosexual,” “lesbian,” and “gay” are “terms that do not exist in Star Wars.”
In all fairness to Bioware they reversed their position on this yesterday by re-opening threads with titles like “GBLT Discrimination in Forums?” Not only that, but one poster on their forums made the very valid case that, at least in the Star Wars gaming universe, there is already an established incident of at least one homosexual character (Juhani from the original Knights of the Old Republic). It appears, at least at this point, that Bioware isn’t going to have a hard line stance against references to homosexuality in their upcoming game.
This situation opens up a larger question for me, personally, though. Is it really necessary for sexual preference to be an issue when you’re playing an MMORPG?
I jump around to so many different stances on this particular issue I make myself dizzy. From a Role-Playing perspective I think it’s perfectly valid that a character in an MMORPG could be a homosexual, and I think that a person who chooses to play a character in that manner should be allowed to do so. I also, however, have a real problem with the fact that, in a game not marketed as adults-only, sexuality comes into play at all.
This fact alone has kept me off of Role-Playing servers in games like World of Warcraft. I’ve been a role-player since I was 12 years old, but if I walk into an inn in Goldshire I want to encounter other young adventurers – not naked night elves giving lap dances to dwarves. I’ve encountered the same thing on several occasions in City of Heroes, and it always bothers me whenever it happens. I understand that people might want to get their virtual freak on, but in an environment where putting on your robe and wizard hat might happen in front of a 13 year old kid (or, even worse, WITH a 13 year old kid) I just don’t think it’s appropriate.
I sure hope saying that does not make me a prude (and considering some of the stuff I’ve done at previous cons I’d hate to see what a pervert did if I was), but as a parent it’s always something that has been a concern of mine. The whole topic of sex and sexuality is a touchy one, but as a parent my first inclination is to say that unless it’s being marketed to adults it really not one that belongs in our video games.