Versus Mode: Gay Marriage, Racism, Rape, and More

GC writers Alex Jedraszczak and Eric Regan discuss gay marriage in MMOs, racism in Dance!, virtual rape, and more.

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gay-marioYou know him from his monthly reviews, and you know the other him from Digital Championship Wrestling and Captain Eric’s Super Thumb. This month in Versus Mode it’s:

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Alex Jedraszczak vs. Eric Regan!

1. Lord of the Rings Online should allow dudes to marry dudes and/or elves to marry dwarves.

Alex: This old chestnut again? I’m sorry, but I’ve never really been a big fan of marriage in online games, gay or not. Besides, here’s a big tip for game developers: nearly all “female” characters in an online game are played by men. What a concept, right? In the magical fantasy land of an Internet game, no less. I do give the developers credit, however, for not including marriage at all rather than imposing silly rules on it. I suppose that if you want to get technical, the game should follow whatever rules were in place in the book; however, I doubt that even the amazingly detailed Tolkien covered that subject.


Eric: Hell yeah they should let dudes marry dudes! I mean, all the players behind the characters are dudes anyway—isn’t that a bit hypocritical to not let dudes marry dudes? I mean, MAYBE there are some ancient hobbit writings that denounce same sex marriage, and it could be some kind of “role-playing” reason, but I’m not really at the forefront of Middle Earthen law. Or maybe the developers are a bunch of pussies who are too scared to let it happen. Friggin’ nerds!

2. Having to pay extra to play as a black character is totally racist.

Alex: Taking a look at screenshots, I quickly noticed something about the game: Every single character had the exact same face, with the only exception being the difference between male and female characters. It seems like a silly ploy to make more money, especially when the functionality is already there. For more racism, notice that a black face only costs 1 point, while users of other races have to pay more to make their characters look like themselves.

Eric: Well, if the LOTR Online guys are pussies, then these guys are just LAZY. Really? You couldn’t have skin choice as something default? This isn’t racist; it is just plain STUPID. However, the controversy over this silly little incident, while very minor, is still probably more PR than this game received combined from any other reason. I mean, c’mon “Dance”!? What the hell is that!

3. Action sequences belong in action games, and not in RPGs or adventure games.

Alex: As much as I love RPGs, as much as RPGs may be my heritage and my continuing favorite game type, I realize that they are boring. That’s right: RPGs in that classical, NES, Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy sense are boring. Games like Lufia II and Chrono Trigger finally brought the genre out of the “Text, walk, battle” rut and gave us some puzzles. And, realistically, couldn’t the real-time battle systems that most RPGs use today be considered “action sequences”? Really, if you want to read a story with some pictures every once in a while where you can kind of change the outcome to some extent, drop by your local library or thrift store and pick up a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. Otherwise, quit complaining and realize that RPGs need puzzles and action sequences to prevent themselves from being books with controllers to turn the pages.


Eric: Yes, OK, if you really want to whine and bitch about it, RPGs and adventure games probably shouldn’t have action sequences. But, in reality, is it really that big of a deal? Complaining about the difficulty? Come on! Action sequences are what most people think about when they hear the word “videogame.” This is probably why is it common to see them invade other games, and not the other way around. So, yeah, deal with it.

4. Virtual rape should be considered a crime.

Alex: Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s not harassment. While the user can log off, it’s still not something someone should have to deal with. Even so, while there should definitely be action taken by the game admins, pursuing police action seems pointless outside of extreme cases. Sure, Second Life has a more visual aspect to it, but I can imagine a point where the victims would have to say to themselves, “this is stupid. I’m logging out.” Report it to the admins, but unless it escalates into stalking or continued harassment, involving the authorities seems a bit much.

Eric: Computers still have off switches, right? Oh, well, I guess NO, then. I’m sorry I, just can not begin to comprehend what “virtual rape” would even be, and I certainly don’t care enough to find out.

5. Tecmo Bowl should stay dead.

Alex: As much as I enjoyed a good Tecmo Bowl back in the day, I can only hope that it comes out for the Wii and uses the Wiimote for throwing the football and running or something like that. Otherwise, it’s just going to become another lame Madden 2008. I can hope, but I’m not setting my expectations too high.

On a Tecmo Bowl note, however, I give you this.


Eric: No! BRING IT BACK! Tecmo Bowl is the greatest football game of all time! It’s no secret that MOST sports games now are buggy and quickly made just to be published and be sold. So will a Tecmo Bowl game be far inferior to the old game? Most likely, yes. But it has to be just as good as the crap they have now. The nostalgic effect would be worth it alone. I for one think that this is a GREAT idea. SCREW MADDEN! VIVO EL TECMO BOWL

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