Electronic Arts (EA) and the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC) on Thursday hosted a panel discussion on LGBT
issues in gaming.
The first ever Full Spectrum event was
held at the Ford Foundation in upper Manhattan.
Caryl Shaw, executive producer at
Kixeye, told the crowd that the issues of diversity facing the gaming
industry have their roots in who is developing the games.
“It's a white, dudely industry. In
general it is a very hard place for women to get in. I think that
that's gonna change,” Shaw explained, citing a White House
educational initiative aimed at broadening the appeal of coding.
While Electronic Arts (EA) has strongly
voiced its support for gay rights, the company was recently
criticized for a rollout of LGBT options in its Star Wars MMO (The
Old Republic) game by BioWare Austin, which is owned by the
studio. Those options were perceived to be locked to one planet
initially, which led to an outcry that the game was restricting its
reported: “While the first panel focused on identifying which
issues were most prevalent in the game industry –
overrepresentation of white male heterosexual characters, online
communities that are rife with bigotry, and a lack of narrative
inclusion of LGBT issues, just to name a few – the second focused
on how to fix those issues.”
“We have a responsibility from a
corporate standpoint where we create a safehaven that we can
control,” said Jaap Tuinman, EA Battlefield community manager.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon
Ayanbadejo, a vocal supporter of marriage equality, led a more
informal “fireside” chat.