Gamers pwn anti-LGBT bigotry, w00t!

A while back various groups dragging the word “family” through the dirt were pissed at Bioware for the inclusion of same-sex relationships in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  They were all calling for a boycott of Bioware for daring to note that same-sex relationships, y’know…happen.  Fortunately, Bioware was able to tell them, pretty much without a hint of concern, to take a hike.

Why?  Because gamers don’t give a shit.

Seven out of ten gamers are comfortable with same-sex relationships in games, according to a new survey of IGN readers.

When asked if the controversial theme of same-sex relationships has a place in games, 69% of respondents to a recent IGN survey said either ‘absolutely’ or ‘why not’ Only 9% said that same-sex relationships should “never” be in games.

You may see me or other gamers use the term “w00t!” in celebration.  The term originated as an acronym during games like counter-strike back in the day.  It stood for, “We Owned the Other Team.”

In the face of a boycott doomed to failure because the gamer community doesn’t share their prejudice, I can’t think of a better thing to say than, “w00t!”  :)  The concept of family doesn’t include hating others for the non-crime of loving who they please.

Well-played, gamers.  You’re my kind of people.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Cor (formerly evil)

    Shovel kill! Shovel kill! HEADSHOT!!!!!
    I really miss Day of Defeat.

  • fastlane

    Are you sure it’s not just because gaming is still male dominated, and they are only thinking of female-female relationships?

    I mean, I like good news, but given how rife the gaming community is with misogyny, I wouldn’t be too enthusiastic about this news.

    • Enkidum

      Unlikely. Any gamer responding to these questions has to know that Bioware is the big company pushing same-sex relationships in games these days, and they always include male homosexuality as a possible path for the player. I think JT is right – it’s just that no one cares.

    • Patrick

      I’d be willing to say that the misogyny is really only a by-product of the zealot’s effect: the louder and more obnoxious you are, the more popular your fringe ideas will seem among a quieter majority. More often than not (in my experience), gamers who have the microphones on in games are usually hollering all kinds of things – misogyny, racism and homophobia included. But this reflects nothing upon the gamers who do not have mics or decide that responding to the inflammatory remarks is a waste of time.

    • Nentuaby

      Hmmm. There’s something to what fastlane says here… The latest round of controversy came up when a relationship between men was added to Mass Effect III, after all same-sex relationships in I and II being lesbian. A certain proportion of people who’d been juuuuust fine with the series up to then lost their shit.

      On the other hand, I think that’s the round of controversy which prompted this poll, so presumably those voting on it had that in mind.

      • Skip White

        I agree. Hot human-turian or human-asari action? Just fine and dandy. But two humans of the same sex? EWWWWWWWW. Then of course there are the “family” groups who bitch and moan about the horrors of same-sex relationships in video games, even though the games are supposed to be for mature audiences. Nevermind all the blood, violence, and language.

  • crys

    i <3 this news, thanks for sharing it

  • Nick Johnson

    I want to see it broken down even more into popular gamer types. FPS vs RPG would be interesting. I’ve played both and it has always seemed to me like I encountered a lot more conservatives playing FPS than RPG. I would assume this is partly because most of them were ex-military and military people tend to be conservative.

    • Patrick

      I’d also be interested to see the breakdown between console and PC communities. It seems that PC players are more polite and mature (by orders of magnitude). Equivalent games on a console seem to draw out more assholes for one reason or another.

  • Zi Teng Wang

    Actually, this is the first time I’ve heard of ‘woot’ meaning “we owned the other team”. I thought it was a corruption of “root”, which hackers would exclaim in delight when they’ve broken into a remote computer and gotten root access to the filesystem.

    • Johnnykaje

      I had always assumed it was a weird corruption of “woo”, like in “woohoo!”. I learned something new today.

    • Patrick

      I’ve always thought it was derived from the battle cry of an elite in Halo.

      • theschwa

        I read/heard it was a combination of an excited exclamation and getting treasure: “woohoo!” + loot = w00t!

      • John Horstman

        WAY before Halo existed. Also proper sp3lking is “w00t”. I encountered it in the early days of CS, without explanation of origin (it made sense in context – the use of “woo-hoo” or just “woo” as a cry of celebration, as well as “hoot” in the sense of “that was a hoot” meaning that was fun, and also “hoot” meaning a loud exclamation – so I never really questioned it).

        • John Horstman

          Never mind on the spelling, my browser is just rendering zero and lower-case O as identical characters.

          • theschwa

            Same here. I spelled it w[zero][zero]t. But it appeared as woot

    • Bill

      I hadn’t heard that, either.

      JT, can you cite a source for that etymology? If it’s true, then I’m going to have to quit using “w00t” for the same reason I never use “pwnd”:  people aren’t property.

  • Daniel

    I just love how 69% responded with a positive attitude. Yes, I’m immature, but life is more fun when you have a dirty mind.

  • tynk

    @fastlane depending on the study, female gamers make up between 40% and 46% percent of the gaming population. Hardly “dominated anymore”.

    on top of that, SW:TOR still does not have my ss relationships implemented. :(

  • John Horstman

    Now if only we can have games that do away with binary gender entirely and just give the player sliders for expressions of various secondary sex characteristics (or primary characteristics if gonads/genitals ever play a role in the game – it could also have preconfigured sets that correlate to dominant/normative cultural notions of gender, recognizing that these are still important to a lot of people). It would be expensive for voice acting, though, so it might have to be a more-limited number of pitch/gendered-vocal-inflection options.

    I want a masculine-identified intersexed avatar with a feminine voice, damnit. Let’s see some love for genderfuck!

    • Nentuaby

      Saints Row 3 had a spider like that, basically. At halfway it switched from exaggerating hips and bust to exaggerating shoulders and package. Choices were labeled male/ female but selected independent of model.

      • Nentuaby

        Er… Spider->slider, choices->voices

  • Cynthia

    We own Star Wars: The Old Republic. My kids never brought up any of that. They didn’t even know it was an “issue”.

    When I read this, I asked them about it. Their response: why would anyone care? Homosexual, hetero, bi, whatever. It’s so not important (with a teenage shrug at my obtuseness).

    I love my kids!

  • Katie T

    I love how this is such a non-issue in the gamer community that the origins of the term “woot” is of more consequence than a gay relationship in SWOR.