League of Legends on LGBT representation and pro team mistreatment allegations

League of Legends will probably introduce non-straight characters eventually, a new interview on Polygon with Riot Games’ Greg Street suggests. The publication asked Street questions about LGBT representation during GDC 2017, noting that Blizzard’s Overwatch (particularly Tracer) has proven that it’s a hot topic and something millions of gamers want to see. League of Legends currently has over 130 characters to Overwatch’s 24, but Street says that Riot has to be careful what it adds lest one region or another blockade the game.

“We owe it to the players and, I think, to the world to do something like that. […] What I don’t want to do is be like, ‘Okay, team, next character, whatever you do, has to be lesbian.’ I don’t think we’ll end up with something good there…. From the beginning, it has to be the character’s identity. I’m sure we’ll do it at some point. I don’t know which character or when it will happen.”

If and when it does happen, Street says, it’ll likely be in “storytelling outside the game.”

In other League of Legends news, Kotaku has a new piece out on Tainted Minds, a top Aussie LoL pro team that is apparently imploding over claims that their team house — the literal building they live in while training — is disgusting. Players claim the house had no AC, suffered multiple sanitation and safety problems (including mold), lacked computers and reliable internet, and had no functional shower. Apparently, the team manager did their laundry — until they stopped paying her — and the house has no working laundry machines either. The situation forced team members to camp out in internet cafes to practice, and as stipends and fees began to go unpaid, players — and the coach — started to quit one by one.

It might be tempting to blame the team owners for the problems, but the players suggest Riot ignored their complaints too, in one case alleging a clear conflict of interest. Yesterday, however, Riot denied knowing about the safety issues and unpaid wages and essentially deflecting responsibility, saying that when living standard complaints had been lodged, Riot recommended first dispute resolution and then that participants seek legal advice. Riot also claims that its contracts cover housing occupancy but not general living standards for the pro players (whose performance, y’know, makes Riot a truckton of money).

Source: Polygon, Kotaku
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

110 Comments on "League of Legends on LGBT representation and pro team mistreatment allegations"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Valen Sinclair
Reader
Valen Sinclair

“We owe it to the world to do something like that.” Really? It’s…League of Legends. This guy talks like he’s making some sort of Martin Luther King Jr. social contribution to the world by doing this. LOL

Reader
Jeremy Barnes

I’m confused why riot would be involved in the team issue. This sounds like something local laws would handle.

Reader
memitim

Is LoL really the right game to approach this? Especially given its reputation for having a toxic community? There is not even a story as such, why does this even matter?

I think videogames as a whole should probably stay away from raising these kinds of topics, at least until it has more writers who are out of primary school. :P The few representations of this I have seen are painful at best and I’m not even gay…

I’m not saying they shouldn’t put LGBT characters in games but if they are all like “check out our new character!!!! he’s gay!!!!” or if the character goes to great lengths to make sure you know this….I think if I was gay I’d just find that (even more ) insulting tbh… everytime this comes up it sounds like somebody just wants to check a box of political correctness and not like they actually give a shit.

I feel a bit awkward for asking this but fuck it….Does no-one in the LGBT community actually find this crap insulting?

Reader
Fair Mores

Why didn’t he just say that the sexual preference of LoL characters was ambiguous and up to the player to decide?

And blizzard’s over watch didn’t do anything for the LGBT community except exploit the fact that the only gay couple their players want to see is a cute thin white girl kissing another cute thin white girl. Is Mccree gay, or soldier 76? No and there is a very specific reason for that.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

well to be fair, fat people make terrible fighters. I’m out of breath from walking up the stairs to my appartment… running away from bullets doesn’t sound that healthy.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

it’s an outrage that there are no german-born half anglo-saxon half slavic, male, bisexual, with dirt blonde hair, green eyes, slightly overweight characters in video games, because these are literally the only things who make me who I am and I just don’t have any fucking empathy and can’t put myself into a character’s shoes if they don’t share all my traits that I have no control over.

Oh wait.

quark1020
Reader
quark1020

I think you just made me realize why I prefer games that let me create my own character than premade characters. Nothing wrong with them, of course, but if it so happens I don’t care about their story, I can at least enjoy making up my own story in my head with my character in spite of the game’s story.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Yep nothing wrong with that at all. I can appreciate a well-written, well-voiced character but in a RPG I’d also prefer making my own ;)

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Quark, I concur. Even if not RPing, I flesh out the identity of my own character. Don’t need help. Of course, that is a MMO thing, can’t imagine caring about a MOBA character. Zero persistence. The exception is I do enjoy playing some of Blizzards iconic characters in HotS.

Reader
Utakata

You should say that 5 times out loud. O.o

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

Why? I know how ridiculous it sounds. Which is why I’m making fun of it =)

Reader
Utakata

That reply got you a pigtailed /upvote. :)

miol
Reader
miol

If Riot’s pubescent devs have already such an impossible hard time trying to portray a majority (a.k.a. women) properly, is it really such a surprise of how they’re unable to handle or even consider minorities?!

Reader
Bryan Correll

Apparently, the team manager did their laundry — until they stopped paying her —

Man, I hate it when people stop providing services just because I stop paying them.

Reader
Utakata

I sometimes wish this subject matter would never be brought up, because it exposes the rot of a toxic community with all it’s dated and asinine issues. Then again, it needs to be brought up for this very reason. Thankfully though, some of us don’t think like that….and are quite content with the game world and all its frog thingies, green blobs and prancing men, oh my. <3

My thoughts go to that poor LoL team stuck training in that nasty shack. :(

Reader
Wanda Clamshuckr

I cringe as well, for the same reasons. Last year, an in-game event of LGBT focus was brought up in an article and it became a horrendously contentious discussion. For the most part, I would say nothing was learned from the more conservative side. Why would a blip of an article change the mindset of someone who has lived with their prejudice for their entire lives?

Positives out of that, and this? Exposure. Maybe incremental micro layers of education in tolerance, perhaps leading to acceptance in some. If anything, it highlighted two community contributors that I will never have anything to do with again. MMO forum nemeses. How Stan Lee-esque.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

First of all, it has nothing to do with social justice. It’s social fantasy.

Social justice is when you’re living in a card box and the other guy owns trillions of dollars just because he was born into right family. Social justice is when your wedding gets bombed into meat pulp along with one hundred of your relatives the people who did that say “oh… sorry” and just carry on. Social justice is also giving people education, medicine, food and shelter – basic needs.

Social fantasy though, is forcing gay into everything, every character in every work of art, while the reality is that gays are a minority. Wait, there’s a word for it … shaping public opinion … forcing people to think certain thoughts… ah! Propaganda. Why do some people want to represent minority everywhere and hence make it look like a majority is beyond me. I would understand if millions of gamers were gay. They are not. I could assume that those social fantasy warriors just want to look progressive and hence better than other people and that’s their reason for bringing this irrelevant topic up everywhere they can. They treat homosexual relations as a serious topic while it’s not, there are much more important things to discuss and propagate.

Why does San-Francisco have the biggest gay community in the US? Because back when you were crushing people’s lives jailing them for 25 years for being gay, US Navy used to get gay sailors off the ships without any fuss in media, court-marshall them and jail in Alcatraz. Was it anything to do with genes? No. Men, alone in confined spaces with nowhere to go, no girls around, for prolonged periods of time – it just happens naturally. To some of them, at least. Who can’t fight the urges. It’s just basic mechanics. Don’t create conditions for this stuff to happen – and it doesn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect Americans on many levels. But sometimes they are like kids who get a new toy. Yesterday they’re putting gays behind bars but today they get the idea that being gay is cool, make a U-turn and start telling everyone else that THIS is a proper new way of thinking! Let’s make everybody know!!! OMG!!! What does it remind you? Vegans, perhaps? How do you know somebody is a vegan? Because in 5 minutes of meeting that person he tells you. That’s called religious consciousness. When you just jump into something and start believing in it without proper thinking and zealously defend your faith and tell everyone about it. Whatever new idea you’re told tomorrow, even if it’s another U-turn — OMG!!! I must let everyone know!!! Put it into every movie and game, because we’re in a free society!

If you want to use games to teach people things, teach something meaningful and important. Like, help each other. Be understanding, be kind. Learn to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. Learn to be reponsible for your actions, learn to care about friends and family, et cetera. What do we get instead? Mass Effect Andromeda where everyone is a woman. There are two men: your father and a squad mate. Your father dies at the beginning of the game, so one man less. You’re left with your squad mate. He’s black (of course, because EA policy). And he’s probably gay. It’s all built around policies, not real world. People do not relate to settings like that. It’s like you start a game and walk into a zoo to look at some really exotic animals that are really weird. If you want to make a game immersive, for the love of god, make something people can relate to.

I’m a programmer, 34. Been working in offices with IT people for the last 16 years. It’s hard intellectual labour. I’ve got a girl – a programmer too – on my team. I took her on the team personally, because even with a short work experience she was really good. Thinking of all the proper things, in proper ways, asking proper questions, making proper decisions. Before her, I knew one other programmer girl. She was doing C++. Really lovely gal. After a few years of such work she quit it in favour of knitting at home with her husband. Completely voluntary. And that’s in a country where education is both very good and free, so any girl who wants to do programming can learn it for free and get a very well paid job. Very few of them do. There are borders. One other girl, about ten years ago, came to an interview with me. I didn’t care she was a girl, just asked all the stuff I usually ask and she wasn’t good enough. I’ve never heard of other people in my profession that I met – not wanting to get a girl on their team. On the contrary, it’s men’s community and everyone welcomes a girl, wants a girl on the team just to cheer them up at least. Nope. They just don’t come. And then I start seeing these silly articles on InfoQ telling me I *should* have women on my team. Again, that’s forcing policies against common sense – they’re free to come, if they’re willing, but why should I be forced to hire someone just because? I need proper skills, I don’t care who gets the job done. That’s equality and justice. Forcing policies over common sense is madness.

Even though you live a so-called free society, you probably cannot make movies/games/whatever without following the LGBT/ethnic/whatever-minorities/people-you-oppressed-in-the-past policies because you will be bullied by media, activists, maybe even sued – I don’t know. Yeah, what a freedom.

Anyway, the second thing is: who cares? I mean alright, they plan on adding a gay character or something, why is this news? When you add a character you speak about their abilities, mechanics, whatever. Why stick out this aspect of the character? How is it important than any other aspect? Do you make news of it when a new character has SHORT HAIR??? OMG!!! Or, POINTY EARS!!! Or, WOW, RED BOOTS! No. It’s something irrelevant and just a part of a general, greater image. Who cares. So how is being gay important or special?

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Sexual orientation is not important, other than needing enough people willing to “hetero” so we can continue the human race (test tubes, I know).

You are into something on the religious/cult like attributes of identifying by your preferences in food or sex.

Reader
Mr_Planthead

Its news because people get so bent out of shape because of it. You seem to have issues with it, if you didn’t and no one else did then it would stop being news.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

You’re saying it’s a controversial topic. Why provoke player base when everything’s just fine as it is? Is making controversial decisions is a new win strategy? On the contrary, it puts people off.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Starbucks and Target have taken a financial beating over their social agendas. I’m sure their stockholders are happy. Which, they have the legal responsibility to benefit.

Reader
Witches

So in your opinion, are gays more or less present in society than elves?

Last time i checked elves don’t really exist but some people guarantee me there are no black elves, i guess made up species are really picky about these things and elves might get angry if you misrepresent them.

One seventh of the world’s population is from China another seventh is from India, yet i don’t see that many chinese or indian characters in games, nor do i hear anyone clamoring for a better representation of the population of the world.

These are fantasy worlds where every woman has massive boobs and runs around half naked, every guy is a bodybuilder, every one is magically polyglot, the children look after themselves, you don’t need to feed or drink in many cases, but i guess having too many LGBTQ people would be taking it too far…

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

You come to immersive games to feel something better than real life. Why spend tens of hours of gameplay looking at something unpleasant? If I’m playing warrior, I must be fit and athletic, it’s just natural. Well, I can’t actually say anything about how women like their characters. I just have no idea. I would assume that girls like to play pretty girls, not ugly girls, unless you’re trying to roleplay an undead or something. Why would they want to be, I don’t know, fat in a game? Being fat is nothing to be proud of, so naturally all bodies are “perfect”. So.. that’s reflecting player’s wishes, more or less. Do players want some characters in AAA games to be gay? I highly doubt that. Most people just don’t care, it’s irrelevant to their gameplay.

Reader
Utakata

“Social fantasy though, is forcing gay into everything, every character in every work of art, while the reality is that gays are a minority.”

I think that’s a strawman fantasy. o.O

Reader
Skie Blue

All this text to essentially say you have no idea what you’re talking about. LoL has 130+ characters…. Why is it such a bad thing that one might just be gay in the future?

Representation matters.

“Yesterday they’re putting gays behind bars but today they get the idea that being gay is cool, make a U-turn and start telling everyone else that THIS is a proper new way of thinking! ”

Hey, we can say the same for Germans! Nazis were killing jews, gays etc…. But look! Things changed and now they treat them like humans. The world always changes…. You act like this isn’t a natural thing.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

“Representation matters.”

Why?

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

That’s the thing: it’s neither bad nor good. It’s just irrelevant. I don’t understand why this is making news. Again, why special treatment for gays? Why not for stammering people? Not people with freckles? Not people who were born with just one half of the brain? Why not represent people based on politics? Why aren’t socialists represented in every movie and game – I’m sure they’re a minority? Et cetera.

Reader
kelvar

I get it. You’re not descriminatory at all. You’re just just being logical. You’ve carefully crafted you’re argument and it is logically infallible. Why can’t everyone here just see that? You don’t want to hurt anyone, you just want what’s fair and right for the people.

There’s no arguing you from your position. To you, it doesn’t matter that gay kids who are struggling and killing themselves have no heroes – and should not have heroes. You feel a dietary choice is similar to choosing to be gay and spreading that agenda within society, and you think that’s not fair.

I know – all these people here arguing against you with their feelings… with their hearts… can’t they just see the facts as you’ve outlined them!? There’s no hate in your words… just the facts plain and true.

Reading your comments reminded me of a great bit by Patton Oswalt about two people discussing the gay agenda… propaganda if you will.

Here, I encourage you to watch it https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K5TAUhxKGpA and see if you can figure out which of those two you are.

In the meantime, as an adult in my forties now who grew up in Catholic school… an adult who, at 10 years old lay in bed terrified I’d be going to hell because I knew then I was different…. as a kid who had no heroes, no one to look to who made it, who could be strong or as an example… as that adult now, I’ll continue to advocate for heroes for those kids, because we all need someone who is bigger, stronger than us, who can struggle, fight and win that we can identify with because it gives us hope.

That person might be in a book, game or movie… but they need to be out there. So you keep using your numbers, your logic, your carefully worded essays as a shield for your hate while the better amongst us work for a more inclusive society and give those kids … and adults, the heroes that they deserve and the hope so many of them desperately need.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Gay heroes are numerous and diverse. Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple. Sir Elton John. Freddie Mercury. I could type all evening.

Are we living in a fictional universe?

In this section, I have read that 50% of the world population would kill gays and there are no gay heroes.

Next I will read is there are no female or black heroes.

Please stop the misinformation, it hurts your cause.

Now, your issue with having to worry about revealing your identity. I have the upmost empathy.

Reader
kelvar

And so, having defended varying fictional universes so arduously, “Drainage” smiled to himself, comforted in knowing that perhaps, he saved this one from having a gay character.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Kelvar – histrionics cause people to not take the issue seriously.

antheriel
Reader
antheriel

What “special treatment” is implied by asking to be represented in proportion to our actual prevalence in the population? White, heterosexual cis-male, able-bodied people are represented in far greater than their proportion in the actual population. THAT is “special treatment”.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

Like, world population? You can’t use that as an argument because they are the greater portion according to whatever the movie is about. The sky is blue, so 99% of the movies show sky as blue. The snow is white, so snow’s white in movies (except yellow snow but we won’t go there). That’s how it is. American movies are about Americans. French movies are about French. Indian movies have Indians in them. Um.. Russian movies have Russians (white; asian or slavic, depends on the plot and what part of Russia it’s taking place) people in them. The fact that somewhere in Africa there are millions of black people has no relevance to a Hollywood movie about Meg Ryan falling in love with Tom Tanks by e-mail. If it were a movie about Africa then yeah, it would make sense to show lots of Africans in it. Otherwise no.

antheriel
Reader
antheriel

he sky is blue, so 99% of the movies show sky as blue. The snow is white, so snow’s white in movies (except yellow snow but we won’t go there). That’s how it is.

And 2% of the world population is Russian, and about 1-10% are gay, so about 2% of characters in things pitched to global audiences should be Russian, and 1-10% should be gay.

By your logic, a large fraction of Hollywood movies should be about gays because, well, have you been to Hollywood? Lotta gays.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Far more people live outside New York and LA, but Hollywood would want us to think otherwise.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

Only if it’s a movie about Hollywood. :-)

Reader
Arktouros

I think it is a matter of the experiences people have. Like for me I don’t think about myself in terms of “white” or “hetero” or otherwise because, ultimately, I’ve never really been challenged to define myself. I am “just a guy.” Where as other people are consistently challenged to define themselves are more acutely aware and think in those definitions. As in they are “a gay, black female.”

These kinds of experiences that shape the way we fundamentally think rarely can be objectively turned on and off depending on the context we see them. It’s hard to think, “Oh that’s just a video game, it doesn’t matter” when it’s mattered so much throughout the rest of their lives.

At least that’s the best I could reason on why it matters to people.

Reader
kelvar

I think that’s extermely insightful.

Line
Reader
Line

Sailors can’t fight the urges?
You’re talking about situational homosexuality. That happens, but that’s pretty rare.
What you’re saying is that gay people do not exist in nature. Which incredibly false. And yes, there are millions of gay gamers, out of more than a billion. That’s just statistics.

What worries more is that you call propagande the appearance of minorities in general in various media… why do art represent minorities? I don’t know, maybe it doesn’t exist to serve the state? We’re not soviets. Exploring the human mind and the suffering that we go through is kind of a big deal. Not everything can be Andy Warhol.

That’s a whole lot of projection. Nobody’s forcing gay characters into videogames.
But countless are here to be sure that they never appear.
And that would still be far better than what we live in today, because the majority of the human race still treats LGBTQ people like dirt, with a not insignificant part that jsut murders them on sight.
But as you said, not a big deal, let’s teach people the real important things. Fuck you minorities, we won’t give you video games characters.
Now let’s go back to check all our media that always contain LGBTQ characters, filled with blacks, latinos and asians characters as mandated by the law.
Yeah, right.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

And that would still be far better than what we live in today, because the majority of the human race still treats LGBTQ people like dirt, with a not insignificant part that just murders them on sight.

Oh, what rubbish. This is a new world, but the old one is convenient.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

How do you choose which minorities to represent and which to omit? Why gays? There are million of things that are minor in life.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
kgptzac

So you wrote a super long ass tirade against people who care about allegedly trivial things. Thanks for the amusement. :)

Anyway. Last time I checked, this game has a fantasy setting, so I don’t blame people for wanting something out of their “fantasies” implemented in this game. Hell, if a fantasy game has over 130 characters, I’d be a bit upset that none of them conforms to any of my fantasies.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

Why gays? There are many things to explore. Sci-fi writers like Charles Stross come up with all kind of good crazy stuff that could happen in the future, like people shaping their bodies in absolutely any possible way, i.e. taking shapes of animals (a unicorn), or people completely changing gender including all the chemistry that goes with it. How would society change if you had teleporter gates across the planet? What would happen to wars, economy etc if it were so? There are so many actually interesting things waiting to be explored but all we get is gay. If this isn’t directed propaganda I don’t know what is. What next? Gay shapes in Tetris? Pacman was actually gay so let’s publish a remake of the game? Marine in Doom was gay? He killed gay demons? Mars is gay?

And again, if the argument is “minorities should be represented”, the question is why this specific minority. What happens to all the rest of the minorities in the world? Why stick out one and keep quiet on the rest? What’s so special?

Why not put stuttering people in every movie and game. So that stuttering people could, you know, have a character to identify with. People with glasses. People with missing body parts. People with a specific allergy. Whatever.

antheriel
Reader
antheriel

I agree with you: when a minority group asks to be represented, from now on we’ll tell them that we can’t represent them because some other minority, which may or may not be asking to be represented, isn’t being done justice.

So let’s not show any women in any games, because there are slightly more men than women in the world. We will just explain to the women that we can’t possibly represent them because we aren’t representing stutterers.

Let’s play all games in Mandarin because that’s the majority language. People who want to play games in other languages will be politely reminded that this is not possible, because we aren’t showing enough people with peanut allergies.

The only race we’ll represent are Han Chinese, because that’s the majority race. If people of other races ask to be represented, we’ll remind them of the poor representation of people with glasses.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

Why make stuff up? Why don’t they just show whatever the real world is? Make it actually have common sense? For example if you’re sending a space ark to a distant galaxy to colonize planets, unless you’re having babies in a lab, you logically *should* have about 50/50 of men and women, just because they need to make babies. If you’re having babies in a lab and don’t actually need sexual intercourse, then it must be based on physical capabilities of your body – and a man’s body wins there just because that’s how nature made it.

> there are slightly more men than women in the world

Doesn’t matter how many there are in the world of whom. You gotta take context into account – what community are you actually trying to show in the game. Is that an army? It’s hard physical labour, men win because of nature, end of story. Are you showing something based on Middle East? Then every woman covers her skin. Are you showing a Russian outback settlement? Then everyone hates gays. You showing Berlin? People speak German. Otherwise you’re too detached from reality and your game/movie has no immersion.

> Let’s play all games in Mandarin because that’s the majority language.
> The only race we’ll represent are Han Chinese, because that’s the majority race.

Nah, that’s your argument, not mine, and it’s incorrect.

If you were making a game where events happen in China – then it’s valid. But not like you say, no.

Reader
Armsbend

Because LBGT people know how to organize well and get what they want. Better than any other group.

The other groups you pulled out of a hat – they do not organize to do anything.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

Organize and do what? Coerce companies into making characters gay in their games and movies? Do as a minority tells you or get sued? How does that work?

Reader
Armsbend

Organize and do whatever they want. I’m not getting upset about gay people like yourself – I’m just telling you like it is. There is perhaps no better community at social organizing outside of the LBGTs. They are the Black americans of the 1950/60s.

antheriel
Reader
antheriel

By “coerce” you mean “ask”. Because no one is suing Riot over LGBT inclusion. That’s an “alternative fact” strawman you made up.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

Yeah my bad, I didn’t mean that literally. But are you saying there is no pressure on movie/game makers to be politically correct? They just do all that because they really think it’s cool! Place women, gays, africans, etc wherever possible, even if goes against common sense? Like that activist dude who complained on twitter that Witcher has no black characters. It went around social networks as the best joke for a few days.

Reader
Utakata

Why not gays, lol?

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

If it’ getting picked out of many other unrepresented groups means it’s somehow special, more important than those other groups. How?

Reader
Utakata

Putting your sophisticated bigotry and turgid assertions aside for a bit, I have to admit out of 130 characters I know very little about… because I really don’t know the game well enough who or what it all represents in lore or characters. But out of that number a small percentage has to be living interesting lives out of internet dudebro expectations. Don’t cha think? Likely ditto for other representations. /shug

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

So, straight folks can’t live interesting lives?

Reader
Utakata

Does that even need to be asked? o.O

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Dudebros can’t have interesting lives? Everyone can’t be so blessed and enlightened as to create an alternate reality.

Reader
Utakata

Err…if you say. /shrug

Reader
Utakata

Edit/PS: Thanks for clean up, Bree. /bows

Reader
Mark

Who cares?

You, apparently.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Yuri Geinish

Thank you for thorough analysis and constructive reply. I believe you’ve got all the important points of my previous post. Good job and see you again.

Reader
Rumm

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Reader
Mark

I’ll never understand why people are so bothered by the inclusion of differing sexual preferences and identities in media.

Oh, right. It’s ’cause insecurity.

There’s no good reason for barring such things from media, but there are good reasons for including them. Such as people finding characters and situations which they identify with to give them strength, and simple acknowledgement that differences exist.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

The human mind is a little more complicated than “insecurity” vs “security”.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

Riot is reading the wrong fanfics. I can assure you that every single one of their characters is extremely gay.

Reader
Gordi_the_mighti

yeah i have seen alot of Graves and Braum being a couple

boredlol
Reader
boredlol

yeah, esp ezreal. doubt many would be surprised if he officially “came out”

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
mike foster

There is some very good shipping in the LoL community.

Edit: WHAT IS THIS NEW COMMENT SYSTEM

Reader
Utakata

“Edit: WHAT IS THIS NEW COMMENT SYSTEM”

Needs a lot of work before it start to feel and flow like livefyer again. :(

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Unrelated – for some reason any time I try to open a reply link from my email the window opens and then immediately closes in Chrome. Kinda frustrating because it means going back to the main page and finding the article to click on from there -_-

Not sure if it’s a browser issue or something with the site.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Riot is full of social justice warriors so it won’t be surprising to see agenda champs pop up. Tbh I’m surprised they haven’t done too much yet.

miol
Reader
miol

Are you guys related? o.O

Reader
Utakata

There’s even on in your frig eating your ice cream. You better go check on that now, in case it gets all eaten up! O.o

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

LOL at the idea that Riot is full of “ESS JAY DUBYAS”. The only guy who even comes close to an outspoken feminist — not even the boogeyman type of “SJW” but just somebody who actually gives have a fuck about gender equality and diversity — is IronStylus.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Probably because they’re not the caricature of SJW’s that anti-SJW’s (who are just obnoxious) complain about to no end? Granted, I don’t know shit about who works at Riot nowadays, but the complaints about SJW’s are just as annoying as the SJW’s folks complain about.

Reader
rafael12104

Good thing it will be in the story telling because it would be just weird if was some kind of special ability.

Reader
odin valhalla

Being a social warrior has a lot of value, the world is full of injustices both small and large. I think the best approach for a gaming company is pretty simple, obey the laws of supply and demand. If your consumer base is demanding it why wouldn’t you create a LGBT char? It’s often the case that issues arise when your reactions deviate from core tenants of operation. When we look to gaming companies to base development choices on social issues that may (may or may not) present themselves in their gaming communities it’s another avenue to promote an agenda that then becomes forced consumption.

Ideally, choice is prevalent, liberty is paramount and character choices can range for scantily clad females, to transgender Asian princesses. The incentive for a company to do this should be the net benefit of the consumption of said product. If less time was spent on attempting to create social parody and just creating more choice environments no one would be excluded at any point in really any aspect.

Sexual orientation is irrelevant to nearly every aspect of modern western civilization. Gaming shouldn’t be any different, but it should never “have to be created” or “implemented in a future patch” at inception of a game, you should be able to pick male, female or have the option to create a character that’s a bit of both. In this aspect, these fantasy games would then be far more realistic.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Why the bloody hell is it so important to define sexual preference in games with no sex?

Reader
Arktouros

My thoughts exactly.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Nordavind

Sigh. I doubt I will get thought to you this time time Melissa, I haven’t before, but you still fail to understand that (literally) fucking is a small part if any when it comes to gender identity.

Again I must ask you why there need to be genders in games with no reproduction? Why can’t your avatar be a sick man? Or androgynous mannequin?

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

because the developers were idiots to even include gender, when sex is plenty sufficient =)

sex defines physical characteristics, etc. Gender does not and is about as relevant as religion. Very few games have religion sliders.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

I pull out a human anatomy book, if I am confused.

antheriel
Reader
antheriel

Thank you, Nordavind. You explain this really well. I was despairing a little that no one else felt this way. I think if every single character in video games was explicitly a black, disabled lesbian, and this became a convention across all games, people in majorities would start to understand what it’s like to feel invisible and why it matters.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
mike foster

Representation is important. People want to see themselves in characters they love, so it makes sense to have diverse characters.

Reader
Rumm

Is representation in a fantasy MOBA with giant frog thingys and green blobs really important? I mean I identify as a scarecrow, but I don’t really care that they included Fiddlesticks in the game.

Reader
Skie Blue

Yes.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

why?

Reader
Witches

You could just as easily make the opposite argument, why is it so important not to have it present?

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

because it’s fucking boring. If your entire being is predicated on where you stick your dangly bits or how much melanin you happened to be born with then… well… you’re a really boring, sad person and maybe it’d do you well to play games with blue hedgehogs or green aliens… you might grow as a person :D

Reader
Jeff

ummmm because it’s just fictional characters made of pixels and we don’t need to know what hair conditioner they use and oh yeah their boinking preferences?

Reader
Witches

Then why have character stories at all? If no one cared you’d just have the game with the avatar named and that would be it, if that was the case this wouldn’t even be an issue.

Reader
Jeff

Exactly and honestly that is how it has been in Video games for decades, let it be up to the individual to interpret any character how they choose to. Honestly who gives a damn about the bedroom choices of a character in a Tower Defense game? What developers stress over in the name of political correctness is ridiculous.

Reader
Mark

“Don’t need to know” does not equal “should not know.” Think of it like finding out Varian Wrynn loved tacos. It’s just a neat little bit of lore.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

This always confuses me a bit as well, especially when most characters sexuality isn’t clearly defined or really address. Real talk, is Blitzcrank a robosexual? THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT GAMERS WANT TO KNOW!

But at the same time, it’s a nice nod to communities that don’t often find folks that represent them in games. Riot has already been doing that with characters of different ethnicities and body types, which is good, so why not extend it to other areas? It’s not like their sexuality is ever addressed in-game, so folks who want to ignore it can very easily do so, while folks who care can feel good about it.

Reader
Davis Krievins

Ughm because .. sexuality is not just about sex. People like to reflect on the character they play. Maybe not for you, but for a lot of players Champions/Characters they play, are more than just pixels.

Reader
Joshua Dickerson

I understand that to a certain extent. I myself liked it when MMOs branched out and started letting me create characters with my skin tone.

But I think Melissa is saying the distinction between non-LGBT and LGBT isnt really something that necessarily has to be dictated. Meaning, when I make a male character, im not making it in mind of “my character likes women” because it doesnt factor into my gaming experience. For the most part it is “my character looks like me” meaning physical features.

Especially in MOBA games, there is very little room for Roleplaying. And even then, someone could Roleplay a LGBT character perfectly fine.

It just seems a bit leery when it seems there is an agenda being pushed and really what is LGBT representation in a character? Is it the clothes? The tone they speak in? Because a lot of LGBT people I know cannot be contained in some caricature that can be conveyed in an in-game character.

If its about the in-game character’s story, sure if someone they love or are in a relationship is their motivation for fighting in LoL, I can understand that, but only in that case because it is relevant to their backstory.

Im not against it, but it has to have some meaning to it. And I can’t see it in a MOBA

capt_north
Reader
capt_north

Unless otherwise stated, most writers and readers assume all characters to be cis-het. The assumption is so strong that when existing characters are revealed to be gay, bisexual or transgender, the fan community is usually rent with ferocious backlash… even if the character in question has had no previous relationships at all and is a blank slate as far as orientation and gender identity goes. It’s an assumption that doesn’t completely erase LGBT experience, but treats it like some sort of exotic bird from a distant land rather than everyday reality.

Does it matter in gameplay? Probably not, in a MOBA. But in the context of game lore, representation matters a great deal, and that’s the context they’re contemplating.

quark1020
Reader
quark1020

Personally, I prefer a blank slate character to “Come out” with their orientation than to have one be created from scratch, internet backlash be damned. It feels more natural, and for me as a reader of lore, much more interesting. Otherwise, it becomes an exercise of finding the right amount of stereotypes or just simply slapping a label to a generic character.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

I just press buttons and watch the pretty splosions yo um or something :p

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

On LGBTQ stuff – of course Polygon asks : P But if they can introduce LGBTQ characters in a natural way that doesn’t seem like obvious pandering/shoehorning, that’s rad. I continue to be astounded that people give a shit about the story in games like League or Overwatch, given that there’s next to zero expression of it in-game, but whatever.

On pro-team stuff – The whole scene is a mess that’s held together with rubber bands and chewing gum, from what I can tell. A large part of it is on the teams for poor management, but an equal share goes on Riot for not really putting up enough money to sustain these teams as full time competitors. Both sides need to have a very serious discussion internally, and then come to the table and figure out how to deal with these issues moving forward, because this shit is not sustainable and is not going to make the esports scene any better.

Reader
Witches

Riot simply doesn’t have the expertise to deal with this, they should either create a company to deal with logistics or give it to someone who knows what they are doing.

Hell, if i could i would invest in this, this looks like a growing market and some of the people trying to make a quick buck by being cheap are probably going to feel very stupid in the future.

Reader
Armsbend

You can invest in eSports – in Overwatch. Gotta be fairly rich or well known though I believe.

https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/

Reader
Armsbend

I’d argue they get literal millions of dollars of advertising for a fraction of that price – so you’d think it would be in their best interest to care for and foster their “stars”.

Some come upper climbing through the ranks? No, you can’t take care of everyone but if someone was top 10 on a consistent basis it would seem extremely reasonable to pay a person $30-40K/year to permanently destroy their physical, emotional and social lives.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Yeah, they still spend pretty big on their esports overall (though less so on their teams), but it’s pretty solid RoI considering the results.

Reader
Armsbend

Taric was a caricature of a gay hero-man in the beginning. But seriously, who cares?

In terms of pro teams – they should unionize immediately.

wpDiscuz