Shadow Complex Prompts Difficult Questions

Logan Westbrook

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Feb 21, 2008
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Shadow Complex Prompts Difficult Questions



How much do your personal and political views influence your spending habits? Does it even enter your mind at all?

Here's a question for you, would you buy a game if one of the people involved in it was an outspoken opponent of something you really believed in? That's the dilemma facing supporters of gay marriage when to comes to buying Xbox Live Arcade Shadow Complex.

Author Orson Scott Card, most famous for his book Ender's Game, is an outspoken critic of gay marriage, saying that its legalization would herald the end of democracy in the United States. Card sits on the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, an organization set up "in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage in state legislatures."

While Card didn't create the world that Shadow Complex is set in, he is commonly believed to have helped shape it and is responsible for writing the spin-off novels. Buying Shadow Complex would essentially be funding Card's political views, albeit indirectly.

The idea of boycotting the game started in the NeoGAF forums [http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=371812] and was given more publicity in a Gamasutra [http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24627] article written by gay gamer Christian Nutt, who talked about the conflict he felt about the game and his relief at receiving a review code, allowing him to sidestep the issue.

But he also touched on a worrying trend that he saw in the NeoGAF discussion thread, that gamers were reluctant to discuss the issue, instead choosing to brush it aside with the 'it's just a game' response. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a pretty liberal guy and this knowledge has certainly influenced the way I perceive the game, but what do you folks think?

Should an artist be held accountable for his personal views, even if those views are not espoused in their art, and why do you think that gamers in general have such a hard time discussing these kinds of issues?

Source: Gamasutra [http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24627]


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Sparrow

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Feb 22, 2009
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What? So he doesn't like gay people, big deal. He can believe what he wants to.

Going as far as to boycott his game though? Some people need to grow up.
 

TsunamiWombat

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Sep 6, 2008
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Yeah, you know that "it's just a game" thing?

It is just a game. Just because Card is cuckoo for cocoa puffs doesn't mean this awesome game should suffer.
 

pantsoffdanceoff

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Jun 14, 2008
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Although I'm not sure how Gay Marriage would end democracy, that wouldn't stop me from buying the game. The fact that the game sucks would...
 

Xorghul

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nilcypher said:
Here's a question for you, would you buy a game if one of the people involved in it was an outspoken opponent of something you really believed in?
I mainly avoid anything american, but I don't give a crap where a game is made or who made it. All that matters is that it's good. He/she can be a serial-killer for all I care.
 

nicholaxxx

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Jun 30, 2009
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I don't think their opinions really matter as long as it doesn't affect their art, and I can't really say anything about us not wanting to discuss stuff like that, because I'm genuinley someone who can brush it off and don't really care. IMO I'm not funding their opinion unless it is plaster on every wall and is very apparent in the subtext of the game

none of that im shadow complex, so I'm only funding the development team and not what's-his-names anti gay non-sense
 

scnj

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Nov 10, 2008
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Card is just one of many people involved with the creation of this game. To boycott it in an attempt to deprive Card of money is also depriving the rest of the development team, which could mean that they won't have enough money to make another game. And having bought Shadow Complex earlier, I can safely say I'm looking forward to seeing more from them.

I totally support gay marriage, but I will not deprive myself of enjoyment and the development team getting what they deserve just because one person connected to the game spoke out against it.
 

Zer_

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Feb 7, 2008
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So we're only allowed to use the "It's just a game" card when it's convenient for our own opinions? Yeah, and one of the devs is an outspoken anti-gay marriage supporter, and? Not everyone shares the same opinions, and I don't see how boycotting the game will change anything.
 

Gunner_Guardian

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Jul 15, 2009
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In my view, this is one guy in a large team. Why should they all suffer from a boycott just because one of the key members holds controversial opinions?
 

AboveUp

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May 21, 2008
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I hate cheese, you're a cheese lover. I make you a cup of tea, the process of the tea being made, packed and stocked at the supermarket had nothing to do with my views of cheese. Heck, some of them might even love cheese.

Would you accept my tea?

The exact same dilemma, on a much, much smaller scale.
Seems absolutely ridiculous, doesn't it?

Seriously, as long as his views don't stop people from being gay and enjoying their same-sex relationships does it even matter if he worked on the game or not?
 

hamster mk 4

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Apr 29, 2008
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If we only bought stuff from people who shared out political outlook, we would have very dull lives. A boycott would make sense if the game was advertised as saying 2% of the games profits will be going to an anti Gay lobbying fund. I like Card's work. While it doesn't surprise me that my views on the world differ from his, I do not begrudge him his success.
 

BlindTom

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Aug 8, 2008
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Heh heh, it's quite funny watching him dance around the issue in the later books in Enders Game, he has a gay character who gets married and has children under the influence of his twisted rationale.

At the end of the day his views aren't going to actually damage gay rights, neither are they making him money. Essentially all he is doing is damaging his own art, and making sure if he's mentioned in the history books it will be as a slightly backward gentleman.

That said I actually really enjoy his books and will be looking into this.
 

scnj

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harhol said:
Depends on the views in question. Opposition to gay marriage is inexplicable moronic discrimination, plain and simple, so we should avoid this bigot's "art" at all costs. If personal beliefs endorse harm or discrimination against a specific group, they should not be tolerated.
So you'd punish the rest of the development team over one person's views? That hardly seems fair.
 

Captain Pancake

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May 20, 2009
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If it was a painting, or a composition that was made solely by Orson scott card, then i can see your argument. but this game was made by different people, intended to entertain gamers, rather than rack them with political debate.
 

Resistance205

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Jun 3, 2008
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H.P Lovecraft was a racist, doesn't mean he didn't write amazing books. I have never read Orson Scott Card's books, but as long as the game doesn't go along saying "Shoot him because he's gay" that's alright then.
 

f1r2a3n4k5

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Jun 30, 2008
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I think this situation is very similar to that of other art forms. Even though I'm loathe to seem like I support some of the [actor/artist/writer]'s ideals, I'd could be cheating myself out of a great piece of [film/art/literature] assuming that it's a good work.
 

Lord George

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Aug 25, 2008
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If the game itself had anti-gay messages then yes I would boycott it, but if its just the guys personal views then it makes no diffrence to the fun and entertainment I would take from the game. He wants to hold backwards views then I'm not stopping him.