Update: Gaymers, I just wanna tell y'all that I love you. You're a fantastic audience. When I first discovered this story on Gamasutra several weeks ago, I felt that it was an important story to share here, but the fact that Orson Scott Card is such an incendiary character for the gay community, my writing got away from me a bit. One of our readers, Adam, pointed out inaccuracies in this article. Integrity and accuracy in our articles supersedes ego, so I'll own up to the fact that I made mistakes. I have corrected them, putting a
strikethrough on errors and italicized changes. And just to clarify, though talking about factual news, this article is an editorial and is from my perspective with my personal opinions. Thanks, gaymers, for being an awesome audience, and thank you Adam for catching my errors and keeping me honest.
Red 5 Studios, a new company whose founders worked on World of Warcraft and are currently known for...well, nothing just yet, are developing a free-to-play team-based shooter called Firefall to be released later this year. They also plan to release a manga prior to the game's release to flesh out the world's story, also for free. So who won the honor of being the
scribe collaborator (OSC is credited as being involved as a collaborator; his daughter, Emily Janice Card, will be writing the manga) for this startup's first foray into the gaming marketplace?
Orson Scott Card.
I generally try to go by the philosophy that you can separate an artist's works from his or her own personal beliefs, that I can enjoy what they produce while disagreeing with stances they have on most any other number of issues, though there are exceptions. If you exclusively consume from people who have your exact same belief set, then you are potentially depriving yourself of some quality works as well as confining yourself in an echo chamber of masturbatory self-righteousness. However, when one takes their personal belief sets, loudly make them public, and THEN tries to get laws of the land altered to enforce those beliefs on the general populace, all bets are off.
All bets are off with OSC. The science fiction author is, ironically, anti-science and has written screeds slamming evolution while promoting creationism and denies climate change. Both "issues" have mountains of scientific evidence to back them up, while the only thing against evolution is religious dogma and the only thing against climate change is... ornery contrary cussedness?
Then, there's the big pink elephant in the room: his rampaging homophobia. As a board member of the National Organization for Marriage - you know, that group that "protects" marriage by trying to deny it to us - he makes it quite clear that he thinks we are his abnormal inferiors who don't deserve to marry. That trying to fight for our right for equality under the law is "propaganda." We are "hypocrites" for saying we are who we are instead of accepting the lie that we are sinful abominations that his rose-tinted 1950's values say we are. The man's vileness can be dug up for days.
Needless to say, I won't be downloading Firefall, neither the manga nor the game. Though both are free to download and the game is supported financially via an optional online marketplace where enhancements can be bought, even downloading is giving tacit endorsement to OSC's involvement, which I cannot bring myself to do. I know that some of you will view things differently and will have a greater capacity for separating the artist from his works than I, and I sincerely applaud your ability to do so and envy the experience you'll have with the game that I'm willfully depriving myself of.
I would have thought Red 5 would have used better judgment in hiring
for their staff (OSC is not a part of Red 5's staff, just hired on contract), especially after all the fuss that was made when Shadow Complex was released. Hopefully they can make amends in the next title that they release.
As for Card, a personal message We have always been and always will be. We are not broken. We are not "wrong." We have friends, have families, fall in and out of love, are getting married, having children and are making the world a better place for all of it. We are not going away, we will not hide, and we will no longer submit to being forced into the closet to defer to your assumed moral and religious superiority because we have never been your inferiors and never will be. Ever.