There has been quite the fuss brewing over the last few days over on the official Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn beta tester forums. Numerous threads on the subject of same-sex marriage and its inclusion in the game were opened and swiftly closed, though there is little evidence left of any these threads. Some users felt as though their voice on the issue of same-sex marriage inclusion in the game was being silenced via account suspension, while others felt the moderators did all they could, and still others took the opportunity to voice their objection to Eorzian marriage equality.
After reporting on one particular instance of user banning last week we received a surge in traffic, one of the biggest (and fastest) GayGamer has seen all year, when our post was linked back to the Final Fantasy XIV beta forums. Clearly people have a lot to say on the issue, and many took issue with what we had to say. They made sure to come on over to our side of town to leave their comments as well (most of which were spam filtered and deleted due to very specific uses of derogatory language).
Soon enough an official statement was made on the whole affair:
“Greetings, customers and players of Final Fantasy XIV!
It has been brought to my attention that a recent discussion, relating to marriage, raised concerns that participating in discussions or taking a side in the discussion is grounds for account actions against forum accounts. This is something that I would like to work to clarify, so that these concerns can be properly assuaged. If the reasons for account actions are not clear, then it can cause a hesitation or unwillingness to participate in these forums, and your opinions, feedback, and suggestions are important to us.
To begin with, we understand that the topic of marriage in the game is an important concern for many of our customers, and strong opinions are held on all sides of the discussion. As was mentioned in an earlier Letter from the Producer(http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/58180-Letter-from-the-Producer-LIVE-Part-IV-Q-A-Summary), we do know that this is a controversial topic.
To address the concerns about account actions, we need to separate the violation of the rules from the subjects of discussion. Topics related to the game, of which marriage is just one example, can be discussed freely between people on the forums in accordance with the rules and policies(http://support.na.square-enix.com/rule.php?id=5382&la=1&tag=betaforum) of the forum.
However, how you choose to participate in these discussions needs to follow the rules and policies. Beginning or participating in threads about a controversial topic in a manner that incites negative interactions between people or attacks other people are violations of the rules and policies, and will be moderated accordingly. This most commonly arises in threads or posts that paint people holding the opposite opinion in a negative manner. Repeated violations will eventually result in termination of the forum account.
What is important to distinguish about these concerns is that it is how people are choosing to participate in these threads that can result in account action, not what the topic is.
I hope this helps to clarify any concerns about participating in discussions on our forums. I will be monitoring this thread in the future to see if additional responses are needed to help make things clear, so please do ask questions relating to this topic if you feel that there is something you are unsure of about these topics. However, this thread is here to discuss the concerns about participation in threads and account actions, and should remain on topic, civil, and follow the rules and policies.
Lead Game Master Enkrateia
Manager, In-Game Support”
Sounds fair enough, right? Users may freely discuss topics related to marriage (worth noting: didn’t use the term same-sex marriage in this post at all) in the game so long as discourse remains civil and people don’t spam the thread or flame each other.
Oh if only it were that simple.