Baldur’s Gate: Siege Of Dragonspear SJW Themes Sees Gamers Asking For Refunds


One of the things a lot of gamers complain about is being preached to in games that they play for fun. No one plays Call of Duty to have a character pull them aside and give them a lecture about not shooting people, just the same as no one wants to play GTA just to have the cops give them a half-hour talk about not speeding. The rules of the real world are implemented into games, but it’s up to players to choose how they utilize their own agency. In the new expansion for Baldur’s Gate, many players feel as if the developers used the brand as a way to push for some identity politics in the game as opposed to trying to tell a good story with fleshed out characters.

The hornets nest was originally kicked when Kotaku published an interview with one of the Beamdog writers, Amber Scott, who took digs at the original Baldur’s Gate, saying…

“If there was something for the original Baldur’s Gate that just doesn’t mesh for modern day gamers like the sexism, [we tried to address that],” […] “In the original there’s a lot of jokes at women’s expense. Or if not a lot, there’s a couple, like Safana was just a sex object in BG 1, and Jaheira was the nagging wife and that was played for comedy. We were able to say, ‘No, that’s not really the kind of story we want to make.’ In Siege of Dragonspear, Safana gets her own little storyline, she got a way better personality upgrade. If people don’t like that, then too bad.”

Those comments from Scott coupled with a character who lectures players about transgenderism, along with a few other comments and remarks sprinkled through the Siege of Dragonspear expansion had some gamers reeling from what they felt was an overexposure to identity politics being placed where they didn’t belong. This included a line from one character who mocks #GamerGate with a “It’s about ethics” line.

When some gamers criticized this aspect of the expansion on the Beamdog forums, there were reports about the threads being locked and deleted. This led to some people asking for refunds on Steam.

According to Kotaku in Action, Scott later clarified that the inclusion of these topics were important and that she was happy to be a “SJW”, writing on the forums…

“I consciously add as much diversity as I can to my writing and I don’t care if people think that’s “forced” or fake. I find choosing to write from a straight default just as artificial. I’m happy to be an SJW and I hope to write many Social Justice Games in the future”

What’s interesting is that over on the Beamdog forums, some users make it known that trying to make enemies out of a section of your user base to push sociopolitical views can quickly backfire. Xzar gave Beamdog a warning, stating…

“You could prepared better for this, as you knew this would happen. Don’t dabble into divisive writing if you don’t want to be center of political attention. Now, you earned your place alongside Tim Schafer as one of top enemies of Gamergate, and this position has its ups and downs. On positive side, Kotaku, RPS and all other outlets of holier-than-thou intelligentsia better pick this story up fast, and promote your game. Otherwise, Beamdog will be alone in this mess.”

After the threads were locked on the Beamdog forums, Baldur’s Gate fans took to the Steam forums to express frustration. There are countless threads popping up regarding the expansion pack and the Social Justice Warrior elements.

The reviews reflect these frustrations as well, with users like Chrjs stating that it’s not the inclusion of “diverse” characters but the poor implementation and forced political views that are being hammered into the player that make for an uncomely experience…

“ I would like to start out by saying I don’t hate gays or transsexuals in any way. They do them, and I do me. I really don’t care, because it doesn’t affect me. What I do care about is when this is shoved down my throat and I am forced to mingle with it instead of letting me discover it for myself.

 

“It is not natural for a person to just come flat out and tell you their sexuality when you meet them for the first time. This is the mark of poor writing and SJWs trying to “represent” a minority that they themselves don’t even understand, which by itself is pretentious and shallow as ????.”

Chrjs isn’t alone, there are others who point out that the game seems to unnecessarily tackle and include political talking points that don’t fit the lore. For instance, as a lot of fans of Baldur’s Gate pointed out, transgenderism is illogical within the context of the Sword Coast realm because there already exists potions and relics that can swap a character’s gender, hence gender dysphoria wouldn’t be an issue. This particular criticism about the topic matter isn’t addressed by Beamdog.

Instead, the developer has decided to fight back against the negative reviews by asking users to post positive reviews. Trent Oster made a thread stating…

“ I usually spend most of my time lurking here, but I’d like to ask a favour. It appears that having a transgendered cleric and a joke line by Minsc has greatly offended the sensibilities of some people. This has spurred these people into action, causing them to decide this is the worst game of all time and give it a zero review score on Steam, GoG and meta critic. Now, I’d like to ask for that favour. If you are playing the game and having a good time, please consider posting a positive review to balance out the loud minority which is currently painting a dark picture for new players.”

Following the post from Oster, a number of positive reviews have been popping up on Steam, recommending the game. However, the rest of the community are not upvoting these positive reviews… they’re showing more support toward the negative reviews, which are rated as the most “Helpful”.

The top most “Helpful” review actually isn’t even about the gender and identity politics, but about the game’s multiplayer being buggy and some unwelcoming glitches when it comes to the pause menu and NPCs talking. There’s also plenty of negative reviews pointing out that the expansion pack breaks mods in Baldur’s Gate, which upset plenty of people. It’s not just the so-called SJW issues that have the Baldur’s Gate comunity up in arms.

Nevertheless, all the talk about identity politics in Baldur’s Gate has led some to take to the forums to ask about how prevalent and invasive the SJW topics are? One user named Planguy wanted to know if it’s possible to ignore the themes and enjoy the rest of the game, others like Iambluelightning wanted a more thorough and detailed breakdown of the topics so they could make a more informed decision, writing…

“This has gone on long enough. People are complaining about SJW stuff without mentioning what it is. What are they? Please explain as many as you have experienced. Many people’s buying decision may hinge on this and all we have is that interview. So if you experienced something that you believe to be SJW, please mention it here.

 

“Since you’ll be curious I’m not an SJW. I’m a gator.“

Various other threads about the SJW material in the Baldur’s Gate expansion Siege of Dragonspear were locked or deleted after they began complaining about #GamerGate and telling the “gators” to get out.

A user named Nfft made a thread asking “Why are Ggers tolerated on this board?” stating…

“GamerGate is a hate and harassment group, and yet ppl who identify as them or support them are given free reign on this forum, not to mention that they are allowed to attack the new BG expansion and insult the dev team merely because they included trans character in the expansion or had a women on their writing team? They should be removed from this forum, hate speech and spamming are against TOS to begin with.”

Nfft’s thread was quickly locked.

However, before the thread was locked a lot of well-reasoned individuals managed to debunk the narrative about #GamerGate and explain that it really is about ethics in journalism, and that #GamerGate had nothing to do with Baldur’s Gate fans being pissed that their beloved franchise was being mishandled.

Gamers don’t mind that these “diverse” characters are included in the game, but ignoring the world’s own lore, using NPCs as political preachers, and restricting player agency to adhere to prescribed political views will only push players away who don’t readily agree with those politics.

Unfortunately, Baldur’s Gate had to be victim in the ever-raging culture wars.



About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

  • Gorgon

    Man, I really hope CDProjekt never let SJWs into their writing team. I want at least some RPGs untouched by this shit.

    • Ghost

      I doubt it. Turning into SJW’s would be like setting fire to all their stores of bread and butter.

      • C G Saturation

        I thought turning into SJW was like being showered with a huge ton of cash from certain troublecausing rich assholes, and suddenly getting huge amounts of mainstream media attention and promotion and praise and worship.

      • Ghost

        Maybe for most, but CD has built up a reputation for creating quite a bit of raunchy content.

      • C G Saturation

        I’d really like to see how popular the Witcher would be without that raunchy content. They are one of the very few creators of raunchy content in the West, thanks to people constantly bitching about sexuality and politics.

      • Curious about this as well. A lot of the game’s popularity these days comes from the fact that it isn’t politically correct and that it represents a last bastion of freedom of expression (which is dumb that that’s even a thing these days compared to the 1980s and 1990s).

        Unsurprisingly the most popular content about the Witcher 3 that we’ve covered here had to do with the sex scenes. Compared to games like The Division (which isn’t that great by the way) or Fallout 4, these games drive a lot of traffic based on a lot of varying topics regarding the gameplay, etc.

      • Ghost

        It would just mean less empty tissue boxes and empty bottles of lotion littering my room.

    • Kim Leino

      The cultural climate in Poland is highly conservative and nationalist, so it’s unlikely that will happen any time soon. I just wish I could enjoy the Witcher games more. The gameplay just doesn’t work for me.

      • C G Saturation

        I tried really hard to like Witcher 3. Stopped playing when I realized I was not enjoying it at all. Played and enjoyed Ib instead.

  • Adam Gulledge

    Beamdog knew this was coming, no question. I wonder how long they can keep fooling themselves into believing this move to stain the IP was worth it.

  • The5000

    Looks like another game I won’t be buying.

    • savaze

      I’m with you. I hadn’t gotten around to getting it yet – I had already spent my gaming budget for the month. Looks like I won’t be supporting the trolls.

      It seems like everybody wants to tell me what I believe now-a-days without actually figuring out where I stand and the best way to open a dialog with me, that seemed to work so well with Microsoft and the XBone, but people keep using that model anyway. When will people get it through their heads that hostile take-overs don’t make converts.

  • Once again, another case of some kind of regulation needed when it comes to this kind of thing. This is indirect censorship.

    I’ve always said a ‘SJW Mode’ option would fix everything. AND make it appropriate for children. It would be easy for the developers to do this because they would be just removing existing aspects from the game to cater to these bigoted, intolerant, over-sensitive little fuckwits (the SJWs that is, not the children). But the SJWs/feminists won’t have this, which really does speaks volumes about them. Which also happens to completely squash the ‘THINK OF THE CHILDREN!’ excuse they like to use to enforce their censorship.

    It’s all made worse by the fact that Amber Scott rubs salt into the wounds by saying “if people don’t like it, then too bad”. Talk about abusing an position.

    Beamdog are no better for enabling this pathetic behaviour as well.

    • Trent Oster: “Now, I’d like to ask for that favour. If
      you are playing the game and having a good time, please consider posting a positive review to balance out the loud minority which is currently painting a dark picture for new players.”

      Again, a ‘SJW Mode’ type option would completely sort this problem out.

      • C G Saturation

        That comment sounds like they are intentionally ignoring loyal fans’ concerns in exchange for netting new SJW milennials.

    • scemar

      They don’t want an SJW mode because they do not want to have the stuff be tailored to them.
      They don’t care about the stuff.

      What they want is to have the “problematic” elements of the world removed. A broad statement right? But that’s it, that’s literally the motivation in a lot of this situations.

      That’s all very basic understanding of SJW, specially when it relates more to feminism.

      Sometimes people treat SJW like if they were similar to the annoying parent protest groups of the 90’s but they are fundamentally different because their motivations are different.
      The logic behind them is different.

      The parents said “This can hurt kids, we don’t want kids to see it”.
      The SJW say “This is problematic, it should not exist.”

    • A comment about this issue from another site:

      “Wait. The converged version lets you incinerate Brianna Wu? That seems problematic.”

    • C G Saturation

      I don’t think “SJW mode” is appropriate for children. I mean, not just talking about adult themes, but general bullshit lies, assumptions, jumping to conclusions, unproven links, and all that. It’d be appropriate if you wanted to create something akin to Hitler Youth.

      • Yeah I meant just the trivial adult themes.

        But yes, you’re absolutely right regarding the messages / propaganda the ‘SJW Mode’ would be pushing towards innocent children.

        Bit like how Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency videos are actually used in some schools as actual trusted material. Makes me sick to the stomach.

  • scemar

    Wouldn’t call this a boycott, but users are certainly avoiding/refunding it en masse, yet it’s all out of their own individual volition.

    I actually love this sight.

    Remember the SJW boycott of DOAX3? You can’t boycott what you don’t buy.

    Now, this is a real deal. This is real potential (or past) customers that are saying “NO” to the current agendas going on.

    These guys really screwed it up and they are giving us all a good show of how politics,gamers and the medium really work.
    I hope investors are taking note of where the fans stand.
    And it also shows what a failure at writing these guys were, if they wanted to touch sensitive social subjects they could have done so in a way that fitted the game, in a way that was well woven into it. Instead of basically inserting Tumblr into a dark medieval fantasy game.

    • if they wanted to touch sensitive social subjects they could have done so in a way that fitted the game, in a way that was well woven into it. Instead of basically inserting Tumblr into a dark medieval fantasy game.

      This right here.

      Deus Ex and Shadowrun cover a lot of sensitive subject matter, politics and culture issues. However, they do it in a way that fits in line with their respective worlds. It’s about including characters and topical matters that feel organic to that world. Trying to shoehorn in social justice topics just for the sake of trying to preach to the audience is a good way to turn people off from what the creator is trying to say.

      • I’d say another great example is Bioshock.
        Fairly hamfisted in some of its political commentary, and certainly left leaning (imho) and yet gamers (even right leaning ones) loved the games (to varying degrees)

        I think part of it is just the marked difference between a content creator (of any kind) sharing their opinions and one that is preaching to the choir while antagonising the wider audience.

      • Kim Leino

        The thing is, even though the Bioshock writers are supposedly leftists, their message in Bioshock was not overtly so.

        Sure, Andrew Ryan is presented as one of the antagonists, but he’s not really the villain of the story, at least not unless you subscribe to the common leftist position that individualism is immoral and collectivism is moral by default.

        As a libertarian, I found the story and characters of Bioshock highly entertaining and mostly well written.

        This new Dragonspear stuff seems just horrid, though. They seem to have retconned existing lore with a bunch of SJW themes that don’t even make sense in the setting.

      • Mr.Towel

        Levine is an objectivist, if I’m not mistaken he cited Ayn Rand as the greatest mind in his eyes. Objectivism is very pragmatic, no wonder it can look left leaning sometimes given it’s simplicity but I don’t think they are “lefty” per se. Ayn Rand herself fought many left bullshit of her times, like feminism and affirmative action.

        However, I have to say that Levine is not really subtle in his writing, that is usually the mark of a bad writer, though it’s not as shoehorned as this case of Dragonspear’s.

      • Kim Leino

        Levine is definitely not an objectivist, or at least he wasn’t when writing Bioshock. He had been reading Rand’s books and liked some of the themes in them while rejecting others, or more specifically, he seemed to reject Rand’s certainty in the absolute morality of her philosophy.

        He hasn’t specified what exactly in objectivism he disagrees with, so perhaps he didn’t want to rock the boat, or he may simply be a cherry picker, kind of how many modern day new age spiritualists pick various aspects from different religions into a unique and personal belief system. It makes no sense to pick elements from different, mutually exclusive religions, especially when you’ve initially rejected each one of them as a whole, but that’s what happens when people base their world views on intuition rather than careful philosophical examination.

      • Mr.Towel

        I probably misread his discussions then. There are some objectivists elements on bioshock, but probably not enough.

        I’m not a libertarian myself but I know their masters (personally, I think Mises was the greatest economist that ever was). I think this problem of “left vs right” is mostly a USA issue, where the two party system has really taken the throne, where one party claims to be owner of everything that is right or left. In most other countries, the definition of right or left is just a very elastic definition made spot the cultural affiliations of a party, not a strictly defined position. It’s kind sad to see the rhetorical crap that gets thrown around at USA because of this shitty system…

      • Kim Leino

        Oh, objectivism is absolutely a cornerstone of the setting in Bioshock. Levine has said as much himself, however, the story supposedly demonstrated flaws in the philosophy rather than praised it. I don’t really see it, though, as to me it was a story of a jerk (Fontaine) crushing a great man (Ryan) and his utopia.

        You’re probably right about the very rigid definitions of right and left being mostly a US thing. We use the same terminology here in Finland, but their meanings and connotations are slightly different, and perhaps less well defined. For example, the right is no longer strongly associated with conservatism or religiousness here, while in the US “right wing politicians” fall over each other in their rush to proclaim themselves the most conservative and pious. We also don’t have much of a “religious right” even though it’s a major faction within the Republican supporter base in the US. Instead, here being “right wing” is typically associated with a weird mix of xenophobic nationalism and laizzes faire economics, as if these two had anything to do with each other.

      • Mr.Towel

        Oh, it’s the same thing here in Brazil as well. What dictates left or right is basically economical instances, where the right wants to privatize everything (not really laissez fire though, more like crony capitalism) and the left wants to regulate everything, statism. Everything else is fair game, we even have moral religious pious leftists around here, such a beast would be a political unicorn at the USA.

      • C G Saturation

        I still think it’s too simple to sort things into “left” or “right”.

        My understanding is that the right consists of those who feel most people are too stupid to think for themselves and require government, while the left has assholes who think they’re super smart, when they’re really not.

        In reality, everybody’s different. Those views can’t apply to every single person. There are people completely capable of living well without government, but there are also plenty of people who need government in their lives.

      • scemar

        The left right deal doesn’t make sense in a technical and objective way.

        It’s not a good general basis to use.

        It’s only useful in specific situations, like say a specific topic in a specific place and time and it only works once people have identified a side, and in that case right is whatever the people that identify as right is, left is whatever people on the left are.

        Right now for instance, when it comes to culture, media and games in the western hemisphere, it is actually the opposite of what you describe. Left being the ones that think they’re smart yeah but also being the ones asking for more government intervention, control and censorship while right is more into freedom and a hands off approach. But it changes all the time.
        In the very recent past it used to be the entire opposite instead, with left wanting less censorship and right wanting more.

      • Kim Leino

        Indeed, the left-right paradigm only makes sense if the context is understood by everyone involved in the discussion. Its meaning changes constantly both in time and location.

        It’s a convenient shortcut, but also a dangerous one, because its use can lead to you inadvertently misrepresenting your own or another person’s position.

      • scemar

        And it can also easily lead to people hijacking a movement.

        Imagine there’s an upwards vs downwards, everyone likes upwards because it proposes good stuff so “everyone likes upwards”. Then someone takes control of the narrative, changes what upwards actually stands for, and then proclaims “Everyone supports upwards so everyone supports this new thing”. And the people would be mostly left in the dark except for a few that saw it all happen and know the truth.

      • C G Saturation

        I’m just sick of people assuming everything has to be left or right. It’s one of the first things everyone says nowadays. They probably don’t even know what it means either. Everyone likes to be part of a large/popular group, even if they don’t know what that group is even for. They also like to fight the “other side”.

        It’s nice to see intelligent discussion going on in the comments here though. A much welcome change from the usual nonsense I see everywhere else.

      • Peoples

        Both sides are asking for censorship, given the backlash over BG including a trans character in a very minor role. Both sides are asking for their “safe space.”

      • No, both sides ARE NOT asking for censorship. Gamers are asking for better writing that doesn’t undermine and subvert the lore of Baldur’s Gate. They can keep the trans character but write in better dialogue, interactions and a character that fits the world.

        Misinformative sites like Crave Online have deluded people like you into thinking gamers are asking for censorship when they’re just asking to NOT use games as a platform for pushing personal identity politics at the expense of the game’s continuity and lore.

      • Peoples

        How on earth is a character telling you they were born a boy when you ask them about themselves “pushing personal identity politics” onto you?

        That’s an incredible flimsy excuse for your outrage. Let me get this straight, out of all the oddball dialogue present in both the original game and this expansion, you single out couple lines of dialogue from a trans character and demand they be written better? You’re the one pushing your personal politics in this situation.

        The existence of a trans character does nothing to either the lore or continuity. You either never played the original games or have a warped misunderstanding of what they were like.

      • Let me get this straight, out of all the oddball dialogue present in both the original game and this expansion, you single out couple lines of dialogue from a trans character and demand they be written better? You’re the one pushing your personal politics in this situation.

        There’s a lot of what people would call “left regressive” talking points sprinkled throughout the expansion. A lot of people propagating those talking points are hung up on just the trans character while blatantly ignoring all the other criticisms.

        The existence of a trans character does nothing to either the lore or continuity. You either never played the original games or have a warped misunderstanding of what they were like.

        It’s the issue of using a video game as a sociopolitical platform in an obvious and hamfisted way with poorly written scenarios and character implementation. Yes, fans feel as if this hurts the lore because it hurts the immersion of the role-play.

        The original Baldur’s Gate was not like that at all. It was just a high-fantasy cRPG with a diverse cast of characters, ideas and stories. The writers weren’t taking jabs at their own audience for using a hashtag.

      • Peoples

        90% of the people complaining are singling out the trans character, you included. Except the character doesn’t break immersion or go against the lore. Transgender characters already exist within the lore. If you were familiar with it you’d know that.

        So let’s start with the established fact that transgender people already exist within the lore. Explain how it breaks the lore for such a character to mention they were raised as a boy? And explain how this is pushing identity politics onto you?

      • 90% of the people complaining are singling out the trans character, you included.

        That’s because people like you keep bringing it up.

        So let’s start with the established fact that transgender people already exist within the lore. Explain how it breaks the lore for such a character to mention they were raised as a boy?

        It’s a matter of the character being defined by something that is the norm within the Forgotten Realms. The question is: why was a character created to be a token when they could have been defined by much more than that?

      • Peoples

        Have you even played the game in question? There are token characters all over Baldurs Gate. Most of them have no depth at all. They say a few lines to you and that is the extent you learn about them. To single out this one is blatantly pushing an agenda.

        There would be absolutely zero outrage if this character had been defined by another trait.

      • There would be absolutely zero outrage if this character had been defined by another trait.

        You mean like when Blacks, Asians or Hispanics get angry when a token (insert minority here) is added to a movie and then promptly killed off?

        Please, good sir, explain to me how the outrage from minorities of other token characters used in media is different?

      • Peoples

        What are you talking about? The character doesn’t get killed off. And this isn’t a movie. Not to mention that I’ve never heard of any movie with a token black guy receiving the kind of outrage this game is getting. Not remotely comparable.

        Baldurs Gate is filled with one-note characters who utter a few lines to you and then disappear. Mizhena is pretty damn developed compared to those.

        But let me get this straight. So you as a Gamergater are claiming to be sticking up for trans people here and expressing outrage on their behalf and saying that the character is offensive? LOL doesn’t that go completely against what Gamergate is about? I thought you were against censorship in games?

      • I thought you were against censorship in games?

        Yeah, which is why the devs decided to flesh the character out instead of removing them, so now people are happy. Everyone wins.

      • Peoples

        Somehow I doubt that’s gonna make you or the other GGers happy.

      • Well, with that kind of ESP, what’s the weather going to be like next week? I might consider going out for a jog.

      • Peoples

        I don’t need ESP, all one needs to do is look at the comments section and see the reaction. You guys are so see-through.

        If it weren’t for you ruining my hopes of a Baldurs Gate 3 it’d actually be funny.

      • Pam Western

        You have it the wrong way around, left wing believes in the government and wants the government to control everything. Right wing believe in the power on the individual and the right for everyone to be their own boss and not rely on the government.

      • That’s the libertarian movement, which is fairly modern on the right, and yet many self described libertarians still fall in line with trad cons that have no such problem with the state.

      • Indeed. Infinite even goes pretty explicitly into how both “sides” in a conflict can be utterly shitty, but motivated always by their own perspective on morality.
        I’m pretty far left, but there is plenty of media critical of “leftist ideals” (many of which are written by lefties :P) social commentary is best when the author makes their case with *some* subtlety and doesn’t condescend the consumer by just *stating* what is “correct”
        My “right wing” example of the same is the Sword of Truth series. I really loved it, but the last few of the main series became polluted by overt political allegory and ideologically driven nonsense. I was invested in the characters enough to finish, but it certainly undermined the strengths of the series as a whole (and the themes were always quite apparent. They just weren’t literal lectures as in Pillars of Eternity)

      • Mr.Towel

        Maybe it’s an issue with cultural marxism, I have seen people from the left complaining about how marxists ideologies have kidnapped the left movement. Feminism and the politically correct are all marxists branches of the left.

      • Honestly, I think that’s misguided.
        Cultural Marxism has as much to do with Marx as North Korea has to do with being a democratic republic.

        Ivory tower liberals dig through his work to cherry pick things they like, play a full on substitution game with other bits and ignore the thrust of his message. (honestly, Marx isn’t the monster he’s been caricatured into. Imperfect, his work flawed, but plenty there of merit)

        And that’s the rub. This is neoliberalism masquerading as the far left. They betray liberal values overtly, but they subvert the “tropes” of the left for their own identity politics narcissism.
        Just watch how they operate.

        They aren’t undermining the system. They engaged with it, infected it and largely took power within it. They use that power to prop up their own privilege through this myth of their “social awareness” while blaming all ills on the very system they benefit from and the marginalised working class they despise (for being white, a lot of the time)
        The more they can blame the system, the more they can take it over, the more it stays the same and the more than blame the system.

        They talk a good game of being “far left” but when it comes to prove those credentials, the veneer scratches off rather quickly to reveal affluent, conservative thinking, corporatism and elitism you’d normally expect from trad cons from across the world.

        If you visit “left wing” spaces that have been taken over by these people (ie: most of them) you’ll fine that left wing politics don’t matter. Just say some of the right words. The only mandatory position is this third wave radfem, SJW cultural marxism bullshit.
        As a lefty it honestly upsets me. I grew up thinking we were better than that, despite the historical warnings from socialists like Orwell.

      • fnd

        This is a good read on Cultural Marxism and why it’s not that relevant for SJW’s: https://mpcdot.com/forums/topic/8767-culturally-appropriating-the-frankfurt-school/

        To be fair to hypocrite neoliberals disguised as leftists, i’ll still prefer them over the violent revolutionary ones.

      • Mr.Towel

        Very interesting read, from both of you (DM Gray and FND).

        I’m a classical thinker, I tend to agree with right-wing concepts most of the time (I’m no conservative however, I don’t care about traditions if they’re not sound, I actually hate dogmas) so please forgive me if I’m a little out of date with the Left developments.

        To most modern Right, the Frankfurt School is the boogeyman of modern times. It speaks about subversion, mass control, social engineering, cultural war and the politically correct. However, it seems the real issue is not the Frankfurt School per se, but the developments of Social Justice under Cultural Marxism guidance (I would say more Marcuse than Frankfurt School itself). Social Justice is a progressive concept that WAS well sound with Marx own ideas… till the 60s I would say, after that, the concept of Social Justice slowly transformed from Class War to Symbol Wars, as it’s not about the economical position of the historical classes/agents but more about cultural representation of said classes, symbols.

        They don’t care about minimum wage laws, child labor laws, racial segregation laws, gun laws, syndication/organized labor or anything like that, they care only about how a class is depicted in cultural works and fuck all the laws. I started noticing that shift when the reasoning against Marx own works, like Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk criticism against Marxist Economy and historical philosophy, simply don’t make any sense against the modern left, the neoliberal, because the modern left don’t really care about Marx ideas, it’s more about deconstructionist views on culture than it’s about class warfare and oldschool social justice.

        As far as gaming is concerned I think you both will find a very interesting read here: https://medium.com/@ryansmithwriter/gamergate-and-the-myth-of-the-social-justice-warrior-213ec896060e#.n4ygkh476

      • Kim Leino

        “As far as gaming is concerned I think both of you will find a very interesting read here: https://medium.com/@ryansmithw…”

        It was an interesting read, though I do have some issues with it. My main gripe comes from its seemingly axiomal acceptance of the term “social justice” as something that can be properly defined. I contend that the term is rather a nonsensical vehicle used to push personal agendas. Let’s examine how he defines it: “First a little background: Historically, social justice has been defined by fairness, opportunity and equality ”

        Fairness sounds good, but how do you define fairness? There is no single answer, because it all depends on how we define the boundaries of what we’re looking at.

        When we talk about games, we usually define fair rules as ones that apply to each player in the same way, but this is not how SJWs define fairness in societal issues, because if Tom’s skill set is less suitable for the game than Mary’s, social justice expects the rules to be more lenient on Tom than Mary. Should Tom’s units in an RTS deal 10% extra damage because Tom’s parents didn’t teach him strategic thinking? The SJW says yes and calls it fairness.

        Then there is Opportunity. Tom should have the same likelihood of winning the game as Mary despite his skill disadvantage. He should have all the opportunities Mary has and should not be held back by his worse background.

        Equality is in this context quite redundant, as the principle of fairness seems to already include an assumption that all players are equal in the eyes of the rule book.

        Another thing to consider is, why even use the term “social justice”, when you could simply call it “justice”? Probably because it isn’t really justice, but rather closer to its opposite: mercy. Mercy is, after all, the suspension of justice.

      • Mr.Towel

        I agree with everything you said, point by point. As a classical thinker I’m all for Individuality and Freedom, not Collectivism and Regulations, so obviously I have a problem with the concept of Social Justice itself. The author is more left leaning and approves the concept of Social Justice, he decorates it with typical beautiful words of the left: “democracy”, “equality”, “fairness” and all that, where to you as a Libertarian and me as a Classical Thinker the concept itself is already ludicrous.

        But that’s not the point with my conversation with DM Gray, it’s not about the validity of the concept of Social Justice (which is in inherently Marxist idea, it just another take on Class Warfare, which is why it’s a legitimate “left-wing idea”), it’s about how the left has changed its roots where even the old concept of Social Justice (the term exists as a academic definition since the 30s and 40s, it’s pretty solid) has been transformed into caricature of itself by the “new left”. The SJW is the stupidification, the dumbing down, of the true concept of Social Justice, the oldschool left (as understood by many progressives themselves). Many old school progressives are actually referring to third wave feminism and SJW as “regressives” to differentiate themselves from oldschool progressives.

        It’s a sad state of affair for anyone who identify themselves with left-wing ideas and something we have to keep in mind when discussing about the left, liberals and progressives, it’s a new development.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        what are these SJW themes? please explain. is the existence of trans people an SJW theme? is it just how it’s handled? what’s wrong with how it’s depicted?

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        what elements of lore have they retconned? please inform me.

      • bossmanham

        Good examples. I just played through Life is Strange and I thought they dealt with issues like homosexuality and euthanasia very well. I have very strong opinions on both subjects, and I could tell the game writers probably differ with me on them, but they weren’t heavy handed about them and they didn’t preach or force either down your throat. They gave you a choice!

      • C G Saturation

        Yeah, when I played Life is Strange, there were some SJW-ish themes, but they weren’t obnoxiously so, to the point where I wasn’t sure if they were trying to insert BS political commentary or not. Not like how this Baldur’s Joke sounds.

      • bossmanham

        Yep. It just shows you can deal with the issues without being pretentious dicks about it.

      • C G Saturation

        I remember thinking episode 1 was really terribly written, but it got a lot better. And now that I have something like Baldur’s Gate: Social of JusticeWarrior to compare to, I can appreciate the quality of the writing a lot more.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        It shouldn’t matter if you find them “obnoxious” when the whole concept of the SJW bogeyman is trying to negatively label and shame people for being too outspoken. It’s like the way anti-SJWs keep lauding Fallout New Vegas where the character’s sexuality is casually mentioned and barely visible.

        It’s not saying that you’re cool with this stuff when “done well”, it’s saying you’re cool with it when it doesn’t really challenge you in any way.

      • It’s not saying that you’re cool with this stuff when “done well”, it’s saying you’re cool with it when it doesn’t really challenge you in any way.

        But why should it change anyone? Video games aren’t reprogramming tools for cultural influence.

        It’s not about “changing” an atheist into a Christian, or a Catholic into atheism+, games are supposed to be escapism. Anyone wanting them to be used as mind-altering propaganda devices is saying more about how they feel about the content than the people who consume it.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        all art informs culture and vice versa. but it shouldn’t even be that serious. it should just be the case that trans people should be able to see themselves, at least on occasion, in the games they play. because why not?

        you’re talking about mind-altering propoganda devices but again – the US Army actually does that! So take offence to that. acting like the mere desire for representation is trying to create “mind-altering propoganda devices” is the most ridiculous and childish level of conspiracy theorying, along the lines of the “gay agenda”.

        It’s nonsense, and you need to be better than that.

      • all art informs culture and vice versa.

        I don’t really think stuff like Pong informs culture about anything, which is why some purist are so up in arms about how much gaming should be used as an information conduit for social politics.

        it should just be the case that trans people should be able to see themselves, at least on occasion, in the games they play. because why not?

        People seem to be hung up on this idea of just the trans issue, but it’s not isolated… it’s coupled with a lot of other issues that gamers have brought up regarding the Dragonspear expansion. It’s a culmination of problems that people have with the writing and portrayal of the lore and characters.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        Pong is an absurdist example here – it’s the opposite of a story based game. A vast majority of games nowadays have characters of some description and most of them have stories and narratives.

        If it’s a culmination of other problems, why does it keep centering on the trans character? How is that fair?

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        Bioshock came out before the whole alt-right and ayn rand fanboyism reached it’s peak. It’s also not reaonable that games with left leaning narratives have to be held to such a high standard. How many military themed shooters are there out there? Politically right leaning games are okay by default. This is a problem.

        Also, even if anti-SJWs accept some left wing narratives, it doesn’t excuse throwing a shit fit over 3 lines of dialogue while acting like people who’ve been shat on all their lives have no right to be upset about anything.

      • . It was never about freedom for artists or any of that bullshit. And definitely not ethics. So how are they wrong to make fun of that stock GG line?

        It’s about bad writing in this case. Some people are so worked up over the boogeymen that sites like Crave Online have created you’ve come to this article with all the wrong conclusions.

        It’s not the inclusion of the character, it’s the themes that the writer included that undermine the lore of Baldur’s Gate. In this case, it’s bad writing that people have a problem with.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        Look, it’s not “bad writer”. I’m sure you’ll find examples of terrible writing even within the original baldur’s gate if you were to line all the minor NPCs up against the wall. CRPGs are infamous for having the sort of dialogue you’re complaining about.

        The reason you’re complaining about it is that the corny dialogue in question focuses on a trans character. Then it ceases to be a throwaway piece of lulzy writing, you take serious moral offence to it. To 2 or 3 lines of dialogue. If it were a wider problem with the game, we wouldn’t keep coming back to the NPC and the Minsc joke again and again.

        What are these themes? “SJW” themes? That’s just code for having any trans characters at all.

        Also when you talk about the Lore of Baldur’s Gate, you’re talking about Realmslore. And again – in the 1E of D&D, Correllon was non-gendered. They’ve since returned to that. It’s not somehow “out of place” or against the lore to have a transgender person, for fuck’s sake. We’re not a modern invention and definitely didn’t only become visible with the invention of tumblr.

        Because you’ve built up this whole support network(let’s face it – a safe space) you’re not really obliged to admit there’s a contradiction or instance of flat out bigotry here. But again, if it was purely about writing, you wouldn’t have just so happened to focus on the one trans NPC. Also, frankly, since you’re not trans, it’s pretty fucking hilarious how upset you get over how “badly” this theme is tackled.

        There’s no situation here that doesn’t on some level fall back on you being somehow uncomfortable with the presence of trans people or not desiring to see them unless they meet an unreasonable high standard. You don’t demand that other, anti-SJW acceptable characters and theme require the same level of nuance. And that’s the problem here. It’s where you claim it’s not because they’re trans – which I’ve heard 1,000 times before receiving a deluge of transphobic abuse from SQCs as have most of my friends – but clearly if they WEREN’T a trans character, it never would have been flagged.

        It all relies on this point about an “SJW agenda” and these supposed themes you’re taking issue with. Tell me, what are those themes?

      • Look, it’s not “bad writer”.

        Some people who bought the game seem to disagree.

        I’m sure you’ll find examples of terrible writing even within the original baldur’s gate if you were to line all the minor NPCs up against the wall. CRPGs are infamous for having the sort of dialogue you’re complaining about.

        Do you have any examples? I’ve played a lot of games and I don’t remember NPCs engaging in conversations to make a statement aligned specifically with a highly charged real life sociopolitical conversation but not give the player a variety of choices in how they respond. Even Mass Effect usually gave players the “good”, “bad” and moderate choices in most conversations.

        The reason you’re complaining about it is that the corny dialogue in question focuses on a trans character.

        It focuses on the writer’s political stance, which many on the forums and across the web are saying it takes them out of the game.

        If it were a wider problem with the game, we wouldn’t keep coming back to the NPC and the Minsc joke again and again.

        It is a wider problem, involving comments about racism, new-wave feminism and what’s labeled as “regressive left” politics, but people for some reason keep ignoring those issues or trying to ignore them in order to just obsess over the trans issue. According to fans, it’s a writing issue.

        Because you’ve built up this whole support network(let’s face it – a safe space) you’re not really obliged to admit there’s a contradiction or instance of flat out bigotry here.

        What? No… this isn’t a safe space or support network. People are encouraged to challenge ideas here. Opposite of places like Gamer Ghazi, you don’t get banned here for having “the wrong opinion”, which is why everyone in this comment thread is allowed to express their opinions.

        Also, frankly, since you’re not trans, it’s pretty fucking hilarious how upset you get over how “badly” this theme is tackled.

        It’s a running topic about inculcation of political ideology through video games. Most people play them to escape from blatant identity/social/civil politics. There’s pushback over a pervasive trend from the so-called “Social Justice Warriors” to overtly politicize games.

        There’s no situation here that doesn’t on some level fall back on you being somehow uncomfortable with the presence of trans people or not desiring to see them unless they meet an unreasonable high standard.

        Not really. I took a Gamespot writer to task for devaluing the content of Dead Rising 3 to just the political angles involving sexism/racism, but those kind of examples will likely go ignored.

        I’m pretty sure you’re angry because one of those regressive websites who covered this topic said that anyone who comments here or agrees with the gamers that are angry with the writing in the expansion are somehow “evil” “gooblergrapers”.

        It all relies on this point about an “SJW agenda” and these supposed themes you’re taking issue with. Tell me, what are those themes?

        They altered Safani to be more in-line with third-wave feminism as opposed to being a sex-positive thief. There are comments from characters thematically centered around addressing characters to essentially “check their privilege”, and it’s the inclusion of themes based on what’s labeled as “regressive left” politics centered around gender identity and social politics in current day academia. Amber Scott admits as much in the quote above used in the article.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        This is absolutely a safe space. Let’s get one thing straight – you are coddled as fuck. I grew up on the internet in the 90s and came out as trans in the early to mid 2000s. It was fucking hell, and sometimes still is. The whole opposition to a “safe space” has always been ludicrous to me, because I’ve never really known one. Trans communities themselves are full of drama thanks to being damaged from years of abuse and gaslighting from our “friends” and families.

        But what do you have here? You have a bunch of people with the same opinion as you clapping each other on the back. You don’t have to fear abuse in the slightest. I can come in shouting at people, but I’m the one more likely to leave in tears. Because ultimately this issue affects me vastly more than it affects you. There is a power imbalance here and you need to acknowledge it instead of relying on vague “regressive left” conspiracies to prop up what is otherwise a fairly shitty argument.

        I don’t buy the concept of a regressive left either, precisely because it seems to revolve around arguments like this. It’s a complete nonsense that is oblivious to the history of feminism and LGBTQ rights which was ALWAYS aggressive. You don’t make progress by being quiet and making dudes comfortable.

        What you refer to “overtly politicising” is the mere inclusion of trans people or other minorities that don’t fit a strict set of criteria that’s comfortable to you. Can you even name what political themes you’re talking about? At the end of the day – the majority of it comes down to 1) Including groups traditionally not included, 2) Treating female characters respectfully.

        This is actually not fucking radical at all. And regardless on your views on how we should approach this on a case by case basis – it IS the direction games should be going in overall. How can you, with a straight face, make an argument for video games to continue to only cater to and largely represent a group of people – mostly straight, white, male and cis – and please stop fucking whining about me using these words, I’m using it to identify a demographic not damn someone for how they’re born, just thinking they’re the only ones who deserve vidya.

        When you say they “altered” a character to be in line with “third wave feminism” who was previously “sex positive” I’m going to call BS on that too. Because it sounds to me like you have a problem with a female character as conceptualised by a woman, rejigged to be more appealing to more women instead of for dudes to whack off over. As an anti-feminist talking to someone who was a literal camwhore, you don’t really get to talk about “sex positive” regardless. I’ve been called a slut and been forcibly outed as a SW by the exact same people who say the exact same shit you do. So I have no confidence in the “sex positive” side of anti-SJWs.

        The fact is that the vast majority of video games are still made to appeal to you and trans characters – even LGBT characters in general outside of bioware are almost non-existence. And then you take offensive to even the tiniest mention, because of “bad writing”. Moreover, you take offence to gaming moving in that direction in general. How is this anything but an impossible level of selfishness?

      • But what do you have here? You have a bunch of people with the same opinion as you clapping each other on the back. You don’t have to fear abuse in the slightest.

        On this particular issue people are largely in agreement with each other. It doesn’t mean the people visiting the site or the regulars who comment here agree about everything. Also, the whole thing about “abuse” doesn’t jive here because ironically, dewspite being called “One Angry Gamer” people here usually keep discussion extremely civil, lol.

        I can come in shouting at people, but I’m the one more likely to leave in tears. Because ultimately this issue affects me vastly more than it affects you.

        Well, that’s all based on perception. Also there’s no reason to really “shout” the opinions because some people out there in this vast world will have varying opinions that not everyone will agree with. It’s just sometimes how the dice fall.

        There is a power imbalance here and you need to acknowledge it instead of relying on vague “regressive left” conspiracies to prop up what is otherwise a fairly shitty argument.

        Well this isn’t a “power” struggle, there’s no reason to ascertain a position as if a coup needs to happen. It’s about a video game that die-hard fans felt was having its lore co-opted with the same talking points they see on Twitter, on Facebook, on every single major enthusiast website out there, and the same stuff starting to pop up in schools.

        A lot of it is just people getting sick of it and wanting to play the game without being reminded of these talking points and political aphorisms.

        I don’t buy the concept of a regressive left either, precisely because it seems to revolve around arguments like this. It’s a complete nonsense that is oblivious to the history of feminism and LGBTQ rights which was ALWAYS aggressive. You don’t make progress by being quiet and making dudes comfortable.

        Not everyone sees it as “progressive” to have a lot of rich white kids (especially 30 something males living in San Fran) telling real minorities how they need to feel victimized and oppressed. A lot of people are really not comfortable with that kind of inverse racism/sexism.

        Can you even name what political themes you’re talking about? At the end of the day – the majority of it comes down to 1) Including groups traditionally not included, 2) Treating female characters respectfully.

        Identity/gender/social politics are political themes. How you identify as an individual and whether or not you want others to accept that is a sociopolitical stance, it constitutes how you want others to identify with you and how you want to be seen. Gender politics is about how certain genders want to be seen by the opposite (and same) gender in regards to communication, interaction and the placement within our civil hierarchy.

        In the real world none of these issues can be easily discussed in broad strokes because they affect different people differently. Many gamers don’t feel comfortable having these topics addressed or brought up in hamfisted ways when many are playing games to get away from these very topics, which are usually used in today’s social media platforms to denigrate those who disagree with certain stances. It doesn’t matter where you fall on the issue, not everyone is comfortable having to take “sides”.

        And regardless on your views on how we should approach this on a case by case basis – it IS the direction games should be going in overall.

        Games are already there and have already been there, as far as diversity goes. There was a game recently released called Void and Meddler that discusses these very topics: https://store.steampowered.com/app/377970/?snr=1_7_7_151_150_1

        They already exist for those looking for them.

        How can you, with a straight face, make an argument for video games to continue to only cater to and largely represent a group of people – mostly straight, white, male and cis.

        Gaming is based on the free market. So whatever sells the most is usually what drives market saturation. It doesn’t mean those other titles don’t exist, but you can’t be angry that people choose to buy and support games that they prefer that others don’t.

        Because it sounds to me like you have a problem with a female character as conceptualised by a woman, rejigged to be more appealing to more women instead of for dudes to whack off over.

        Well that’s why people have an issue with a character who is already established in lore being changed to fit a political ideology. That’s exactly part of the problem some fans have: that Baldur’s Gate is being rewritten with a political slant.

        you take offensive to even the tiniest mention, because of “bad writing”. Moreover, you take offence to gaming moving in that direction in general. How is this anything but an impossible level of selfishness?

        Well there are various games that feature the kind of representation you want:
        https://store.steampowered.com/app/300220/?snr=1_7_7_151_150_1
        https://store.steampowered.com/app/330820/?snr=1_7_7_151_150_2
        https://store.steampowered.com/app/396230/

        …they just aren’t as popular as other titles. The main issue is taking established canon from established brands and trying to refit them to meet someone’s perceived political bias. It’s disrespectful to the fans.

        However, Amber Scott and the rest of Beamdog have been encouraged to make brand new IPs where they can write and establish lore around the characters they want, as much as they want.

      • C G Saturation

        I don’t come here to be coddled. Stop making up nonsense to defame people you don’t know a single thing about. And you can’t assume the issue affects you more than anyone else. That is just selfish.

      • Kim Leino

        Billy already responded to your question about Dragonspear, but I want to ask you, why do you consider military themed games politically right leaning? I assume you’re associating “Rand fanboyism” as being right leaning, but Rand would never approve of military interventionism, not even to fight what she perceives to be evil, because that would be like sacrificing your life for the life of another, essentially enslaving yourself to the target of your aid.

        As you can see, terms like left and right wing can be deceptively misleading.

      • Peoples

        You don’t seem to understand that trans characters already exist in BG lore.

      • Kim Leino

        They do, but they are typically magically transformed and therefore fully of the sex they identify as. This is very different from the real world where a transgender’s gender identity will forever be in conflict with their sex.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        A lot of trans people can effectively be “magically” transformed with modern technology if they transition early. Being trans is still a part o their identity. Not everyone has access to magic or wants their body to be magically modified, given how unpredictable such things can be. In particular, clerics of Tempus wouldn’t really be that invested in magic or alchemy. You’d want to look at Sune, Sharess, etc.

        Also we don’t see enough dialogue to assume that it’s trying to directly pull real life trans issues into the Realms setting. She pretty much just describes the fact that she’s trans in a very general sense. And only if you push her on her name. It’s really, really not a big deal.

      • Mr.Towel

        Actually no, they cannot.

        Hormone therapy changes only the profile of blood hormones which change many gender phenotypical characteristics, but it’s all very superficial and not a true gender change.

        For example, let’s suppose you get an young boy, perform a sex change operation on him and aggressivele induce an female hormone therapy before the prepubescent years. His body would certainly develop physically as a young girl to the point that many people would just assume he was born as a girl.

        However, and here is the point that may be the most hurtful, if you get a cell of his vagina and actually look to it under a microscope, you’ll find a male cell, with male DNA, male chromosomes, male receptors and male structure. It will be the reason why he needs hormone therapy for life, for his glandular system cannot produce a female hormonal profile on its own, because they are all male cells with male DNA. It will be the reason he won’t be able to get pregnant as a natural woman nor have periods naturally as a woman, because deepdown on his DNA he still a man, that just looks like a woman. He has breasts and a vagina, a fair low chromatic value skin, round fat distribution, and all that, it’s truly shaped like a woman, but it’s all composed of male cells that carry a male blueprint (DNA).

        Till science has perfect DNA manipulation on live subjects to the point where they can change the whole DNA structure of an individual there will never be a true sex change, it will all be artificial compromises. To come with grips to this fact is the reason why many transgender people have psychological struggles even after a sex change operation followed by good hormone therapy and good peer support, as sooner or later they have to face the reality that they are different from natural women, from how women are supposed to work (this problem arises even with natural women, who were born women, and lose female only powers as pregnancy, lubrication and periods). This is why you can find transgender people who have good peer support and still fall prey of suicide, because they are struggling to get on grips with this fact. The trans people that show a better psychological profile are the ones that embrace this situation, this middle-ground between the sexes, there are even some who are fine in have hormone therapy and go in drag everyday but never perform a sex change operation, they have learned to embrace their sexual identity as ambiguous and bipolar. The ones who want to be as genuine as the opposite sex will always have problems because our science still yet not good enough for that. And that’s why it’s as magical for many.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        “oh hey it’s not that we’re anti trans we’re just against bad writing”.

        *dude posts bullshit anti-trans biology spiel*

        yeah sure

      • Mr.Towel

        Clarify why its “biology spiel”, please.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        it means someone who clearly knows very little about biology going off on a rant constructed purely to delegitimise and ultimately hurt trans people, not educate and inform.

        I’m not a biologist either, but I am trans and was a lab assistance for a geneticist once. I’ve read a lot on this. You’re not going to tell me anything I haven’t already heart.

        Why don’t you accept you’re the one with something to learn for once? It might even be fun.

      • Mr.Towel

        You’re just assuming I know nothing of biology without even knowing me? It seems I’m not the one drawing hasty conclusion, being emotional and retorting to rhetorical attacks…

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        You’re lecturing a trans person about their biology and assuming they *don’t* know their shit. Back the fuck up and check your shit.

      • Mr.Towel

        I’m not lecturing anything about YOU. I’m not talking about YOU. You’re not transgenderism nor biology, you’re a transgender person who are taking my ideas as a personal attack against you when I’m speaking impersonally. I’m not saying ANYTHING specifically directed to you. You’re taking the discourse about a general group and applying to you personally. You’re the one emotionally invested on this, and being emotionally invested is the opposite of the impartiality required for a dialectical discussion.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        But see you’re able to see them impersonally because you’re not the one who has the concept of “biological sex” weaponised against you. Are you idiots following anything that’s happening to LGBT people in the US at the moment? While you’re having a moral panic over the inclusion of a trans character(sorry, bad writing) trans people are excluded from bathrooms, or put in dangerous positions.

        I don’t think these mentalities are unlinked either for what it’s worth. I’m sick of being the target of witch hunts.

      • Mr.Towel

        Bullshit. I know all that you talk about, I’m invested in sexual issues, a hell fucking lot. And if that provides some comfort to you let me say that I agree and identify more with transgender people than I do with feminism or other LGB groups, because transgender people know that gender do exists, that gender are different and they are important substantial things to someone’s souls and mind. They understand more about both gender than most feminist could even dream of understanding, that’s why you also have a lot INFIGHTING between feminists and transgender people, because transgender people exists exactly because they know that genders are not just cultural constructs, that femininity and masculinity are real things that they strive to achieve, they want to be feminine/masculine and their very core oppose the idea that gender don’t exists and it’s all just cultural constructs. For that alone transgender people deserve a hell lot of respect, it’s a deep metaphysical instance.

        I don’t believe sex change is wrong or immoral, nor sick or evil, I’m just stating biological facts, and when true biological gender change does appear in our world you can know I’ll be the first to burn in a fire for their right to change their biological sex to match the sexual identity of their consciousness. I don’t hate transgender people nor I’m apathetic to them, much the opposite.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        we generally don’t seperate gender and sex so much anymore, actually. but i can see there’s no point in continuing an argument with professor genome phd

      • Mr.Towel

        If argumentum auctoritatis trumps logical reasoning to you then you’ll never find truth at the internet comment section, your place is inside academic circles.

        The transgender groups that I have come to know are very opposite of the feminist idea of gender. I have seen many feminists attacking transgender people for “perpetuating the patriarchical concept of gender”. Transgenderism is not an homogeneous group, there will be a lot of trans who agree with the feminism idea about gender, these are usually the ones who embrace the middle term, but transgenderism in itself, that idea of sex CHANGE already imply that sex are already a substance that is worth changing to, you can’t change to a substance that doesn’t exists.

      • C G Saturation

        You’re not doing a good job of representing trans people. “I’m suffering the most! You can’t possibly have suffered like me! You can’t understand because you haven’t gone through what I have!”

        How do you know these things about anyone? You don’t. And you are not the only person on this planet who has dealt with gender identity issues. Not going to say anymore because I don’t have time to waste on people like you who have absolutely zero empathy for others.

      • Márcio Cavalcanti

        You are confusing gender with sex, but you are right about what you said. Transsexual won’t be 100% the other sex even after the surgery, even though it is mostly socially and juridically accepted. Still all of that has little to do with the SJW stupidity being adopted in games and movies nowadays just to fulfill social-political agendas. I loved BG 1 and BG2 (both SOA and TOB), but I will – in no way – endorse that SJW failed attemptive of lore. How the hell did BeamDog even let that stupidity happen?

      • I’m sick of being the target of witch hunts.

        And there’s you calling people “cis het white boys” in this comments section.

        Oh the irony.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        GamesGoodMeGood, I’m not talking about people coming in arguing in comments sections. Identifying a demographic also isn’t the same as a “witch hunt”. I’m talking about being fired from jobs, forcibly outed as a sex worker(which many of us are, and yes this happened to me) stalked, d0xed, beaten, raped and killed…

        It’s not remotely ironic and to be honest it’s incredible insulting to compare it to being trans which continues to be a shitty and unsafe thing to be in most countries. You haven’t experienced anything like the “witch hunt” people like me have, and that’s sort of the point here. The majority of people with your argument don’t have any real perspective on what it’s like to be persecuted.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        Also there is no “genuine gender change” because there is no fucking genuine gender. There’s nothing that encodes most of our conceptions of sex/gender within our genomes. Someone who lives as a woman is a woman. Why? Because you could know an early transitioner all your life and NEVER KNOW. If their identity hinges on a “dirty little secret” that has almost no affect on their wider life, how can you say the concept of gender is rigid and reliable? It’s not. There’s some “biological basis” for what we call gender but it’s too fuzzy to be remotely useful and changes from culture to culture. It’s not some absolute strict standard. Even sex isn’t.

        Also, your reliance on karyotype is equally silly. You’re ruling out CAIS women and intersex people of all sorts. Then there’s mosiacism! Mosiacism is great. Did you know that women with 90% XY genetic material have given birth?

        Basically I’m trans, I’ve had to argue with idiots all my life, I’m forced to justify my very existence CONSTANTLY, so I know this shit better than you thank you shut the fuck up.

      • Mr.Towel

        We’re not speaking about psychological identity here. Nor cultural. We’re speaking about biology and that is not relative.

        It’s not about acting as a woman, or identify yourself as a woman, it’s about the physiology working exactly as a natural healthy woman, like a clone.

        Chimerism and mosaicism are all deviations from the natural norm, they’re chaotic events and not the general occurrences, it’s a change in direction and purpose, that’s why they are defined as syndromes (and not as functional as well). We’re speaking about nature, and nature has a very well defined direction and purpose.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        there is no such thing as “Deviation from the natural norm”. that is a human construct. this is your problem. “defined as” means that someone decided that. and currently, we don’t define things that way anymore. but you only seem invested in the areas and eras of biology that are convenient to *you*. and this is the problem.

      • Mr.Towel

        It’s not. Norm is defined as a general occurrence. Anything that is not a general occurrence is not a norm per the very semantic definition of the concept. This is not a construct, it’s a nomenclature to a statistical fact.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        All of these things are not objective, god given wisdom, but observations made by biologists, the majority of whom nowadays do not get behind the ideology you’re trying to push here. “Norms” are not relevant here. There are plenty of deviations from the norm that we don’t get into these Loki’s wager/No True Scotsman arguments over, because they’re socially accepted variations.

        Our conceptions of male and female are largely socially constructed. again – you can know a trans woman all your and her life post transitioned and never know, treat her as a woman in her entirely. Functionally, she is a woman. I come from a comp sci background and it makes me think of classes and inheritance and passing into functions that are inherent “black boxes”(you don’t need to know what’s inside them. Like even including a header file with a bunch of definitions. you don’t need to know everything that’s different between two similar functions, if for your purposes the functionality is identical.

        So unless you’re planning to have sex with a trans woman(which I doubt she’ll you do – and if she’s post-op you might not be able to tell anyway) or knock them up(which some women can’t have happen to them anyway) it’s not really relevant.

        The obsession with our genetics and “But no! You’re really this!” is some bullshit cold war witch hunt mentality that has little to do with biology actual biologists take seriously. Biological male and female only exist for certain sorts of research, they’re not intended to be relevant socially. They don’t really exist. They’re just observations of human reproduction and dimorphism.

      • Mr.Towel

        And that’s our main disagreement. To me, Genders DO exists, to me they are not “cultural constructs”, they are biological facts and they’re imperatives at that.

        The fact that someone treats a transgender person as the psychological identifiable gender sex has NO WEIGHT on whether that transgender person is in fact equal to a natural healthy gender. It just speaks about how people use visual cues to identify gender, not that how you act about a person defines gender. I can treat a circle as a box, that circle is still a circle with the physical properties of a circle and not a box.

        And again I”M NOT TALKING ABOUT SOCIOLOGY! I’m not talking about socially acceptance nor social norm nor social definitions. I’M TALKING ABOUT THE DAMN PHYSIOLOGY, IT’S BIOLOGY!

      • Peoples

        The character in question doesn’t specify anything about a procedure. They merely mention they were raised as a boy. I’m not sure how you infer anything from that.

        This really shouldnt be a talking point. Transgender characters already exist in the lore. This character has a single line about it.

    • if they wanted to touch sensitive social subjects they could have done so in a way that fitted the game, in a way that was well woven into it.

      Personally myself I would still have a problem with that.

      Because at the end of the day it’s still the same excrement, the only difference would be that it’s gift-wrapped.

      It also makes it much harder to spot and call out as well. And if this happens, expect future games to be completely riddled with SJW/feminist politics.

      SJWs and feminists going the ambiguous route is one thing that would definitely worry me.

      • scemar

        I really think it depends.
        Adding social themes can give extra layers to a story.
        The risk is that it can feel preachy, it can be uninteresting and drag the story down instead of adding to it, or it can feel entirely out of place to it, or it can fail to resonate with the audience. Or it can just be boring or lame if they fail at pulling it off.

        But when I say it can be woven into the story I mean like the X-Men, at least in the older days it was bold because it tried to play it from that angle,it didn’t hold back punches both ways and people even say professor X was inspired by Marthin Luthor King jr and Magneto by Malcolm X so it ended being a believable story that and it got a good mileage out of exploring characters in a world where that social rift was at play, it explored the different factions, motivations, struggles, etc in an interesting way.

        But those are real social conflicts, stuff that can be engaging or have some weight to it, not the teenage angst tier petty issues of the tumblr type stuff we’re talking about now.

      • Fair enough about the real social conflicts, I guess that can be engaging for some players of course, and I guess because video games are more ‘movie-like’ these days, I guess deep stories may have to involve some politics to tell a story in some games.

        Personally myself, I play video games for fun (my own definition of ‘fun’ of course) and to get away from real life for a bit, considering that it’s one of the best forms of escapism. I simply have no interest in politics whatsoever in my games. There’s more than enough of that in real life as it is.

        My main concern, like I said before, is that weaving in the politics would be a perfect opportunity for SJWs and feminists to inject their crap undetected. It would be very difficult to distinguish between what and what isn’t their agenda in a video game. And when that happens, expect every future game to be riddled with their politics because no-one would be able to successfully pin-point and call them out.

        So we are actually ‘lucky’ that SJWs and feminists are so narcissistic and brash when they push their agenda, otherwise they will go undetected and get away with it. For example:

        Gamer: “Hey, this game is like, really heavy on political issues?”
        SJW: “It’s part of the story.”
        Gamer: “I just think it’s really trying to push a message?”
        SJW: “How can it be that when it fits in perfectly with the era and atmosphere. Stop imagining things.”

        And it would make it impossible to call out fan-service (that’s boobs, tits and booty for us) that had been influenced/cut-out by the SJWs.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        Here’s the thing – the people who *most need* to get away from real life are people that have to put up with tons of online abuse, discrimination, etc., and we’re the least represented. You’re projecting the narcissism here – very much – so because you’re used to being pandered to but project what happens to you onto us. It’s not narcissistic to think we deserve to be seen too, however minorly.

        The problem is that these things have been excluded from so long that it seems completely out of place. But that’s because people have been afraid of offending people like you so long, it’s only recently we see them.

        Here’s every bit of dialogue that pertains to her being trans –

        “When I was born, my parents thought me a boy and raised me as such. In time, we all came to understand I was truly a woman.”

        What’s out of place about that? The issue is that you don’t think trans people should belong in (pseudo-medieval/renaissance european, with a very heavy emphasis on the pseudo) fantasy settings. The language used to describe her transgenderism is far from “tumblr” and if anything is somewhat outdated. They went to conscious effort to describe it in a way that wouldn’t jar with the setting too much.

        Why does she tell you this story? Well, maybe she’s proud of her name and how she came to it. Maybe she only recently transitioned. Who knows, Tempus followers love to tout achievements.

      • Callan Elliott

        A lot of the greatest works in any given medium frequently tackle deep, meaningful issues, just not in such shallow fashions…

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        so you literally absolutely do want people who aren’t like you completely erased from your vidyas? good you’re honest about it. can we please drop the “SJW” moniker now and just be honest this is about extreme social conservatism vs. representation.

      • so you literally absolutely do want people who aren’t like you completely erased from your vidyas?

        No, I just don’t want any shallow PC-SJW bullcrap forced into video games and force-fed to the player.

        Video games are one of the best forms of escapism. I really do not wish to see political bullshit in my video games, because we get enough of that in real life.

        And also, the issue of trans-people in video games is not necessarily a political thing. It’s only a political thing because your ilk like to make it so in order to gain mainstream media power along with the
        feminazis and race-baiters so you can get to scream “diversity”.

        Let the developer/creator/artist create as they see fit. Trying to influence/change/ban their content just to push a political message/narrative is fucking pathetic and authoritarian.

        Just because you personally believe what the creator did “isn’t correct” and advocating that it needs to be changed makes YOU the fucking bigot. Either hold the developer at gun point or make a kick-starter and go and make your own god damn games if you hate it so much.

        I have no problems with trans-people in video games (I love Poison from Street Fighter), by all means go ahead and do your best to represent them, but don’t make them special cases and think you have some kind of divine right to be in every single video game, and scream “misogyny” or “trans-phobic” if the creator/artist has the temerity to not include a trans character into his/her game.

        So the problem for me isn’t the trans characters. It’s the blatant censorship and Big Sister nannying I have a problem with. And being a dedicated fan of fan-service (yes call me sad, pathetic, pervert, weeaboo, etc. anything you want) it matters to me a lot.

        can we please drop the “SJW” moniker now

        Why?

        Having read and judging by most of your posts in this article’s comment section, you are every inch a Social Justice Warrior. Probably even a feminist as well.T

        Trans this, trans that, “cis het white boys”, “shitty treatment of women & minorities”, it’s like listening to Anita Sarkeesian. Give it a rest you boring cunt.

        To quote Amber Scott: “If people don’t like that, then too bad.”

        Is it me or does that sound a bit bigoted and authoritarian? It’s almost Scott’s polite way of saying, like you said in your main post: “everyone else should fuck off and be quiet”

        My god are SJWs/feminists turning the video games industry into utter shit. XD

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        Do you not even realise how you’re contradicting yourself here? you can’t claim you want to just let creators create but then take issue when the creator actively chose, without external pressure, to include a trans character. You’re the external pressure here – and much worse than SJWs you’re not doing it to improve inclusivity or representation of people that get shat upon a lot, but exactly the opposite.

        You say games are one of the highest forms of escapism. Yes! Absolutely yes. I lost myself in Shenmue, in Morrowind, and Fallout 4(for a certain time anyway). That’s why it’s so important that they’re not just for people like you. You’re admitting that video games are a valuable and precious experience, but yet you’re actively campaigning to make them a boys club that keeps others out.

        An entire art form doesn’t somehow inherently belong to you and only you. And before you start with some shit as to how we should just identify with male, white, cis, straight characters – why? You can’t even deal with the presence of a trans character(please stop with the bad writing shite – tons of games including Baldur’s Gate series have shittily written throwaway NPCs, it’s a genre staple) makes you go nuts, so why I should I constantly be forced to identify with some stubbly dudebrah?

        Like fine, I play a few games, I can do that. I can put myself in other people’s shoes. But when you have to do that *constantly* and never get to see people you in story heavy games with dozens of characters, how do you think that feels? You make fun of my feelings, but escapism is all about feelings. It’s shit, and it shouldn’t be the case. We shouldn’t have this artifical representation of the audience of gaming that focuses so much on people like you, and never people like me. It IS pandering, it is artificial, and it is an agenda.

        The reason we don’t see more fleshed out trans characters tackling these teams maturely is that they’re afraid of people like you. Women and trans people working in gaming are particularly afraid of being targeted by GG-adjacent groups and losing their jobs. What kind of message do you think this is going to send? Do you think they’ll work on fleshing out characters like this more, or will they just be afraid to try at all?

        You’re controlling the narrative here and that’s the problem. The “free speech” argument was always a nonsense because really it’s about you dictating what kind of games we see and what characters we get to play and interact with. You’ll accept a small number of “diverse” characters according to strict standards that are comfortable to YOU, not us. You’re happy with poison and birdo. We’re not.

        Talking about cis het white boys makes you uncomfortable. But yet that is the audience these games keep going for! it describes most of the characters! Am I not allowed to point out that this gets “boring” and makes games less fun for those of us who are constantly forced to identify with people that meet that description, while you get countless role models and avatars? The only games we get to play as ourselves in are make your own character games and even then those have limits. And it means you’re not really playing a “character” that you can get emotionally invested in the same way you would from a character from a book or movie(or predefined game character like the DA companions – I still love Isabella and Merrill to bits).

        When we only have a small amount of characters to identify with and a lot of them are thrown in for dudes to fap at, it fucking sucks. And I don’t see what’s wrong with us saying that.

        But you don’t want to listen to us. You want to call us names and do everything you can to shut us up while acting like you’re the ones being censored(not to mention constantly trying to control the words we say and making fun of them). I just don’t know, man.

      • when the creator actively chose, without external pressure

        “without”? Ahahahaha.

        You don’t know that for sure. Plus, Amber Scott is a self-confessed Social Justice Whiner, and most likely a feminist, given her abortion of a decision to alter Safana’s personality and accompanying dialogue. You know, the ‘women-are-perfect-and-can-do-no-wrong-ever-otherwise-its-sexist’ card.

        And we all know how SJWs/feminists act when they want to force something through. They’ll look at the material, and if they find something they dislike they’ll publicly shame the creator/artist until he/she caves in, apologizes, kowtows and removes/censors said “offending” material, and then add the material that’s DEMANDED by the SJWs.

        Based on the alarming amount of evidence from mainstream video games media such as Kotaku, Polygon, etc., this behaviour is common with SJWs and feminists.

        What if the Beamdog had said ‘no’ to Scott’s alterations? She’ll probably call them “misogynists” and then get the Twitter and Tumblr pitch-fork brigade.

        And you’re defending this disgusting behaviour.

        but yet you’re actively campaigning to make them a boys club that keeps others out.

        Wrong. I’m against the pushing of PC SJW/feminist nonsense, which is usually censorship, into video games.

        Have all the trans-people you want, but do not censor or take away existing aspects just because YOU don’t like it.

        “make them a boys club”

        Read what I said above. I said have all the trans-people you want in video games.

        With comments like “make them a boys club”, you’re nothing but an SJW/feminist bigot who thinks you have a divine right to waltz into video games and use censorship to change the entire landscape so that it caters ONLY TO YOU, and removes other aspects (most notably fan-service) so that others cannot have it. Completely unacceptable.

        And there’s you preaching on about being ‘inclusive’. Oh the irony.

        “that keeps others out”

        Nothing is stopping you from buying and playing video games. Nothing is keeping you out. If you’re such an sensitive little snowflake, go and make your own games.

        Talking about cis het white boys makes you uncomfortable.

        No it doesn’t actually.

        In fact it makes me and everyone laugh because it just shows how sexist and racist you SJW/feminist bigots really are. =)

        But you don’t want to listen to us. You want to call us names and do everything you can to shut us up while acting like you’re the ones being
        censored (not to mention constantly trying to control the words we say and making fun of them).

        What you said there doesn’t apply to me.

        If anything, you’ve just described SJWs, feminists and yourself in a nutshell.

        Glad to help.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        Oh, come off it. There’s no proof, so you practically take it as given. Even though she came out and said it was her decision. And not only that, you’re laughing for real right now typing out your hahahahahas. Get a fucking grip.

        And of course there would be an issue if they outright refused to include a trans character because guess what that actually IS transphobic. Unless there’s a damn good reason(which I doubt they wouldn’t be) it’s irrational exclusion.

        I know what I want from “material” and I can fucking speak for myself, as someone people like you regularly label an “SJW”. We’re not a monolith, and even when we tell you exactly what we want you still misrepresent us and push your batshit conspiracies. Please get fucked.

        Please explain exactly what SJW/Feminist nonsense you’re against pushing? Please explain how this pertains to the two lines of dialogue this character has vaugely identifying her as trans? Please explain to me the bigger picture here. Because I can talk about misogyny and transphobia and how exclusion affects people and you’ll laugh it off. Rape culture isn’t real!!11 etc. But yet you talk about a culture war of your own. It’s ridiculous.

        Who’s demanding what here? You’re the ones essentially demanding they not put shit like this in games. The problem is that YOU are the one centered. You normally don’t need to demand anything because it’s handed to you. The minute things don’t go your way, however, you get twice as pissy as any SJW. You’re pathetic.

        And guess what shitlips – some of us remember what it was like to fight for equality and still do. You don’t ask nicely for shit. But you’re not fighting for liberation or inclusion or representation. you are – again – fighting to protect your boys club.

        You say have all the trans people I want – but as soon as they do put them in, you’ll accuse them as pandering. You obviously have a very narrow criteria for what sort of trans presence you’ll allow. You’re the one part of a group here who wants to fucking “censor” a trans character.

        What kind of stupid fuck comment is “make your own games”? You know what – people like me DO do that, and then you start these ridiculous hate campaigns against us. And how are we supposed to get the level of mainstream support necessary to make expansive RPGs etc.? It’s not that easy to make it in an industry where attitudes like yours are still largely the norm. Snowflake is just a bullshit way of saying “I don’t like people who are not me and want representation”. Fuck off. You’re not making an argument here.

        And no, it doesn’t make me sexist/racist to talk about cis het white boys. This just shows how full of shit anti-SJWs are with their misandry and reverse racism. No – I’m identifying a demographic. I’m pointing out that this is the primary demographic in this comments section and what’s catered to in gaming. That’s not saying cis het white boys are bad, or shouldn’t be in games. It’s saying that things are unfairly balanced towards this group, and should not be. How is that sexist or racist? Pointing out that groups outside of that are treated badly in varying ways is not sexism or racism, this is just a shit little trap you’ve created to stop people talking about it.

        I don’t have any need to listen to you and your needs in games because you’re already vastly well catered to. WHereas I can’t find a single game with a trans character in it I care about.

      • At first I thought you were only concerned about the trans issue, but the more you posted the more your mask has slipped.

        What you have said regarding the sex, race, and trans issues is exactly the same utter horseshit that comes out of Anita Sarkeesian’s mouth.

        The same Anita Sarkeesian who has been successfully debunked a million times by virtually every genuine rational person.

        Like I said before, I have no problems with trans characters in video games. The thing I do have a problem with however is the censorship and how political messages are forced in to push a narrative. Censorship and political messages often go hand-in-hand, such as the Safana issue.

        Let the creator/artist/developer write, express and portray his/her material. If his/her material has things that offend you or something you wanted wasn’t included, leave it be, and wait for the next video game. It’s okay to offer constructive criticism as long as you respect the developers/artists decisions.

        But don’t start getting pissy, crying and whining about how this wasn’t included, that wasn’t represented and how too much of her cleavage is showing, and then bullying, harassing and slandering the developer/artist to get it changed. That is bigoted, authoritarian, and completely unacceptable. And you’re defending this behaviour.

        I can fucking speak for myself, as someone people like you regularly label an “SJW”. We’re not a monolith

        I know you’re not a monolith, but yet you’re spewing exactly the same viewpoints as a SJW.

        Who’s demanding what here? You’re the ones essentially demanding they not put shit like this in games.

        No I didn’t actually. I said I only have a problem with being force-fed obvious political and feminist bullshit.

        You know, like the Safana issue. And it’s just a coincidence that the trans issue has become part of it. It could have been any other issue. It’s nothing biased from me about trans people.

        you are – again – fighting to protect your boys club.

        Zzzzzzzzz. All women and trans-women are banned from buying and playing video games. Oh wait.

        I’ve told you before, if you want a trans character included, then that character really should be finely woven into the story-line instead of shoe-horning her in for blatant political agenda pushing.

        Based on what you’ve said in this comments section, people like you and Amber Scott are the epitome of what’s wrong with the video games industry and why developers/artists have such a torrid time. And your ilk is exactly what gamers needs to defend itself and the developers against. You’re nothing more than a bigoted, self-righteous, whiny, moaning snowflake trying to dictate what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable through censorship, fear-mongering and intimidation.

        You may claim yourself to not be a SJW, but you sure as hell act like one and have exactly the same viewpoints. “boys club”? “women and minorities”? “misogyny”? You ain’t fooling no-one buttercup.

        Again to quote Amber Scott: “If people don’t like that, then too bad.”

        You’re defending this behaviour. It’s unacceptable.

    • Peoples

      Except changing gender is not a “sensitive social subject” in Baldurs Gate, at least not in the way you are thinking. They even give you a belt that you can use to change your own gender.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        this has always been kind of an issue in D&D where they want to offer players near unlimited possibilities but don’t think how it affects the world. D&D economies couldn’t possibly exist in real life, there must be tons of artificial control.

        usually these items are well out of the price range of the commoner, or low level adventurer, though.

      • Peoples

        I wouldn’t call that an issue, more like a feature. Its supposed to be you and a group of friends roleplaying a fantasy scenario, only limited by your imagination.

  • Rikko

    Baldurs Gate didn’t have to become a victim in the culture wars that are raging around us. The devs decided to insert themselves into the fray and now they have their payback. I’m tired of SJW nonsense being thrown at my face, and this is a game I will happily boycott. I play games for a bit of mindless escapism not to be preached at by Holier-than-thou Liberals with an axe to grind.

    • Yeah it’s really disappointing.

      I hadn’t been keeping track of Baldur’s Gate much but this whole thing of politicizing everything to become a podium is just exhausting. Most people play games to have fun, and if they include political commentary it’s usually in passing, not used to bludgeon the player over the head with it.

      • Galbador

        To be honest, I am a big fan of Baldur’s Gate, but seeing that the SJWs ruining this as well, makes me mad. I lost already several good games on the Wii U and 3DS because of those people, but now this classic game? Safana, for example was a great character in my view… and take a look at her now. It is almost like people would say “this is not how a person would act. Only man write a woman like that”. It is moments like this, where I just want to slowly and silently close the door to my room, cut all the wires towards the world and wait until the world is no more. We live in an age, in which nothing is good anymore and every is sexist.

        Safana… no matter how Beamdog and Amber Scott ruined you, in my heart, you will always be my No°1 thief.

      • It is almost like people would say “this is not how a person would act. Only man write a woman like that”

        Yet if a woman writer wrote about a man negatively, she gets completely praised and applauded for it. You know she’s “speaking up” and “venting out” about the patriarchy. “YOU GO GIRL!”

        We live in an age, in which nothing is good anymore and every is sexist.

        And it’s only sexist if men do it. It’s only sexist if a woman is seen in a negative light.

        Overall society has completely degenerated into such a pathetic state, and feminism is to blame for it, because they have completely taken over mainstream media, news outlets, and all of entertainment media. You are simply not allowed to portray women in what they deem as “sexist” any more.

        Yet they can portray men in “sexist” depictions and they get completely praised and applauded for it.

        There’s such a huge double-standard going on at the moment, and the mainstream media and news outlets enables this behaviour.

        You know what the problem is though? Men being the absolute pussies and not even speaking out or doing anything about it, especially heterosexual men. Instead just sit back and let feminists ridicule them again and again and again.

        The fact that it’s going to take a flamboyant gay man (Milo Yiannopoulos) to stick up for us really says it all.

      • Galbador

        I couldn’t say it better. You are my hero *bows*

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        Games have been politicised since forever. You can’t claim Call of Duty and games literally made by the US army are somehow innocent when they support a form of imperialism that has started wars with death tolls in the millions. Like, that is an actual problem. Having a trans character tell you they’re trans is not a fucking problem.

      • lol, Call of Duty is filled to the brim with political commentary. That would be a poor example of a game people play to escape political commentary because it’s rife with it. Most people agree that the Modern Warfare games are very nationalist in theme (even when many of the characters aren’t American).

        I did like the story of Black Ops 3, and Treyarch definitely includes a lot of anti-militarism viewpoints in their titles. But again, a lot of it is based on how it’s handled. Treyarch didn’t bludgeon the player over the head about what was exactly right or wrong about the augmentation technology, the use of private mercenaries as public civil servants, and the idea of sustaining life without a body through a consciousness incubator. It takes finesse in writing to handle those topics without being overtly preachy about either one.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      It’s three lines. There is no preaching, no lecturing. If you think that 2 lines of a character explaining she’s trans is “holier than thou” preaching it probably is because you’re transphobic in the first place. But you make labels like that a joke when you quite obviously fucking do have a problem with the inclusion of trans people at all.

      • Don’t forget about the Safana issue as well. A lot of people have problems with that, and it’s adding fuel to the fire as well which also affects the trans issue.

  • LinKurosawa

    I wonder if SJWs will ever realize that this sort of thing is precisely what harms trans people as a whole.

    You’re always going to have bigots but this kind of thing is precisely why opinions turn against them, this shoe horned, hack-neyd garbage moreso when its a beloved classic franchise.

    • totenglocke

      I saw a trans woman on Steam posting about exactly that. They said that shit like this makes ordinary people think it’s trans people trying to force themselves to be in every movie / game / TV show, when it’s really some self righteous SJWs who are exploiting trans people to show how “enlightened” they are to their SJW peers.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        so you found one NYSer that fits your narrative. which means you can ignore the vast majority of us that think that are sick of this shit? The idea of “forcing” trans people onto every show is ridiculous too. We’ve been completely excluded from everything for the longest time, same with LGBs. You don’t have a problem with that. You do seem to think it’s artificial as soon as we appear anywhere. you don’t care when something is artificial in the direction of *actual* repression, oppression, but when it props someone up you have to knock them down.

        How many trans characters can you name in video games? Birdo, Poison… and a couple of vaguely offensive throwaway characters like in Persona 3 and Catherine. Story based games can have very large casts. Yet we’re completely unrepresented, even for a small minority.

        SJWs aren’t “exploiting” trans people. Trans people are the most likely to be labelled SJWs in the first place and harassed by people like you. The problem you have is that you don’t like the status quo being challenged, or voices other than yours being heard. The people hurting us have been, and always will be, people like you.

      • totenglocke

        You need to work on your trolling skills, kid. I was gaming before you were born. I argued against the far-right trying to control the content of games and now I’m arguing against the far-left trying to control the content of games.

      • C G Saturation

        I know trans people who avoid the trans community specifically because of people like you. Good job.

    • C G Saturation

      “HEY EVERYBODY!! HAVE YOU HEARD OF TRANS!? WE’RE PEOPLE TOO! YOU SHOULD KNOW MORE ABOUT US! LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH SUFFERING WE ENDURE EVERYDAY! YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND AND SHOWER US WITH SYMPATHY AND OTHER GOODIES! IF NOT THEN YOU’RE EVIL AND SHOULD DIE!”

      *copy paste into character story*

      • bossmanham

        Also why don’t you feel really bad right now for ever questioning the legitimacy of such decisions. All our choices are infallible. You’re a racist sexist bigot homophobe.

      • C G Saturation

        Any day now we’ll start seeing games that literally say that to you if you pick choices that clash with the dev’s personal political opinion.

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        “if i make fun of the fact that i’m a bigot it’s ok for me to take part in a movement that wants to erase trans people from our reality forever”

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        this is a symptom of the character being a minor NPC in a classic style CRPG in the first place. if it wasn’t for you and your bros aggressively trying to repress any level of trans reprsentation they might have been daring enough to include an actual well developed trans character.

      • they might have been daring enough to include an actual well developed trans character.

        I can think up at least FIVE different scenarios involving ways of including the character without it being as blatant or poorly implemented as the way they chose to do it. Subtlety really is the key, and the writer CHOSE to handle it in the way they did and then brag about implementing themes done in a hamfisted way.

        People are angry about a classic like Baldur’s Gate being in the hands of who they feel are lore-butchers. You’ve likely come from GameJournoPro-tier websites spouting a lot of falsehoods and nonsense about people being transphobic, racist, misogynists as a way to misdirect the story and create a rift, just like they did when they said GG was a hate movement to kick women out of tech to cover up for their own illegal misdeeds.

      • C G Saturation

        Nobody is my “bro”.

    • PrincessOfTheCrystal

      no, it isn’t. you’re freaking out over 3 lines in a video game. this is what harms us. it’s people who hate us and consciously want to see us wiped from their reality entirely but yet still act like it’s a big joke if we accuse them of hating or hurting us. you are the problem. you and “bigots” aren’t some separate, distinct group. there are many ways to take issue with a group and stamping down on their voices and representation is one of them.

      • LinKurosawa

        So you exist in this world merely to tell people that you are trans? Cause that’s exactly what that NPC is, she is not a character within the world whom being trans is merely a single facet of their being, they where written purely to tell the player character, “hello I am trans”, in a world where a sex change girdle is canon I might add.

        This is insulting to trans, maybe you don’t take it that way but plenty do, this character was not written to represent you, it was written so a bunch of assholes who don’t give a crap about you, so they can pat themselves on the back about how progressive they are and score points with their like minded buddies.

  • Freeman

    I think I’ll buy this game so I can return it and write a negative review. It’s well deserved.

  • blackballs

    Beamdog should write a chapter on “how to destroy a beloved franchise”

    • Haeravon

      They did. They called it “Dragonspear”.

  • ColaFlavourChewits

    I’ve found that what bugs me about ‘enhancing’ diversity in game narratives is that it rarely uses the medium to actually make any kind of social commentary. I mean, the transgender character in the expansion seems to exist only to say “I am a transgender person, and absolutely everybody in the world was completely fine with that”. It’s the videogame equivalent of that one guy who insists on inserting a speech about how he’s a vegan and thus morally better in every conversation; it doesn’t ask any real questions, instead using the fantasy world as a cheap way to say “See? This is what we all should be doing!”. Preaching, in other words.

    This annoys me because good fantasy uses metaphor to discuss real-world issues; everybody talks about the Bloody Baron from Witcher 3 because they took a controversial real-world issue (domestic violence and abortion) and challenged our preconceptions about what drives someone to do both, using the fantastical tools of the world (the lubberkin, the fiend, the hags) to create an interesting story that avoided long-winded lecturing.

    And one more thing; whilst you can learn that the Bloody Baron was cuckolded, verbally abused and emasculated by his wife prior to him hitting her, you’re still not required to accept that both he and his wife are to blame for their current situation; it gives you the option to reject him completely and call him a monster. In Siege of Dragonspear, and indeed anytime I see these moral inserts in modern games, they inevitably follow the preaching with two options; to agree completely with everything the person said and praise them for their maturity, wisdom and other wankery, or to simply agree. No disagreements, no challenge; you can’t be a bastard even if you want to. And isn’t that what most of us want to do in an RPG?

    • No disagreements, no challenge; you can’t be a bastard even if you want to. And isn’t that what most of us want to do in an RPG?

      This very thing was a topic of discussion in Gamer Ghazi. It was amazing but they literally felt as if giving players that option was a moral disservice. In Dragon Age Inquisition (I think it was Inquisition?) they had a trans character in there, and Ghazi didn’t like that some of the dialogue options could allow the player to be dismissive toward the character. In their eyes, any sort of option to disregard the identity of that character was promoting or advocating the option of transphobia (their views, not mine).

      I can easily see how in their mind that games are tools for moral propaganda to push personal identity politics. They don’t see it that people play to have escape real life politics, to role-play and ultimately… to have fun.

    • C G Saturation

      When you’re given the option to blame, it annoyed me that Geralt can only blame both or the Baron. Clearly both were at fault, but we’re not given an option to blame only the woman. How is that equality?

      • fnd

        Exactly. Geralt can’t be a mysoginistic.
        In the expansion, Hearts of Stone, Shani is annoyed because she is still single because she focused on her career as a doctor, and Geralt says “Its the CURRENT CENTURY, woman can be wathever they want”, lol. To be fair, he was just trying to fuck with her(literally).

      • ColaFlavourChewits

        You’re right on that note, but at the same time I kind of gave them a pass in this case because ultimately we are playing as Geralt, who has his own defined personality (hence why you simply can’t be nice to the Baron, or to many of the powerful characters in the game), rather than a entirely new character.

        Still, would’ve been nice to have a broader range of options, though the predefined character thing takes a lot of the sting out of it. Baldur’s Gate though is about creating your own character and their personality, so it feels even more out of place to limit the number of available responses.

        This is actually why I couldn’t get on with Fallout 4; adding the voiced protagonist and providing a static backstory means that no matter what you do you’ve got to be too nice most of the time; listening to your badass former soldier talking to Preston like a kid desperate for recognition instead of trained killer who has, to his eyes, just recently lost his wife & son. Perhaps the female voice actor will be better, but she’ll have to work with the awful dialogue.

      • C G Saturation

        Well, that’s probably one of the reasons I wasn’t enjoying The Witcher. It’s certainly one of the reasons why I gave up on Fallout 4.

    • fnd

      To be fair, you can still kill the tranny for 2000 experience points. :^)
      Amazing post ColaFlavour.

      • ColaFlavourChewits

        I’ve seen people taking bets on whether they’ll make her unkillable in the next update, so you never know 😉

      • vr

        some will mod it so they cant

  • Bobby G. Hunsaker

    I won’t be purchasing it. Not because of Gamergate/”SJW”/Whatever nonsense. I’ve no problem with LGBT representation in games. I have a problem with Amber Scott’s petulant, childish, “if people don’t like it that’s too bad” attitude.

    • C G Saturation

      That pisses me off too. You can tell she thinks she’s top shit.

  • Arbitrary

    The game is rated as “Mostly Positive”, so I’d still say the average consumer is distressingly okay with it.

    • C G Saturation

      All this bullshit probably flies over the average consumer’s head, either way. “That game had transgender themes in it? Huh! I had no idea!”

    • V_for_Vodka

      Now it’s at Mixed and over at GOG it’s rated at 2 1/2 stars.

  • John

    Only an SJW writer/developer would blatantly say that they will write/push whatever agenda they want and fuck you if you don’t like it. Even Bioware knew better that these assholes.

    • fnd

      “Even Bioware knew better that these assholes.”
      No, they didn’t. They are bioware.

  • bossmanham

    Going out of your way to shove some stupid social ideal down people’s throats is going to alienate part of your audience all the time. There are examples of games out there that deal with stuff like this far better than these morons did by awkwardly forcing one of the characters into their SJW mold.

  • C G Saturation

    Seriously, if you’re forcing fake-ish sociopolitical opinions and “diversity” into your writing, then you are very likely not a skilled writer. Nobody said it has to be the default or whatever. There’s such a thing as good storytelling.

    If she included those elements in a natural and believable way, without anyone noticing how much they stand out… now, that would be impressive.

  • Horrorstorm

    The scumbag piece of shit devs are getting #rekt on the steam forums.

  • frank
  • Pam Western

    This is what happens when you try and shove left wing feminist garbage into a game. Oh and when you then start trying to pick a fight with a large group of gamers who quite frankly have a lot of support.

    You then don’t get to turn around after attacking GG and forcing ideologies like feminism in to a game and ask “Why does everyone hate us ?”.

    They get everything they deserve and I hope the company goes bust. They deserve it for dragging politics in to a game.

    • They get everything they deserve and I hope the company goes bust. They deserve it for dragging politics in to a game.

      They won’t go bust and they know it, that’s the problem.

      The majority of people will end up buying the game/pack, EVEN the ones who have complained before.

      And then you have the ‘it-doesn’t-matter-it’s-only-trivial’ neutrals who don’t care and will just buy it anyway. Not to mention the fucking ‘it’s-not-censorship-it’s-just-changes’ apologists. And of course the mindless drone fans who are blissfully unaware of the situation.

    • feminist garbage?

      There’s a character who mentions that the’re trans in one sentence.

      That’s the single biggest reason for all the complaints.

      They’ve responded to these complaints by treating the haters like a joke, because they ARE a joke. That’s how you respond to ignorant hateful trolls; refusing to take them seriously.

  • Kafka

    Im absolutely gutted! Im a huge baldurs gate fan. In fact I can credit the series with getting me into pc gaming, way back when I was a little sproggin. The level of hype I had for this expansion was unreal. Then just when im about purchase it on steam, I read the reviews mentioning all this SJW bullshit – dagger to the heart! Im gay myself and have no issue with gay or trans characters, when they make sense to the narrative, but this shit is just shoehorned in and shoved down peoples throats, so a bunch of SJW idiots can pat themselves on the back for being so progressive and enlightened. This SJW stuff seems to be literally everywhere lately, games, movies, TV, books, news, all media really. Its inescapable

  • durka durka

    ” I don’t care if people think that’s “forced” or fake.

    Nigga just went full retarded

    • Or they just don’t care about the opinions of haters.

  • Let’s be clear, here; the character in question is not a party member or a major plot character. They are a cleric NPC you can talk to who, if you choose the right dialogue options, will mention that they are trans. Nothing more.

    People need to chill the fuck out and quit making this out to be any more than simple inclusion of people that aren’t like them.

    If that’s really that big for you, then you’re the one with the problem. Period.

    • Couple of things:

      1) Why was it important for the individual to mention this when asked their name?

      2) Do you usually explain your gender identity to people who ask you your name?

      3) What would matter being mentioned when people in the Forgotten Realms can easily gender-swap with magic and items?

      • 1: Because for transgender people, their gender identity is an important part of who they are. People who are cis don’t ever have ot think about it so it means nothing to them, so characters like this seem to be just trying to call attention to themselves for reasons that don’t have apparent meaning.

        2: If my gender identity was tied directly to my gender identity, then I very well might. At least, if I was confident that the person I was talking to wouldn’t attempt to beat the shit out of me or kill me for being transgender (Which absolutely happens, btw)

        3: Because it humanizes the concept of being transgender, making it a thing that’s based on actual reality rather than just a fun gimmick fetish toy.

      • People who are cis don’t ever have ot think about it so it means nothing to them, so characters like this seem to be just trying to call attention to themselves for reasons that don’t have apparent meaning.

        Well that’s why people said it was shoehorned in because it is calling attention to something that had no story, character or lore relevance.

        If my name was tied directly to my gender identity, then I very well might.

        So you also announce your sexual orientation to people when they ask you your name as well?

        Because it humanizes the concept of being transgender, making it a thing that’s a part of life, rather than just a fun gimmick fetish toy.

        How they wrote the character is the complete opposite of “humanizing” the character; it literally turned the whole encounter into a gimmick since it served no purpose outside of calling attention to a character trait that served no purpose.

      • It serves purpose just fine if you actually appreciate minority inclusion.

      • I’m not sure how someone mentioning that they’re trans can be seen as irrelevant to the character. For one who is trans, that part of their identity tends to be pretty important.

        You do know that the character is no longer three dimensional but a token character when that happens, right?

        And it’s no more shoehorned in than any other life story stuff that RPG NPCs throw out there with little precedent, which they do all the damn time.

        They throw out lines and comments that are usually lore, story, quest or location-dependent. I honestly can’t remember the last time an NPC was asked their name and then proceeded to talk about being born Asian/Black/Hispanic.

        If someone asked me a question that made my sexuality relevant to the discussion? Yes, I very well might.

        Someone asking you your name isn’t really relevant to your sexuality, though, is it?

        It serves purpose just fine if you actually appreciate minority inclusion. If you find no value in that, that is not the game’s fault.

        Well that’s why it’s called a political agenda. It serves a purpose to push someone’s sociopolitical stance on what they feel is minority inclusion. For fans of Baldur’s Gate, they felt this took them outside of the role-play and put them into the writer’s perceived, real-world view on identity politics.

        Can you see how it makes some people uncomfortable when they wanted to play a game but ended up getting a 101 identity politics course in someone else’s prescribed political view?

        It’s like talking to an NPC who explains why they’re Republican and how Conservatism is good and well, when it has nothing to do with the lore, world building or quests. It’s just an NPC trying to goad you into thinking Conservatism is good.

        The issue is that trying to force-feed politics into a game without subtlety, nuance and respect for a very diverse audience will easily alienate some gamers and take the feeling of role-playing out of the game.

      • “You do know that the character is no longer three dimensional but a token character when that happens, right?”

        No they’re not. That doesn’t make any sense.

        “I honestly can’t remember the last time an NPC was asked their name and then proceeded to talk about being born Asian/Black/Hispanic.”

        …and?

        “Someone asking you your name isn’t really relevant to your sexuality, though, is it?”

        I think you’re actually trying to talk about gender identity, which is nothing to do with sexuality. And as I said before; if I was trans, then yes my name could very well be relevant to my gender identity.

        “Well that’s why it’s called a political agenda. It serves a purpose to push someone’s sociopolitical stance on what they feel is minority inclusion. For fans of Baldur’s Gate, they felt this took them outside of the role-play and put them into the writer’s perceived, real-world view on identity politics.”

        I’m sorry, ‘perceived real world view’ ??

        Transgender people exist. This isn’t a “view”. It is a fact. Not excluding this from the game is not pushing a view on people. It is just including a detail that most games don’t bother including due to lack of people in the industry that give a shit about it.

        It isn’t because people SHOULD avoid it, but because there’s just a tremendous lack of anyone in the industry that understands much of anything about trans people. Or at least understands them well enough to be comfortable trying to include them in their work with a significant degree of success.

        “Can you see how it makes some people uncomfortable when they wanted to play a game but ended up getting a 101 identity politics course in someone else’s prescribed political view?”

        Yes I can. That doesn’t mean I think we should avoid including them. People being super uncomfortable about seeing a gay character or a trans character or whatever in a game is just a sign of someone who is a little too sheltered from the real world that we live in. And I don’t think encouraging that mentality is healthy or progressive at all.

        “It’s like talking to an NPC who explains why they’re Republican and how Conservatism is good and well, when it has nothing to do with the lore, world building or quests. It’s just an NPC trying to goad you into thinking Conservatism is good.”

        Except being transgender isn’t a political stance (though getting our culture to accept their existence is certainly a political issue these days). Some people are trans. And there is nothing wrong with being transgender.

        This isn’t a case both sides having a valid view here. Being opposed to a transgender character in a video game is transphobic, and it’s a shitty attitude to have. Period.

        “The issue is that trying to force-feed politics into a game without subtlety, nuance and respect for a very diverse audience will easily alienate some gamers and take the feeling of role-playing out of the game.”

        You can’t complain about inclusion of a minority character and then claim to be speaking in defense of a diverse audience in the same breath. That’s a straight-up oxymoron.

      • No they’re not. That doesn’t make any sense.

        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tokenism

        That character in the Dragonspear expansion is defined by no other trait than being trans, thus, tokenism.

        …and?

        https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/4dd7lj/baldurs_gate_a_perspective_from_a_trans_person/

        Transgender people exist. This isn’t a “view”. It is a fact. Not excluding this from the game is not pushing a view on people. It is just including a detail that most games don’t bother including due to lack of people in the industry that give a shit about it.

        But adding in these characters just to be adding them for “diversity’s sake” is tokenism. Not only that but in Baldur’s Gate case it had zero to do with the world’s lore or anything to do with character building. It’s literally sociopolitical grandstanding from the writer.

        It’s like adding in My Little Ponies to The Punisher because they’re underrepresented in media. My Little Ponies is fine as it is, just not in The Punisher… unless there’s a reasonable explanation for it.

        People being super uncomfortable about seeing a gay character or a trans character or whatever in a game is just a sign of someone who is a little too sheltered from the real world that we live in. And I don’t think encouraging that mentality is healthy or progressive at all.

        Well that’s not really for you to decide how people feel about things they may or may not agree with. Some people don’t like overt violence, or deviant sex, but they exist in mediums that cater to an audience that do like them. In some cases, people are okay with these things when used in proper context, even if they don’t agree with them.

        In the case of Baldur’s Gate, there are multiple instances of characters and themes popping up reflective of left-wing talking points used from certain sects in recent years. Restricting the player from being able to reject those talking points essentially forces them to accept those talking points. At that point it’s no longer a role-play, it’s a preaching session.

        Some people are trans. And there is nothing wrong with being transgender.

        No one in this tread has debated otherwise (from what I’ve seen) and I haven’t come across many comments or reviews on Steam or KiA that say otherwise.

        You can’t complain about inclusion of a minority character and then claim to be speaking in defense of a diverse audience in the same breath. That’s a straight-up oxymoron.

        Except when that character devalues the purpose of why they were included. It’s denigrating to the minority (similar to adding in black people to horror movies where they die first and have no other quality than being the token black person) and it’s insulting to the audience (adding in the character as if the writer is making a political statement when in reality it’s just to say they added in a diverse character for no other reason than that).

        That’s not to mention that all the Cultural Marxist lingo is not something that many gamers are quite fond of when used in games to push a specific view.

      • 1. The character doesn’t harp on about being trans. The conversation also doesn’t center on their gender identity, and it only comes up if you pick the right dialogue options.

        So no, it isn’t tokenism.

        2. First, that person’s primarily complaint isn’t the character but the fact that the transphobic reaction to the character has made their life harder.

        Second, while all of that is shit and I feel bad for them, I fail to see how it relates to what you’re saying. You’re going to have to articulate your thought process here a bit more.

        3. No, it is not. The idea that one needs an excuse to throw in a minority character is precicely the attitude that keeps minorities out of games. Diversification and normalization is the way to go, not forcing writers to have to justify minority inclusion. Once again, this is only an issue if you’re bothered by minority inclusion. Which itself is a bad attitude to have.

        4. I have no say in how other people feel. But I can absolutely say if someone’s attitude is progressive or not. You’re welcome to disagree all you want.

        5. You haven’t been looking very hard, then.

        6. They’re not a token character, so this argument has no support. And shame on you for using a victimized trans person as a shield for your argument.

      • The conversation also doesn’t center on their gender identity, and it only comes up if you pick the right dialogue options.

        So no, it isn’t tokenism.

        So then what is the defining characteristic of this particular NPC?

        First, that person’s primarily complaint isn’t the character but the fact that the transphobic reaction to the character has made their life harder.

        Second, while all of that is shit and I feel bad for them, I fail to see how it relates to what you’re saying.

        Bad characterizations of minorities can negatively impact how people view minorities.

        The idea that one needs an excuse to throw in a minority character is precicely the attitude that keeps minorities out of games.

        If you have a woman fighting in the frontlines in World War II in a movie, you don’t think that needs explaining?

        Diversification and normalization is the way to go, not forcing writers to have to justify minority inclusion.

        So by adding in Asians to a game centered around African villages, you wouldn’t think that would need some sort of justification from a story or lore standpoint? Or maybe even as a character-building device?

      • 1. I’d have to actually see the full extent of dialogue one can have with the NPC to give a meaningful answer to that question.

        Regardless, two lines of dialogue that are not guaranteed to even come up unless you pick the right dialogue options, do not a token make.

        2. Once again, you have yet to substantially back up that position.

        3. In other words, you think a person being trans is by default out of place and requires some level of explanation in order ot justify their presence. Transgender people don’t need context or justification to be present in a narrative, because there is already precedent for their existence in any given culture.

        You wouldn’t say that for the appearance of a gay character, would you?

        Or maybe you would.

        You may wish to reconsider using this argument in the future if you want to be taken seriously.

        4. See previous statement.

      • In other words, you think a person being trans is by default out of place and requires some level of explanation in order ot justify their presence.

        Yes, because in the Forgotten Realms there is no reason to be “transitioning” at all. They wouldn’t exist. If you feel you need to be a female you can wear a belt that transforms you into a female. If you feel you need to be a male, there’s a potion that can get the job done.

        Trans would not exist in that world since there is no need to transition. Hence why I said it’s tokenism since the character isn’t written into the lore.

        You wouldn’t say that for the appearance of a gay character, would you?

        This applies to any character where they don’t fit within the lore. Why would an Eskimo have an igloo in Arizona?

      • 1. I really don’t think it’s necessarily that simple. It would absolutely vary from person to person, depending on how much effort they had to spend to find those items , amongst other things.

        2. Gender changing items do not negate the existence of people born with gender identity disorder. it simply provides those people a vastly easier method of transitioning. It doesn’t change the fact that they were born the wrong sex, or that they may have chosen to change their name for personal reasons, and I feel it’s really dismissive to suggest otherwise.

      • There are ways to change yourself into the opposite sex in the real world. Undergoing SRS doesn’t make you not trans. So your argument doesn’t really work.

        This is Baldur’s Gate, though. So yes, fans are angry that the writer bypassed some important parts about the lore to push for a real life political stance on inclusion.

        It doesn’t change the fact that they were born the wrong sex, or that they may have chosen to change their name for personal reasons, and I feel it’s really dismissive to suggest otherwise.

        None of that really has anything to do with poor characterization in fictional material, nor has it anything to do with altering lore to fit real world identity politics. That’s mostly where a lot of the anger stems from… that a beloved property is being refitted for real world political commentary.

        It’s a little like adding in Blood/Crips gangsters with 9mms into Star Wars and talking about how it’s now more diverse and inclusive. If fans get angry about 9mms and gangsters from South Compton into Star Wars, it doesn’t make them racist, it means they respect the original source material more than the writers. The question then becomes: why doesn’t the writer respect the source material?

      • 1. She states that her parents mistakenly thought she was a boy. And that she eventually was able to correct this and get the body she wanted. Presumably she used a girdle to fix her body, yes? I don’t see a contradiction with the lore here.

        Acknowledging that there are people out there who actually have very good reason to want to use those items… is a bad thing? Contradictory to the lore? I’m not seeing how this is the case.

        2. Once again. You saying it’s bad doesn’t actually make it so.

        And once again, just throwing out a random example of one thing being put someplace else it doesn’t belong hinges on the “Trans people don’t belong here” narrative which I have repeatedly shot down.

        By all means, keep it up. Maybe I”ll eventually run out of bullets.

      • Acknowledging that there are people out there who actually have very good reason to want to use those items… is a bad thing? Contradictory to the lore? I’m not seeing how this is the case.

        The girdle/potion/spells are standard fare in the lore. The question is: why is it specifically mentioned in a fringe context if gender reassignment is common place within the game world? Heck, it sometimes happens by mistake when equipping items.

        Once again. You saying it’s bad doesn’t actually make it so.

        Obviously if a sizable portion of fans say it’s bad, I’m inclined to think they may have a point. A work of fiction has no basis for growth without fans.

        And once again, just throwing out a random example of one thing being put someplace else it doesn’t belong hinges on the “Trans people don’t belong here” narrative which I have repeatedly shot down.

        The Star Wars example was used to illustrate disrupting lore. In this case, it’s already been explained why Baldur’s Gate lore has been disrupted with a number of instances, including Minsc using the “Ethics in…” line as a mock to #GamerGate. It’s not just the instance of an out-of-place conversation with a trans NPC, but also the #GamerGate dig, the privilege checking, the minority grandstanding and the other typical talking points common within today’s youth learning surrounding Cultural Marxism.

      • Connor Hotzwik

        Hey, not trans, don’t really care about Balders Gate that much

        However as far as inclusion, representation, and tokenism goes for trans characters (or other “nonstandard” sex/gender variants) there’s really only two options.

        Either they’re visibly trans. Which likely means they are classically a comedic relief character. Most companies would therefore avoid that route (See “Tokyo Godfathers” for an actually positive example of this).

        Or their “convincing” which makes them a invisible minority. The only way to inform the player that the character is trans (and therefore include and represent a minority character) is to verbally tell them.

        The racial example doesn’t really work since there are very few invisible racial minorities and the player could then just tell through visuals.

        Either way isn’t that great. If they aren’t a main character then the writer always runs the risk of having the character be seen as a joke or as a token. In this case it’s seen by many as a token and it would likely be even worse if it was the prior.

      • Well the invisible cases where players are explicitly told pretty much highlight how people feel about shoehorning in for agendas.

        As you mention, if there are characters of different races that don’t explicitly say they’re of a different race, you may not know.

        I always thought Shadowrun’s RPGs handled these topics well because you have all manner of character whose traits are unveiled over time as you talk to them, but on the surface it’s mostly all about business first. Sort of like in real life.

        Part of the problem is that trying to say “Look we’re inclusive” reeks of someone trying to push a political agenda. You don’t often have characters proclaiming their Buddhism affiliation during the middle of a Call of Duty firefight because it would just be silly.

        Realistically, if there’s no reason to include the topic and it doesn’t fit the narrative, they should just leave it alone. Someone’s sexuality is a very personal thing, and having characters announce something private and personal outside of the context of the story is usually what turns most people off because it’s literally tokenism.

      • Connor Hotzwik

        Yah it really seems to just be this implementation. Invisible minorities are really obvious when used as low grade side characters since there is only so much you can do.

        In a game where the relationships are more complex it could work. What’s important is that you get great well written characters that happen to be aligned with a minority. A well written character that happens to be trans instead of a trans character.

  • PrincessOfTheCrystal

    This is ridiculous. There’s nothing specifically “tumblr” about the inclusion of a trans woman, and having read the dialogue, 2 lines hardly constitutes a lecture nor is it particularly preachy. It’s funny that when people are upset at the really haphazardly handled inclusion of trans women in games(Persona 3 comes to mind), we’re shut down for taking issue with it. Cis het white boys have been catered to for yonks, but the fact is that other people exist and play games. There is no reason, in a fantasy setting, why there can’t be a trans character. There’s even precedent for it, given Correllon was said to be genderless/androgynous in 1E. But they changed a lot of stuff(until more recently) because of the ACTUAL moral police.

    Like seriously, there is still vast effective censorship against the inclusion of people like me in games(and movies, and comics, etc and when we do see these things they’re offering pandering to a cis audience’s curiosity like the Danish girl, not us and our friends and families), and you are a part of that. You believe in the absolute and permanent silencing and erasure of trans people and other “tumblr” groups(urgh) which is actually a very extreme and frankly quite fascist point of view. But when people get upset about the constantly shitty treatment of women & minorities in video games, they’re the real fascists. When you have people who literally never want to see a trans person in their video games ever.

    Trans women have to put up with being the constant butt of jokes in the media, but anti-SJWs are so amazingly sensitive, so self-centered that one relatively inconsequential character and one GG related joke sparks them trying to sabotage the game. What this makes clear is that the whole concept of an SJW is a smokescreen for the fact that most status quo champions/anti-SJW are just classical social conservatives, transphobes, general asshole bigots who make their opponents out to be extreme and make fun of the idea that they can possibly be the hateful ones.

    The Agenda going on here is trying to open up these forms of media to more people, and to make people like me who’ve probably been gaming for longer than most here feel like we actually belong. Anti-SJWs believe everything belongs to them and everyone else should fuck off and be quiet. The level of entitlement is through the roof, but because they’re constantly centered they see everyone else as entitled, being pandered to.

    You are seriously throwing a shit fit over 3 lines of fairly innocuous dialogue. Meanwhile it’s hilarious to joke about killing trans people which is an actual real life. We’re expected to “take a joke” have a “thicker skin”(you have no idea given most of you are the most sheltered fucking babbies imaginable, many of us live in poverty and engage in sex work to pay for our vidyas) but you can’t take a joke at all. You believe in the dominance and supremacy of the status quo above all else. It was never about freedom for artists or any of that bullshit. And definitely not ethics. So how are they wrong to make fun of that stock GG line?

  • waylander

    This article sucks. Did you actually play the game at all? I beat it, and no, there is not a massive political agenda, the trans cleric has like 4 lines, barely a “lecture” like your article states. Nothing is “forced down players throats”, most of the controversy centers around a very minor npc in a huge game. Its sad how a bigoted minority can spew so many hateful 0/10 reviews to try to tank a game 🙁

    • there is not a massive political agenda, the trans cleric has like 4 lines,

      So are you going to ignore the writer saying they had a political agenda? Also, what about the inclusion of the GG line? What about the change in characters and conversations because the writer felt the original was rife with “sexism”?

      The writer said herself that she had a political agenda. I repeated it in the article. I can’t really apologize about that.

  • PrincessOfTheCrystal

    This is the entirety of the dialogue that tackles the character’s trans status.

    “When I was born, my parents thought me a boy and raised me as such. In time, we all came to understand I was truly a woman.”

    Please tell me how this constitutes a lecture? it doesn’t even resemble the terminology tumblr trans or “SJW” circles used. they pretty obviously went to at least some effort to use more universal concepts. they don’t use the word transgender, don’t go into any medical or social aspects beyond the vague suggestion of gender roles. hell, the character could have been intersex or just really tomboyish for all we know. there are instances of girls being raised as boys. they *specifically* went to the effort of making it very general and somewhat ambiguous. there was no “check your privilege” no “down with cis”, there was no moral lecturing. it was a character outright explaining how their name came to me, and an aspect of their history that obviously still resonates of them. which is the sort of shit NPCs in CRPGs tend to do.

    i can’t explain for certain why anti-SJWs latch onto certain things and not others. but I think there’s definitely a problem that a momentum gets going and nobody’s really able to put a stop to it and say “actually what the fuck are we doing”(this can, admittedly be a problem with some SJ circles too, but it rarely goes so far so fast).

    Can people explain, rationally, without relying on buzzwords like SJW and “degenerate left” what the problem is with this dialogue? I’ll entertain an actual discussion here. Remember to it’s okay to admit you’re wrong and disagree with others in your social grouping too, which can go out to both sides of this. A lot of people got very invested in this I think without playing the game or breaking down the dialogue. But seeing it like that now, do you really feel the same?

    • Chief Smakaho

      I think the Kotaku interview alone is reason for a boycott.

      “If there was something for the original Baldur’s Gate that just
      doesn’t mesh for modern day gamers like the sexism, [we tried to
      address that],” said writer Amber Scott. “In the original there’s a lot
      of jokes at women’s expense. Or if not a lot, there’s a couple, like
      Safana was just a sex object in BG 1, and Jaheira was the nagging wife
      and that was played for comedy. We were able to say, ‘No, that’s not
      really the kind of story we want to make.’ In Siege of Dragonspear, Safana gets her own little storyline, she got a way better personality upgrade. If people don’t like that, then too bad.”

      • PrincessOfTheCrystal

        then why does it focus on the trans character?

        i also don’t see the problem with that. it’s her perspective, and she wanted to reach out to a sizeable number of gamers that feel the certain ways. there’s nothing wrong with wanting to expand on characterisation for tropey characters.

      • What about the people who enjoyed Safana’s original BG1 personality?

        That’s been completely taken away. Which obviously means some players lose out.

        Or is this case of blatant third wave feminist censorship okay simply because YOU and Amber Scott personally didn’t like it?

        Yes yes feel free to scream “MySoggyKnees”, “promotes rape culture!1!”, etc etc

      • Chief Smakaho

        “Her perspective”.

        Yah, her twisted perspective on an established game and characters. People are allowed to criticize weak writing and forced sjw propaganda. Sorry, deal with it.

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  • KnightInShiningArmour

    Wow, looks like even gamers have to put up with the new world order, one world government takeover of the planet by the global elite who wish to enslave humanity. Its right in everyone’s face, even kids. This is just conditioning to never speak out. To remove freedom of speech. If you want more info on this, visit sites like drudge, alex jones, michael savage. And remember, resistance is victory. Finally, Trump is the only one who has ever gone against this, and is the last chance to ever get away from it. After this election, no more elections, no more Trumps, no more America. Or, by the look of it, it might already be too late, as they are stealing the election from Trump anyways.

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