It's a pretty crappy storyline, I won't debate that, but the fact is that there IS a true gay relationship that can be pursued in the game, and as far as I know, it doesn't have any of that "you can cure them, they're faking it, etc" attached to it.
Eh, I don't see the problem. From reading a synopsis on the character, it sounds a little clunky, but that's never been the best way to assess a storyline or a character. The execution could be good stuff.
I don't see why people need to walk on eggshells with gay characters anyway; they're not delicate flowers that need to be treated like a child that needs protection. Creators should be allowed to have fun with the concept a little bit. Straight characters get all sorts of varied and fun characterizations, many of which poke fun at their sexuality (lothario characters like Sam Malone from Cheers come to mind). If people keep seeing every slightly quirky characterization of a homosexual as "problematic," creators are going to be too freaked out to put more homosexual characters in their game. Why risk ticking off people for benign quirks in your characters?
And only slightly related, but so many tumblr posts are just the worst to me. I can't believe the amount of users there spreading misinformation or extrapolating the most ridiculous conclusions from harmless subjects (real example: "The Mickey Mouse cartoon Get a Horse is ableist because Pete has a peg-leg!"). When did it become cool to get offended by everything under the sun? Isn't that what people (rightfully) made fun of Jack Thompson for back in the 90s?
The difference between straight and gay characters is straight people aren't marginalized and discriminated against and aren't fighting stereotypes day to day that contribute to this. As socially conscious creators yeah, it is our job to think about this context when creating characters. Not that you can't create a variety of representations but, especially when it is literally your first game with openly homosexual characters, maybe don't use terrible tropes that mirror the ridiculous "bisexuality isn't real" and "gays are just straights rebelling against their parents" stereotypes that are already wildly flung around?
It's not the worst thing ever but yeah, I think Nintendo screwed up here.
I also find the "don't criticize creator's attempts or they will stop trying" arguments a bit weak. More and more creators are adding gay characters and this will continue. It doesn't make them immune to criticism, and if one does decide to just stop doing it because they couldn't handle a bit of criticism, two more will step up to take their place.
Sure, but I don't understand how a very unusual situation like FEF's character is stereotypical or a punchline. The initial complaints about it weren't even accurate and were under-researched. I'd be on board if it was actually something like "take a drug to become straight" but that rumor seems to have been pulled straight out of nowhere.
The concerns I'm brushing off aren't of that ilk--that was more of an aside on how many inane posts surface on tumblr.
The phrases you quoted sound much more like knee-jerk reactions to that storyline than what the creators were actually trying to do. I'd prefer to give the game the benefit of the doubt. A lot of stories--when written up and taken at face value--end up losing a great deal in the process. Execution is important!
The problem with this as I understand it is that it tells the player gay people can be rehabilitated which immediately introduces other problems that are tangential. If you have a cure for homo or bisexuality is it to be assumed then that this is an undesirable quality? If it can be cured then its not so much part of your identity as it is an affliction? It sounds like the character doesn't even have a say in the matter too which brings up a whole other set of issues. Insinuating or telling homo/bisexual people that they can be cured is a horrible thing to do. It fosters a denial of one's true self and if it is repressed it will lead to self hatred which can have significantly damaging outcomes for peoples' lives.
I'm not sure what the revised news story is but the original was not well received for good reason I think.
Imagine for a moment the character was black and there was a storyline where you cure her of her blackness. You can see why that would be troubling to people right?
They're not knee jerk reactions at all, they're two specific stereotypes that this character is definitely falling into.
Creator intention is fairly irrelevant to me. I doubt most creators using tropes and stereotypes have bad intentions. Still doesn't make them immune to criticism.
Btw when I say criticism I don't mean public hangings. As a creator I think criticism is important and when it is done intelligently and not just screaming I personally welcome it, both here on NW and my other projects. We need to stop thinking of criticism as attacks. Criticism is what helps us grow.
I agree, but it sounds like there was some confusion--the story you're referring to is the one that was incorrectly posted on tumblr and is not in the game. The one we're talking about is referring to the "correction" that @Guillaume linked to from someone who's played through the game.
To clarify, there is no lesbian-curing drug storyline in Fire Emblem Fates.
The real one isn't THAT much better. It's a girl who fakes bisexuality to get at her father but then kind of starts feeling it for real and can't even be around other cute women on the battlefield without losing it. So she needs to be cured of her battlefield lust or whatever. Said cure is done without her knowledge and tricks her into thinking women are men and then somehow this solves things? It's as confusing as it is problematic.
@Zero Fair point about criticism, but the way this whole thing came about is frustrating to me.
-First, someone pretty much pulls something out of her butt about one of the game's characters. This person hadn't played the game so I'm guessing she just culled something together and filled in the blanks.
-Then, a gaming website reports on this story and runs with it. All of a sudden, everyone's angry at this new Fire Emblem game because of a made-up tumblr post.
-To clear the air, a guy who's played through the game pretty much lays out the whole scenario in text. But the problem is that we're not experiencing the game ourselves as it was meant to be enjoyed at this point--we're just reading a write-up of that character's story.
-I still don't really see the issue with the character in the first place. The storyline is weird enough (in that video gamey way) to pretty much avoid stereotypes in general, IMO. Yeah, she rebels against her father, but according to the author of that blurb, she clearly still likes both men and women. A character getting lightheaded and distracted by people on the battlefield is kind of a funny, quirky trait that doesn't come across to me as a homosexual (or heterosexual) stereotype--it just sounds like a funny version of shyness/nervousness taken to the extreme. Zero, you sound confused about how this whole story plays out, but it's probably because you absorbed it all at once in a few paragraphs rather than learning the nuances of the characters or their dialogue. It doesn't really feel like a fair assessment to me.
Now granted, this whole storyline could end up being done in a dumb way and Soleil might simply be a poor character from a literary standpoint. But I'd hesitate to draw any sort of conclusions from this simply due to reading it from a guy was forced to post the whole scenario because of mass misinformation. It doesn't feel fair to the game's storytellers or the Big N.
This post sounded confused about the story. Or at least the last couple lines. Heck, the story might end up being a big mess in-game too, but a lot of plots (even game plots) aren't really done justice in a text-only synopsis format.