Video Games: No Gays in Star Wars

Kotaku reports that BioWare won't allow any LGBT characters in their upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The stated reason: "these are terms that don't exist in Star Wars," according to Bioware's Community Manager Sean Dahlberg, who posted the response on the game's forum, before locking a thread discussing the issue.
Uh ... okay.
As Kotaku's Luke Plunkett writes -- they know that the people buying and playing the game don't actually exist in Star Wars either, right?
That being said, I can see Dahlberg's point of view (however much I may disagree with it).
Star Wars always prided itself on not making light of "controversial" social issues and was always gun shy about dragging out a token LGBT character just to appease the masses screaming for political correctness.
That's all well-and-good in a movie, I guess, but SWTOR isn't a movie. It's a MMO. Ideally, it should be open to reflecting the tastes and lifestyles of people in the real world, right? I mean it is an online community after all ...
Still, Star Wars likes it's squeaky clean image. Filtering out LBGT terms is nothing new for them. For years they've filtered out terms like "gay," "homosexual" and "lesbian" on their community boards.
Is that a little nuts? Well, yeah it is. But you have to look at the opposite side of the coin too. Words like "gay" and "homo" are pretty powerful and, unfortunately, that power can be used negatively. Just jump to any unmoderated forum on the net and it becomes clear in seconds how often these terms are brandished as weapons of hate.
So it's a sticky question of censorship/free speech that a family-oriented piece of media like Star Wars faces. From that perspective, I can kind of see where Dahlberg's coming from - why not just clamp down the whole thing and avoid the whole shitstorm altogether?
Plus -- as I think BioWare is acutely aware -- when SWTOR comes out it's not going to ignore the gay community. The users won't let it. (Remember the whole World of Warcraft gay pride parade in 2006?) Just let the users deal with the whole LGBT issue when the game comes out. Bioware is a company of designers, not social commentators. They are focused on making a game. Whatever people want to do with it from there is their own damn business.
And that's fine.

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