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Fire Emblem Fates homophobia: Bisexual character drugged to believe men are women and women are men

Despite being the first Nintendo game to allow same-sex marriage, one sub-plot in 3DS role playing game Fire Emblem Fates is pretty homophobic. It includes a character who defines her attraction to women as a "weakness" and who is essentially drugged by another character to trick her mind into being heterosexual.

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morganfell2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

They have already changed the headline for the story. Look at the link.

pcz2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

its a videogame with a fictional story, not a fact based documentary on homosexuality.

if, in this story taking a pill cures homosexuality, then what is the problem? its just fiction.nobody sits through jurassic world pointing out how ridiculous it all is because dinosaurs dont actually exist- you just suspend disbelief.

if you want to enjoy fiction, you cant start drawing parallels with reality whenever you see fit because it fits your agenda. its just a fictional game, set in a fantasy world, where anything is possible- including curing homosexuality with a pill. if you cant accept that, then fiction isnt for you.

morganfell2275d ago

That is the catch. They aren't altering her orientation. This is idiot reporting at its best.

-Gespenst-2275d ago

"cures" homosexuality? Sounds like a fictional world created by a bigot to be fair.

yarbie10002275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

In many games you can take on other forms after drinking potions or whatever. Some turn physically into other creatures. Sometimes states of mind are altered

So I see no problem with this.

Tolerance is a two-way street.

Baka-akaB2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

People enjoy playing games with actual racial tension between humans and aliens , elves and dwarf , or actually human ethnicity , in fantasy settings .

If people wanna argue that such "drugs" and "homophobia" shouldnt be in fantasy settings , then they have no leeway playing games with racial stryfes either ...

It's a story , it's not there to necessarily have a moral and be be educational and a model to follow

LightofDarkness2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

Wow, "cures" it, huh? Guess we know where you stand on the issue. And don't even try to pretend that's not homophobic reasoning. How about instead of pretending that you're defending this out of concern for fiction and expression, you just stand by your beliefs and take responsibility for what you say and think, instead of trying to veil it in pseudo concern. If you don't like homosexuality, just say it, and stop using things like this as a crutch.

Dragon Age: Inquisition handled this idea very well. This sounds far less tasteful in its approach.

morganfell2275d ago

When this story broke I was in a Hangout with buddies in Tokyo. They are laughing about Westerners mistranslating most of the stuff they are using to fuel complaints.

As one stated, "whats more hilarious is the dumb *&%# behind that mess at 4chan went and used google translate then tried to piece together the soup sandwich from the mess that was spat out."

Angeljuice2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

@PCZ
"CURING homosexuality with a pill"... Really?

So you wouldn't have a problem with people curing Black people with a pill?

Seriously, I don't know how homophobic you are, but in order for there to be a " Cure" there first has to be a disease. That applies to fiction as well as reality because some things have an undeniable meaning... A cure first requires a disease to be manifest.

LightofDarkness2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

And it doesn't matter if you and your Japanese buddies got a good old kick out of it on google hangouts. The crux of the problem remains. These are people treating homosexuality as a disease to be cured.

People can't help what they are. As mentioned above, would any of you take the same stance if this were applied to an existent, real-world race? This is the same problem. Pretending that it's not or somehow lesser is very telling of your mindset.

@Zepherite: I'm replying solely to pcz and the ideas/arguments he espouses. I'm going to allow time for a proper translation before I make my mind up.

Zepherite2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

@Angeljuice
@LightofDarkness

At no point in the game text does it say either of the words 'cure' or 'pill'.

These words are used in the article and only serve to show how the author has completely misunderstood.

Read the actual text from the game (they quote the whole lot in the article) and then judge for yourself.

pcz2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

@lightofdarkness

its a game that features sorcery, magic and summoning spirits... why is it shocking or surprising it features magic that cures homosexuality?

it says more about you then it does about me, because you were willing to accept a reality where you can use actual sorcery, and actually summon spirits as weapons, but reject that reality when it suggests homosexuality can be cured. that is YOUR prejudice, not mine.

im open to the idea that homosexuality can be cured in the context of a fantasy world. you arent. that is prejudice on your part.

if this idea of homosexuality being curable was made in another setting, say, not in a fantasy role playing game, but a real life debate about the nature of sexual orientation, then yeh, we could seriously weigh the points.

in any case, even if somebody did believe homosexuality was curable, with magic, counselling, drugs or otherwise, then that is their freedom to believe so. that is the nature of believing, it doesnt need to be true to be valid.

'' It has to be a disease for it to be cured.''

do you believe in sorcery? do you believe you can summon the spirit of a rhino (or other animal) to fight for you? no? well you can do those things in this game. it doesnt matter what you believe, or what is true, because its FICTION, and in this fictional world they created, these things are possible. why are you able to accept that, but not accept a cure for homosexuality in a fictional setting?

2275d ago
Baka-akaB2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

"it doesn't matter if you and your Japanese buddies got a good old kick out of it on google hangouts. The crux of the problem remains. These are people treating homosexuality as a disease to be cured. "

Isnt his point , and the reason for him and his friends to laugh over it in Japan , that's not even what the game tells and what it is about ?

And even then , again i have to be baffled by the hypocrisy of such reactions . Killing and wageing wars about races in games , not a peep , it's viewed as obviously just a story elment in fictional territories with their own fictional cultures . But a magic potion and that character , "it's blatant homophobia" and raising all kinds of hell

LightofDarkness2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

Wow, look at you dodging the question. Strawman at it's finest. You continue to use the word "cures" in reference to homosexuality. It has to be a disease for it to be cured. Is that what you believe?

@baka: I'm really only speaking to PCZ here. Apologies to morganfell for including him, we just got through a divisive referendum in my country about these issues so I may have been slightly over-sensitive to him.

morganfell2275d ago

Just be aware that "cures homosexuality" isn't in the game or the article. It was stated by a poster above.

uth112275d ago

In today's hyper PC outrage culture. Telling stories the way you see fit isn't allowed anymore. Free speech is a myth.

If it hurts the feelings of the wrong people, it has to go

Baka-akaB2275d ago

If it's about a poster and his view , i stand corrected then

LightofDarkness2275d ago

Newsflash uth11: freedom of speech and/or expression do not mean you get to say and do what you want at any time. They have limitations, like any piece of constitutional law. Even in the supposed beacon of absolute freedom:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

You must feel so oppressed and discriminated against. You have my sympathies.

-Gespenst-2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

Bruce755: You haven't understood my point, and that's partly my fault, so I'll elaborate. So look, if a person writes / creates a fictional world in which homosexuality is a disease to be cured, is that not a little bit weird? What point is that person trying to make exactly?

I can accept that Tony Soprano and co. are a gang of bigoted thugs, because the show doesn't portray that as a GOOD thing. From this we can infer that the writers aren't racist themselves. Therefore, I don't denounce the show.

On the other hand, a game that portrays homosexuality as a disease to be cured NOT as a belief of a misguided culture / society, and instead as a fundamental part of the fabric of reality of that game's universe - i.e it is a FACT in that game's universe that homosexuality is a disease much like any other - then I have a problem with it. The game doesn't make any effort to suggest there might be something wrong with this fact, and so you begin to wonder where the creator's allegiances lie.

You can infer the attitudes of the writers from the attitude the piece of media takes to its subjects. Clearly the writers of Breaking Bad aren't meth addicts - who the heck would want to be a meth addict after WATCHING it, let alone doing the research necessary to CREATE it? The show clearly paints meth addiction in a negative light - it judges it as a bad thing. That much is obvious.

I'm not talking about Fire Emblem anymore because I don't know exactly how the game deals with this whole thing (too much conflicting information). However, if the attitude the game takes towards this scenario is one of "yes, homosexuality is a disease", then that's problematic. You wouldn't expect someone who believed the opposite to make a game in which homosexuality was a disease, so what conclusion does that leave you with?

Whether you like it or not, people who make things speak their beliefs, assumptions and values THROUGH those things - they draw from their own experience in creating things. If they had no experience, they wouldn't be able to make anything. Fiction depends on reality - reality is the raw material of fiction.

It's pretty safe to assume that a fictional world in which homosexuality is UNQUESTIONABLY a disease (i.e. the text never questions, even subtly or implicitly, this assumption) reflects the author's beliefs about homosexuality.

Baka-akaB2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

@-Gespenst-

I can't agree with the last part of your post . Writers can create utterly dreadful settings for a story without it necessarily being a reflection of their own core beliefs .

Yeah usually something personal will permeate from the writer to his creation , but it's not sacrosaint and a rule . And it seep through various and drastically changeing degrees .

The logic used again paramount to claiming that most writers , especially in Sword and Sorcery , Dark Fantasy , High fantasy , Heroic Fantasy , got blatant racist and xenophobic views , when at the crux of their books or scenarios , it's still brick and mortar for the sake of placeing a powder keg from which the story will unfold .

And well all know that some of those stories get grim and dark , without necessarily trying to be moralistic and without ending well . It still wouldnt neccessarily reflect the innermost thoughts of those author , nor disculp them of those obviously .

Look at Orson S Card , writer of the very famous Ender's Game series of sci-fi books . he's openly anti-gay , and homophobe , even funding . But until it was public knowledge , you'd be hard pressed to fine any inkling of that in the first Ender's books .

Hilariously most trying to find clue mostly even found subtle homoeroticist tones ... between the almost all male world , and overly close friendhip between the boys . Art has a "nasty" habit of transcending the views and conscious intentions of the artist

pcz2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

@-Gespenst-

you are right, all this is based on mistranslation so none of it matters since it doesnt even happen in the game. but many people do often misinterpret themes in films, for example, i dont know if you have ever seen the film This is England, but it deals with racial issues.

somebody claimed it was a racist film because of the many scenes it featured that contained instances of racism... while it was obviously not intended by the director to be racist, obviously by including scenes which featured racism, it would provoke certain reactions from the audience.. this is deliberate. but it seems some people cant differentiate a racist film, from a film about racism. in this is england's case, its clearly the latter.

likewise with this game, depending on how it deals with the matter of homosexuality (regardless of allegedly featuring a cure,) is what differentiates it from actually being homophobic, or merely a game which deals with homosexual themes.

if the game starts with an epilogue stating you are off to the land of the gays to use anti-gay sorcery against them, and your quest is to ensure they are all turned straight. then yes, it is probably homophobic.

if it were a story where you were a gay character who hated being gay living in a society that created a 'cure' for gays, who secretly admired somebody who happened to be the same gender as you and had the opportunity to 'cure' them with a pill, but in the end you accept them for who they are and get together and live happily ever after. yes, it would be a game that featured a cure for gays, but it would also have a positive message.

so, as you rightly said, it depends on what stance they take. personally, i cant see it being the former, where you are going around curing everyone who is gay, or where curing gays is randomly included in the game.

TruthisPainfull2275d ago

@Angeljuice
but ofc homesexuality is sickness, its sickness of a mind and as many things could be fixed with proper medicine... and don't even get me started its not, its is.. we are suppose to make sex to breed thats how we exist, homosexuality is altered state of mind in witch your sexual need are aimed against nature itself... just because you have strong lobby and being gay is OK now it doesn't mean its normal, might as well say that psychopath are OK since they were born that way... funny how that thinking only works your way...

as for article... as always no one bother to read it but comments on it...

-Gespenst-2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

@Baka-akaB

"I can't agree with the last part of your post . Writers can create utterly dreadful settings for a story without it necessarily being a reflection of their own core beliefs ."

Of course yeah, hence my points about Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. However, fiction containing such things usually, at least implicitly, also contains the author's judgement of those things. For example, it's obvious in Breaking Bad that meth addiction is a bad thing, and it's obvious in The Sopranos that racially motivated hate-crime is a bad thing. The way these things are portrayed display the intentions of the authors. They're not trying to make us think these are good things.

As for Orson Scott Card, he didn't really engage with the issues, of which he had dubious opinions, through fiction. He reserved fiction for more fantastical things. However, had his narratives concerned themselves with such things, you can sure they'd have been odiously handled. Then again, I haven't read everything he's done, so who knows? Maybe some of his opinions creep in here and there.

@pcz: Don't forget that intention isn't exactly something we can control with precision. Unquestioned beliefs can come to the fore and reveal that you assume certain dubious things about, you know, gay people, or black people and so on. You wouldn't call such racism intentional, but you could call it latent or assumed, habitual or unconscious. That is to say, it IS real, and it IS there in the person and in their text - it's not attached by critics, it's exposed by critics. You can be a racist and not know it, so to speak. It's important that authors be made to reflect upon and question these assumptions they have, and this is what critics can induce them to do.

The following quotes of yours are in total agreement with what I've been saying:

"if the game starts with an epilogue stating you are off to the land of the gays to use anti-gay sorcery against them, and your quest is to ensure they are all turned straight. then yes, it is probably homophobic.

if it were a story where you were a gay character who hated being gay living in a society that created a 'cure' for gays, who secretly admired somebody who happened to be the same gender as you and had the opportunity to 'cure' them with a pill, but in the end you accept them for who they are and get together and live happily ever after. yes, it would be a game that featured a cure for gays, but it would also have a positive message."

Nothing I disagree with here. Again, I don't really know what the REAL scenario of this Fire Emblem game is, but IF it were the case that the lesbian character saw her homosexuality as a weakness, and that homosexuality was seen in the game's world as a disease to be cured, and IF all of this was corroborated by the GOOD GUYS or HEROES of the game - if they championed such ideas - then you'd have to admit that the creators are likely homophobic. The heroes symbolize the moral judgement of the creators - they reflect the attitude the game has towards the subjects and ideas it tackles. My example there is no more or less homophobic than the example you give in my first quoting of you. Just to be sure, I'm not calling this game or its creator's homophobic or non-homophobic because I don't know what the actual scenario actually is.

Edit: whoa, sorry. I didn't realize how big this comment had gotten.

sonic9892275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

@truthispainful

i coundnt agree with you more buddy .
people seem to be thinking everything the law says is allowed then its right in my personal opinion i think mafias create our laws but anyway thats not the subject here .
homosexuality is a sickness i agree 100% because if its not then why the pedophiles are viewed differently oh because the law prohibits sex with people under the age of 18, ok what if the law didnt prohibit that , then its lawful as ugly as it is .
imo both are sickness and the law doesnt have any say at this .
what is wrong is wrong i hate when people say its the 21 century SO WHAT , so if i steal from you now its wrong but if i steal from you 50 years later it will be ok no what is wrong is wrong .
yeah and the adoption excuse LOL at max level .
dont fool yourself for a second the kid isnt your child you just raised the child but only with bad beliefs so you might have ruined his life by becoming homo himself or herself .
they should give the children to a normal couple to raise the child as nature designed it to be by a man and a woman .
there is a reason why nature designed it like that.
you gonna say why a man and a woman because he came from a man and a woman .

remixx1162275d ago

@Angel juice

"A pill that cures black people"

whoa whoa whoa playa calm down with all that fuzz let's not slide our way into dangerous waters.

Irishguy952274d ago (Edited 2274d ago )

"Supposed to have sex to breed"

XD yeahh, thats why condoms and abortions exist. Just saying, humans aren't so basic as to stick to instinct. ****, how many other animals believe in a God? I get where you're coming from, but humans have sex for fun mostly(vastly mostly). Not for kids.

Disease is a silly word to use for homosexuality. If you wanna say that, then I guess having sex for fun is also a disease, since you're not doing it for kids. People who have abortions have a disease too I guess

LightofDarkness2274d ago

Don't attempt to use reason here, irishguy. Even reporting homophobic comments like "homosexuality is a disease" elicits no response. This is not a matter of opinion mods. It's just as offensive as racial discrimination and hate speech.

We're outnumbered by the hate brigade here.

Kenshin_BATT0USAI2274d ago

@Irishguy

this is completely unrelated to the topic at hand and honestly I don't really have a horse in this race but condoms and abortions aren't 'natural'.
Not arguing whether being a homosexual is or isn't, but a type of plastic and surgical tools definitely don't grow on trees and we definitely aren't born with it.

Irishguy952273d ago (Edited 2273d ago )

Thats what i'm saying Kenshin. Just because something isn't "Natural" Doesn't make it a disease. Humans are NOT natural. We are not like any other animal on this planet. Saying sex is for kids is just so basic and shallow. I don't know one person who has sex for kids these days. Including myself.

People have sex because they love each other. They have sex for fun. They have sex for kids too sure. But mostly not for that. Its only one of many reasons to have sex.

+ Show (26) more repliesLast reply 2273d ago
MeteorPanda2275d ago

this conversation is glorious! Keep at it!

joab7772275d ago

Did I miss something? B/c the actual conversation makes it seem like he/she loved Kam no matter what was sex was seen. To me ot appears as if, in this case anyway, love transcends gender. So, what is all the notching about? Wouldn't ot be worse, supposedly, if he said, I love you but can't be with you b/c of this or that.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2273d ago
MrSwankSinatra2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

Wow talk about skewing the perception of the actual text. She wasn't even drugged if you actually read the text. How they came to that conclusion is beyond me.

nugget272275d ago

A "magic powder" is added to her drink without her knowing it. The connotations are clear as day

morganfell2275d ago

But they are making a mountain out of a molehill. The idea isn't to turn her sexuality. Its that she has no self control so the idea is to help her handle her sexuality without losing control, not alter her orientation.

kingdip902275d ago

You understand that in storytelling (a major part of video games) it's standard practice to tackle the ideas of right and wrong, how people identify themselves and how society pressures people to think right?

This isn't done to influence the players morality or even to point something out as wrong but simply to get the player thinking about that topic.

Is it wrong of a character to slip something into another character to alter the others perceptions and take advantage? Sure it is.

Is it wrong of a character to see themselves as weak for possessing a trait that the culture in game doesn't see as the norm? Not so much. It's unfortunate for that character and very unfair but it does reflect the very real feelings some people in the real world feel. In that respect it's good of an entertainment medium to explore the feelings that some people may find confusing and spur discussion hopefully leading them to the dissition that the character feeling that way is indeed unfair and the player shouldn't allow themselves to either feel that way or make others feel that way.

It is homophobic? Well does it state in game that homosexuality is wrong and must be cured with this poweder? No it doesn't force that point of view? Gay relationships are available you say? The frig no its hardly homophobic.

There is an opportunity here for a good conversation about identity and acceptance and it is squandered by articles such as this being dismissive and reactionary in its rejection of this potential for people to explore the topic.

Closed minded and the opposite of progressive. Art has to be provocative to push conversation and change...

Reactionary articles like this come from a closed minded space and are stifling. The writer should be ashamed of himself for his narrow almost conservative point of veiw.

BinaryMind2275d ago

Yet another example why mainstream media outlets should stop writing pseudo-intellectual articles when they don't know what they are talking about.

-Gespenst-2275d ago

Is this portrayed as a good or bad thing though? If the former then it's a problem.

Does the game portray this lesbian character's belief (that her attraction to women is a weakness), as a kind of delusion on her part, or does it support her in her belief? If the game suggests or implies that she is misguided and deluded for having such a belief, it's not really a problem.

And if the drugging is portrayed as an extension of this delusion and as a example of being really misguided, it's also not a problem.

It all depends on how it's framed and what attitude to her beliefs and behavior the game seems to have.

Zepherite2275d ago (Edited 2275d ago )

I'm not even sure it's saying the character considers being attracted to women being a weakness. The character faints around women she is attracted to. To me it seems it's the fainting that's the weakness.

The other character seeks to help with this by giving her the 'magic powder' that makes her see them as a woman too so as to condition her to not faint. The original intention is not to cure her being gay but actually facilitate it by conditioning her not to faint every time she's near someone she's attracted to (although not telling her about the 'magic powder' is a tad dubious')

In the end, the two fall in love anyway, despite the woman being gay and the other character being a man. Seems to me that the overall message is that it's the person inside that counts not the gender.

If I'm right, then this seems to be a more progressive attitude than some games.

Angeljuice2275d ago

Thanks for that clarification, you make a good point.

2275d ago
jimmywolf2275d ago

as much as people love too get their pitch forks an look for things too riot about this is a line they quoted from the game

Kamui: Uh. Since the day you saw me as a girl? You couldn't possibly mean... that you fell in love with the female me!?

Soleil: Yep!

Kamui: Oh God...

Soleil: But it's okay. Right now, I also love the male Kamui. I mean, when I drank that magic powder, I saw countless people as women... but the only one to make my heart throb was you, Kamui. Even now... my heart is beating fast. ... Hey, want to try touching my chest?

so they don't hate gays they even tell a interesting story with this character versus just a one dimensional i like boys/girls an end it their.

you don't have too agree with the story or like how it ends but in a world were we all want acknowledgement an power, you need too learn compromise an that you're not a unique snowflake.