League of Legends design director Greg Street defends plans to introduce a gay character to the game. Responding to a fan on social media, Street says that adding a gay character is just “a reflection of Earth circa 2017.”
Street’s latest comments come not long after he confirmed that League of Legends would include an LGBT character ‘at some point’ in the future.
League of Legends Gay Character Would Be a ‘Reflection of Earth’
When a fan expressed concerns that “liberal politics” would ‘force’ their way into games, thus preventing them from having a ‘fun experience,’ Street took to his personal Tumblr to respond. While the design director recognised that the player didn’t begin playing League of Legends because they “wanted [their] own political or social beliefs challenged,” Street also encouraged the disgruntled fan to realise that “a lot of gamers out there may not have the same values as you do (or that we do for that matter).”
Street also said that “Having an openly gay character or punishing a player for calling another player a racial slur doesn’t feel political to me. It’s just a reflection of Earth circa 2017.” Moreover, “For some players (like me), it seems really weird when a game doesn’t acknowledge that the real world of other gamers or the fictional world of game characters are diverse places with different religions, genders, skin colors, and economic statuses.”
Street also told the League of Legends player that it was neither “fair” or “healthy” to “wall yourself off (in a game or anywhere) from the diversity that the world offers.” He also quoted Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan, who has previously spoken of the need for inclusive and diverse games, saying “We no longer look at the cultural sensitivity as a land mine or as an obligation. We look at it as an opportunity.”
Although many will be glad to see that the League of Legends designer is standing his ground, that’s not to say that he and the rest of the development team will add a gay character tomorrow. When previously discussing adding LGBT characters, Street noted the international legal difficulties that developer Riot Games would face, something which he again reiterated in another Tumblr post.
Saying that he does think there would be a “canonically LGBT champion” (meaning that the LGBT character would be playable in the game), legal or cultural issues in other countries are “real considerations.” Once more, Street voiced his support for telling an LGBT character’s “full story” outside of the game, also adding that “the bigger deal you make about it, the more likely the chance is of running afoul of laws or cultural norms somewhere.”
Unfortunately, Street’s latest comments don’t mean that players are any closer to playing said gay (or L, B, or T) character but the fact that he has stood by his initial statement is certainly no bad thing.
Like this post? Like J Station X on Facebook.