When written right, it can be appropriate for the Star Wars universe
Others have expressed the worry that this type of romance may not fit into the setting of The Old Republic. Yet, this topic is something that has already been used in Star Wars, specifically Knights of the Old Republic. Plus, BioWare isn't exactly a company that has been scared away by controversy before, specifically including the ability to romance same gender crewmembers in Mass Effect 1 and 2.
An important part to take away from this is that the romance is written for Star Wars. As I said in the opening of the piece, this isn't going to be in-your-face, omg sexual romance. That's not the nature of Star Wars at all and the writers know it. It's all about that subtle tension that exists in the movies between romantically involved individuals. Plus, as we all know, it was partially romance that caused the downfall of Anakin Skywalker, making love a very interesting subject in Star Wars.
But what about the kids?
The strongest piece of the argument against SGRAs is the topic of having children interact with this content. Romance in general, beyond same gender or opposite gender relationships, is really a tricky matter with kids. When is it the right time to talk to them about the nature and dynamics of love?
"If you don't want your child dealing with these matters, then perhaps they shouldn't be spending time online in a MMORPG, where you have very little control over what other people say and do."
If you don't want your child dealing with these matters, then perhaps they shouldn't be spending time online in a MMORPG, where you have very little control over what other people say and do. When it comes to dealing with people online, same gender romance arcs are really the least of your worries. If I were a parent, I'd be more concerned with what people were saying to my child in party or local chat.
It comes down to the parent to make the decision on whether or not their child should play online with others and experience the things the world has to offer, both bad and good. Like it or not, gay people, bisexual people, and transgendered people exist in the world, and it's up to us to talk to our children appropriately about all of this. Plus, if you want them to be online, there are certainly plenty of good, kid friendly games out there.
So what are we afraid of?
Even as we sit here and talk about this, The Old Republic's forums are still churning in debate over these issues. The SGRA thread has been remade 7 times at the posting of this article, mostly because people are locked in heated discussion.
So what are we afraid of then? Well, I honestly don't know. Maybe because I'm transgendered, or maybe it's because I'm pretty tolerant of others, but I really don't see the problem with including this type of content as long as it's tastefully done. Because it's BioWare behind it, I know it will be pretty decent writing and not something that I'd want others to avoid. Sure, BioWare's romances may not be the best (I usually find many of their romance arcs to be a little forced), but they're not exactly horrible stories.
So let's let everyone have the option to pursue the romance arcs they're interested in. No one's putting a gun to the back of your head and forcing you to engage with a same gender storyline. Just like the rest of the game, follow the path that you wish to pursue. Make the choices you want to make. Why should we limit ourselves and exclude others?
As for me? Personally, I'm just not one for romance in the least.
Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who likes options (because options are fun) and doesn't want anyone to feel left out. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog,The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at seraphina AT massively DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.