Friday, August 21, 2009

Should gay gamers boycott Shadow Complex?

Should gay gamers boycott Shadow Complex? That was the question posed by one NeoGAFfer yesterday. What prompted the query? Well, the Xbox Live Arcade title is based on Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel, Empire, and Card, according to the NeoGAFfer in question, "is a notorious homophobe."

Twenty-four hours and hundreds of comments later, NeoGAFfers are still discussing the subject--as are visitors to GayGamer.net and Gamasutra.com, both of which have posted op-ed pieces devoted to the controversy.

"When Shadow Complex was announced, I personally was torn," shares Gamasutra's Christian Nutt. "I'd already long since made the conscious decision to not support Orson Scott Card directly with my money." On the other hand, he also "would like nothing more than to play a new game developed in the vein of some of my personal favorites--Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Super Metroid."

GayGamer.net's Dawdle was similarly torn by the situation, though he did offer up a solution. "I think if you're obviously too disgusted to enjoy the game, avoid it and speak out," he writes. "However, if you want to play the game, play it... but offset the hate: If you buy Shadow Complex, donate $5, $10, $15--if you can spare it--to a gay charity."

In addition, "in message boards or user reviews, in blogs or tweets, if it comes up, let people know exactly what Card has said on the matter and where--and damn him with his own language."

Steve Demeter: The man behind the Americanization of Mother 3's Magypsies

I recently interviewed Steve Demeter, creator of the successful iPhone game, Trism, for an article that can be found on The Advocate's website. After grilling him (not really) about that title for nearly an hour, I geeked out and asked about his involvement with the fan translation of Nintendo's cult classic GameBoy Advance game, Mother 3.

Apparently, Tomato (aka Clyde Mandelin, the man responsible for getting the project off the ground) approached Demeter early on in the process and asked him to play a key role in the game's translation. "He knew I had been involved with [the unofficial release of] Earthbound Zero back in the day and said he'd love it if I could put my stamp on this game as well," Demeter remembers.

Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right and Demeter couldn't help with the translation. He also couldn't help edit the translated script, the second option offered by Mandelin. Despite the fact that he was knee-deep in the development of Trism, however, Demeter couldn't turn down Mandelin's third option: translating the text related to Mother 3's fabulously flamboyant Magypsies.

Mandelin's only demand, according to Demeter: "He wanted me to sass it up. And that's just what I did. I basically thought of some of the queens I've met in the Castro as I worked on each character. I could hear their voices in my head. I took hold of those personas and put them into the game."