The upcoming MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which has been in beta testing, was looking promising. The game has been getting positive reviews and folks have generally been having fun. I had been meaning to write a positive review of the game and community. Folks on my server, Balmung, are generally friendly and I met anyone obnoxious, offensive, or hateful (yet!). I was also delighted to find that the character design doesn’t seem to just be pandering to straight men. Body types could be more diverse, but at least the female characters don’t look like pin-up girls in floss for armor. I am excited to play a seven-foot-tall, muscular warrior woman:
Some of the armor that is skimpy on female characters is even skimpy on male characters, such as the infamous subligar armor:
Some straight male players complain about their avatar in a speedo and don’t see the irony!
So, despite a lot to be excited about, there is a big problem with FFXIV so far: homophobia.
Those of us planning to role-play have been researching the game’s lore in preparation for launch on August 27. One big question is: what are the in-character views on homosexuality? For those of us playing gay and bisexual characters, should we plan on stories dealing with being a sexual minority in a homophobic world, or should we expect sexual orientation is no big deal?
Well, according to the development team, most Eorzeans don’t really care what your sexual orientation is:
In general, how open-minded is the average Eorzean? (ex. Accept same-sex couples? Those who do not believe in the Twelve?)
Answer: Though many of the races experienced rocky pasts, currently, tolerance is, for the most part, the norm in Eorzea. The main reason behind this being that the region is a veritable melting pot of races who have worked together throughout recent history to survive the hardships thrust upon them. This does not mean that there are do not exist groups which are significantly more closed-minded. For example, while Gridania and Limsa Lominsa are fairly open about having dealings with the some of the more amicable beast tribes (such as the sylphs, goblins, and Qiqirn), the sultanate of Ul’dah are wary of the tribes, in part due to their prolonged conflict with the Amalj’aa.
OK, so some characters might be homophobic, but most don’t think anything of someone’s sexual orientation. Then, what doesn’t make sense is the in-game policy on marriage:
Q: Will it be possible to get married? Also, will same-sex marriages be possible?
As for same-sex marriage, this is an extremely controversial topic that has been under discussion in the MMO world for the past few years. First we would like to start out with opposite-sex marriage, and then consider the feedback from our players in order to make a careful decision.I can’t say whether or not it will be possible at this point in time. I’d like to keep dialog open with our players as we deliberate the matter.