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Representation matters - romance in media

 
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Stuff it, more bread, or better stuff
Stuff it
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More bread
50%
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Kick over the establishment!
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 2

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Timpie



Joined: 28 Jul 2013
Posts: 249
Location: Mainland Europe - Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:44 pm    Post subject: Representation matters - romance in media Reply with quote

Hey folks, I was looking around the internet and for Christmas the video game company released a comic about their videogame Overwatch. In the comic, one of their main cast was shown to have a same sex relationship. The character in question, Tracer was shown to have a relationship with another woman.

Now on the topic of 'Does representation matter' we can easily say 'obviously', but I'm here with the question, 'is there more need for specific representation?'

My thought is that media just needs more representation, but since in this establishment it's 'take what you can get', I occasionally see people scoff at the 'token gay white male'. Should people that say things like that just 'stuff it' and be happy with what they get, be all 'Oliver twist' and ask for more, or kick over the plate and demand better representation?

Sorry in advance if the tone is a little casual.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To help frame the issue, the majority of the derisive or otherwise objecting commentary from people who are upset that Tracer has been openly portrayed as non-heterosexual mostly can be summed up by them saying "Why did you go and politicize her sexuality? This is a game, not social justice commentary."

When you really unpack that statement, that even the very expression of a character's identity as nonstandard is now "politicizing" or part of some sort of activism, shows you how a regressive and toxic praxis can be unaware of its own normative exclusion. They don't understand why it's super weird that they cannot see a non-heterosexual expression of sexuality as nonpolitical, yet they accept heterosexual expression of sexuality without objection because it challenges nothing they want to see maintained as the standard.
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Arc Tempest



Joined: 27 Jan 2007
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Timpie, but I really don't understand what you're asking.

On Tracer in general, my initial reaction was "oh, neat" because her orientation means precisely bupkis to me, but it's nice to see folks who have been traditionally ignored or grossly exploited get a good, well rounded character. Particularly in this case since Tracer is the face of the franchise.

Seeing the reaction of others... I keep swinging between amusement and sheer horror. From "ha ha, this sad sack is going nuts because someone they play is gay" to "holy shit these fuckers really can't stand the idea of gay people existing." See also, the comic was banned in Russia for violating their "gay propaganda" ban.

The comic, for folks who haven't read it yet. Highly recommend the comics and animated shorts, even for people who don't play the game.
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Timpie



Joined: 28 Jul 2013
Posts: 249
Location: Mainland Europe - Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, the question is a bit of an odd one, but it's mostly about how a question of how the LBGTQA+ community should respond to something such as this? While the manner in which Blizzard has show Tracer is quite respectful (no queerbaiting or beating around the bush), it has taken them as long as it has before even showing this singular character's non heteronormative orientation.

The cynic in me would take this as just another publicity stunt to underline the company's 'progressive' nature, not at all caring to break any boundaries or to push the envelope at all. So should a community be 'happy' with this gesture in a 'take what you can get' fashion, or should they grade this a D- for their Milquetoast imlplementation of a queer couple?
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Arc Tempest



Joined: 27 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silly question: why do you think the community should have a single objective response to a fundamentally subjective piece of art?
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Timpie



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't think a community of individuals would ever agree on a single objective response. I was just hoping to hear some opinions is all
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Arc Tempest



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, my mistake.

Personal opinion, baby steps of progress are still progress. But then, straight white guy, so I'm hilariously unqualified to really talk about representation in media outside of a handful of ultra-niche cases.

It was a bit weird that it took so long, given that Blizzard has been on record saying that multiple characters would be gay since before the game came out (har dee har har).
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Vixine



Joined: 12 Jan 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think with the Tracer thing, it was that she was not originally shown/known to be in a lesbian relationship. I don't think I've ever seen a single person complain that Alphys and Undyne are SJW pandering because they're in lesbians because that's always been known canon. I have seen people say as much about Dumbledore being declared gay a decade later.
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Sam the Eagle



Joined: 01 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
To help frame the issue, the majority of the derisive or otherwise objecting commentary from people who are upset that Tracer has been openly portrayed as non-heterosexual mostly can be summed up by them saying "Why did you go and politicize her sexuality? This is a game, not social justice commentary."

When you really unpack that statement, that even the very expression of a character's identity as nonstandard is now "politicizing" or part of some sort of activism, shows you how a regressive and toxic praxis can be unaware of its own normative exclusion. They don't understand why it's super weird that they cannot see a non-heterosexual expression of sexuality as nonpolitical, yet they accept heterosexual expression of sexuality without objection because it challenges nothing they want to see maintained as the standard.


Dumb question : Why can't it be read as, 'if this doesn't infer with the game why should we give a fuck about how this or that character do with their naughty bits?'. To me, it looks like the whole 'Dumbledore is gay' non-issue as Vixine mentioned.

No offence, but you use sentences like 'toxic praxis'; 'normative exclusion' that may sound right with all the cool kids but sounds arrogant/elitist with non first-world people. Is that important?
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Timpie



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because saying "Some straight folk have problems with gay people existing" is a little too harsh for some.

Blizzard expands on their characters background/personality to rise them above the flatness of a pong paddle, and if someone comes out happening to be gay, a whole bunch of dudebros get in an uproar that their game is getting 'politicized', etc... Somehow if characters aren't shown as lesbians for eye-candy reasons, it's a problem.

Also, I'm thinking not a lot of folk took issue with Undertale as it's an indie title. It's not a senior game company with worldwide representation that's releasing it, just one Homestuck fanboy
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