Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lord of the Rings game drops marriage option to avoid gay controversy

Lord of the Rings Online Drops Marriage Feature

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar hasn't even been out for a week, and already in-game policy is drawing flak from players. No, not about the inability of Hobbits to wear shoes, but the removal of same-sex marriages -- and marriage entirely, actually. The developers claim the decision to not allow gay marriages between player characters stems from their adherence to Tolkien lore.

Speaking to Salon, Turbine designer Nik Davidson spoke on the topic:

"The rule that we tried to follow across the board was: if there's an example of it in the book, the door is open to explore it. Very rarely will you see an elf and a human hook up, but it does happen; the door is open. Dwarves don't intermarry with hobbits; that door is shut... Did two male hobbits ever hook up in the shire and have little hobbit civil unions? No. The door is shut."

He then elaborated on the fact that gay marriage wouldn't mesh well with Tolkien's belief structure:

"Tolkien was a conservative Catholic. He went out drinking with C.S. Lewis every night, and the two of them had a worldview that was -- well, let's just say it clashes a little bit with the sensibilities of East Coast liberals who make up the largest population of Turbine."

This is rich! People want to start imposing their own perversities in the game, and -- horror of horrors, the developers are sticking by Tolkien's beliefs instead.

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