Real world ethics and gaming?

It is often debated whether videogames are ruining the morals and ethics of youth, however, I have a different dilemma in mind. The question at hand is, “Is it acceptable to buy a game or other form of entertainment if you know that one of the people who created it holds views that you strongly disagree with?”

This is not a hypothetical situation, but rather one based firmly in our modern world for it seems that noted science fiction writer Orson Scott Card, who wrote a column for Compute magazine for many years, has a few things in the works that are of interest to me. He is working on the Advent trilogy of games, the makers of A Tale in the Desert have just just announced a MMORPG based on one of his stories, and he is going to write Ultimate Iron Man for Marvel comics. And he is also an outspoken critic of homosexuality and gay marriage.

I’m not here to debate if he is right or wrong. I can’t change your mind and you can’t change mine. I also think he has every right to say and think whatever he wants. The question is, just because he is involved in something that sounds interesting, should I support him by giving him my money? I don’t think I will, but I’m interested in what others think.

4 Comments Showing 50 most recent
  1. MendicantMonkey

    I would also refrain from supporting him. Personally, I haven’t bought Half-Life 2 because of the Steam activation, and I probably won’t buy Battlefield 2 because of EA’s monopoly moves.

  2. Tony

    If the game/comic book/other form of entertainment in question has insinuations of his points of view, then I think you’d be justified in avoiding said products. But how many gay-haters (or hetero-haters) work at Blizzard or Sony or Electronic Arts who keep their mouths shut? Would it affect your purchasing decision if you were aware of an offender there? Would you support Card if he was pro-gay/pro-gay marriage even if you didn’t care for his work?

    If his games or work fall into a category that you enjoy, then enjoy them but don’t hesitate to drop them if you feel they are becoming “preachy”.

  3. meredith

    I agree with you, Bryan. Once I find out information about someone like you found out about Card, I can’t support them. Even if the work doesn’t include his homophobia, by giving him money you’re still giving him an implicit “ok,” and that makes me feel ooky.
    Tony brings up an interesting point when he asks if you’d buy someone’s work just because you agree with them politically, even if their work wasn’t good. I don’t think I would. I wouldn’t vote for a woman just because she’s a woman, so I wouldn’t buy a comic just because the writer was pro-gay or pro-woman if the comic sucked. If you did, you’d be supporting something you dont’ like — inferior work. In both cases, you’re refusing to support something you don’t like.

  4. hotspur

    I find that gaming and political/social issues easily fit into different niches in my life. As long as the work ITSELF had no explicit agenda and I was interested in it, I would buy it. I really don’t care what viewpoints Orson supports in his off hours, so long as it doesn’t bleed into the game itself.