Shadow Complex is a fun game. It is probably one of the best games I’ve played this year so far. Considering that it’s an Xbox Live Arcade game that only cost $15, that’s quite impressive. It plays in the sidescrolling style of Metroid or Castlevania, but sports some incredible graphics a la the Unreal Engine. It’s open, fun and full of secrets. They simply don’t make games like this anymore, and I’m loving it.
However, not all gamers feel the same way. You see, there’s actually a discussion going on in some circles about whether or not gamers should boycott the game, due to Orson Scott Card, the author whose world the game takes place in (note: he actually had little to do with the creation of the game) being a perceived homophobe and a political campaigner against gay rights such as marriage. This is actually a pretty complicated issue, and one that I’m simply not understanding in its entirety.
It’d be one thing if Card had direct involvement with the game. Even then, I’d disagree with the boycott calls, but I’d understand them a little more. It’d also be another thing if Card actually said hateful things or committed some kind of hate crime. However, all I can tell is that Card is simply a conservative religious man with opinions that not everyone agrees with.
While I think it’s anyone’s right to boycott a game for whatever reason they choose, it seems a little hypocritical to call for all gamers to disassociate themselves with everything one person does simply because they disagree with their opinions. It seems like bigotry in and of itself, after accusing Card of being a bigot. I can guarantee that if I distanced myself from every creative person (or product I purchased) because of one person’s involvement whose opinions I disagreed with, I’d have a lot less cool stuff.
Making a game takes the co-operation of dozens, if not hundreds of people, all with their own opinions. Are we to start canvasing each development team with surveys to make sure that all of our views match up? I think it’s completely unfair to the Shadow Complex team to be potentially suffering because of these boycott calls, when the man in question didn’t even have hardly anything to do with the game. Like I said, it’s fine for an individual to decide what they want, but calling for it on a massive scale because of your own personal convictions to me doesn’t seem like the answer.
So where do you guys weight in on these issues? Do you think the call for a boycott is justified? Remember, this isn’t exactly a discussion about homosexuality or gay rights, but feel free to voice your own thoughts if you can do so tastefully. And lastly, have you played Shadow Complex, and isn’t it freaking cool?