Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, set for release on August 27, has received quite a few inquiries from players in the MMORPG community about the possibility of marriage.
Same-sex marriage, in particular, is causing quite the stir. Recent developments within the LGBTQ community and their fight for marriage equality, such as the repeal of Prop 8 and DOMA, have definitely softened the taboo for some of these issues to be discussed within certain industries, and in this case, the gaming industry.
The folks on the development team, when asked about marriage in the game, stated:
“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.”
Although I do respect them for at least considering the idea of equality, I can’t help but think of the other games out there that already allow for same-sex relations. Mass Effect and Fable 3, for example, did just fine despite having this option.
I don’t understand what is keeping Square Enix from allowing these marriages. I think if Square Enix would really pay attention, the answers are already at their doorstep. Most gamers today wouldn’t have a problem with same-sex couples in-game because it doesn’t affect their game, even if they are against same-sex marriage in general.
In light of recent historical decisions I think the feedback Square Enix is looking for has already made its case. I can see why Square Enix might be concerned about going forward with same-sex marriage, but in my experience, games can lead the way for social change outside of the gaming world because they have an audience that understands diversity.
I think it might actually be a good step forward, and it might just encourage people to talk about the game even more, considering it is such a controversial subject.