Sony Rules of Conduct

Given the issue raised by Sara’s dispute with Blizzard over her use of the phrase “not LGBT only, but LGBT friendly” led me to research Sony’s Rules of Conduct. Here’s what I found:

You agree not to do any of the following while on The Station or in any SOE Communication Feature:

  1. transmit any message, information, data, text, software or graphic files, or other materials (“Content”) that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, that may be invasive of another’s right of privacy or publicity, hateful, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;

That’s my own added emphasis on the words “otherwise objectionable”, since I think that’s the only language in Sony’s Rules of Conduct that has a prayer of covering the phrase “LGBT friendly”. Of course, in my book that’s not very objectionable at all. Nor do I see much interest at SOE in censoring folks. In particular, they never cracked down on the many political discussions that used to take place on the Qeynos Crafting Channel. But then, the language above makes no mention of political speech, unlike Blizzards.

The ooc channel in Antonica can be pretty annoying at times, with all sorts of juvenile and sometimes lewd remarks. The general attitude in game is: “That’s what /ignore is for”.

So, I don’t think anyone will be cited or suspended for advertising themselves or their guild as LGBT-friendly. If the topic of gayness makes you uncomfortable, I’d like you to consider my personal story.

When I was a young man (2990 years ago), I too was pretty uncomfortable with the subject. Of course, that discomfort made me want to avoid the subject. I remember being scandalized when I attended a church in which a man whom I knew to be openly gay was assisting in the service in some small way. That was really the first real gay man I knew. He turned out to be one of many. Over the years I have had many colleagues, co-workers, friends and even a relative that was gay or lesbian.

There’s Greg, who was a co-worker. We worked on some tech project together. He made no secret of his gayness, having participated in campaigning for domestic partner benefits, but it was never an agenda item. Greg was a very early employee of a Silicon Valley success story, and so was able to take early retirement. On his last day, we had lunch, and I told him that at first I had been kind of uncomfortable with his gayness. I’ll never forget his response. He said simply, “me too.” I then confided that some months earlier, when we were working on something together, he had stood behind my desk chair looking at my monitor and had laid his hand on my shoulder, which had given me pause, though nothing came of it. He then looked me in the eye and said, “Toldain, if only you weren’t married”. (Well, ok, he used my RL name, but you get the idea). I got a really big laugh out of that one, and so did he.

Greg’s just one of many for me. Each of these people had the courage to be out of the closet, and were strong, decent people. At least as much as the straight people I know, anyway. Which is why I’ve come 180 degrees from that discomfort I had as a young man. That’s why I took my teenage children to visit the two gay men that had new baby twins which they had gone to great lengths to get. I am convinced that they will be great parents. Love knows no boundaries. And I’m not talking about sex.

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