Staff Reviews

The Ungay Games


Shadow Complex, a small-scale, downloadable video game for the Xbox 360, combines game play elements from classic side scrollers like Metroid with state-of-the-art 3D animation. It's at the forefront of what's been dubbed "2.5D" —two-dimensional game play given a three-dimensional polish. It has earned raves but also many calls for a boycott.

The problem isn't the content; it's the creator. One of the men behind the game is the science fiction novelist Orson Scott Card. Card is a Mormon who has long been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage and who has speculated that homosexuality is a product of parental abuse. Card didn't design Shadow Complex, but it takes place in a futuristic world of his creation.

Unpleasant as Card's views may be, they didn't manifest themselves in the game, and calls for boycott have gone mostly unheeded. If Shadow Complex's record sales are any indication, what most gamers want isn't a political statement but—surprise!—a good game.