Last weekend, my boyfriend and I were feeling extra lazy. To help pass the time sitting on the couch, we decided to download a bunch of games for my iPad. For some particular reason, I was really in the mood for a board game, and, as a result, one of our downloads ended up being The Game of Life app. I had never played it before, on the iPad or on a regular board (I know, what's wrong with me), but my boyfriend had played it and thought we should give it a try.
It's actually a relatively entertaining game, especially for a lazy weekend where moving from the couch is not an option. You spin a wheel to determine how many spaces you move (which is fun to do on the touch screen), you make bets, choose a career, get married, buy a home, have kids, lose your job, retire, etc. It's the game of life.
At some point, through no choice of my own, the game told me I had gotten married. Such is life I suppose. I wouldn't have minded so much, except for the fact that the concept of "marriage" was prominently displayed as an image of a man and a woman (see screen shot above).
I know The Game of Life is a kids games, and the game was first created around 1860 when LGBT rights and issues weren't as topical as they are today. However, the iPad was not around in 1860, and someone had to create this app sometime in the last year or two and choose to prominently display "marriage" as between a man and a woman.
I'm not asking for a picture of two men to represent "marriage" in the app, nor do I even want an option to choose what type of picture is displayed. I just think it would have been more appropriate, in this day and age, for Hasbro (trademark/copyright owner) and Electronic Arts (licensee/developer) to have depicted "marriage" as wedding bells, a heart, doves, etc., in other words, anything else besides a man and a woman.
I thought it'd be interesting to see if there was a correlation between the companies that produced The Game of Life app and their LGBT track records. Who knows, maybe there is some sinister plan in place to piss off all the LGBT bloggers who happen to play board games on their iPads and have nothing better to do than blog about their experiences with said board games.
To do that, I turned to the HRC's Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI scale spans from 0-100 based on a number of criteria, with 100 being the best. A score below about 45 is the worst category to be in and means that the company has "more work to do in furthering equality." Hasbro's CEI ended up being a 25, whereas Electronic Arts was in the best category and had a CEI of 90. Although the CEI criteria are entirely unrelated to pictures that turn up in an iPad app (as far as I know), I still thought it was interesting to see if there was some sort of correlation, and, at least for Hasbro, perhaps there is.
Anyways, this issue's not eating away at me...I probably won't lose any sleep over it. Perhaps one day, though, The Game of Life iPad app will get a new "marriage" picture and the LGBT bloggers will once again be at peace with the world.
Posted by Travis Brandon