Final Fantasy XI Online Same-Sex Marriage sign now


North American players of the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) Final Fantasy XI Online have been eagerly awaiting the release of the new in-game wedding services that were first offered to Japanese players several months ago. From the very beginning, details about the new serviceswhich are intended to allow in-game couples to have virtual weddingshave been scarce. One of the chief points of speculation about these new wedding services, though, was in whether or not Square Enix would prohibit same-sex characters from also taking advantage of these services. As of the June 4th update in the Compendium section of the games software, this issue has apparently been laid to rest. The very last requirement, below the minimum job level requirements for wedding characters, states that, The characters to be wed must be of different genders.

Although this is just a game world, and any marriages that take place in the world of Vanadiel (the fictional world of FFXI) are purely for entertainment reasons, Square Enix has set itself up in a position that seems blatantly discriminatory against certain segments of its customer base. I was personally astounded by the news when I heard it, because I had always had the impression that Square Enix was a progressive and forward-thinking company that pushed entertainment with its rich and unforgettable stories and brilliant game environments. I couldnt imagine for an instant that this really amazing company, who preached in their games about noble ideals and good and warmth and love and friendship and open-mindedness, and a million other wonderful qualities, would itself take a position that betrayed the very values that it sold to its fan base. My very first reaction was to write a very emotional and pleading letter through the companys suggestion and complaint channels about how unfair their opposite-gender requirements for weddings seemed. The reply was even more disheartening, because it came in the guise of a generic form letter that acknowledge receipt of my comment, but promised that any further replies were improbable. So this is my next stand, and I take it with many others beyond myself in mind.

We should begin an online petition to let Square Enix know exactly what we think about their new gender requirements for in-game weddings. If enough people come forward and show their support for allowing all characters and couples, regardless of their gender, to wed in-game as they choose, then maybe we can send a message to Square Enix that what theyre doing just doesnt seem fair. Countless MMORPGs that have come before FFXI havent hesitated to allow characters to openly marry regardless of their gender, and it just doesnt seem right that Square Enix would choke over a point that already has established precedents. This is a fantasy game in which hundreds of thousands of people play. If we lose sight of the fact that were all here to have fun and enjoy ourselves, and we start making rules and requirements that unnecessarily exclude our fellow players and friends from basic game experiences (like being able to be wed to another character were affectionate of) based on things as trivial as gender, then the game starts to become less and less fun for those who are being excluded. In a game where everything is carefully monitored and designed to ensure balance and fairness, Square Enixs arbitrary decision to disallow same-sex weddings throws off the illusion of a fun and fair place where we can enjoy ourselves, and begins to create an atmosphere that is conducive, no matter how subtle it is, to discrimination against its players based on their choices in love and romance.

This petition is a direct plea to Square Enix from the customers who support the company asking them to please reevaluate their position on same-sex marriages in their MMORPG Final Fantasy XI Online. It would take so little to keep the game fun and fair for everyone, and it would mean so much to so many people if Square Enix would reassess the discriminatory position they have taken towards a significant number of their customers. Please let everyone, regardless of gender or romantic orientation, wed as they choose! We all deserve to be in love, no matter how fictional that love might be, with whom we choose. If two female or two male characters want to be wed, they deserve the same right that every other polar (male/female) couple is given to express their in-game relationship. Square Enix, please give us all the right to wed as we choose! Thank you!

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Lorrie FreemanBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
Square Enix

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