Star Wars ‘Gay Planet’ Upsets Advocates and Opponents Alike

If you run a popular video game and you're on the fence about including gay themes, what's the best way to make everyone happy? Not like this. Bioware, creator of Star Wars: The Old Republic, announced this week that it will finally add same-sex relationships to the year-old massively multiplayer game—but only on one planet. What was supposed to be a first step toward making the game more inclusive has instead sparked complaints from all sides.

Ad of the Day: Mass Effect 3

Draftfcb San Francisco's new Mass Effect 3 spot does something few video-game ads have the confidence to try: It mixes live-action footage with shots created by the game's graphics engine.

EA to Float Copies of ‘Mass Effect 3’ Into Near Space

Beginning on Thursday, EA and Bioware will promote their video-game space odyssey Mass Effect 3 by sending copies of the game into near space via weather balloons in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris. Fans will be able to collect the game well ahead of the release date if they can snag the copies that float back to Earth—assuming they have the necessary hardcore science to guestimate its landing position based on atmospheric conditions (or, I suppose, pure luck). Game industry comic Penny Arcade suggests this marketing decision was made because it was far less lethal than sending the fans themselves into near-space. Another interesting decision this time around was to include the female version of Commander Shepard in the marketing. Though you’ve always been able to choose a feminine avatar for Shepard, she was never featured in any of the cinematic trailers. Check the trailer below to see the FemShep, as she is known, that fans selected over Facebook. After the jump, see the latest cinematic feature with the male version of Shepard, as well as the requisite live-action trailer.