Saturday, April 13, 2024
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FIFA 23’s portayal of the Qatar World Cup is certainly a choice

Yesterday EA released a ‘Deep Dive’ feature around the Qatar World Cup experience in FIFA 23, highlighting some of the different stadiums, game modes and what players could look forward to in regards to seasonal content.

FIFA is a series that, to be frank, I have no real opinion of. If you like football, I hope you enjoy it. If you don’t like football, then this article is going to suck for you and I’m sorry.

Currently the World Cup is an interesting, but painful subject for the LGBTQ+ community. Why? Because the upcoming World Cup is based in Qatar, a country that isn’t exactly known for being all chummy about queer folks. Actually, that’s putting it rather lightly so let me be blunt: it is illegal to be in a same-sex relationship in Qatar and you can face persecution for it. If you happen to be Muslim and engage in same-sex activities, you face the death penalty. So, as you may have gathered, having a World Cup hosted in Qatar has been a controversial choice from the get-go. And that’s not even touching on the fact that over 6000 migrant workers have died while working to get everything ready for the event.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you this isn’t a small controversy either, but something that says a lot about our world leaders willingness to placate dangerous ideals, maybe politicians telling LGBTQ+ fans to ‘cool it with your gay sh*t’ in order to be respectful will.

With all this in mind, as Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett pointed out, is what made a certain feature in FIFA 23 feel so strange to be highlighted in the first place. The feature is aptly titled ‘Matchday Experience‘, which is where digitalized football fans lose their minds over the footie, cheering and waving their flags around like no tomorrow. On the surface, it’s quite a nice feature to bring you immersion of an actual football match. On the other hand, it’s a bit weird to see a video game rewrite the narrative surrounding the actual Qatar World Cup of 2022 when the outcry against it has been this loud.

Of course, I don’t lay the blame out at EA’s feet. I don’t doubt for a second there will be people who are going to lose their minds over the footie just like they do in FIFA 23, happy as larry to cheer on their own country, perhaps ignorant to what’s happening in Qatar. But I also can’t shake the fact that this feels wrong, either.

Gayming Staff

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