Melbourne, Jan 31 (ANI): The video game Star Wars: The Old Republic has outraged US Christian group the Family Research Council by allowing characters to have same sex relationships.
The game's developer Bioware has recently published a same-sex romance component update for the multiplayer online game after receiving complaints from gamers.
The decision has caused outrage after BioWare said in 2009 that "gay" and "lesbian" don't exist in the Star Wars universe.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington said Star Wars gamers have "already gone to the dark side".
"In a new Star Wars game, the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists!" the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying on the organisation's website.
"Since the announcement, homosexuals have been celebrating the news, but parents sure aren't. Their kids will be exposed to this Star Warped way of thinking.
"You can join them by logging on and speaking up. It's time to show companies who the Force is really with!" he said.
Star Wars: the Old Republic, which launched in December in the US, is one of the most expensive games ever created, with Bioware reported to have spent a rumoured 100 million dollars creating it.
The game features more than 4000 characters and lets players create avatars that correspond to eight character classes, such as Jedi knights, Sith warriors, smugglers and bounty hunters.
Gameplay allows players to chat with other characters in the hope of unlocking missions, learning more about the plot, demonstrating morality and forming virtual bonds - romantic or otherwise.
Despite the controversy, many gamers posted on the Star Wars: The Old Republic that they welcome the new update.
"Bioware has a long history of having romance-able companions for both heterosexual and homosexual preferences, and there is absolutely no reason for them to not do the same here," said a gamer using the character Auricelia.
"If I want to be gay on one toon and straight on another then thats my prerogative. There never should have been a discrimination between the two in the first place," said gamer Voiicu. (ANI)
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