Fantasy MMORPG Runescape kicks off its LGBT pride event today. The holiday is described as “small” by developer Jagex but aims to “spread more love and support for some of our LGBT community” within the browser game.
Runescape follows a long line of games that have hosted LGBT pride events. Guild Wars 2 players held an LGBT pride march last year, while a Grand Theft Auto 5 mod brought an LGBT pride parade to the streets of Los Santos.
Runescape LGBT Pride Event Announced
— Mod Wolf 🐺 (@JagexWolf) June 5, 2017
The LGBT pride event was announced on Twitter by Mod Wolf, a QA analyst for the Old School Runescape team (the Old School game is the classic version of Runescape preserved in 2007). The event sees players collect pieces of rainbow from around the game’s world, putting them together to create a rainbow scarf.
Speaking to Motherboard, Jagex’s acting vice president of publishing Neil McClarty called the Runescape LGBT pride event “a bit of fun.” The executive also said that Jagex is a “very inclusive company made up of lots of different nationalities and both sexes, and we have LGBT people working across the company and we wholeheartedly support them and the wider LGBT community.”
Unfortunately, but not entirely unexpected, there has been some backlash to the event. While plenty of players seem on-board, there are some who have accused the company of being too political for ‘taking a stand’ on such an issue. These players seem to disregard other in-game events such as the Jagex and WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) partnership which saw players speak to WWF conservationists about the struggles of big cats before helping to rebuild their habitats.
Some LGBTQ players have also asked whether this means that Jagex will remove the word ‘gay’ from the Runescape chat filter. Jagex may be inclusive but as Mod Wolf points out, “many people still use it as a derogatory term” so it will be staying on the banned word list for now. “Perhaps they have something to learn from this event,” asks the QA analyst.
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