LGBT Pride month has grown from relative obscurity, to join the likes of Black history month as a nationally acknowledged celebration. With that level of public awareness comes businesses trying to market themselves using Pride, gaming companies as well.
Twitch got in on the action right away, they started June off by offering a slew of pride themed features.
The streaming service also released some pride-themed emotes, which hopefully go over better than the KFC emote, and they will be featuring LGBT streamers and employees throughout the month. There will be pride fundraisers, and the streaming service will also participate in the pride parade in San Francisco. Becky Brown, Twitch’s community campaign manager, put out a statement on their blog:
Our community is strongest and our creators make the best content when everyone on Twitch feels like they belong and can be themselves. Since diversity and inclusivity are core principles of Twitch, we have planned an entire month of events and fundraisers dedicated to promoting and maintaining these values.
Sony is also showing their support of pride month. You can download a new pride inspired Playstation 4 theme right now. This theme is called “For all the players” and is full of rainbow colors. No new sounds unfortunately. This isn’t the first time that Sony has shown some progressive values. Earlier this year, to celebrate International Women’s day, another free theme was released.
IGN’s embrace of pride month was a lot more subtle, but was met with a deluge of unjust criticism, for creating a temporary profile picture on Facebook. The usual red and black logo, was switched to rainbows. No official statement, no extra bells or whistles. As IGN likes to point out, they have a very active comment section, and this simple logo change illustrated that perfectly. Many saw this logo change as IGN embracing politics and forcing it upon its readers, and they made those feelings very clear.
Pride month is a celebration of a group of people that have been marginalized in the past. Anything extra being attached to it is people projecting, and I am glad that gaming as a whole sees this and let’s their colors show.