3 Awesome Gaming Companies Who Support LGBTQ+ Rights
Video games have been around since as early as October 1958, with the first commercial gaming release being “Pong” on Atari in November 1978. The gaming industry is one of the most popular industries in the world, and has prided itself in listening to its massive fan base.
Likewise, with the major advancements in the internet in the 1990s, we have seen much advancement in both awareness of, and movement towards equality and LGBTQ+ rights.
Thus there has been an increasing awareness in the gaming community that not all gamers are straight, and many gaming companies have made it their mission to work towards bringing both the queer community and gaming community together.
This list of companies have made it their mission to make advancements towards a more inclusive and proud gaming community, and have done some amazing things.
Are you part of the LGBTQ+ gaming community?
Riot Games began in Los Angeles back in September 2006, as a child of Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill. Within two years, the company was announcing its first major game release, “League of Legends.”
“League of Legends” was named “the most played PC game in the World” on InvenGlobal.com. With such a large fan-base, there are many members who are LGBTQ+.
In 2018, Riot Games celebrated the “IDAHOTB” (the “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Bi-phobia”). They invited all players to celebrate it with them by offering the “Rainbow Fluft” icon.
This went over great, and over 3.5 million players worldwide supported the community by purchasing the LGBTQ+ friendly icon. Not only that, but in 2019 the company donated 100,000 dollars to two charities, “The Trevor Project,” and the “It Gets Better Project.“
Bethesda Game Studios
When it comes to standing up for LGBTQ+ rights and protecting the community against homophobia, Bethesda takes the cake. They banned several players from "Fallout 76" until they could further investigate a situation in which several players targeted players who were of the LGBTQ+ community in a YouTube video. Later, Bethesda would go on to permanently ban the players who were involved for harassment and hate speech. This is a huge victory in the online gaming community and has brought awareness to everyday LGBTQ+ issues.
The powerhouse that pioneered the gaming industry with releases like “World of Warcraft,” “Overwatch,” “Hearthstone,” and “Diablo” is another supporter of the LGBTQ+ community.
Although criticized for a long history with LGBTQ+ right problems, they’ve released several openly gay characters in one of their biggest titles, “Overwatch.”
Many speculate that Blizzard has been using the “Overwatch” characters as a distraction, yet I believe they are striving for a more inclusive gaming community and this is why I’ve listed them in my list of awesome gaming companies who support gay rights.
Which company do you think is most LGBTQ+ friendly?
Where Do We Go From Here?
I firmly believe that there will be further advancements in the gay rights movement as we look forward to the future. We have already seen many companies release characters such as Ellie from the Last of Us, Tracer from "Overwatch," and Liara from "Mass Effect," who are openly LGBTQ+. This is a sign we progressing in the gaming community.
Hopefully, we will soon see more of a movement towards stopping online bullying. I believe this is the biggest problem that the gaming community has. By ending bullying, we can make video games safer for the generations, genders, religions and sexualities to come.