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Swedish Store Auctions Rainbow-Striped 'Gaystation' to Help LGBT Refugees

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The Swedish electronics retailer Webhallen is auctioning off a 500GB rainbow-colored ‘Gaystation 4′ and donating all the proceeds to an LGBT organizations that helps LGBT refugees from anti-LGBT countries re-start their lives in Sweden.

As of this writing, the bidding is up to $2516.44. Gay Gamer reports that “the full package includes the custom-painted system, one DUALSCHOCK 4 controller, four games, one micro-usb cord for the controller, one headset, and one HDMI cable.”

Gay Gamer also quoted the company as saying, “On Webhallen, we are gamers in heart and mind, keen that as many as possible have the opportunity to feel welcome and enjoy the world’s largest and fastest growing interest: TV & computer games.”


Final Fantasy XIV Gamers Hold Virtual 'Pixel Pride' Parade: VIDEO

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The digital denizens of of Final Fantasy XIV’s Eorzrea gathered last weekend to celebrate Square Enix’s decision to finally allow avatars of the same sex to marry each other with a virtual pride parade. The inclusion of LGBT marriage comes as the latest in a long line of revisions made to the fourteenth entrant into the Final Fantasy franchise. Initially released in 2010, Final Fantasy XIV was met with widespread disappointment from fans.

Problems ranging from convoluted menu systems to clunky controls to effectively useless non-playable characters drew so much criticism that Square Enix owned up to its mistakes and made the decision to relaunch the game last summer as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It was a much better game.

As more and more new mechanics were added to the game to enhance gameplay, Square Enix created a forum to get more direct feedback from players. Amongst the hundreds of suggested tweaks to the game was the option for players to create characters that were queer-identified. Statistics surrounding the number of LGBT gamers are few and far between but a survey conducted in 2007 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign concluded that gay gamers made up about 23% of the gaming population and preferred RPG games like Final Fantasy.

"People within Eorzea will be able to pledge their eternal love and or friendship in a ceremony of eternal bonding.” Game director Naoki Yoshida announced at this year’s E3. [T]his will be open to people regardless of race, creed, and gender. Two players...if they want to be together, in Eorzea, they can-through this eternal bonding ceremony."

The pride parade was organized by the Rough Trade Gaming Community, a group of LGBT gamers with significant presences in a number of popular massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.

Watch video of the digital pride parade AFTER THE JUMP...

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Atari To Introduce 'Pridefest' Video Game

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Now that national pride month is winding down, ask yourself: have you ever wanted to organize your own pride parade? Assuming that the answer is “well obviously, who hasn’t?” then Atari has a new game with your name on it. Pridefest, the first LGBT-themed game from Atari, allows player to channel their inner event planner, challenging them to throw the most extravagant pride parade they can think of.

“Players will need to solve challenges and complete quests to unlock new parade and festival supplies, or receive other bonuses.” Atari said, in a press release

"We are excited to be developing Atari's first LGBT-themed game that will give players of all backgrounds the chance to play a fun and unique game that represents a passionate cause," said Todd Shallbetter, Chief Operating Officer, Atari Inc. "We will continue offering a variety of games that are inclusive for all Atari fans and Pridefest ™ is another example of how we are doing that."

Neither gameplay footage nor screenshots have been released, and Atari is keeping quiet about a release date. If we had to venture a guess, however, we imagine Pridefest will play a lot like SimCity, but with better music and NPC gogo boys. Follow the game's development on Twitter or Facebook.


'Fragments of Him' Game Explores Queer Love and Loss - VIDEO

Fragments of Him, the brainchild of Netherlands-based Sassybot, is a game following one man’s struggle to cope with the sudden death of his boyfriend.

Fragments_of_Him-01Gameplay takes place from the perspective of the grieving man as he navigates a world filled with physical fragments that remind him of his loss. Earlier versions of the game bombarded players with game mechanics designed to be emotionally wrenching. Clicking on certain objects triggers a combination of flashbacks and voiceovers currently performed by game designer Mata Haggis.

The game, which has gone through rounds of outside funding and revision, has been expanded to follow the stories of multiple people connected to the deceased character, as well as a first-person account of the character’s last day alive.

“You’re gonna be able to play through, find out what his final thoughts were, and what his hopes were for the future,” Haggis told Rock, Paper, Shotgun. “There’s gonna be four different stories. The [one about the boyfriend] is just one aspect of it. “

Watch the trailer for Fragments of Him AFTER THE JUMP...

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John Oliver Looks Ahead to Gay Equality in Nintendo Games: VIDEO

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On his HBO show last night, John Oliver looked at Nintendo's apology for not allowing gay relationships in its Tomodachi Life sim, and its promise to build future equality into versions of the game.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "John Oliver Looks Ahead to Gay Equality in Nintendo Games: VIDEO" »


Nintendo Apologizes For Tomodachi Life, Promises Future Inclusivity

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In response to the backlash they received for disallowing gay relationships in their sim game Tomodachi Life and the subsequent doubling-down on their position, Nintendo released a statement on their website promising to be more inclusive in the future. Their statement said:

We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game's design, and such a significant development change can't be accomplished with a post-ship patch. At Nintendo, dedication has always meant going beyond the games to promote a sense of community, and to share a spirit of fun and joy. We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. We pledge that if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.

Actions will speak louder than words, but it's good to see them acknowledge their misstep, which is far more than most companies are willing to do.


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