Sites ban gamer who removed Spider-Man Pride flags
A modification to the new PC version of the Spider-Man Remastered video game removing its LGBTQ+ Pride flags has been banned by two gaming sites.
Players are able to modify some video games by adding new features such as weapons and locations.
The person who replaced Pride flags with the USA flag in Spider-Man was banned on Nexus Mods and ModDB.
Nexus Mods director Robin Scott told users who disagreed with this decision to “delete your account”.
The presence of LGBTQ+ Pride flags in Spider-Man Remastered was supported by fans who were in favour of more in-game LGBTQ+ representation when it was first released in 2018.
The game was released for PC last week.
Nexus Mods said the modification was “very clearly done deliberately to be a troll mod”.
What are “mods”?
Game modification sites like Nexus and Mod DB allow users to upload their own tweaks or edits to a game which can be downloaded and implemented for other users, to enhance their playing experience.
Modifications, or mods, can range from changing colours and surroundings in games to adding new characters and storylines within existing worlds.
The modifications can even result in the creation of entirely new games.
The first game in the popular Counter-Strike franchise was initially developed as a mod for the 1998 first-person shooter blockbuster Half-Life.
Mr Scott said in a blog post on Wednesday that the upload of the Spider-Man Remastered mod had sparked “some silly drama” on Nexus’s site.
“The mod replaced the very few Pride flags the game actually has, with the already prevalent USA flag texture from the game,” he added.
He said the upload was removed and its creator was banned from Nexus Mods for violating the company’s policies.
These say content which could be considered provocative, discriminatory or abusive towards “any real-world individual or group” may be moderated.
“In regards to the replacement of Pride flags in this game, or any game, our policy is thus: we are for inclusivity, we are for diversity,” Mr Scott added.
ModDB, another popular modding site, also deleted similar uploads to its site this week.
These included an “Anti-Gay Mod” replacing LGBTQ+ flags in the Spider-Man game with a flag promoting former US president Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.
After a Twitter user flagged a mod on the website which, according to its description, “changes the stupid Pride flags to American flags”, ModDB said it removed the content and banned users.
“ModDB is an inclusive environment for all and we do not permit targeting marginalised groups,” it wrote, adding the site had a “zero tolerance policy” for such content.