8 Ways To Celebrate Pride As A Gamer
This pride month, we need all the joy we can get. So take some time to love each other IRL and in-game. Pride can and should be celebrated by everyone! Let’s raise up our queer heroes and celebrate every kind of love.
Pride is celebrated in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, six days of protests against police brutality towards queer folks in New York City and around the country. While we definitely haven’t solved police brutality, rights for the LGBTQIA+ community have come a long way. Queer visibility is stronger than ever; major corporations and gaming communities around the globe are celebrating this month. Here’s a round up of 8 ways gamers are celebrating pride.
Celebrate with Riot Games
Riot Games, the publisher of battle royale game Valorant and the world’s most famous esport League of Legends celebrates every year by introducing new designs and emotes to the game. This June, the company has a slew of pride themed cosmetics, like a trailing rainbow for your champion in League. They’re hosting the Virtual March for Pride and fundraising for ILGA-Europe, a human rights organization focusing on uplifting the queer community in Europe and Asia. And in Brazil, they’re debuting a League tournament with LGBTQIA+ players.
The Running of the Trolls
Few in game events are more joyful (and colorful) than World of Warcraft’s Running of the Trolls. The annual event has been running for years now. And the premise is both hilarious and for a good cause. The organizers ask that everyone participating start a level 1 troll character, they encourage colorful hair and clothes to symbolize the rainbow on the pride flag. Hundreds of trolls meet up and do a fun run together, shooting out rainbows and generally trying to make the server as colorful as possible. It’s a fun community event and best of all, it’s raising funds for The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention in LGBTQ+ youths.
Pride Parade in ‘Final Fantasy XIV’
It’s just not pride without a big old parade! For years now Final Fantasy XIV players (known for their influence on fashion) have celebrated pride by dressing up in rainbow colors and marching joyfully through the virtual streets. One parade is organized by one of the world’s largest LGBTQ+ gaming guilds Rough Trade Gaming Community. To join, you fill out an application to let the mods and organizers know a bit about you. It’s a tight knit, safe space for MMO gamers. They have a presence in pretty much all the major MMOs: Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy, Guild Wars 2, New World, and World of Warcraft.
Magic: The Gathering may be the most complex game ever created by humans, but you know what’s not complicated? How utterly rad the Secret Lair Pride collection is. Secret Lair are sets of MTG cards that have unique art centered around a theme. This year, Wizards of the Coast is publishing a set celebrating Pride. The designs are incredible and 50% of proceeds go to benefit The Trevor Project.
Xbox Pride Controller
Gotta get that sweet rainbow merch baby! There’s plenty of (totally justified) bemoaning of corporations just trying to make a buck by slapping rainbows on everything during June. But still, this controller is objectively awesome. The controller “brings together 34 community flags in a fine, interwoven manner to celebrate the nuance, complexity, intersectionality, and strength of the many LGBTQIA+ communities.” It’s covered in flags from different sections and intersections of the queer community and will be fully customizable through the Xbox Design Lab.
Sony Swag and Games
Sony is highlighting all-star games featuring queer heroes and characters with a list of over 50 titles available to play and download.
2022 Queer Games Bundle
The second annual Queer Games Bundle is available on itch.io to celebrate Pride and all of the queer creators who contributed. It’s also the month’s best gaming deal, with zines, software, and over 500 (!) games from over 400 developers. You can support this community of artists by purchasing the bundle for $60. There’s also a sliding scale pay what you can edition available for $10-$20. The bundle proceeds go directly to the queer creators who worked on the games and it’s a great way to support a community of indie game developers and get hours of gaming content at the same time!
’Tell Me Why’ Free to Download
Dontnod Entertainment is making Tell Me Why free to purchase all throughout June. The studio behind Life is Strange is known for its incredible stories featuring queer protagonists with supernatural powers. This game features Tyler, a trans man reconnecting with his sister as they investigate their mother’s death. It’s available for download on Steam and the Microsoft store all month long.
Check out our list of 15 Queer Gaming Icons to continue the celebration. Happy gaming and happy Pride!