It's Pride Month in June and for many businesses and corporations it means changing their company logo in support and solidarity with members of the LGBTQ+ community. In the video game industry, developers and publishers typically offer in-game cosmetics for players to express themselves or special events to celebrate the month.
Normally, this is appreciated by the gaming community, but the developers of Injustice 2 Mobile found themselves in a bit of hot water this week by hosting an in-game Global Challenge that tasked players with repeatedly fighting and beating Poison Ivy, a prominent bisexual character in DC's Batman universe.
The controversial event was magnified by a tweet that celebrated the fact that players had “taken down” Poison Ivy over 175,000 times, followed by a Pride hashtag. Defeating her a total of 500,000 times would unlock the Mega Bundle prize.
Suffice to say, it was a completely tone deaf tweet and just an all-around poorly timed event. The developers eventually issued an apology for the "insensative and inappropriate" Global Challenge.
"We recognize associating our latest Global Challenge with Pride was insensative and inappropriate. Real life violence against the LGBTQIA+ community and women within that community in particular is all too common and we should actively engage in efforts to end LGBTQIA+ violence, not normalize it. We apologaize to the greater community, but especially LGBTQIA+ members. We are committted to listening and doing better."
Global Challenges are a regular occurence in Injustice 2 Mobile, but scheduling an event in which the main goal is to beat up an LGBTQIA+ character during Pride Month just seems like a poor decision and an all-around bad way to celebrate LGBTQIA+ rights.
Making matters worse for the company was the fact that the Injustice 2 Mobile twitter account had changed its banner and avatar to feature the Pride Flag, resulting in accusations of pinkwashing; a term used when companies try to promote a product by marketing to a specific minority group -- in this case the LGBTQIA+ community -- in order to be perceived as progressive.
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