Some of the biggest modding sites in gaming have rallied around the LGBTQ+ community after one user created a mod to have Pride flags removed from the PC version of Spider-Man Remastered. Major sites Nexusmods and ModDB have taken steps to remove all mods that include anti-LGBTQ+ messaging.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man Remastered recently launched on PC, the game arriving on the platform as part of Sony’s big push to make many of their big PlayStation titles now accessible on PC. In Dexerto’s review, we called the PC Port a “web-slinging success.”
Part of the excitement when a big new game comes to PC is that it opens up the possibility for modders to begin experimenting. So far there have been many fantastic mods brought to Spider-Man, most notably the mod that allows players to swing through the city as the Spider-Man comics’ co-creator, Stan Lee.
Unfortunately, one PC user took the introduction of mods as an opportunity to change up the scenery for Insomniac’s version of New York City by removing all the Pride Flags that features on the side of a building in the city.
The mod, which replaced all the Pride Flags with American ones, was then uploaded to Nexusmods using a sockpuppet account called “Mike Hawk.” Nexusmods were quick to act on the homophobic mod and issued a formal statement on their blog about the incident shortly after removing it from the site.
“Had they not been a coward and had they used their main account instead, we would have simply removed the mod and told them that we did not want to host it, only banning them if they re-uploaded it again after being fairly warned,” they said. “The creation of the sock puppet removed any doubt and made it a very easy decision for us. Both the sock puppet account and the user’s main account have been banned.”
Nexus then chose to directly address the modder, stating that they “don’t want to and won’t argue this with you. We’ve now explained our stance and we won’t be providing a platform for you to distort our position in order to feed an irrational and paranoid narrative. You can do that elsewhere, where we won’t care enough to read it.”
“If this policy upsets you if we’ve broken some moral code of conduct as a business that you can’t accept, then please, delete your account (bottom option) and move on, as we will.”
Following Nexusmods’ blog post on the issue, another major modding host ModDB also removed the anti-LGBTQ+ mod from Spider-man and banned those responsible.
They took to Twitter to voice their disappointment at this incident, detailing how “ModDB is an inclusive environment for all and we do not permit targeting marginalised groups” and that their “content moderation is largely automated but when identified, we have a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of content.”