Insomniac’s Spider-Man game is out on PC now, and from the sound of it, the port is pretty solid. Fanbyte’s own Mike Williams played the port, and says it’s a great example of how PlayStation’s PC ports have been finding their footing. But with all PC releases comes mods, and one particularly heinous one was in the spotlight earlier this week for getting the creator banned from Nexus Mods: a user named “Mike Hawk” modded the Pride flags out of the game’s open world.
We Got This Covered reported on the situation, which detailed a “Non-Newtonian New York” mod, which replaced all the Pride flags found in the game with American flags. The mod was uploaded on August 15, and had just under 300 downloads by the time of We Got This Covered’s story going live, and the comments were full of homophobic bullshit you’d expect to surround such a mod. However, Nexus Mods confirmed to We Got this Covered it had banned the account responsible, as well as an alt account. The user who uploaded the mod “is no longer welcome on Nexus,” and the URL that once linked to the homophobic mod now leads to a page that reads “the mod you were looking for couldn’t be found.”
Unfortunately, as Kotaku points out, a record of its existence remains on the Internet Archive, but at least it’s not readily available on a platform as big as Nexus Mods.
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While the Pride flags are a nice touch in Spider-Man, it’s always important that games looking to represent and support the queer community do so in something beyond a symbol. Whether that be in active representation of queer characters, or in donating and contributing to causes within the community. Though there are companies still apparently struggling to figure that out.