Spider-Man fans outraged as new game ‘modded’ to delete LGBTQ+ Pride flags

Spider-Man giving the peace symbol aside a Greenwich Pride flag

A mod of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered that removed LGBTQ+ Pride flags from the game has been taken down.

Spider-Man Remastered, a refreshed version of the 2019 console game, was released on PC on Friday (12 August), and efforts to modify it began almost immediately.

Oftentimes when a game is released on PC, users alter or modify in-game files (which are more easily accessible through PC releases) to make their own custom mechanics or aesthetic changes.

While attempts were predominantly creative and positive in nature, one modder decided to replace all the game’s Pride flags with the American flag.

The mod, named “Non-Newtonian New York”, was quickly inundated with comments, both from anti-LGBTQ+ users looking for a place to vent their homophobia and others who thought the mod was a bigoted mess.

It was eventually removed, presumably due to violating the terms of service of the website host, Nexus Mods, but not before instigating a heated debate about the mod’s existence.

Users who congregated in a dedicated modding Discord server began arguing as to whether the mod should be allowed or not.

Others attempted to create their own files that served the same purpose – all of which have been deleted – with one even saying in its description it aimed to remove the “disgusting agenda” of Pride.

It also labelled Pride flags showcased in the game’s rendition of New York as “unrealistic”, despite the fact Pride was born in Manhattan during the Stonewall riots in 1969.

Some claimed the mod was to balance out a lack of US flags in the game – there are at least eight in the game’s overworld alone. Thankfully, other attempts to defend the mod were quickly banned by the server’s moderation team.

Since then, pro-LGBTQ+ modders have fought back by uploading mods celebrating Pride, including one that replaces the Pride flag with the LGBTQ+ progress Pride flag and another that replaces Spider-Man‘s suit with a Pride-inspired rainbow aesthetic.

Unfortunately, bigoted users have taken to the comments of these pro-LGBTQ+ mods to share more homophobic rhetoric, but they’re being drowned out by fans calling the mods “spectacular”.

Originally released for the Playstation 4 in 2018, Spider-Man Remastered’s inclusion of Pride memorabilia, including the iconic Stonewall Inn, had LGBTQ+ fans jumping for joy.

Comic book writer Saladin Ahmed took to Twitter to commend the decision to add Pride flags, saying: “Thinking about all the 12-year-old kids who will be playing this game and seeing this in towns where it’s not safe to put that flag up.”

One of the most acclaimed parts of the game was its amazingly immersive overworld, set in a modern-day Manhattan. Considering the city’s association with Pride, bringing the rainbow to the streets of New York is about as realistic as it gets.