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The new PS4 Spider-Man game has garnered tons of rave reviews since it dropped on Friday. But in addition to stellar gameplay and breathtaking graphics, some fans are cheering its efforts toward inclusivity: In the game, released by Sony and Insomnia, Spidey passes quite a few Pride flags and rainbows as he whips through the streets of New York City.
It’s not clear exactly how many LGBTQ banners are spread throughout the various levels, but quite a few are known to be on the game’s version of the Lower East Side. (Makes sense to us.) The Daily Dot reports one of the game’s achievements may rely on taking a selfie with a Pride flag or rainbow wall in photo mode.
Award-winning author and comics writer Saladin Ahmed (Black Bolt) called out the flags on Twitter: “Wow, I stopped to perch on a building in #Spidermanps4 and looked over and saw this. 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.”
Wow. I stopped to perch on a building in #Spidermanps4 and looked over and saw this.
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. pic.twitter.com/QGr1Q7QrxZ
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) September 8, 2018
Jacinda Chew, who art-directed the gorgeous new PS4 Spider-Man game, quickly replied: “I’m glad people are noticing this detail. Spider-Man is for everyone!”
— Jacinda Chew (@jacinda_chew) September 8, 2018
— UnhingedGhoul (@GhoulUnhinged) September 11, 2018
The PS4 Spider-Man game makes additional nods to New York’s legendary diversity, including non-playable characters wearing hijabs.
In 2013, Andrew Garfield teased that Peter Parker should come out in an upcoming Spider-Man movie.
“I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ [Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man’s girlfriend]. And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking! So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
Garfield, who has since passed the red-and-blue longjohns onto Tom Holland, even suggested a love interest: Michael B. Jordan.
“What I believe about Spider-Man is that he does stand for everybody: black, white, Chinese, Malaysian, gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender,” Garfield later told CBR. “He will put himself in harm’s way for anyone. He is colorblind. He’s blind to sexual orientation, and that is what he has always represented to me.”
Of course, we know from a leaked Sony memo from 2015 that in the films Spider-Man must be white and straight. Ugh, get with it, Sony.