A video game has been overwhelmed by an impromptu wave of support for LGBT+ rights.
Splatoon 2 is a Nintendo Switch game in which players compete online as humans or squids to fire ink at targets and each other.
But for many users, it has become so much more.
— 👻🌸Arianna™️🌸👻 (@CandleJumper) August 18, 2017
Players can post in-game messages, and after one user stated that LGBT squids are “fresh as hell,” heartwarming posts started popping up all over the place, as reported by Mashable.
After the game became a centre of support for furries last month, players have come together to assert spread the good word about the entire LGBT+ rainbow.
One player wrote: “This squid has no gender and there’s nothing you can do about it”.
“It’s TURF WAR, not TERF war,” another stated, seemingly in opposition to Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists.
And another commented: “Love my fellow trans squids! We are amazing!!”
Other users created signs proclaiming their non-binary, asexual and agender pride.
And, as one player observed, Splatoon 2 players can switch their character’s gender at any time, meaning they are and have always been gender-fluid.
The spontaneous flood of pro-LGBT messages followed moves by video game players and creators in recent months to increase LGBT visibility.
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Mass Effect Andromeda, the latest edition of the multi-million-pound series, included multiple sex scenes when it was released earlier this year.
The girlfriend of a female Overwatch character was also featured in an in-game reference for the first time this year.
And RuneScape held an in-game Pride event in June, though its developers were barraged with homophobic abuse as a result.
As with the RuneScape event, outwardly pro-LGBT players on Splatoon 2 faced an inevitable backlash from gamers who complained that “this whole LGBT thing is largely political”.
Other users whined that kids would be exposed to these messages – which largely consist of telling players to be proud of their sexuality and gender identity – at too young an age.
But the reaction was mostly positive, as users praised each other for having a positive effect on others in the game’s universe.