An Insomniac Games developer has said that representation is “so important” that it was integrated into the recently released Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Ryan Benno, who is the senior environment artist on the PlayStation 4 exclusive, responded to a popular tweet showing Spider-Man perched on the side of a building that has a flag sporting the colors of the LGBT community.
“Representation is so important,” he said, before adding: “It’s something we wanted to put in this game, even in a small way like this.”
One Twitter user replied: “Great to hear from you. It was an excellent touch. Flags like this hang in plenty of places in New York City, so it’s perfectly natural to have them just in the environment.”
“Yep! It’s Boystown in Greenwich,” Benno said in his response. “It’s diverse, it’s distinct, it’s accurate and it’s the right thing to do.”
Saladin Ahmed, who has worked on Black Bolt and Exiles for Marvel Comics, shared the image of the web-slinging hero next to the flag (posted below).
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
“Not saying that it’s some radical move, but just as someone who came up 30 years ago playing Spider-Man video games with boys who constantly hurled homophobic insults at each other [in real life], this is…different,” he subsequently tweeted.
“Oh, also this game has a tough Asian American woman cop who just quit smoking (a version of Yuri Watanabe?!) as Spidey’s best buddy who groans at his jokes.”
Benno’s remarks are echoed in other parts of the title, too, as one Twitter user pointed to an image of Aunt May’s whiteboard that has “More LGBT programs” on her to-do list.
“Did you catch Aunt May’s list of things to do in October on the whiteboard in her office at F.E.A.S.T.?” Hunter Pearson tweeted. “Superb list, Aunt May.”
Did you catch Aunt May’s list of things to do in October on the white board in her office at FEAST? Superb list, Aunt May. pic.twitter.com/usw4AnhuKA
— Hunter Pearson (@JHunterPearson) September 8, 2018
Spider-Man, which was initially revealed at Sony’s E3 press conference in 2016, was released on September 7.
Both fans and critics have praised the title, with Hardcore Gamer’s review saying that “Insomniac Games has created the single greatest Spider-Man game and one of the best based on a comic book.”
For more on the critically acclaimed open-world title, check out the following coverage below.