Microsoft, the makers of Xbox, have released a collection of Pride-themed skins for their gaming systems.
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The collection includes skins for controllers as well as consoles, featuring the rainbow Pride flag, the trans Pride flag, and creative variations of them. The collection also includes a couple LGBTI-themed t-shirts for gamers.
When Xbox Tweeted about the collection on 31 May, many non-LGBTI gamers were offended, wondering where their ‘Straight Pride’ collection was.
— Xbox (@Xbox) May 31, 2019
@Xbox i suppose i have to see this shit everytime i turn on my console now for the rest of the month sony doesnt force pride and acceptance on its players whatever happened to the freedom to choose pic.twitter.com/OXvG1CWSCh
— Anthony Bourne (@zidane6915) June 2, 2019
I’m disgusted what is this pride shit? WTF it’s Xbox not Pride box cmon I’m so selling my xbox now not even hesitating.
— Eddie (@eddiiiee123) May 31, 2019
Threatening to switch to PS4
Some were so enraged that they threatened to become a Playstation user. However, some Twitter users pointed out that Playstation is also LGBTI-friendly.
For anybody who says that they’re switching to PlayStation because of this take a look at this before you do. You won’t be missed https://t.co/ar6uqLmlnQ
— Bubba 🎮👾 (@Bubbalove007) May 31, 2019
So many people saying they’ll be selling their Xbox’s and buying PlayStations. Those same people seem unaware that PlayStation put out a pride skin. #HappyPrideMonth everyone, the gaming community just lost some idiots.
To everyone celebrating, don’t let anyone tear you down! pic.twitter.com/zp1Ea1RQU1
— Mikels_create (@MichaelLSwift1) June 2, 2019
On the positive side
Some LGBTI gamers, however, were excited and inspired by Xbox’s new collection.
X-Box said TRANS RIGHTS. https://t.co/4MlfJuA32A
— Kat Blaque (@kat_blaque) May 31, 2019
— Lucy ❝Pants… Plus!❞ Branford (@xHardlyNormal) May 31, 2019
Microsoft’s history of inclusivity
Other gamers pointed out Microsoft’s history of non-discrimination policies that have been in place since the 1980s.
With same sex non-discrimination policies since 1989, check out some of the inclusive advocacy and visibility @Microsoft for thirty years.
— InclusiveMum (@TheInclusiveMum) June 2, 2019
The corporate side of Pride
Some saw the campaign as a cheap publicity stunt, though.
Yeah, it is nice to see that society has moved to a point where being who you want to be is being celebrated and to the individuals who use pride to express themselves have my full support. But Xbox changing their logo to a gay flag is cheap pandering to me, but I am a cynic.
— Ryan Hill (@Hillster247) June 2, 2019
This idea of corporations acting LGBTI-friendly only during the month of June is something many LGBTI activists have concerns about. Actor Indya Moore, for instance, took to Twitter to discuss how this rainbow-washing, so to speak, doesn’t necessarily benefit LGBTI people.