Final Fantasy’s Gay Marriage Decision Inspires a Digital Pride Parade

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
July 22 2014 5:24 PM

The Pixilated Beauty of Gaymer Pride

gaymer
Happy Virtual Pride!

Capture from Rough Trade video.

Here at Outward, we focus most of our energy on monitoring the analog world for progress on LGBTQ equality. But every so often, an encouraging sign emerges from cyberspace to remind us that advances are happening there, too. The massively multiplayer online game Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn recently offered such an insight, in the form of a virtual pride parade of players organized in response to the announcement that game developer Square Enix would allow same-sex marriages in the role-playing universe.

Game producer Naoki Yoshida said he and his team realized the error of a previous ban: “Why should there be restrictions on who pledges their love or friendship to each other? And so we decided to go this way.” As a way of expressing gratitude, the (amusingly named) LGBTQ gaming affinity group Rough Trade Gaming Community arranged their characters by rainbow colors and marched through the streets of Final Fantasy’s Eorzea area. The merry group ended their procession down by the water with a party, adding what appeared (to my untrained eye) to be celebratory spell-casting and explosion-making as decoration. Interestingly, this itinerary looked a lot like the traditional New York pride route, which ends on Christopher Street Pier with a dance party (unfortunately sans spells).

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I must say, having watched both the real thing back in June and now this, the Rough Trade parade seemed—pixilation aside—the more joyous of the two.

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.

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