It's the opportunity frustrated parade organisers have been waiting for: games publisher Atari has announced Pridefest, a "social sim" which invites players to create their own pride event in a city of their choosing.
In development for smartphones and tablets, the game involves designing parade flotillas with "eye-catching attractions and entertainment" in order to increase the vibrancy and happiness of the town.
Players need to beat challenges and solve puzzles to unlock new decorations and other festival supplies; there will also be social features allowing participants to share their personalised parades with friends.
The Atari brand has been through many hands since its heyday in the seventies when Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney formed the company to develop classic titles like Pong, Breakout and Centipede. Since then, the name has been owned by several companies including Hasbro and French video games firm Infogrames. After filing for bankruptcy protection in 2013, a new company emerged specialising in social casino sims and casual smartphone titles.
“We are excited to be developing Atari’s first LGBT-themed game that will give players of all backgrounds the chance to play a fun and unique game that represents a passionate cause,” said Atari CEO, Todd Shallbetter.
“We will continue offering a variety of games that are inclusive for all Atari fans and Pridefest is another example of how we are doing that.” The company also recently sponsored the GaymerX gaming festival in San Francisco.
LGBT representation is being taken increasingly seriously within the games industry. From gay and bisexual characters in major titles like Mass Effect and The Last of Us, to independent titles exploring issues of gender and sexuality, there is growing movement toward inclusivity.
Major games publisher Electronic Arts has been active in promoting equality and diversity, taking part in pride parades in Seattle and San Francisco and facing anti-gay boycotts for its inclusion of same sex relationships in Mass Effect and Star Wars: the Old Republic.
Meanwhile, Nintendo recently apologised after disallowing gay relatonships in its life simulator game, Tomodachi Life.
Little else is currently known about Pridefest, with no release date or screenshots provided at this time.
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