RuneScape Developers Launch Pride Event Despite Homophobic Backlash

Gaymers have a new way to celebrate pride month — even if some players are staging in-game riots.

Video Game Developer and Publisher Jagex launched the event on Old School Runescape to celebrate LGBT pride month. In the optional event, players are sent out to collect rainbows throughout the map. Once all pieces are collected, players are rewarded with a rainbow scarf.

As innocent as the event may seem — it doesn’t even mention the LGBT community directly — players have lashed out against the company, reportedly dressing up as KKK members and attending in-game riots.

In-game screenshots reveal players congregating in sets of white robes and hats that bear resemblance to the white supremacist outfit. “No gay pride, white pride,” said one user in a screenshot posted to Reddit. “We pay, no gay. Sodomite scum,” says another.

In response, Jagex released a statement courtesy of RuneScape Reddit mod ModMatK.

“Pride is about bringing communities together and celebrating love and understanding: sentiment that’s close to RuneScape’s heart,” they wrote. “There’s no political statement here. Our only aim is to acknowledge and honour an event that promotes empathy, acceptance and love.”

In response to the homophobic comments and riots:

"We are disappointed to see some hateful and abusive comments targeting individual members of staff and players from a small sub-section of the community. We stand side by side with those targeted, in support of them, and in support of this cause. There is absolutely no place for hateful behaviour in our community and we will not tolerate abuse or harassment."

They closed their remarks in direct celebration of pride month. “Pride 2017 is something we wholeheartedly agree with and are proud to support. We know the community stand with us in support of the cause. If you want to show your support, all you have to do is take part in the event!”