Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Homophobic homebrew on the DS

Eric Caoili

In our coverage of adult homebrew titles several months ago, we lamented the lack of projects that target or make an effort to include gay and lesbian gamers. Though there are a few releases that don't necessarily limit the player's gender or sexual orientation, they don't ever imply anything outside of a heterosexual hook-up. We've kept a close watch on the niche scene since, hoping to one day catch a hint of same-sex experimentation on the DS.

Instead, we've come across what we believe to be the first Nintendo DS game to openly embrace bigotry. Huntercool's RanAway 1.0 immediately states its agenda with its intro message: "Avoid the gay people! Hit stylus to continue ..." It's a simple avoidance game, no doubt one whose mechanics you're already familiar with through dozens of equally flat Flash diversions, so RanAway doesn't delay too long before yelling out, "Ready, Steady, Go!!!!" and dropping you into its first level.

is an obviously amateur release, punctuated by its FirstDS.nds filename, implying that the game is Huntercool's first programming effort with the Nintendo DS. The bare background, simple graphics, and MS-Paint-drawn "GO!" button are far from the high production values we've been treated to by the homebrew scene's more talented developers.

Here is the "protagonist," a jaundiced, wavy-mouthed boy trapped in a teal box. His genitals, to which we've applied a mosaic filter for the benefit of our younger readers, are exposed for reasons unexplained. A school of blocks swims around the screen, typifying the legions of square-shaped gay men that roam the streets. All of them, assumedly, are mesmerized by his five-pixel-long organ, unable to resist its draw.

To advance, you must avoid the predatory boxes and keep your heterosexuality intact. Mere contact with the enemy, even for just a second, could suddenly condemn you to a life of effeminacy and corrupted morality. If you can outlast the timer, the game congratulates your agility: "You safely avoided the gay mob. Good job." Failing the task, however, brings up an image of two male characters from popular anime/manga Naruto, kissing, embarrassment on their faces. The bottom screen reads, "You got hit by a gay person. Game Over."

RanAway represents the opinions of only its programmer and not by any means the entire homebrew development community; we very much doubt that themes celebrating intolerance will become the norm with homemade games. For all we know, Huntercool could be an 11-year-old boy who meant no harm with his immature view of same-sex relationships. Still, we hate to see any sort of prejudice go unnoticed, so we couldn't just ignore the shoddy game. Type in some stuff in our comment box and let us know what you think.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr