Navigating the waters of human sexuality can be difficult. Gamifying it can be downright dangerous, unless of course you’re talking about Dream Daddy. There is a climate in today’s culture where simply implying that same sex partners might enjoy your soup, is enough to spring a massive controversy, meaning that when Atari decided to create a game called Pridefest, which plays like Gay Pride Parade Tycoon, (and I cannot wait for Gay Pride Roller Coaster Tycoon) they are definitely taking a step into politically charged waters.
One way to ensure that they are navigating these waters in a way that is both respectful and engaging to their target audience, is to make sure that they include that demographic in the design process. To that end, Atari has announced that they are partnering with LGBT Media, the creators of LGBTQutie.
LGBTQutie is a social app with a focus on dating. While apps like Grindr have existed for quite a while, LGBTQutie focuses less on a hookup culture and more on meaningful connections. The app can also be used to organize groups or creating fun social events.
Fred Chesnais, the CEO of Atari stated
When meeting the co-founders of LGBTQutie . . . it became clear that the team’s extensive expertise and relationships within the LGBTQ community would benefit Pridefest, we knew that joining forces with LGBTQutie was the best course of action to further develop and grow the game.
This isn’t a one sided deal either, LGBT Media will be relaunching Pridefest under their own branding. Using their experience with creating a social media platform for the LGBTQ community, they plan to up the ante on social/community interaction within the game itself. Rachel Kimelman, one of the co-founders of LGBT Media said;
Pridefest is centered on the celebration of LGBTQ culture and pride, and will allow users to have a fun, engaging and interactive experience, by combining the respective experience levels of both of our companies, we hope to provide players with a new standard for LGBT gaming.
Whether or not this means that there will be more LGBTQ friendly games coming out (hah!), has yet to be seen, but we’re thrilled to see that Atari has committed to connecting to their target audiences in such a fantastic way.