Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man recently made the jump from PlayStation exclusivity to Windows PC, just as Sony’s God of War did earlier this year. Naturally, the sprawling, open-world superhero game has attracted some attention from the modding community, who now has the freedom to transform Spider-Man into Kingpin and other characters.
However, some modders took this newfound freedom for granted, targeting the various Pride flags scattered around Marvel’s Spider-Man’s New York and replacing them with American flags. Thankfully, popular mod sites Nexus Mods and ModDB have taken a stand against this behavior.
On Thursday, Nexus Mods released a blog on its site in which it addressed some “silly drama.” The post talks about how a user uploaded an anti-LGBTQ mod using a sock puppet account that removed all of the in-game Pride flags. Nexus Mods called the user out for intentionally trolling, which led the site runners to ban both the sock puppet account and the user’s main account.
“In regards to the replacement of Pride flags in this game, or any game, our policy is thus: we are for inclusivity, we are for diversity,” wrote user Dark0ne, site owner and author of the Nexus Mods blog post. “If we think someone is uploading a mod on our site with the intent to deliberately be against inclusivity and/or diversity then we will take action against it. The same goes for people attempting to troll other users with mods deliberately to cause a rise.”
The post went on to promise that the team will do better to modify the site themselves in the future. It also clarified that when removing mods like this, all Nexus Mods can do is remove it from its site, not delete from the internet entirely. You may be able to find hateful mods like this on some mod sites, but Nexus Mods won’t be one of them. “We don’t want to and won’t argue this with you,” wrote Dark0ne. “[...] If this policy upsets you, if we’ve broken some moral code of conduct as a business that you can’t accept, then please, delete your account.”
ModDB, another popular mod site, followed in Nexus Mods’ footsteps a few hours later, when a fan tweeted evidence of a mod that specifically targeted “stupid Pride flags” and was tagged with both “Trump” and “Trump 2024.” The ModDB Twitter account tweeted that the site banned the users who created the mod and removed the content, saying “ModDB is an inclusive environment for all and we do not permit targeting marginalized groups.” ModDB assured fans that, while its moderation tools are automated, the site will continue to take content like this down if alerted to it.
While site-specific bans like these will never stop hateful mods entirely, Nexus Mods and ModDB’s actions send a key message of inclusivity to fans both in and out of the PC gaming ecosystem.