Home Features Unpacked Yes: Games companies supporting Australian Marriage Equality

Yes: Games companies supporting Australian Marriage Equality

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A number of video game publishers, developers, Esports clubs and associated organisations have pledged their public support of the Australian Marriage Equality initiative.

We’ve compiled a listing of the Aussie gaming organisations (listed alphabetically) who’ve joined thousands more across the country in publicly posting open letters or official statements.

We will happily continue to grow this list as more statements are received. Stay tuned for updates!

Apple

A supporter of marriage equality in the United States of America, Apple has also pledged support to the Australia Marriage Equality initiative.

“We support marriage equality and believe all Australians deserve the freedom to marry the person they love, and to have their relationships recognised with the same dignity and legal protections as their neighbours, friends, and family,” the corporation advised in a statement released in September.

When same-sex marriage was declared legal in 2015, openly gay CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter to celebrate.

Apple joined the list of Australian Marriage Equality signatories back in 2016.

Athletico Esports

The Athletico Esports club took to Twitter to pledge support for Australian Marriage Equality.

Asserting that “everyone is equal,” the Esports club kitted its logo out with the colours of the rainbow.

“Athletico believes in equality in and out of Esports,” its post, mirrored on Facebook, continued.

Athletico Esports was founded in 2005 and currently competes in CS:GO, Overwatch, League of Legends and Rainbow Six Siege.

Bethesda

“I’m fortunate to work for an equal opportunity company and I hope the Australian postal survey is the first step towards a new policy for same-sex marriage in Australia,” Bethesda Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Simon Alty, told Stevivor.

Bethesda has notably shown support to the LGBTIQ community at a time it needed it most: immediately following the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida last year.

During its E3 pre-show and press conference, Bethesda’s presenters were all wearing rainbow ribbon pins in response to the heinous attack. A small gesture, granted, but one with deep meaning.

Google

The organisation behind your swanky Android phone has been a strong supporter of worldwide marriage equality for years.

In 2012, Google launched a campaign called “Legalise Love”, which helped groups in Poland and Singapore in their efforts to usher in same-sex marriage.

A signatory of the Australian Marriage Equality initiative, Google and the movement partnered in March this year to present Love By Numbers, a series of surveys which helped Australians to understand that love is love, no matter the couple.

The company has a group called Gayglers, made up of LGBTI employees.

“At Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work,” the company’s Renee LaBriola told the Herald Sun. “We also want our employees to have the same inclusive experience outside of the office, and for LGBTQI communities to be safe and to be accepted wherever they are.”

JB Hi-Fi / The Good Guys

Games retailer JB Hi-Fi Limited, representing both JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys, has posted an open letter addressing Australian Marriage Equality.

“We support diversity in our workplace and recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employees to live and work, free of prejudice and discrimination, with all the essential freedoms enjoyed by other members of our organisation and the broader community,” Group CEO, Richard Murray, wrote.

“JB Hi-Fi believes in an empowered workplace and we respect and value the individual rights and freedoms of each of our 12,000 employees in Australia and New Zealand. Equality, including choosing who you wish to marry, is a fundamental human right, and it goes to the heart of our core value of empowering our workforce.

“A progressive society recognises that discrimination in one area enables discrimination to flourish in all areas. An equitable society, free of discrimination, promotes the values of tolerance and respect, and enables all individuals to function at their best.”

Microsoft

The house of Xbox is a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage and was one of the first signatories of the Australian Marriage Equality campaign back in 2015.

Microsoft Australia’s Managing Director, Steven Worrall, took to the company’s blog on 20 September and offered up a passionate explanation of its “Yes” stance.

“Diversity and inclusion are core values at Microsoft,” Worrall wrote. “They’re at the heart of our mission as a business to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more.

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“This lofty goal requires us to have a workforce that’s as diverse and inclusive as our customer base.  Whether it’s age, gender, sexuality or race, we want to attract employees that reflect the society we live in and who feel comfortable in bringing their whole selves to work every day.”

“For this reason, and because we believe it’s the right thing to do as a society, we support marriage equality in Australia,” Worrall continued.

Mighty Games

The Melbourne-based Mighty Games went the extra mile and added its support of Australian Marriage Equality into one of its games, Shooty Skies.

The rainbow-filled update was designed to celebrate “justice, equality, and general niceness,” according to the publisher.

“We’ve always been proud of our wonderfully diverse team, so it’s important for us to encourage everyone to vote YES for love, acceptance and equality – in Australia and beyond,” Mighty Games’ Ben Britten told Gizmodo.

“All of our staff and our community are accepted and appreciated for who they are, and we want to make sure all Australians feel that same kind of love. So please, fill in your ballot and vote YES!”

Shooty Skies is a free-to-play game available on iOS and Android devices.

Nnooo

Sydney-based developer Nnooo took to social media to announce it believes “in equality and fairness for all Australians and stand as proud Yes supporters on Marriage Equality.”

Nnooo, comprised of Founder and Creative Director, Nic Watt, and Marketing Director, Bruce Thomson, is a long-time supporter of GX Australia. Watt and Thomson have been a couple for close to 20 years.

Thomson took time out to speak with Stevivor about the Australian Marriage Equality initiative, also confirming Nnooo had added its name to the list of signatories.

“This is probably the first time we’ve been uncomfortable with our company name,” Thomson joked.

ReedPOP

ReedPOP, the organisers of Australian conventions Oz Comic-Con and the powerhouse PAX Australia, has pledged its support on a statement found on the Oz Comic-Con website.

“Oz Comic-Con and its team have always been passionate about our community and creating a welcoming and diverse environment where we celebrate everything and everyone! This has been represented by our anti-harassment policy, our firm stance on Cosplay is not Consent, and the presence of the Reach Out Room as an onsite support network,” the statement reads.

“We’re strong believers in the idea that our events and our communities can only be stronger by recognising and valuing the many diverse members of that community. The current debate around equal marriage rights impacts many of our team and community, we, therefore, think it is important that we support those people and continue the tradition of making Oz Comic-Con a supportive home for all. Today Oz Comic-Con, and its organisers ReedPOP, have submitted an open letter to the Equality Campaign pledging our support.”

The PAX Australia Diversity Lounge is a favourite stop for many Australian LGBTI gamers.

Stirfire Studios

Stirefire is a Perth-based studio, self-described as “the vessel & the catalyst for piping-hot game dev magic.” It has taken to social media numerous times in support of Australian Marriage Equality.

“Stirfire Studios is a proud employer of LGBTQIA people and always has been,” the developer said on LinkedIn. “We stand with our LGBTQIA staff, friends and family at this important time in Australia’s history.”

This is important. #voteyes

A post shared by Stirfire Studios (@stirfire.studios) on

“If you are eligible to vote in Australia, please make sure your details are up to date with the AEC and support our staff and friends at this time,” reads a continued post on Facebook. “Even though we believe this attempt at a plebiscite is unnecessary, it is better that we show solidarity with our LGBTQIA family than boycotting it and it delivering an unfavorable result.”

The developer is currently hard at work on a VR puzzle game.

Up Multimedia

The developer of My Ex-Boyfriend the Space Tyrant and Escape from Pleasure Planet issued a special statement in support of marriage equality to Stevivor.

“Up Multimedia makes gay-themed computer games for a global audience,” Up Multimedia’s Luke Miller wrote.

“We fully support equal rights for same-sex attracted people the world over. While the situation in Australia is not as dangerous for gay men as it is in places such as Chechyna, Iran and Egypt, it is unacceptable that we are second class citizens in our own country. We want equality. And while the lgbt community did not ask for the postal survey we know our community, friends and families are determined to fight it and win it.”

“We need your votes! We urge all Australians to send in their ballots. Be a part of history and put that envelope in the postbox,” Miller continued.

“We also support the final legislation to have as few discriminatory exemptions as possible. A same-sex marriage does not mean much if a hotel or airline can refuse service to gay people on their honeymoon.”

Others in the PR and media spaces

Stevivor notes that PR and media organisations Allure Media, Finder.com.au, DigitasLBi, Double Jump Communications, Edelman, GameInformer, GoToGame and Ogilvy have all taken to the Australian Marriage Equality signatories list or to public statements to pledge their support as well.

In fact, so has Stevivor!

How you can support the initiative

Simple. Make your organisation’s stance on same-sex marriage in Australia known. If you don’t know where to start, Australian Marriage Equality has a wealth of resources to get you started, including an open letter template that you’re welcome to use.

If you’ve gone ahead and pledged your support, or have a statement you’d like to issue to Stevivor, please let us know — we’d be happy to highlight it.

Update: We’ve replaced a comment from a Bethesda spokesperson with that of Simon Alty, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand.