Michael Patrick, creator of 2D fighting game Ultimate Gay Fighter, has responded to criticisms about his new game, described as the "world's first ever gay video game...ever." In an interview with VG247, Michael Patrick said he designed the game to be lighthearted in nature.
"It's not meant to be hateful," Patrick said. "If you allow yourself to make fun of a stereotype in a way that isn't cruel, I think you diminish the power of that stereotype. I'm gay, and although I'm not a stereotype, I have stereotypical traits. Why not laugh at that and enjoy it?"
Patrick said the lighthearted approach to homosexuality that he is taking for Ultimate Gay Fighter is frequently used in mediums like television and online sketches. When games broach potentially difficult subjects, however, they are judged more closely than others, he argued.
"My game is a whole new thing. When you have gays in a new kind of media, without any kind of background or precedent, I think people's initial reaction is: who did this? Where is this coming from?" Patrick said. "I think somewhere in that the positive message might have got a little lost."
As for why Ultimate Gay Fighter does not include characters that represent all sexual orientations, including transsexual individuals, Patrick said he wasn't able to devise a creative way to portray this group, so he simply left it out.
"[Every character] is a love letter to my gay brothers and sisters," Patrick said. "I didn’t want to offend the trans community. I couldn't think of something creative. I wanted it to be funny, I didn't want to be mean."
Ultimate Gay Fighter was originally announced in November and will launch this month for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. It features 12 levels, achievements, and online leaderboards, In addition, the game riffs on Mortal Kombat's famous "fatalities" by allowing players to perform "gaytalities."
Instead of blood, rainbows and unicorns will flow from player's bodies when attacked. When a player is victorious, a prompt appears that says, "You win! Congrats, slut."
Patrick said previously that Ultimate Gay Fighter began as a joke over drinks at brunch one day. The concept is to reenact classic fighting games but add gay characters with moves that suit their "specific lifestyles and interests."
"I started thinking about how gays are represented in the media. We are the sickly ones, your sassy best friends, the funny ones, the ones who sing, and the ones who decorate your house, style your clothes, and do your hair," Patrick said. "We are never the kick-ass fighters, the bad-asses who rescue you and save the day. And if we are, we are washed with heterosexual personas and mannerisms."