Sites have banned a player for removing Spider-Man Pride flags
Two gaming websites have banned a change to the new PC version of Spider-Man Remastered that removes the LGBTQ+ Pride flags.
Some video games allow players to customize them by adding additional elements such as weapons and locations.
The individual who replaced Pride flags in Spider-Man with the USA flag was banned from Nexus Mods and ModDB.
Users who disagreed with this choice were instructed to "cancel your account" by Nexus Mods director Robin Scott.
When Spider-Man Remastered was initially published in 2018, fans who favored greater in-game LGBTQ+ representation praised the addition of LGBTQ+ Pride flags.
The PC version of the game was launched last week.
Nexus Mods stated that the change was "obviously done on purpose to be a troll mod."
What exactly are "mods"?
Sites like Nexus and Mod DB allow users to publish their own adjustments or alterations to a game, which may then be downloaded and adopted by other users to improve their gaming experience.
Modifications, also known as mods, can range from changing the colors and settings of a game to adding new characters and storylines to existing worlds.
The changes can even lead to the creation of totally new games.
The first game in the popular Counter-Strike franchise began as a mod for the 1998 first-person shooter hit Half-Life.
Mr Scott stated in a blog post on Wednesday that the Spider-Man Remastered mod's release had caused "some ridiculous controversy" on Nexus's site.
"The mod replaced the game's already common USA flag texture with the relatively few Pride flags the game really contains," he explained.
He stated that the upload had been withdrawn and that its developer had been banned from Nexus Mods for breaking the company's standards.
According to these guidelines, anything that might be considered controversial, discriminating, or abusive to "any real-world individual or group" may be monitored.
"In terms of replacing Pride flags in this game or any game, our philosophy is as follows: we are for inclusiveness, we are for diversity," Mr Scott continued.
This week, ModDB, another famous modding site, also removed identical submissions from its site.
An "Anti-Gay Mod" in the Spider-Man game replaced LGBTQ+ flags with a flag backing former US President Donald Trump's 2024 presidential campaign.
ModDB said it deleted the content and banned users after a Twitter user spotted a mod on the website that, according to its description, "changes the ridiculous Pride flags to American flags."
"ModDB is an inclusive environment for everybody, and we do not allow targeting marginalised groups," it said, adding that the site has a "zero tolerance policy" for such content.