What prompted this push for pixelated pride? Edison’s suggestion: “The industry wants to be taken more seriously.”

Jeb Havens, an associate game designer at EA/Maxis's Spore and one of the few openly gay designers in the industry, offers up a different opinion.

Video game designers and developers, he says, are “moving away from the stereotype of the angry, homophobic teen boy ... toward a broader picture of who is buying and playing games.”

As a result, he adds, “we’re starting to see a willingness to experiment with stories and characters that would appeal to more diverse audiences,” such as female, LGBT, and older gamers.

Adds Brathwaite: “It took them a while, but developers eventually got hip to the fact that there are women out there who want to control female characters [in video games], and now they’re getting hip to the fact that there are LGBT gamers out there who want to control LGBT characters.”

Another factor influencing the gay-friendliness of today’s games, according to Brathwaite, is that “the almighty dollar talks as much in this industry as it does in any other, and we all know the gay market is nothing to sneeze at in that regard.”