Gay Hero? Yep, There's an App for That

New iPhone app blends action, gay rights

By Scott Budman
|  Saturday, Mar 6, 2010  |  Updated 7:52 AM PDT
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Gay Hero? Yep, There's an App for That

valethustle.com

A screen shot of Valet Hustle.

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The latest fast-selling iPhone game is action-packed, puzzling, fun and its protagonists are gay.

Like many action movies and TV shows, "Valet Hustle" is set in San Francisco.  Not just because it's a great place for car chases, but because it's the center of the gay and lesbian rights movement.  The maker of "Valet Hustle," Factory Games, says you may not notice but the heroes of this game are gay (insert your favorite Batman & Robin joke here). 

"It's a blast to play," says Factory Games CEO Andrew Littlefield. "But we also wanted to make a social statement that gays and lesbians should have the same marital rights as heterosexuals."

When you first do the "Hustle," you'll probably just notice the 3D anime-style graphics, where you park cars, help customers, and solve various puzzles on your iPhone or iPod Touch

It's not until you get to know the characters and their histories that you find out the two main Valets, Ren and Akira, are gay.  In fact, they were both kicked out of boarding school for kissing members of the same sex.  As you learn more about their personal lives, you realize that gay rights are part of the story.

But Factory Games isn't just talking about gay rights.  The company is donating a portion of the game's proceeds (it costs 99 cents to download) to the Human Rights Campaign

Says Lulu Magdangal, one of the game's developers, "They triumph over prejudice by being themselves.  I can only hope Valet Hustle is the start of a trend where game companies embrace both the gay and lesbian communities."

It's already a big seller in the app store.  Who knows?  Maybe "Valet Hustle" will change some minds, too.

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