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New soccer video game has player 'coming out' as gay feature

By
Alex Butler

Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The soccer computer game Football Manager will include a "coming out" feature.

Football Manager 2018 game director Miles Jacobson told BBC Sport that part of the reason for the move is that "there are gay footballers."

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"I find it weird that it's still a problem in football so we decided to try and show people that coming out isn't a big deal and can be a positive thing," Jacobson told BBC Sport.

"I just think it's crazy that in 2017 we are in a world where people can't be themselves." Several game users have also posted about the option on social media, including Twitter user @Lugenhimer83.

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"Is this an early Easter Egg in the FM2018 Beta?" Lugenhimer83 posted Sunday, including a screenshot from a player from Blackley FC "coming out" on the game.

The screenshot was of a mock press release on the game, which is available in beta.

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"Blackley FC's Joel Moore has today come out as gay," the message said. "The 18 year-old told his story in an interview with 90min.com and revealed that he was now looking forward to focusing on helping the Citizens achieve their targets for the season. Moore is one of the top earners at Blackley FC and has recently signed a new deal which will keep him at Kenyon Lane until June 2022."

Jacobson posted on Twitter Sunday about his surprise for the feature being found so quickly by gamers.

"I wasn't expecting this to be found so quickly but yes, it's real," he tweeted. "And you get a nice little merchandise boost if it happens in your save."

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No real-life players are being used with the option, as the game uses fictional, computer-generated players after authentic players retire. After a player comes out, the news is delivered to your virtual inbox in the game.

Last year's edition of Football Manager featured Brexit, complicating trades between clubs from the United Kingdom and European Union.

"Single player careers started in the Beta can be also continued in the full game," the game website says.

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"Headline feature news and upgrades are available now on the Football Manager YouTube channel with plenty more still to come. Sign-up to Insider now if you'd like the feature details as soon as they drop."

Jacobson posted several tweets regarding the new feature.

"Thankfully there's been a lot more positivity today than negative. Which is genuinely lovely. Night all. x," Jacobson tweeted.

The game is set for a Nov. 10 release.

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