The Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels campaign is returning to the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, (PAX West) September 1-4, one of the largest consumer gaming events in the country, to debut ‘The League of Extraordinary Humans,’ a mobile geo-location game.
The game features a diverse group of everyday heroes fighting for love and inclusion, including competitive gamer Mike Begum, aka 'BrolyLegs', transgender advocate Jazz Jennings, and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad.
Created by Artifact Technologies, the geo-location game will challenge users to rethink bias as they collect digital cards featuring these everyday heroes. Players will receive messages through the app that will lead them to six different partner booths throughout the Washington State Convention Center, where they will complete two challenges that will deepen their understanding of implicit bias, according to a release by the Ad Council. After completing each challenge, they will unlock a digital trading card featuring the likeness and story of an 'everyday' superhero who is fighting implicit bias. Upon completing the game, select players will win an exclusive Love Has No Labels official Pinny Arcade Pin.
"When the Ad Council approached us about working with them at PAX we jumped at the opportunity," said Brent Friedman, co-founder and chief creative officer at Artifact Technologies. "Our challenge was to create a geo-gaming experience that would not only do justice to the Love Has No Labels campaign, but also to properly showcase the extraordinary group of real-life heroes we have transformed into collectible superhero cards. The end result feels like the perfect convergence of medium and message."
The cards were illustrated by comic book artists from diverse backgrounds including Dave Dorman, Emily Warren Rice, Al Davison, Chris Visions, Ashley Woods and Garrie Gastonny in addition to colorist Dominic Regan. Dave Elliott, a veteran of the comic book industry with over 25 years of experience as a writer, artist, editor and publisher oversaw the art development for the cards.
Additional heroes in the game include Grace Dolan-Sandrino, a transgender advocate; Anne Munition, an LGBTQ gaming influencer; Benjamin Williams, co-founder of the PAX Diversity Lounge; and Marley Diazm, the 12-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, among others.
Also, throughout the convention, Love Has No Labels will host a booth in the PAX Diversity Lounge and two panels on implicit bias and the role of diversity in gaming. The activations are part of the Ad Council's larger Game for Good program, which focuses on bringing public service messages to gamers in an authentic way.
"To really have an impact on social issues, we need to meet people where they are spending their time. For millions across the country that's playing games online, on mobile or on consoles," said Lisa Sherman, president and chief executive officer of the Ad Council. “‘The League of Extraordinary Humans' is just the first step in bringing our message of diversity to the gaming community, and we hope that it will help all gamers recognize their role in making the world a more accepting place.”