In March, a bus sponsored by National Organization for Marriage and International Organization for the Family, two virulently bigoted groups, began a tour to spread an anti-trans message in cities across America.
The “Free Speech Bus” is currently traveling to several cities across the east coast where it parks and then speaks to local media and residents, disseminating anti-trans messages like “It’s biology: Boys are boys … and always will be. Girls are girls … and always will be. You can’t change sex. Respect all.”
The bus has angered people across the nation, which even resulted in it being vandalized while on a stop in New York City.
Aquma, an LA-based independent video game designer, felt inspired by the push-back against the transphobic bus and designed a video game using the vehicle’s likeness. Ignorance Fighter II takes the the concept and characters from the classic “Street Fighter” games and reframes them.
”Trans people, queer people, gender non-binary... they’ve been out here, pushing the boundaries in experimental video games long before it was cool or as accessible as it is now,” Aquma told The Huffington Post. “Through this industry I’ve been inspired by and became friends with many incredibly talented game designers ― who are being marginalized by that bigoted bus campaign. So to fight that message with a ‘free speech video game’ seems fitting and tackles the issue in a light-hearted-but-ironically-serious kind of way.”
Ignorance Fighter II is available to play for free online. As for those who might take issue with the simulated destruction of personal property, Aquma has a strong message for the naysayers.
“Why do you care more about the destruction of a bus than the destruction of peoples’ lives? Anti-LGBTQ campaigns like this enable like-minded legislation and policy ― institutionalized discrimination. It’s f**ked up. Plus, chill. Video games are works of fiction. You know, like ‘symbolism’ and ‘metaphors’ from high school lit class.”