Destiny 2 is removing a piece of armor from the game after its developer Bungie says that it bears a striking resemblance to imagery used as “a hate symbol”. Bungie let players know that the armor would be removed from Destiny 2 as soon as possible.
2/2 Our deepest apologies. This does NOT represent our values, and we are working quickly to correct this. We renounce hate in all forms.
— Bungie (@Bungie) September 12, 2017
While Bungie did not identify exactly what piece of armor was being removed, players on the Destiny subreddit were able to put the pieces together. The gauntlets in question are Hunter-specific called the Road Complex AA1.
The word and meme “Kek” was first popularized in the World of Warcraft community, who used it as a form of LOL. However, over time it has gone through many transitions of meaning. Know Your Meme explains how it was picked up on 4chan to signify Internet trolls and people who post negative comments, designating them as citizens of the fictional country known as Kekistan.
Eventually, the idea and symbolism of the “Kekistan flag” bearing the K’s and vertical lines was picked up by white nationalists as a kind of marker for their beliefs. The symbolism and design of the “Kekistan flag” was actually modeled after a German Nazi war flag, replacing the swastika with the K and vertical lines symbols and swapping the red color with green. While obviously not intended for such a purpose when first created as an Internet meme, the Southern Poverty Law Center explains its connections and implementation:
Most of all, Kek has become a kind of tribal marker of the alt-right: Its meaning obscure and unavailable to ordinary people – “normies,” in their lingo – referencing Kek is most often just a way of signaling to fellow conversants online that the writer embraces the principles of chaos and destruction that are central to alt-right thinking, as it were.
It doesn’t appear that Bungie has received any wide-ranging complaints about the design in Destiny 2, however it appears that the developer is taking the precaution of its association with such groups before it is discovered and gains any momentum.
Bungie followed up its original tweet with another saying that the imagery had been removed from the shared game world, and that it will be removed from inspections and icons in a Hot Fix planned for next week. The developer’s CEO Pete Parsons also tweeted, further emphasizing that this imagery does not align with the company’s values:
At Bungie, our company values place the highest emphasis on inclusion of all people and respect for all who work with us or play our games. https://t.co/lox0XuYhgJ
— pete parsons (@pparsons) September 12, 2017
Destiny 2 is available now on PS4 and Xbox One, and releases on October 24, 2017 for PC.