LGBTQ+ rep in video games


I feel like people who insist modding a straight character to be bi is the same as modding a gay character really really miss the point.


I think I’m okay with this. They’re characters and while these sorts of mods could be done well or poorly I don’t have a problem with them being changed by modders BUUUT…

If a dev can be criticised for poor representation/erasure etc in characters then I think so can a modder. But in the case of the modder I’d maybe be more patient because often enough it’s just one person and it’s easy to mess up, especially when young.


Modders definitely have some kind of responsibility (see also mods that “prettify” - or make characters adhere to eurocentric standards of beauty), but I’ve seen modders receive death threats for modding straight characters to be bi which is honestly disgusting, especially considering the same threats were not there for the person who modded the gay characters in Dragon Age: Inquisition to be available for the gender they were definitely not attracted to.

I am a firm believer of being patient with people, but in this specific case I honestly doubt they didn’t know exactly what they were doing.


Modding an additional layer to straight characters so that queer ppl can romance them = cool, it’s often just pronoun swaps and the bi!Cass mod still maintained a male model in the cut scenes anyways because it’s tougher to fuck with the cinematic stuff.

Modding a directed, chosen gay character to be bi/straight = gross. Don’t use my identity to undermine the game especially when that has pernicious real life implications.


I’ve seen people mentioning Read Only Memories, which I can’t help but strongly recommend against - it struggles with trying to be everything to everyone, and wants to both present a world where queer folks aren’t oppressed and also talk about the oppression queer folks experience, which leads them to concoct a whole story around magical furry racism that just left me feeling icky. Also all the characters are annoying and the story isn’t very interesting. At least it’s gorgeous to look at, though.

I’d wholeheartedly recommend Night in the Woods, though. 3/4 of the main characters are gay or bi, and the story benefits so much from having more on its mind than just “being inclusive”. It’s a story about intersections and how capitalism effects the town and the people of Possum Springs. Everyone in Night in the Woods feels like someone I know in real life, either in my own small town or online. Also gregg rulz ok.

Also, I’d recommend VA-11 HALL-A, especially if you’re itching for cyberpunk. It takes an angle on cyberpunk that I’ve never seen before, focusing not on the exploits of hackers or corporations themselves, but on the (mostly) ordinary lives of the (mostly) ordinary people who have to live in a world shaped by corporate dystopia and nanomachines and whatnot. Also it’s got a dog in a hawaiian shirt.

Also also, there’s Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor, a game about poverty and queerness set in a spaceport where you’re the janitor getting paid pennies per hour to clean up trash, and also you’ve been cursed by a skull that follows you around all the time. Much like VA-11 HALL-A, Diaries focuses on the lives of those on the fringes of the genre it works in - your character in Diaries is struggling to get by in a world full of starfaring adventurers, and all she wants is to get off this rock. Also you have to regularly buy new genders from the gender vending machine.


I liked ROM because it felt like a world where social issues regarding race, sexuality, gender and culture are (presumably) no longer existent, but assholes still find people to hate. In a game that’s super saturated cyberpunk that doesn’t really feel like your common, chromed up cyberpunk it felt weirdly dark.

Also did you play the edition with voice acting? I played about half of it after they added the VO and man. That game worked soooo much better when it was all text and no VO.


When I was still in high school and desperately putting variations on “gay games” or “queer games” into google, I came across this game called Gun Mute where you play a gunslinger trying to save his boyfriend. It’s a very stripped-down IF game in a sci-fi western setting, with showdowns taking the form of turn-based puzzles. Pacian’s also made a considerable number of other games (including Love, Hate and the Mysterious Ocean Tower which is about 5 minutes long, has multiple endings, and emphasizes the protag’s relationship with his lover in an interesting way), but Gun Mute’s always stuck with me.


I thought Watch_Dogs 2 did it well with Miranda, surprised it came from Ubisoft since they made those dumb comments during Assassin’s Creed Unity time.


Watch_Dogs 2 does a pretty good job across the board… and then it doesn’t. They fucking kill that game when they kill Ratio.


Yeah that part was pretty bad. Maybe they’ll get it next time :confused:


I’m 100% for people modding straight characters to be queer, because it’s giving us representation that the devs didn’t think we should have gotten for some reason.

100% against it the other way around. Straight people already have like 90%+ the representation in all video games, and now they wanna treat bisexuality as a toy so they can get their rocks off to a character that was originally gay or a lesbian? Fuck off. Get that shit outta my face.


I think it’s especially upsetting when dealing with homophobia is a part of the character’s story. Like, you saw a character who’s story deals with other people trying to force them to be something they’re not, and you’re response is, “well, I still wanna romance them with a player character of the opposite sex so screw that narrative”???


God yes. I wanna make everyone who uses the Bi Dorian mod watch the cutscene with his father over and over and let it SINK IN


I don’t wanna derail anything going on in the thread right now, but in general I’ve never found any game where I can live out the fantasy of existing in the world and doing grand, explosive things to impact it. There is no power fantasy for a non-binary person, because very few game developers make options for it and when they do they are either (in my opinion) poorly executed, or I’m the One Trans Character In The Whole World. Which isn’t good either.

Exceptions to this rule are Sunless Sea where instead of a binary slider or something equally poorly realized you get to pick how people refer to you and several preset cameos or face options. Then you can pick a couple other options like if you can give birth or if your partner can (or if you just say fuck it and adopt a child) and how your child refers to you. Gender comes down to a set of choices, rather than just a series of preset, binary ideas like masculinity and femininity.

Of course Sunless Sea suffers from the playersexual trope, but when you’re dealing with something as complex as say a woman who has people refer to her as “sir” and who feels the idea of giving birth abhorrent, or a trans man who has everyone, including their child refer to them as captain, it’s difficult for a system to assume something of you, so it allows you to make choices about who to be with organically as they come up.

It’s not necessarily a good work around and leads to some really flat character moments but I can’t think of a good way to necessarily communicate an identity like mine beyond ticking a box (Which I’m Not A Huge Fan Of) or making a unique storyline for each interaction. And idk it’s more important for me personally that I can play as a trans character who is actually allowed to be like me than if every romance option I have is fully realized.

That’s just my personal opinion tho.


I liked Sunless Sea’s options; they feel inclusive but also really fit the tone of the world? Fallen London (same dev) also recently changed how it does gender, going from making the player pick from three options (male, female, and person of mysterious and indistinct gender) to using Sunless Sea’s system of asking for a form of address instead, which I think was a smart move. Here’s them saying why they changed it. It’s nice to see Devs admitting that something isn’t working or hasn’t aged well, though that might be giving cookies for the bare minimum.

I’ve seen people mention Read Only Memories, and while I think the criticism that it was trying to do to much at once is fair, it was one of the first games that let me pick my pronouns and use “they/them”, which honestly helped me a lot while I was figuring out my gender, so it’s always gonna have a special place in my heart.

… and this kinda got me thinking how it’d be cool if, in an RPG like Dragon Age, when an NPC says they’re trans, you could be like, ‘hey, I’m trans too!’. I mean, it could easily be handled terribly, as trans NPCs are already handled kinda iffy at best a lot of times, but still. An enby can dream


This is exactly how it works in Always Sometimes Monsters, by the way. You can establish that your character is trans through a conversation with a trans NPC.


Yeah, I think one of my hugest beefs with trans representation is that it usually presumes a straight, cis audience.

It’s clear that there are a lot of well intentioned cis ppl out there, but ultimately when you presume I’m not even going to be present to see your work, or you cater and groom it almost to fit within the ideals set forth by other cis ppl? You’re starting from a bad place.


same!! this was the most infuriating thing to me in the conversation with krem. the only dialogue options you had when he talked about his experiences read as different flavors of ignorance that were incredibly alienating to me as someone who knows how annoying it would be to hear some of those responses. i wished so badly that i had the option to say, “hey, i get it! me too!”


The closest thing to one that wasn’t ignorant was “you’re so brave” and like. Please no.


Ugh I hated that entire dialogue tree…I mean I knew it was going to be terrible but I clicked the options anyway because curiosity, cat, etc.; I guess I wanted to see the trainwreck that was the conversation that followed and BOY it was bad.

Like I am also keeping a keen eye on DA4 because it is very likely set in Tevinter, meaning we’ll very likely get Maevaris Tilani in the game, a fact which I am very torn about because I do not trust Bioware to handle her properly, i.e. hire trans folk to write/perform a trans character.