LGBTQ+ rep in video games


Shoutouts to Read-Only Memories, which is a great little SNATCHER-esque adventure game that sells you on an inclusive world from the getgo without issue.


Jacob Frye from Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate was confirmed bisexual by the writers, but in the game itself it’s sort of ambivalent, so that’s probably not the rep you were hoping for, but he was the first person that came to mind.


I’m less interested in established het devs throwing out bones whenever they deem it necessary and more interested in LGBTQ+ folx having the space and backing to make their own shit.

And to be allowed space to be complicated, fraught, and messy. Let queers be fucked up, not just either perfect sparkly unicorns or spotless tragic victims. It’s disheartening to see AAA devs being lauded for not being terrible whilst indie queer peeps are scrutinized into oblivion.


I’ve called that “playersexual” before and I hate it. Sure it gives you more options, but it also makes a key part of a character just a void.


Ah, the wink wink nudge nudge “Dumbledore was gay” school of rep…throw it in the dumpster.


That’s one of the reasons I like Night in The Woods so much in relation to this: The characters are not straight and they aren’t perfect. They have realistic problems and it’s communicated well, they aren’t just perfect gay angels.


I think Sometimes Always Monsters is the only game I’ve ever played where you could choose if your character is trans. I thought it was handled pretty well, but that was a few years ago and I hadn’t come to terms with being trans myself yet, so maybe I’d see it differently now.


Well, the difference is that Dumbledore’s gayness always felt like it was pulled out of thin air, whereas in the case of Jacob Frye it was more like that as a non-straight person I recognized a few of his struggles and definitely went “yep this man isn’t straight”.

Still, though, blatant is always better and word of mouth from the creator should never be a means to get representation. It feels like it’s cheap and creators will use it so they don’t actually have to do the legwork, so to speak.


I dunno, I feel like Life Is Strange went really (needlessly) hard on the kill your lesbians trope and handwaved it with “but she had to die” when there still wasn’t enough proof for me that the vortex was because of time shenanigans. The characters were alright but plot stuff…


This is always such a hard thing because of course there’s part of me that is like “Yes please give me games with more gays, more queers, more people who don’t just line up with the typical heteronormative expectations.” But really at this point, after having to deal with so many really terrible attempts at it, I just want people to actually… you know WRITE characters with this in mind rather than make it feel like it was shoved in just because it would be cool.

But… what makes it hard is there’s a huge divide of what people like us want in video games. For myself, I’m dying to see more LGBTQ+ characters that have to overcome conflict and tragedy because I feel like it’s an empowering and uplifting thing to bear witness to, but it also creates a mentality for non queer folk about what it means to people like us. At the same time though, I know there are plenty of people who do NOT want to see this and are tired of having to see characters like us getting treated like crap in a fictional world akin to our own world.

It’s honestly a really frustrating thing. Like I’m working on game things with friends (you know, as you do) and we constantly feel one moment we can do something super emotional and intense, but then we start to worry that by doing it, is it going to be something that just creates a bad experience for people. I’ve been told by other game folk to just go ahead and do it because its something we feel needs to be said and shown, but there’s always that hesitation that we’re just going to alienate people and make them feel bad.


The Nier series.

Most people know Kaine is intersex but a lot of people do not know that Emil is canonically gay. I heard somewhere that Nier himself is Bisexual but I could be wrong about that.

Automata was a lot more overt in terms of characters sexuality & gender identity.


Okay, that’s better than I was worried about…Syndicate is still in my “to play” stack and Black Flag really burned me with its treatment of a particular character.


Thank you for the recommendation - but I totally agree with you all on the ‘Yeah Word Of God says they’re lgbtq+’ being nonsense.


A better example from AC: Syndicate is Ned Wynert, a jewel thief turned businessman who is transgender.


This is exactly the reason why I could never get into this game. It all felt futile playing it knowing I was more or less being baited into watching another Bury Your Gays scenario.


Christine Love’s game’s are fantastic when it comes to LGBTQ+ themes. Ladykiller in a Bind comes to mind specifically.


I never finished Black Flag, or really got that far at all, but was it Anne Bonny? I never met her in-game (Or at least I don’t recall)


True, I loved Ned! Though admittedly I hate the way they handle his background in his character file, complete with leaving it up to interpretation that his identity is nothing more than a performance as well as deadnaming. But damn, I love me some Victorian trans characters, so despite the missteps I was glad he was part of the story.


The problem I think is that most developers don’t know how to portray bisexuality well (if at all), so they end up falling back on that approach as the default thinking that’s good enough. It’s frustrating.


This. This 10000x