#JamForLeelah, a Trans-Positive Global Game Jam!

A new month-long trans-positive game jam is currently underway and accepting submissions for games focusing on trans youth issues, in order to spread awareness of the issues faced by transgender people in modern society.

#JamForLeelah was organise…

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Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George to respond to something, note that the limit does not exist, or chastise someone for trying to make something happen that’s not going to happen. This is one of those movies that truly defines a generation.

Today it finally becomes a video game. Cue every gay squee noise I can muster.

meangirls logo

Via So Much Drama Studios:

“If You Have Ever Felt Personally Victimized by Regina George, This Game is For You

Designed as an easily accessible ‘tiara-defense’ game, Mean Girls finds the original Plastics at peace with their world, when a new upstart Plastics clique attempts to take control of North Shore High School by piecing together the broken Spring Fling Tiara. Players can select from eight of their favorite Mean Girls characters—Cady, Regina, Gretchen, Karen, Janis, Damian, Aaron, and Kevin, each with their own distinct boost abilities—and all the cliques from the cafeteria, to help defeat opponents and complete each level.”

The mobile “tiara-defense” game is not unlike your standard tower-defender: You place troops, you set up traps, and you keep the oncoming hoards of enemies away from their goal. Only this time around your troops are who you hang out with and the enemies are the opposing cliques.

Comic mean girls

While it may not seem like an obvious genre to slap the Mean Girls name on, it’s actually quite clever. Just as in the original film the cafeteria is a carefully mapped out warzone, with factions ranging from the Varsity jocks to the girls who eat their feelings to the burnouts to the Plastics. And just as Lindsay Lohan’s Katy Herron went to war with Regina George, players will go to war to protect their tiara from those who’d try to snatch it away.

Does this sound like the most fabulous game ever, or does this sound like the most fabulous game ever? Who would come up with such a game? None other than So Much Drama’s Jeff Medor, creator of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Dragopolis, one of our gayest games of the year two years running. As was the case with Dragopolis, Mr. Meador isn’t trying to make a lazy licensed tie-in game…he wants this to be a product that true fans will enjoy through and through.

Mean Girls is hilarious, brutal, and endlessly quotable; I absolutely loved watching and re-watching the film,” said Jeff Meador, founder and president, So Much Drama. “The game is rich with the quirky humor, over-the-top high school power struggles, and everything from hilarious lines, peppermint foot cream, to, yes, the Burn Book.”

Burn Book mean girls

No matter which clique players belong to, from band geeks and preps to regulation hotties, Mean Girls offers seven different ways to play including gameplay modes such as You Can’t Sit With Us, Social Suicide, She Doesn’t Even Go Here, and The Limit Does Not Exist.”

Mean Girls is slated for release on mobile platforms soon. I bet it will make for a great candy-gram.

And none for Gretchen Weiners. Bye.

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GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

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A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

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The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

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A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

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Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

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A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

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February 10

Putin’s Olympic Game Gets Gay Friendly…But Fem-phobic?

putin olympic game
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Over on GamesOnly.com Dutch game dev Robin Ras has released Putin’s Olympic Game, a title designed as protest against the Sochi Olympics and host country Russia’s anti-gay laws.

The game sees players controlling Russian President Vladimir Putin, donning a tutu, in what Ras describes as a gay friendly figure skating competition. On Game Politics Ras was quoted as saying:

“After all complaints about the Russia’s Anti-Gay Law, right before the Olympic games, we immediately had the idea of making a game out of protest,” said Robin Ras. “In this game we portrayed Putin as a extremely gay friendly and that appeals to a large group of people.”

“Figure skating at the Olympic Games in Sochi has all ingredients to create a light-hearted game on this sensitive issue,” Ras added.

Now, I’m all for as many light-hearted jabs at Putin and his anti-gay nonsense as we can get. Saturday Night Live’s Heterosexual Figure Skating sketch was a delightful piece of satire. The SNL sketch works  by subverting the figure skating = flaming homosexual cliche while simultaneously taking a dig at Putin’s homophobic politics. Even out of context the sketch works.

I’m not sure, though, that I can say the same about Putin’s Olympic Game.

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer (why not keep the SNL references going, right?) but there’s something about Putin’s Olympic Game that rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps it’s the unfortunate choice of gendered phrasing in the game’s description, and how that frames the entire experience:

Via GamesOnly [Emphasis Mine]:

“In the protest game: Putin’s Olympic Game, you can play the role of Putin, who will participate in a gay friendly figure skating competition at the Sochi Olympics. Swipe Putin from left to right while collecting as many female objects as possible. Try to get the target within time. Try to avoid dangerous objects like: leather pants, time bombs and photo frames. Catch a wig for more bonus time! Play Putin’s Olympic Game with your mouse.”

It’s no secret that homophobia and misogyny go hand in hand. For many the idea of a feminine man is inherently off-putting, and this game only serves to reinforce that kind of thinking. It’s the low-hanging fruit kind of humor that derives its laughs from the obvious. “Isn’t Putin awful? Let’s put him in a dress because that’s even worse!”

The intent is clear. Putin is anti-gay so why not subject him to his own personal hell of being gay or, at the very least, surrounded by gayness. Rainbow flags abound? Yeah! Pussy Riot masks? Awesome! Skaters with fabulous hairstyles? Johnny Weir approved! Photos of Angela Merkel? Hilarious! Throw leather pants at him? Um…okay, sure!

Lipstick, purses, teddy-bears, and tutus? Hold on.

putin sochi

The success of a joke depends on where, or in this case whom, the punchline lands. While big bad Vlad is undeniably the person this game asks us to laugh at, it’s because of his feminization. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a man in a tutu, or a man wearing lipstick, so what does literally slapping Putin with them really show us?

It reinforces homophobic notions of how awful feminine men are supposed to be by subjecting a homophobe to those very things. It’s siding with the LGBT community while also reinforcing outdated notions of acceptable gender presentation.

This game would have been more successful had it simply stuck to more universally accepted gay-symbols like rainbow flags. A little swish is great too. Hey, our own site is covered in sparkles! But as with anything context is key. I would have loved to see Putin have a skate-off against a flaming queen, and for that queen to come out on top. That would subject Putin to gay-hell while also giving the LGBT community a victory over its oppressors. But in this game we maneuver Putin to victory by walking over the flamers and collecting stereotypically female items.

Let’s reread that: Putin *still* gets to win.

What’s with these anti-homophobia games making homophobes the playable characters? Wasn’t the Taburetka travesty more than enough?

Putin’s Olympic Game feels more retaliatory than subversive or thought provoking. Which is a perfectly valid and acceptable form of protest. And I am 100% in favor of protesting one Vladimir Putin in as many ways as we can. I just wish the victims of Putin’s policies, feminine gay men, the trans community, women, didn’t have to get thrown under the bus alongside him.

What do you think about the game? Give Putin’s Olympic Game a play and let us know what you think in the comments.




About Sal Mattos

(Managing Editor and Writer) Sal lives in the beautiful city of San Francisco where he splits his time between playing games, watching copious amounts of television, and occasionally going outside. He has written for GayGamer and Gamezone. He studied creative writing and theatre at SFSU, and when not gaming can most likely be found on stage somewhere. You can keep up with him on twitter @salmattos

One Response

  1. avatar DannyChameleon says:

    +++. There is nothing more I can say about this piece.

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