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May 13
2014

The Game Theorists Ask “Are Video Games Anti-LGBT?”

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The wonderful and always entertaining Game Theory series has taken a look at LGBT issues in gaming. What starts off as an innocent exploration of drag (inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Race) in video games turns into a more far-reaching expose on some of gaming’s more problematic gay tropes. From queer characters presented as crazy villains to the gender disparities of censorship (lesbians making out is ok, but non-sexualized trans characters get erased), this video does a pretty good job of exploring the kind of wide-spread representation issues that sites like ours explore every day. How wonderful to see such another popular video series tackle queer issues, just as PBS’ Game Channel did last year.

Check out the video under the cut, and if you like what you see you can subscribed to the Game Theorists for more videos like this one.

What do you think about the ideas explored in this video? Cloud in drag, crazy gay characters, and the handful of exceptions we have like Ellie and Bridget? Let us know in the comments!

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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

10 Responses

  1. avatar Michael says:

    I’ve already expressed that my opinion is the video is great except for referring to Vivian as a he when Vivian appears to be transgender – and her story arc is all about loving herself and being accepted.

    …it just feels awkward to have them calling her a him.

    Otherwise the video is great!

  2. avatar Ann says:

    I already said that at various Tomodachi-postings: It is nearly impossible to please everybody and it does pain me to see a lot of the LGBT-community seems to be seeing homophobia almost everywhere these days.

    Consider this: There’s more LGBT-friendliness in games than friendliness for characters of a different race (where are the real black heroes for example?) or for disabled people.

    Anyways… it’s just games and games are supposed to make fun, so I don’t feel the need for every RL-issue here., as long as we don’t forget about the problems in RL.

  3. avatar SadClown says:

    It’s kind of nice that there have been enough positive GLBTQA characters in games in the past few years that the video already feels a bit dated. Keep ‘em coming!

  4. avatar Gabseras says:

    The title of the video is “Are Video Games Anti-LGBT?” but half of the time he just talks about cross-dressing and drag queens.

  5. avatar Gabseras says:

    The other half of the video was very good though.

  6. avatar Elikal says:

    I am just tired of us gays always related and examplified as Drag Queens; I haven’t gone to any CSD for years because it is just Drag Queens and SM Sex-Dudes now.

    I don’t mind whatever people dress at a party, a CSD or in a Saturday Night thing. But gay people in 99% of their daily everyday life are just dudes. Why do dress-up carnival people always have to represent gays? All these variants of pretend and dressup are just a level of escapism from real life which in my advanced age of 43 starts to tire me.

    Saying videogames are anti-gay just because they don’t all have gay people in it is ridiculous and way over the top. There has been considerable progress made, even there is much still to be done. But always harping on the cross-dressing fetish is just not helping. Just because I sleep with guys doesn’t mean I am not otherwise like any other dude. Why does being gay always have to be something fancy, like all gays love to play female 1940ies Hollywood-Stars?

    • avatar Ann says:

      >> I haven’t gone to any CSD for years because it is just Drag Queens and SM Sex-Dudes now.<<

      Big SIGNED on this one

  7. avatar The_French_Guy says:

    I subscribed to game theory after i watched this, until i decided to watch a recent video of his where he defended the over sexualized gods in Smite by saying it is historical accuracy. I noted how he didn’t even bother asking an Hindu gamer what they thought of the design of Kali or completely ignoring recent years depiction of the female gods he mentioned in the video (I don’t remember Freya wearing a mini skirt and boob plate in Die Walküre or a naked Aphrodite in my Saturday morning cartoon shows).

    Seriously, he actually called the goddesses Neith who is wearing a cloth bikini, pink nail polish and high heels… historical accurate… with a straight face. Even added they are “Respecting” her original design back in ancient time by saying the gameplay matches the lore (what does that got to do with the male gaze design?). He also lamented that they covered up Kali more… while still failing to realize it’s still a problem! I actually clicked unsubscribed when he praised the developer for braving up against… actually i am not sure who he mentioned complained the designed at first… Hindus? Feminist? History majors? Ancient mythology cabalist trying to revive the old gods with virgin sacrifice and take over the world? Seriously, he doesn’t mention who they were! Or why they were angry! It’s like some sort of invisible force that hates sexy video game characters and doesn’t know the content like he does. And I’m gonna assume he knows more on the subject then “them” cause he can use Google image search and Wikipedia. What a douche! The comments below the video praising him aren’t any uplifting either…

    Sorry Gaygamer, this video on the LGBT issue is great and i love how he featured this site while respecting LGBT people sexuality and gender identity. But he really needs to learn to grow up and stop thinking with his penis as a defense to lazy character designs sometimes.

  8. avatar AnakinGeada says:

    Hey The_French_Guy, I completely understand where you are coming from; there are even other videos on the channel all about boob physics, but I recommend looking at the dates on the videos that are less than sensitive to female gamers. They are much older videos from the earlier days of the channel. In some of the more recent videos he has even referenced those older videos in reflection of their less than mature topics. The channel actually has come a long way and that guy (I forget his name) actually has grown up a lot since the earlier days of the channel. And the channel is also host of several video series from other hosts, all under the banner of The Game Theorists, it’s not just about him and this thoughts (although he is the ‘star’ of the channel).

    • avatar The_French_Guy says:

      Very well. Even though that video gave me a bad taste in my mouth, I’ll just keep an eye on his more recent videos. I’ll subscribe to his channel when I’ll see newer content addresses the issues in that video he ignored, hopeful in the same matter he did in that video.

      And i didn’t mean to sound grumpy, i was just hopeful for the channel after this video.

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