Queer Mechanic is a regular feature here on GayGamer – each month, we’ll be presenting a new game mechanic that could be used in games that include or focus on queer identity or culture. Queer Mechanic is a thought experiment, to see both what we cou...
When Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us took the gaming world by storm last year, some gamers were surprised to find that a major supporting character was gay. Bill, the gruff old man that players encounter during the main campaign, was a refreshingl...
My apologies for the linkbait-y sensationalist title, but it’s worth noting that very few AAA games prominently feature queer characters in any major roles, let alone playable ones. Sure we have characters like Poison and virtual-Darren Young, ...
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...
Have you found yourself sitting on a great idea for an article or a feature about video games? Board games? Cosplay? Got something to say about queer issues in gaming? Or maybe you’re just really passionate about a certain series or character?
For the past two years there has been one invention grabbing the attention of game developers everywhere: The Oculus Rift. The Kickstarter-funded virtual reality headset is being touted by many as the next big thing in interactive entertainment. Ever...
Queer Mechanic is a regular feature here on GayGamer – each month, we’ll be presenting a new game mechanic that could be used in games that include or focus on queer identity or culture. Queer Mechanic is a thought experiment, to see both what we could add to games, and to recognise what’s been missing from them; it’s a challenge, both to readers, to come up with novel, interesting and effective ways to use them, and to developers, to include them in games; and it’s a discussion for a more inclusive, more varied, and more innovative future for the games industry.
Trans people are rarely represented in games, and when they are, the representation is rarely very positive; given that the vast majority of games fall over this first set of hurdles, it can be hard to imagine what games with trans-ness represented and catered towards would look like.
If I could bet on someone being able to imagine these games, though, it would be Eilidh, Emily Crosbie, and Moose Hale, three trans gamers who took part in this interview to share their understanding with game developers, players, and writers looking to address the massive imbalance against trans people, issues, characters and representation in general throughout the medium of videogames.
There was also plenty of controversy within the gay gaming community itself, as the battle between r/gaymers and gaymer.org finally came to a head. The latter, one of the first of many gay-centric gaming communities, shut down earlier this year alongside an emotional note from its founder Chris Vizzini.
And of course, you can’t talk about gay gaming in 2013 without talking aboutthe first ever queer-centric LGBT gaming convention GaymerX, founded by Matt Conn. Following its massive Kickstarter success in 2012 the gay gaming convention packed the halls of Hotel Kabuki to capacity. With gender neutral bathrooms, panels ranging from indie game devs to BioWare, and an entire sensitivity trained staff keeping watch, the attendees of GaymerX found themselves in a safe space where the focus was on one thing and one thing only: gaming.
But the biggest moments in gay gaming weren’t just in the community, they were happening in games as well. Whether they featured prominent queer characters (playable or not), created opportunities for gamers to express themselves outside of heteronormative gender roles, or otherwise explored non-traditional themes, here is a collection of 2013′s gayest games.
If you weren’t able to make GaymerX this past August there’s absolutely no reason to feel like you’ve missed out on anything! The folks behind the first ever queer gaming convention have begun uploading every single panel from the inaugural event, as part of the GaymerXTalks series.
For those keeping score, there are indeed plenty of changes and new features coming to GayGamer.net soon and they are still very much in the works.
Don’t miss the rest of the GaymerXTalks series, featuring Pandora Boxx, Mattie Brice, Ellen McLain, and many more, over on the official GaymerX Youtube Channel. More panels are being uploaded regularly.
Back in November, I suggested the word ‘xbroglio‘ as a catch-all term for the many-and-various ways that Microsoft have messed up with regards to creating and marketing the Xbox One. This week, thanks to a leaked (and now, officially confirmed) document regarding the addition of “Diversity Lounges” to future Penny Arcade eXpo (PAX) events – ostensibly areas for people interested in games and social consciousness, but which comes across as the Designated Diversity Zone of PAX – I’m forced to think of new nomenclature for Penny-Arcade related mishaps.
The best I’ve got thus far is “PAXccident”, although I’m willing to bet there’s a better one out there; hit me up if you got one!
According to the document – which was originally posted up onIndieStatik– the “Roll for Diversity Hub and Lounge” will be a fixture within the PAX convention itself, dedicated to providing a space where attendees can “find out about all the different diversity related things happening in and around PAX”, “learn about diversity in the gaming industry”, “learn about diversity in general”, and “learn about geek businesses that cater to diverse communities”. On paper, this sounds like a great idea – a dedicated zone inside one of the biggest games conventions in the world, where folk interested in social awareness in games can find like-minded folk, listen to panels and speakers on subjects relevant to them, and check out games that cater specifically to them. Indeed, with some reading-between-the-lines (and divorced of additional context), this seems to be what the folks at Penny Arcade intended all along.
Remaking Final Fantasy VII in HD may be the most common sense decision that a gaming company has ever ignored. A revolutionary title in its day that has dug a comfortably nostalgic place in most gamers’ hearts, the relatively cheap process it would take to polish up the texture work and put Uematsu’s score to a symphony seems like a no brainer. Hell, they’ve pretty much done it already through the years, with touring Final Fantasy concerts and a series of game spinoffs that sold far more than they deserved. But if there is one thing those in the internet trenches love to do more than bemoan the lack of a Final Fantasy VII re-release, it’s theorizing why it hasn’t happened yet.
While I can’t pretend to have the answer, I stumbled along a factor that could be contributing to Square Enix’s reticence. In a story filled to the brim with corporate overreach, grandiose environmental messages, and clones, we take a bit of a detour in the first act to dress the game’s spiky yellow haired male lead Cloud as a woman to try and seduce information out of a gangster. It’s played off with a lot of sitcom-esque humor, but this mission takes a few turns that could be problematic if bumped to HD.
I first heard of Ultimate Gay Fighter through a friend’s Facebook post rather than any gaming news outlet, because do you really think that mainstream gaming outlets are going to bother with anything like this? I gave the trailer a look-see, wrote up a quick “this is a thing” post for Towleroad, and then forgot about it.
Except I didn’t. It stayed in the back of my mind, and the more I thought about it the more I realized that while this is a project with its heart in the right place, its execution is horrible. Offensive, even, in cases that can’t be defended with the whole “it’s a tongue-in-cheek satire.” The characters can be broadly categorized into “Good”, “Eh” and “Bad.” Let’s take a look…
Well, today’s contribution to the continuing imbroglio can be foundover on the site for the Xbox One – in the form of the “We Got Your Back” email template provided courtesy of Microsoft, replete with mad-libs style fields where you can customise a desperate e-plea for an Xbox One to a co-habiting human being and email it off. Which sounds fairly innocuous – if a little obnoxious – were it not for the weirdly gendered and heteronormative format of the entire letter itself.