This year’s GaymerX2 was an absolute blast! For those of you who missed the big event we’ve taken some photos of the event for you to check out below. From the show floor to the GayGamer.net Drag Ball to the costume contest and masquerade...
Today Atari has announced their first ever LGBT-themed game, Pridefest. The upcoming social game for tablets and mobile devices puts players in control of their very own pride parade, and tasks them with making it as fabulous as possible while also k...
(A word of caution. Some of the links to articles contained within contain strong language.)
On Tuesday, Wizards of the Coast released the free basic rules to the fifth and newest edition of the most popular RPG franchise, Dungeons & Dragons. Ins...
Earlier this month, Jeremy Beare (the founder of Grandpa Pixel) approached us about his budding new indie RPG trilogy Legena. Beare promises an authentic traditional RPG-ing experience with a compelling dark story and unique characters and settings. ...
While checking out Dragon Age: Inquisition at E3 this year we were introduced to a number of new characters, including the charming mage Dorian. The quick-witted party member was a standout from the moment he appeared on screen. I couldn’t help...
Over the past weeks, Toronto has been home to World Pride – the first time it’s been held in North America – hosting art and music festivals, human rights conferences, marches, parties, and drawing an audience of millions from across the globe. Toronto Gaymers (a group that has gown to hundreds of members since we first featured them) have been busy throughout, presenting a panel on diverse voices in gaming, mixers, card game, board game, and fighting game events, and (of course) cosplay. In outfits designed to weather the withering heat (and the barrage of water guns along the route), and amid a torrent of 12 000 marchers and activists from more than 50 nations that stretched on for hours during World Pride 2014′s culminating Pride Parade, the Toronto Gaymers got the crowd cheering. Check out a gallery of their best after the jump.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of LGBT-friendly World of Warcraft server Proudmoore’s annual Pride March. Hosted every year by the guild Spreading Taint (Horde) and The Stonewall Family(Alliance), queer and allied players march their way through Azeroth and end with a big in-game Pride celebration. This year the route started in Dawn’s Blossom for the Alliance and Greenstone Village for the Horde, with the marches merging half way through before finally arriving as one at the Shrine of Fellowship. For the first time I took part in the march, and took some photos to commemorate the occasion.
Dani Landers is one of the four members of Studio Fawn, the creative team behind Bloom: Memories, an upcoming game set in a strange and beautifully-crafted world designed to evoke feelings of adventure and exploration, as well as including emotionally-involving storylines using game mechanics and themes that the larger games industry tend to avoid. Bloom has already seen a very successful Kickstarter having met (and exceeded!) their target goal, and their continued progress in developing the game is documented over at the Studio Fawn website. Dani’s role at Studio Fawn encompasses game design, art, writing and marketing, and the world of Bloom stems from her own creative vision.
We caught up with Dani to ask her a little about her vision for Bloom, her experiences as a game developer, and her thoughts on the contemporary games industry. MORE >>
Square Enix disappointed me at this year’s E3. Their lineup looked remarkably similar to last year’s, and the highly anticipated (and eight years in development) Final Fantasy XV as well as Kingdom Hearts III were absolutely nowhere to be found. Instead we got an HD remake of a bunch of old games, a mobile rhythm title, and yet another huge push for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. But then, during a live roundtable discussion of the recently relaunched MMORPG producer Naoki Yoshida made an announcement that put quite the smile on my face.
GaymerX2 is only five weeks away (how time flies!). This year may be the queer gaming convention’s last for the foreseeable future, but it’s going to go out with a bang. While event organizer Matt Conn has previously expressed his frustration with major game companies being unwilling to support GX2, today it’s been announced that several well known game-makers are putting their money where their pro-gay mouths are, making appearances at the show. Ubisoft, NIS America, and OUYA have all stepped up to show support for their LGBTQ fans, joining the previously announced BioWare, Indicade, and Cards Against Humanity.
Major Game Companies Double Down on Equality and Diversity in Gaming
Ubisoft®, NIS America and OUYA join Cards Against Humanity and IndieCade for GaymerX
Friday, June 6 – San Francisco – In light of the recent attention towards corporate support of LGBTQ audiences and on the heels of E3, three major game publishers — Ubisoft, NIS America and OUYA have stepped up in a show of solidarity in support of their LGBTQ players. All three companies will be present at this year’s GaymerX convention in San Francisco, California on July 11-13. Each will be joining the convention, a celebration of LGBT influence in gaming and geek culture, in various ways including panels, workshops, events, and goodies for attendees.”
Many have echoed Nintendo’s sentiment of “social commentary” by claiming that games are “just games”, they’re escapist fantasies, they’re entertainment, and as such, they shouldn’t serve any “political agenda”. But games are not just “escapism”, they’re not just frivolous forays into time-wasting in between reading “Ulysses” or “Animal Farm”, they’re not “just” anything – there’s an entire side to the games industry called serious games! Games, like any medium, like any artform, like any kind of entertainment – both reflect the culture that created it and influences that society’s perspective. As Anna at BorderHouseBlog notes, choosing to abstain from “social commentary” on an issue IS social commentary — any action in a politically-muddied situation is political action. Similarly, Nintendo’s initial decision not to include same-sex relationships – and their subsequent decision not to – did not happen in a vacuum. They happened in an industry already hesitant about, if not inimical to, LGBTQ representation, in a culture where LGBTQ people are already marginalised, poorly represented and discriminated against.
So, it’s important that we have interesting and engaging relationship options – but it’s also important that these options don’t undermine themselves by cutting corners, which can lead to perpetuating tired stereotypes without commentary, creating one-size-fits-all mechanisms that take away nuance and context, and sending out mixed messages.
Unfortunately, the games industry has done all three of these things repeatedly over the years, to the point that whenever games include relationships or romance options that aren’t your regular cis-heteronormative man-kisses-woman-and-they-marry fare, they tend to be cliché, crude, or conflicted. And that’s if they include them in the first place.
But in this month’s Queer Mechanic, we’re not talking about “the gay romance option”. We’re talking about romance options, plural – using game mechanics to explore how we could model and represent alternative relationship structures like polyamory, open relationships, D/s relationships and more, and the possibilities and difficulties these bring with them.