For the LGBTQIA + community and each of its individuals, finding a space for expression in the gaming world is remarkably complex.
Historically, we have lived within an area in which we must adapt to the presence of subtext that is representative or settle for the crumbs of representation of high and mid-range titles. But it is the independent world that has shown where the sexodiverse representation should aspire.
With the passage of time and the expansion of possibilities for developing and programming video games from modest conditions, a host of creative minds have gone to work to create the kinds of games they want to play. Able to provide the personal and group experiences that they want to see in the world, in addition to marking a break with the general ideas of the environment.
Instead of crumbs, they have decided to offer the full banquet, including desserts and drinks at the house’s expense, with video games that to this day have become known in the mainstream world with a great critical reception.
It is important to clarify that most of these titles, as is the norm in the indie world, are present on PC, so console users may feel somewhat removed from the subject, given the reluctance of their companies to present these games . Similarly, we are aware that hundreds of games would be unfairly excluded from this list, but to facilitate presentation, we will avoid presenting titles with explicit or implicit sexual content.
Gone Home (Fullbright. 2013)
One of the stories that managed to be a hit without incorporating violence, horror, agility or coordination gameplay. Just collect the clues of a story of love, pain and hope. We take on the role of Kaitlin Greenbriar, a 21-year-old who returns to her family home after studying abroad.
He unexpectedly discovers that his parents and sister Samantha are no longer in the house, with only a series of cryptic clues as to where his family is. A horror story could be predicted on this premise, but what we are dealing with is the tale of the blossoming love between Samantha and her classmate Lonnie.
Through the accounts in her diary we witness how Samantha develops her love for Lonnie and how they deal with their environment by establishing themselves as a couple in the mid-1990s. With a surprisingly hopeful story, Gone Home became one of the The world’s best-remembered indie titles, with releases to current-generation consoles.
Undertale (Toby Fox. 2015)
It’s hard to think of a title that skipped all the hot topics in the industry and could have been as memorable as Undertale has been, still lingering on the minds of millions to date.
The sexually diverse representation in this game is, for many, limited to the character of Undyne, the openly lesbian guardian who manifests her romantic interest with another girl from her kingdom. But this is not the only representation we have in this title.
“The human” we take on this adventure is the epitome of non-binary representation. He never expresses at any time whether or not he has a defined gender or if he identifies himself in any way, using qualifiers such as “the kid” or even the name of his dark version, Frisk.
2064: Read Only Memories (MidBoss. 2015)
What happens when a cyberpunk dystopia points in a direction toward positive acceptance of diversity? this is the scene of Neo-San Francisco in 2064: Read Only Memories.
A detective title that emulates classic PC and NES games, it places us in a highly technological world where more and more human beings are applying implants and improvements to their bodies. In addition, artificial intelligences are making giant leaps towards autonomy.
Seeking to solve a murder with personal relationships with the protagonist, with the help of the adorable Turing, we are witnesses of a fully open world in which we have the possibility both to choose our own pronouns and to know, interact and see a sexually diverse society living their lives. To fullness. An unmissable game for those who fell short with the representation of Cyberpunk 2077.
VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action (Sukeban Games. 2016)
A trip to land familiar to sexually diverse people is undoubtedly the world of cyberpunk dystopias. But instead of a game with an oversized budget and terrible results, VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action offers us drinks and company to drown our sorrows.
As the waitress of the VA-11 Hall-A bar, named Jill, we will have a simulation of daily work in a direct service with a very colorful clientele with which our interactions will be fundamental to follow the multiple routes of this title. Romance is included in these options, where Jill’s bisexuality is revealed when approaching the person that interests us.
Ideal for lovers of cyberpunk aesthetics, anime and daily life simulation titles, especially now that we live in a true cyberpunk dystopia.
LongStory (Bloom Digital Media. 2017)
High school has never been easy, but in LongStory it gets more complex as you have to solve a missing person mystery while we find love. A title that allows us to take the pronouns and description that we want, as well as find love in any of our partners.
Overtly aimed at LGBTQIA + youth who want a story that represents them, LongStory does not hold back on every possible spectrum of exploring diversity in the formative years. An approach that few in the industry reach and even fewer are able to do correctly.
Celeste (Matt Makes Games. 2018)
If Undertale was able to break down barriers and become memorable, Celeste is the title that shook the big companies in the industry like no other to date. An indie that defied the forecasts and remained as one of the best games of the year 2018.
Celeste tells the story of a young woman named Madeline as she attempts to climb Celeste Mountain, a fictional mountain in western Canada that apparently possesses the power to manifest inner turmoil and the true self in reality. This is manifested with the presence of panic attacks and moments of depression that the protagonist experiences during each scenario of the platform title.
If the story and gameplay weren’t enough, the final confirmation that many of Madeline’s dilemmas stemmed from episodes in her gender transition made for a game with a surprising twist. Linked directly to the journey that Maddy Throson had, who came out of the closet as a non-binary person and confirmed that Madeline is a canonically trans woman.
Mainichi (Mattie Brice. 2012)
You cannot ask for a simpler and more direct game than this. Mainichi (translated from Japanese as “every day”) is a minimalist game that narrates a common day in the life of a transgender person in today’s society. The protagonist is a trans woman of color who has planned an outing with her friends for a coffee.
Your available activities are based on this outing, starting with the free time you have before the appointment is given and the consequences of each of your decisions as the day progresses, for better or for worse. Such a high realism that when viewed in such a reduced format, it makes us see the true possibilities of gaming and how our only limit is in our imagination.
As this is just a sample of what the LGBTQIA + community is capable of offering to the world of video games, there are many more options that explore all kinds of expressions and feelings of creative minds without being dragged into a creative abyss by corporate decisions.
A demonstration of what can and should be required as a true representation of diversity. It is not only to be filled with rainbows in the month of Pride, but to know how to perceive the power of the stories created by authors who live this life.