As a queer gamer, I’m often disappointed in the lack of diversity found in my favorite video games.
In fact I was so used to video games not including the queer community, that I eventually gave up, and began to seek out other kinds of media that did. While gaming was once a big part of my life, I found that I could not longer connect to any of the characters or storylines that had once compelled me to play for hours on end.
I stayed away from the gaming community, until a few years ago, I stumbled upon an indie game called Gone Home, centered around a lesbian protagonist and her relationship with her family after they discovered she had a girlfriend. I felt my passion for gaming come back, although this time in an entirely new way. I began to search the depths of the internet for the best queer themed games out there, and was pleasantly surprised to find that queer games exist in all different game types.
Here’s a list of some of the best games that are either LGBTQIA themed or have LGBTQIA characters that remind us that gaming is for everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
One is an abstract puzzle game built around desire and homosexuality. The blocks on the screen are pink and blue, and the object of the game is to match up the similar pieces while paying special attention to the narration at the top of the screen. This game is completely free, and it’s simple yet poignant way of addressing heteronormativity and homophobia makes it one of my personal favorites.
This slice of life RPG takes the player through the day of a trans woman. An autobiographical account of the day to day life of the developer, Mattie Brice, the game comes with an endless loop of choices the protagonist can make, like whether or not to avoid the stares of people in a cafe. Of Mainichi, Brice says, “I wanted (friends) to understand something about my life that I couldn’t communicate with words.”
Coming Out Simulator
Whether you’re out, not out, or just want to get some incite into what the coming out process is like, Coming Out Simulator is a witty and poignant game that accomplishes all of those things. The game also comes with alternate endings depending on what choices you help the protagonist make throughout the game, showing that everyone’s coming out journey is different.
A Normal Lost Phone
A unique take on the point and click game type, A Normal Lost Phone takes the player through the journey of another person’s secret life as a queer teenage, all by finding and looking through their lost cell phone. Funny and at times heart breaking with an array of bisexual and transgender characters, this game is a must play for queer gamers.
We Know the Devil
A visual novel horror game, We Know the Devil follows three characters who have to confront the devil while at a Christian summer camp. Though the soundtrack and artwork are enough to draw anyone in, the addition of two queer main characters and the overall message of self acceptance make this game particularly important for any LGBTQIA gamers looking for a good game with good representation.