Video game culture isn’t exactly known for its queer and trans inclusivity—at least, not yet. A recent OnlineRoulette.org study found that 88 percent of LGBTQ+ gamers who were out to their gaming communities reported experiences of harassment while playing.Amid the hostility, though, video game makers are “leveling up” their efforts to make games safe and affirming environments.
The company behind Spider-Man Remastered, for instance, banned a modder who removed rainbow flags from the game. And the makers of The Sims, a game series that has always allowed same-sex relationships, have been making the hit simulator more trans-inclusive with the recent additions of customizable pronouns, top surgery scars, and binders.
Meanwhile, independent developers have centered queer and trans experiences for years, with games ranging from wholesome to, ahem, hole-some.Related: Despite years-long troll campaign, LGBTQ developers keep creating super-queer video game“We’re seeing games feature LGBTQIA+ characters, queer coming out stories, and queer relationships,” Stephanie DeBiase, gaming and future tech coordinator at the It Gets Better Project, told The Guardian last year. “More and more, games are giving players more options to create characters that reflect them, removing binary gender selection, building character customization that allows for subversive and nuanced gender expression, including non-binary pronoun options, and more.
Games that offer the opportunity for romance are starting to allow players LGBTQIA+ romance options. This representation is not only making games more enjoyable for LGBTQIA+ players, but also helping gamers explore their queerness in safe, virtual spaces.”And gaymers—an umbrella term for queer and trans.