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Playing It Straight!

Don’t get me wrong, having this option is great, allowing players to decide if they want their character to romance queer non-player characters is a way of adding a layer of diversity. These kinds of character customizations are certainly a step in the right direction. But, they have been stand-ins for a more robust and impactful LGBTQ representation in the world of video game for decades!

All you need to know about GLAAD’s report on queer representation in video games and 7 LGBTQ+ video games coming out (literally) in 2024 that we think you should watch out for!

When you think of the quintessential gamer, your mind goes to a white boy sitting in the basement of his parents’ house, crouched in front of a screen, away from all of society. That’s just not true anymore. This may have been the key demographic of gamers a few years ago but not today. With the ‘gamer girl’ culture taking over the socials, strides have been made to make the space more inclusive, but is it enough?

The estimated global revenue of the gaming industry surpasses that of Filmed Entertainment and Recorded Music combined. And even though 17% of all gamers identify as LGBTQ+, less than 2% of video games have queer characters. This is what GLAAD’s new report states. The first of its kind, the LGBTQ+ nonprofit has in the past released reports on queer representation in various forms of media. However, this is the first time they have done a report solely focused on video games.

Due to its interactive nature and opportunity to build community, gaming, like any other form of media, can be a great escape from reality for its users. Especially for its queer users, it can be a way for those who don’t feel comfortable or safe enough to explore their gender identity or sexuality in the real world, to indulge in the same in the digital world. This makes it an important outlet for self-expression.

Also read:The Queer-est Video Games to Play Right Now!

There are a few relatable queer characters in the gaming space, like that of Lev from Last of Us (Part 2) and Ellie from the original game, who rose to prominence after the HBO adaptation of the same starring non-binary star Bella Ramsey and our favorite trans ally, Pedro Pascal. Nonetheless, most video games claim brownie points for representation only by adding optional or secondary characters that are queer.

Don’t get me wrong, having this option is great, allowing players to decide if they want their character to romance queer non-player characters is a way of adding a layer of diversity. These kinds of character customizations are certainly a step in the right direction. But, they have been stand-ins for a more robust and impactful LGBTQ representation in the world of video game for decades!

We need more out-there, in-your-face, queer representation!

Till we don’t have that, let’s celebrate the ones we do have. Here are 7 LGBTQ+ video games coming out (literally) in 2024!

Hades 2

The Hades video game series is a rogue-like dungeon crawler in which you battle to break free from the Underworld (as described in Greek mythology) using dark sorcery to take on the sinister Titan of Time. Probably one of the most anticipated games by queer gamers, the first edition followed Zagreus, the bisexual son of Hades, whose equal parts loveable and frustrating nature helps him hack and slash his way out of the underworld!

In the second edition we follow the star goddess, Melinoë as she takes on her turn to battle the Titan of Time in the Greek Underworld. Even though little is known about this version of the game yet, the original one offered two distinct romance options and more than a handful of LGBTQ+ characters, all inspired by Greek mythology. No doubt this one will do the same!

Release Date – Q2 2024

Dragon’s Dogma

One of the most iconic action role-playing games. This high-fantasy adventure takes players in the role of Arisen, the hero of the story driven by his desire to challenge the dragon, who recruits allies to take on giant monsters. Even though no information is given by Capcom about the changes in prospective character relationships, we do hope that the sequel continues with allowing players to befriend and romance any character they wish just like in the original.

Release Date – 22nd March, 2024

Beloved Rapture

The developers of this OG Nintendo style role-playing game have shared how LGBT themes and friendship are integral to the story of the game!

The game is an indie jRPG that blends modern themes with classic gameplay. It follows Johan, an introverted man from the countryside, as he is forced to abandon his carefree existence when he comes up against a religious faction. He is joined by Aiden, a mysterious son of a shrine caretaker, and Crystal, a noblewoman who has run away from her family.

Release Date – Q1 2024

They Speak from the Abyss

If you’re a fan of classic dungeon crawling-style role-playing games that explore themes of psychological horror while solving puzzles then this is the game for you!

Step into the shoes of Vanessa Rivers, a queer woman who moves to a new city to be closer to her partner, but her fresh start turns into something sinister as she’s thrown into a nightmarish world.

Release Date – 2024

Spirit Swap : Lofi Beats to Match-3 To

“Cast spells, be queer and crash the biggest concert of the year.” If that sounds like something you will enjoy, you should check out Soft Not Weak’s newest action puzzle game!

Set in a lush, narrative-driven world of witchy demons, the game lets its players bond with witches and demons and even smooch adorable characters!

Release Date – 2024

Read Only Memories : NEURODIVER

ES88 is an esper tasked with capturing Golden Butterfly, a psychic entity hiding in the memories of others. Set within Read Only Memories’ Neo-San Francisco, colorful, vibrant cyberpunk city, players will get to play as ES88 as they work to uncover the memories stolen by the Golden Butterfly in this psy-fi adventure.

Like the original, this one too is set to feature multiple LGBTQ+ characters that players can take on!

Release Date – 2024

AfterLove EP

This slice-of-life game is a blend of narrative adventure, rhythm game, and dating simulator that allows players to experience urban life in Jakarta, Indonesia through the eyes of the musician Rama, a young-man working through the death of his girlfriend, Cinta.

Through this role-playing game, we explore the decision Rama makes about the path he wishes to take and his relationships!

Release Date – Q3 2024

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Yashaswiny Dinkar is like fire. She is a psychologist, writer and a Koda enthusiast. (Koda = pet dog = soulmate). Her laugh, energy and enthusiasm are infectious. The high decibels of her voice are comparable only to her affection and consideration. It is evident in the way she educates people about feminism, pushes for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and spreads awareness about mental health. If someone tries to hurt people she cares about, her fire can burn them to ashes. She is driven to achieve her goal of becoming a published author and does not let any opportunity pass by. But she does not push other people down in the process but instead illuminates the path for them. Yashaswiny Dinkar is a happy bonfire, a soft candle flame, a protective flamethrower and a guiding torch. Yashaswiny Dinkar is fire.
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