LGBTQ+ representation in video games
In our current world, as we’ve seen with everything going on this year, equal and accurate representation matters. Whether it be in films, video games, television or even on stage, representation helps build and maintain equality.
When it comes to having representation on screen, children and young adults begin to feel more comfortable in their skin when they can see and relate to a character similar to them — whether this be a character that is disabled, a character of color or an LGBTQ+ character. This is something that has been seen in films and television for quite some time, so why not in video games as well?
LGBTQ+ representation in video games has the ability to increase comfort and confidence in the player because they’re presented the opportunity to play as or interact with these characters in a fictional realm before coming out in the real world. As something that has increased in importance over the years, inclusivity and representation can help the LGBTQ+ community feel included in the video game world.
Here are a few games that include LGBTQ+ characters:
“Life is Strange”
The “Life is Strange” series is a choose your own adventure with a current total of three games. In this series you meet different characters who are part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum — from bisexual to pansexual, to gay or lesbian. Also, in these games the protagonists can be considered bisexual and leaves you with the ability to determine certain relationships your character can have.
In the world of “Undertale,” monsters have been imprisoned underground by humans for many years after a war broke out between the two. You play as a human child who has fallen into the underground trying to make their way back to the surface. Along the way you meet many friends and enemies, two of which are females who have major crushes on each other without either of them knowing.
“The Last of Us”
In this post-apocalyptic action-adventure game, the two main characters are trekking across the remains of the United States after a “Walking Dead”-like disease has taken over. One of the characters you play as is Ellie, who we learn is a lesbian. Throughout the rest of the game, you encounter people that will range from bisexual to gay to trans.
“Tell Me Why”
Most recently though, “Tell Me Why” became the first video game to have a playable, transgender protagonist. This game released three episodes on Aug. 27 for Microsoft Windows and did the same for XBOX One players this past month.
As something in its early stages with a potential to continue to grow to increase inclusivity and visibility, as stated before, this representation can help build confidence in the players who have not yet come out to their families or friends while also building a connection with those who have.