Video games are great. Over the years the medium has flourished into a bountiful crop of entertainment; if you’re looking for a specific story or method of gameplay, it’s sure to be out there somewhere. As the game catalog continues to expand, however, sometimes it gets a little difficult, or appears incredibly daunting, to find that specific something you’re looking for. This is especially true when searching for queer representation through the swathes of games that would just rather not explore this aspect of their audience. Today’s web crush hopes to make this search a little easier on those wanting a little more LGBTQ+ representation in their gaming experience.
Welcome to Queerly Represent Me: a database exploring queer representation in video games. The site was created and is managed by Alayna Cole, a writer, teacher, and games developer who has several accomplishments under her belt, one of which is co-founding her own game studio, Horned Llama Studios. Cole has two main reasons the site is important:
“Firstly, the database allows members of the queer community to familiarise themselves with and access more texts that represent them. This can act as a supportive gesture to those who are comfortable with their identities, or can assist in the formation of self-identity for those who are questioning their sexuality or gender. Secondly, the site allows those who do not identify as queer to broaden the pool of games that they play or to form new understandings of games that they have already accessed, while developing empathy for the queer community and the issues we face.”
Queerly Represent Me administered a survey earlier this year that asked gamers of all sexualities which video games were their favorite in regards to various facets of LGBTQ+ representation, such as pronoun usage or relationships. (Unsurprisingly, Dragon Age and Undertale ranked high.) Reading the analysis of the results, I was personally surprised to see that many survey-takers expressed a desire for more asexual representation in their games—and there definitely does need to be more asexual representation in the media in general.
Beyond this survey and several other articles discussing topics of representation in various games, Queerly Represent Me features a database of games that in some way or another have LGBTQ+ representation. The database is split into both a spreadsheet database and a more visual database—I find the latter much easier to navigate through. The spreadsheet is more of a general list while the visual database goes further in depth as to the kind of representation you can expect from a particular game. This becomes particularly helpful in the cases where you’re looking for, say, a main character being LGBTQ+ rather than a one-off side character that has like, one line.
Currently their database is a little small, but I have no hesitation in saying that their pool of games will only grow as the months go by. Whether you’re a statistics junkie or someone just trying to find some representation in their games, Queerly Represent Me is an invaluable resource documenting both how the medium is doing as a whole in addition to the audience’s reactions and opinions on queer representation. Make sure to check the site out here, or keep up with news on QRM’s Facebook or Twitter!