Three Video Games with Positive LGBTQ Representation

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Video games can be a great way to tell old stories in a new way – or to tell new stories that have never been explored before. With so many different ways to put your own mark on characters and take control of the overall outcome and experience, they’re often a portal for channeling our individuality and allowing us to shape the world around us.

However, like all forms of popular media, they haven’t always been the best when it comes to LGBTQ representation. Lots of the most well-known franchises out there have never had a queer character, but there are some notable exceptions to this rule.

Providing strong, brilliant, intelligent, and charismatic queer characters, these three titles are undoubtedly part of a wider and welcome drive toward improved LGBTQ representation in popular media.

We can see this same trend in a number of other spheres, from novels and TV shows through to slot games and even specialist LGBTQ casinos. Indeed, the latter sector have been making a particular effort of late, with this list of the new online casinos that have just launched, from website BonusFinder, featuring many slots that strive to be more inclusive, showing a more varied mix of themed games that cater to all demographics.

With all this in mind, let’s take a look at three games setting an example.

The Missing: J.J. MacField and the Island of Memories 

On their surface, video games often appear less complex than they are. Though they might tell hard-hitting stories, it’s the subliminal messages that are most important, and The Missing is a perfect case in point. At first glance, this is a story about fearing loss, but beneath its many varicolored layers, it is much more. Players take on the role of J.J, a young university student whose close friend and companion Emily goes missing. While she soon discovers she’s immortal, that’s not the most important facet of her character. Rather, it’s about representation, for J.J is a transgender woman – one who manages to escape her hyper-religious family and become her best self. If that’s not a story for the ages, we don’t know what is.

Night in the Woods 

Night in the Woods is another very special game, perfectly managing to capture the lived experience of being a queer millennial with mental health issues. Following hero Mae, it’s less about feats of derring-do and more about coping in a world that’s very similar to our own. Mae is a pansexual woman who’s stuck in a rut, unsure of who she is or what she wants to do with her life. At its heart, this is a story about personal growth – about accepting who you are and refusing to become someone you’re not, and it’s not always pretty. Not only is it about self-acceptance and embracing the inner you, but it features a number of complex and well-fleshed out LGBTQ characters beyond its heroine.

The Last of Us: Left Behind 

Even the video and computer games that do feature LGBTQ characters don’t always represent them or their love stories in a positive light. The Last of Us: Left Behind is an exception to this rule. A prequel to one of our favorite video games of all time, this is a tragic tale of love and loss at the end of the world. Despite what’s happening around them, a beautiful relationship manages to grow between main character Ellie and the lovable Riley, who spend their nights exploring abandoned shopping centers together. Eventually bitten, only the former survives, but this is not a typical example of the ‘bury your gays’ trope. Instead, Riley’s loss is what drives Ellie from this point on, making her determined to never let anyone else suffer as she has.

When it comes to well-fleshed out and engaging LGBTQ characters, it seems the world is finally beginning to catch up, and we can’t wait to see what the next year, decade, and even century has in store for us.