For the longest time, the mantra “girls don’t play video games” was something that was heard often growing up. It was this idea that women and girls did not play games, and were not invited to gaming spaces often. While the implications of this are still felt to this very day, it is getting slowly better.
We cannot say the same about being an LGBTQ+ gamer. We can even say that homophobia and transphobia in gaming have gotten worse over time, instead of better.
“This all-inclusive mindset has ruined video games. It hasn’t destroyed them, just made them awful.” one person said on a forum, talking about simply including non-white and non-straight people into games.
See: The LGBQT+ movement has ruined video games
This idea seems to have massively risen from 2012 when GamerGate was in full swing. This “movement” pushed a lot of far-right ideals into the video game sphere and caused many gamers to feel validated in their beliefs.
Games that Hate Us
As a result, many events and games have popped up which denigrate all minorities, including the LGBTQ+. For instance, one game was made where you can kill gays, who are portrayed as pedophiles.
“All White men should hunt down and mercilessly kill as many t——s, f—-ts, n—–s, k—s, and cucks as they possibly can, in the new hit game Angry Goy 2!”
If you want to try to avoid all of this and just play competitive games with other gamers, you are going to be out of luck. The LGBTQ+ gamer who plays games with other competitive players, especially online, has seen or heard a ton of homophobic and transphobic rhetoric coming from other players.
When people try to counter this bigoted speech, they are often called names, and seen as “thin-skinned.” So many people in the LGBT community have had to just “deal” with this behavior.
Backlash for including LGBTQ+ characters
It does not help that LGBT characters in games rarely exist, and are often met with extreme backlash. For instance, when Mass Effect 3 added the option to have homoerotic scenes (if you tried to get them), many people freaked out, bashing he company for “shoving the LGBT agenda down our throats.”
Another game, Baldur’s Gate: Siege Of Dragonspear, added one line of dialog by a character which showed that she was a transwoman. This caused many people to harass and even verbally attack many members on the team, claiming that the inclusion was “pandering.”
Being a minority in gaming circles is hard, especially for the LGBTQ+ gamer. With so many toxic people attacking minorities and blaming them on a decline of the gaming industry as a whole (and not something like capitalist greed), it is hard to even talk to people about games that you might like.
The Light at the End of The Tunnel
Luckily, Gen Z is the most diverse generation yet, and they are the future of video games and the gaming market. So while gaming communities might be more of a cesspool now, don’t expect it to be like this forever. More minorities are making games, and educating the masses, making it less likely in the long run to see, and tolerate, bigoted behavior in your favorite games.
This is why we exist, to be allies for those that are discriminated against and to support the organizations that help fight back against this type of hatred that exists today.
Find out more about how we are Building Products for a More Inclusive Future.