Where is the Queerness in Games?: Types of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Content in Digital Games

Adrienne Shaw, Elizaveta Friesem


With increasing popular and academic attention being paid to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) content in video games, the time has come for a thorough account of the history of this content in this medium. In the project reviewed here, we have documented more than 300 games and more than 500 examples of LGBTQ content spanning 30 years. Using a grounded theoretical approach, we were able to classify this content into nine large categories—characters, relationships/romance/sex, actions, locations, mentions, artifacts, traits, queer games/narratives, and homophobia/transphobia—each of which contains several subcategories. In outlining our classification system here, we will demonstrate the myriad ways queerness in gender and sexuality have been integrated into digital games.


video games, LGBTQ, queer, gender, sexuality, representation

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