4 gems of video games to discover to celebrate Pride Month

The month of June is considered the month of pride for the LGBTQ community. Have you ever wondered why? This is probably a typical Quora question, but we’re here to save you the hassle of going for it.

On June 28, 1969, several riots broke out by the gay, lesbian and transgender community in New York at the Stonewall Inn in response to a police raid to close the club and arrest people identified as to transvestites and transsexuals.

The protests lasted for several days, until July 3. These disorders are now known as “The Stonewall Riots”.

In 1970, to commemorate the first anniversary of the riots, a procession marched through the streets of New York where the Stonewall once stood, followed by other protests in several U.S. cities.

They were the first spontaneous demonstrations in which the LGBT community took to the streets; these events are now known as pride parades or, more commonly, gay pride.

What we are talking about today, however, refers to representation of LGBTQ characters in independent video games. In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about LGBTQ characters in conventional video games like never before, but we have to keep in mind that -in fact- Independent productions have always been a somewhat happy place for representations of queer characters; representations that have actually always existed, but were simply never taken into account. It was enough to know how to look for them, in an age without the internet: a real utopia.

Moon foga computer video game released in 1986, for example, told the story of a detective who had to investigate a sinister presence inside the castle: one of the supporting characters was an openly lesbian woman.

Caper in the Castro is the first LGBT video game in history. The proceeds of the sale went to anti-AIDS associations

A few years later, in 1989, what many claim today was the first real LGBTQ video game ever created, entitled Tàpera in the Castro. The distribution of headlines like this was limited, relying primarily on sharing material on the first bulletin boards at the dawn of the World Wide Web.

In the 1990’s, video games became more and more popular, and there was a kind of openness on the part of developers: some video games revealed the possibility for users to make decisions about sexuality.

They were mainly games in which it was possible to create an avatar and choose, among the various options, also what kind of romantic relationship to undertake. Among the first titles to adopt this freedom were role-playing games such as It was from the Dragon or the life simulator The Sims.

However, despite the drive to offer players an all-around personalization of their avatar, there was still a lack of well-defined LGBTQ characters, with their own differentiated and detailed sexual identity and orientation, in which players could reflect and feel free. all in a virtual world. : this has been the norm for a few years now thanks to titles like Life is weird, tell me why I The Last of Us Part II (you can find it on Amazon at a low price)

Leaving Gone Home

I went home is one of the first video games to respond to the name of walking simulator, a genre that has become popular over the years (Someone went to The Rapture o What’s left of Edith Finch are some famous examples).

In I went home the player identifies himself in the role of a girl who returns home from college and finds no one, her family inside seems to have disappeared into the air and the girl has to find various clues about her identity , with special regard to his sister’s affairs. minor.

Despite a pretty feeling mysteriousas the English would say, and a feeling of latent fear possible thanks to a silent house in which the details of the intimate life of its inhabitants are scattered like pieces of a puzzle.

What the player finds is a private space, a story in which he cannot interact but can only be a spectator of a life as different as it is common to many of us, such as I went home is a title full of references to the pop culture of the 90’s, familiar to many of us players.

Without falling into too much spoiler, this walking simulator pushes the confession, the courage and the desire to “get out of the closet” of insecurities. I went home is available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Wii U.

Transphobia and identification: the case of A Normal Lost Phone

A lost normal phone is a two-hour video game in which the protagonist finds a smartphone lost on the street. To return the phone to its rightful owner, our character will need to trace their identity and to do so will begin to enter their private lives.

Is it right or wrong? We could say that it is an invasion of privacy, but in the end the protagonist does so exclusively with the intention of tracing the identity of the poor victim.

Through an interface totally similar to that of a state-of-the-art smartphone, the player will be able to read the latest messages received and will realize that this is a young boy FTM (female to male), the one who receives unpleasant and transphobic messages from his family.

This narrative ploy puts us in the shoes of a transgender person who, unfortunately, suffers verbal violence resulting from transphobic feelings totally similar to those that occur in reality, without disturbing the most recent and terrible news on the subject.

This allows the player one total identification with that person’s life and leaves room for reflection on a life path often subject to discrimination. It can be played on Nintendo Switch, PC, and Android and iOS devices.

Queer awareness in unpacking

As well as in I went homein which a house counts through its objects, in Unpacking we live the “torment” of a move, in which the houses change and the objects we have begin to say a lot about ourselves, year after year.

Unpacking, an independent video game from Humble Studio and Witch Beam (won the BAFTA 2022 “Best Fiction” award), follows the story of a girl at different stages of her life, from 1997 to the present. The player will have to rearrange the rooms of the young protagonist, populating them with various objects in his possession.

There are no dialogues in this title and the only things that are left to be explained are precisely the elements that we will have to go and put in their place; they are powerful symbols that embody the queer style – which is not synonymous with LGBT, but is a specific current, an umbrella term that indicates the will, by some people, not to fall into fixed and predetermined patterns.

It will be the player’s job to reconstruct and deduce the life of the young protagonist of the title and reach the awareness that he is a person who, growing up, finds his identity and manifests it in spaces that are intimate and welcoming.

Unpacking is available for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S | X, PS4 and PS5, Nintendo Switch.

A journey to discover one’s identity with Celeste

Celestial is a platform game of 2018 and has its birth in a jam of games. The protagonist is Madeleine, a girl suffering from depression, shown in the game as a big mountain that the girl has to climb, counting on her strength.

During his trip he meets a young photographer with whom he falls in love. The platform has the double value of dealing with a very important issue such as depression, sending a very powerful message such as discovering and being able to count on one’s own strength, but also that of discovering one’s sexual identity.

The DLC released in 2019 shows Madeleine in her room, which features a rainbow flag and another with the colors of transgender pride (white, blue and pink), feeding several speculations about the identity of the protagonist.

The producer answers the different questions of the players Maddy Thompsonwhich states that Madeleine’s story follows her personal path of discovering her own identity: Maddy defines herself as non-binary and has changed her name.

In this beautiful indie game, reality and fantasy come in the form of implicit messages and allegories; Celestial not only is it in interactive video games but it is on topics such as mental health and gender identity.

Celestial you can play on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia. If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to get it back.

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