Mainstream video games need their momentary heartstopping
We need more video games similar to Heartstopper (pic: Netflix).
It’s time an AAA game has an impactful, LGBTQ+ connection to gaming.
While encouraging LGBTQ+ representation in fictional media is still a challenge Some positive examples have been presented over the last few years. Certain films, like Moonlight, It’s a Sin and Call Me by Your Name have told compelling stories which reflect the queer experience. They tell stories that they reveal the actual struggles and prejudices that people in the LGBTQ+ community endure, however, to communicate the world that this is happening they have contributed to the absence of positive queer movies and television shows.
Until Heartstopper came along.
This adaptation to the queer graphic novel is an unapologetically positive show that is centered around the gorgeous relationship between two girls. It instantly gained acclaim because of the youthful chemistry of the actors and focused on making it clear to young viewers that they can enjoy a loving and happy relationship as well. With more than 98 percent of the audience, Heartstopper has reached the top of the list of countries with 10 with 54 countries.
The fans were thrilled to learn that Netflix has been granted greenlight for three and three and a half seasons. If the show is the winner of the competition it will be a problem whether the show will win the same way.
The romance of queer characters and relationships have been featured in a variety of games, but they haven’t had the same impact on the players like Heartstopper. This is likely because gay relationships aren’t the mainstay of the game’s gameplay. The most popular games, in that LGBTQ+ relationships entangle, typically, play as roles-playing. The titles like Cyberpunk 2077 (2020), Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) and the Mass Effect trilogy (2007+) allow players to be in a relationship with different characters, regardless of sexual orientation.
Judy, Iron Bull and Liara are among the most popular characters that have been a hit with queer and straight players due to their captivating characters and engaging stories. Their inclusion is logical since their storyline is the primary narrative of their game. The plots and romances are entirely optional, which is why developers allow players to sweep LGBTQ+ content from the game when they want to choose to.
Where can I purchase indie titles Queer romances are more likely to be more deeply connected to the main story and gameplay. There are a variety of genres in which gay+ romances meet with each other, like the 2015’s Life Is Strange, which is an indie-themed game that was in fact published in the hands of Square Enix and Hades (2021). There are many instances of these types of games that can be played as a games simulation. The two most popular is Boyfriends (2021) and Game Grumps Dreams (2017).
Dream Daddy proved to be a massive contribution to the positive representation of queerness (pic Games Grumps).
Boyfriend Dungeon is the exact as the title suggests an online date simulator where you and your partner travel together on a track that resembles a date sim. The game is incredibly diverse and features exciting combat , as well as charming characters and the wacky idea of having a couple play in battle is what makes Boyfriend Dungeon very entertaining.
Dream Daddy is but the closest to achieving Heartstoppers who hate humor. The movie was criticized as a pure escapism that doesn’t show gay experiences in any way. Dream Daddy is certainly an excellent representation of. True representation of transsexuals and gays is crucial to the success of the film.
Because these titles have been extremely successful for those in the LGBTQ+ community and gain an unbeatable level of attention from the wider population, they do not have the same reach as mainstream titles. With the kind of success Dream Daddy had the launch date, it’s not be a surprise that it experienced the same the same impact on culture and commerce similar to other games. Naturally, a small studio’s LGBTQ+ game can’t compete against a top-of-the-line title from a billion-dollar company however, there’s the issue which is the lack in romance or LGBTQplus inclusion on this AAA scene.
Another problem is that romance mechanics generally aren’t the most enjoyable aspect of playing games. Although there are a few games like Boyfriend Dungeon, the dating aspects are tied to combat mechanics. Subplots with romantic subplots that are based on big budget roleplaying games are small parts of an enormous system of multiple linked systems.
Small or big, LGBTQ+ or straight seldom have the story and basic experience of gaming. Queer relationships are an experience that tests the possibility of the difficulties of being in an intimate relationship, yet provides a positive experience that reassures players that it’s okay.
What we want from AAA studios is to create a game that has the marketing and budget of an exclusive franchise and a the flagship game that gives the greatest confidence in finding the quirkier relationship, both in terms of narrative as well as mechanically. With their vast resources and talent they have the potential to establish the standard in what it looks like and leave an impression on gamers who doesn’t usually play indie or AAA games that are currently producing these games.
As the lines blur between interactive and moving fiction and interactive fiction, the AAA games industry needs to look at the success of movies and TV shows featuring LGBTQ+ and lead to positive changes.
Gavin Spoors is an LGBTQ+ writer with an interest in the use of visual technology in films and games. His writing and journalistic work is available at his site.
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