Queer representation in videogames is gradually becoming more prevalent, but even as the inclusion of queer perspectives in games increases, there is limited research being conducted in the area (Shaw 2009). Research that is being conducted seems focused on quantifying the amount of queer representation (Shaw & Friesem 2016), rather than on the qualitative impacts it has on those accessing videogames. In May 2016, I conducted a survey that aimed to identify the ongoing impact of positive and negative representation of queer characters and themes on both queer and non-queer audiences. This survey received 158 responses and allowed me to identify issues with representation, including the comparative prevalence of same-gender attracted characters, the way character customisation tools and pronouns are being used to depict diverse genders, and the use of ‘optional’ queer content and playersexuality in games as an attempt to appease queer players. Respondents provided insights into why these particular aspects of queer representation are problematic, and this paper presents a foundational analysis of these issues.
2016 Digital Games Research Association of Australia (DiGRAA) National Symposium, Melbourne, Australia 17-18 November 2016