LGBTQ Archive
News

New grant gives the LGBTQ Game Archive official backing

Adrienne Shaw, an assistant professor in Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production, has been working on LGBTQ issues in videogames for over a decade now. But there was an assumption she made about the field that led her down her most recent path. Every time she would talk about her work, someone would inevitably ask her about the history of LGBTQ content in videogames. She assumed someone else would have taken on the task of archiving such work, but she was wrong. “Every time I wanted to teach about or talk about LGBTQ game content holistically, I felt…

Kindred Spirits on the Roof
Feature

The future of romance games is queer

Human culture exists because of sexual intercourse. From the reign of Cleopatra, to the formation of the Church of England, to the Stonewall riots, human experiences of love and sex make up the fabric of our history. Even if we try to narrow our gaze to media, the bright red handprint of sex is everywhere in the history of almost all mediums. There are cave paintings depicting sexual intercourse, and ancient sculpture frequently represented people with massive pendulous breasts and club-like penises. Some of the first handmade and distributed mini-comics (known as Tijuana Bibles) were porn-parodying popular media. The romance…

Ladykiller in a Bind
News

Ladykiller in a Bind is set to deliver your kink next month

If you love androgyny, BDSM, and dating sims, you’re in for some good news. Love Conquers All Games has announced that its upcoming erotic visual novel, Ladykiller in a Bind, will be coming out September 23rd. People may remember Love Conquers All Games from the queer transhumanist sci-fi visual novel, Analogue: A Hate Story (2012). Although Ladykiller in a Bind is a far cry from that game, many of the key themes shine through in the little segment being shown so far. Like Analogue: A Hate Story, Ladykiller in a Bind is interested in issues of gender and sexuality, the complexities…

in the park
News

A bunch of games just arrived to provide a wider representation of love

The second installment of the International Love Ultimatum game jam (iluJam) has ended, gracing us with a variety of games about love in many shapes and sizes. This year saw a slightly bigger turn out with six more entries than the inaugural jam last year. Although the number of entries may be small, many of them have a big heart. Amanda Cosmos, the organizer of iluJam, was originally inspired by the Pulse-Pounding, Heart-Stopping Dating Sim Jam (PPHSDSJ). She wanted to participate, but when no follow-up event happened, she got the organizer’s blessing to put on a similar game jam herself. While…

screencapture-birdland-camp-1467886929323
News

There’s a game about exploring sexuality while fighting bird people you need to play

You know those moments between wakefulness and sleeping, where the edges of dreams get soft, and bits of them kinda seep into the real world? Now imagine that happening in the middle of the day, while you’re wide awake. And you’re at summer camp. This is more or less the premise of BIRDLAND (2015), An interactive fiction game, written by Brendan Patrick Hennessy and illustrated by Izzy Marbella, where all the anxieties and identity making moments of teenage-hood are complicated by robot-like anthropomorphic birds. it’s the human aspects that are the backbone Made for the 2015 Interactive Fiction Competition and created in Twine, BIRDLAND won six…

01
News

A cyberpunk text adventure explores life outside of the gender binary

“Well, here we are again,” NUGK tell me. The last time I was here, TODN was saying the exact same thing. Usernames here, including my own, are made up of a mixture of four letters, shifting each time. The post-apocalyptic world is dark, fashioned only with unnerving sounds and dimly lit text. This is the world of  _transfer. Selected as part of IndieCade 2016, _transfer, developed by Hyacinth Nil and written by Reed Lewis, of the newly-formed Abyssal Studio, tackles uncomfortable issues of identity and memory. _transfer’s post-apocalyptic theme is more than just a stylistic choice Using a DOS-like interface, the player interacts…

rusttranslead
News

Did Rust just become the first transgender MMO?

Unlike many other online multiplayer games, Rust doesn’t give players any control over what their character looks like. Instead, it randomly generates a set of features and ties them permanently to the player’s Steam account. This means that, even if they leave the game, their character will look the same when they return. It’s a fitting choice, given how primal the world of the survival-based Rust is. Just as in real life, Rust doesn’t let you choose what you want to look like, but instead spits you out naked into its world with a body you had no say in, and tells…

SONY DSC
Article

A model for referencing videogames in literature

Generally when literature alludes to other media—Facebook, texting, film, the song “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train—my first reaction is to cringe. At its worst these mentions feel unnatural, lazy—the author’s gawky attempt to connect to the modern world or to an artistic tradition by simply referencing it. But even good media references can be jarring. Haruki Murakami’s thoughtful incorporation of jazz and classical music into his work, for instance, still has a weirdness to it. Perhaps this can be pinned down to degrees of separation from reality. When reading a work of fiction, it is typically odd to see mentions…