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The Influence of the LGBTQIA+ Community on the Video Game Industry

August 7, 2023


Arts and Entertainment

The LGBTQIA+ community has become an influential force in recent years, leaving an indelible mark on various industries. From entertainment to fashion, their unique perspectives and contributions have redefined cultural norms and shattered stereotypes. And now, it's time to turn our attention to the realm of video games.

The video game industry has undergone a remarkable transformation, thanks to the influence of the LGBTQIA+ community. By advocating for inclusivity and representation, these trailblazers have pushed boundaries, creating gaming experiences that resonate with players from all walks of life. What was once a predominantly heteronormative and male-dominated space is now evolving into a vibrant and diverse ecosystem.

So, how exactly has the LGBTQIA+ community shaped the video game industry? Let's explore this phenomenon together.

Increasing Representation in Video Games

One of the most significant changes brought about by the LGBTQIA+ community is the increased visibility of queer characters and storylines within games. No longer confined to supporting roles or token representation, queer characters are now taking center stage, portraying the richness and complexity of their identities. This shift not only provides much-needed representation for LGBTQIA+ gamers but also fosters empathy and understanding among all players.

Representation in video games plays a crucial role in fostering inclusivity, authenticity, and a sense of belonging for the LGBTQIA+ community. By featuring diverse characters and storylines that reflect the realities and experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals, video games have the power to create a more inclusive and accepting gaming environment.

When LGBTQIA+ players see themselves represented in video games, it validates their identities, normalizes their experiences, and helps to combat stereotypes and stigmas. It allows them to feel seen, heard and understood within a medium that has a significant impact on popular culture and society.

Examples of Video Games with Increased LGBTQIA+ Visibility

"Life is Strange" series

The "Life is Strange'' series is a critically acclaimed episodic adventure game that has garnered praise for its exploration of LGBTQIA+ themes and relationships. Developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix, the series consists of multiple installments that delve into the lives of diverse characters and tackle a range of thought-provoking subjects.

One of the standout features of the "Life is Strange'' series is its commitment to LGBTQIA+ visibility and representation. The games offer players the opportunity to immerse themselves in the lives of LGBTQIA+ characters, experiencing their joys, struggles, and personal growth. These characters are not defined solely by their sexual orientation or gender identity; rather, their queerness is an integral part of their multidimensional personalities.

The first installment of the series, "Life is Strange," follows the story of Max Caulfield, a photography student who discovers she has the ability to rewind time. Throughout the game, players navigate Max's journey while also navigating her relationship with her childhood friend, Chloe Price. Their bond evolves into a deep friendship and, depending on player choices, can potentially develop into a romantic relationship. The game skillfully portrays the complexities of queer relationships and the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals.

In subsequent installments, such as "Life is Strange: Before the Storm'' and "Life is Strange 2," the series continues to explore LGBTQIA+ themes and relationships. These games introduce new characters, each with their own unique stories and perspectives. By providing a platform for these characters to express their identities and navigate the world around them, "Life is Strange'' contributes to a more inclusive gaming landscape.

The most recent addition to the series, "Life is Strange: True Colors," centers around Alex Chen, a young Asian-American woman who possesses the power to sense and absorb other people's emotions. As players guide Alex through the game, they uncover a mystery while also exploring her personal journey of self-discovery and queer romance. "Life is Strange: True Colors'' further solidifies the series' commitment to representing LGBTQIA+ experiences authentically.

With its compelling storytelling, relatable characters, and exploration of LGBTQIA+ themes, the "Life is Strange'' series has become a beloved franchise within the gaming community. It has not only provided a platform for queer voices but has also fostered empathy, understanding, and acceptance among players of all backgrounds.

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, the "Life is Strange'' series stands as a testament to the power of inclusive storytelling and the importance of LGBTQIA+ representation in video games. By shining a spotlight on queer narratives and experiences, the series has helped pave the way for greater diversity and inclusivity within the gaming landscape.


Blizzard Entertainment's multiplayer hero shooter game, "Overwatch," has been at the forefront of increasing LGBTQIA+ visibility and embracing diversity in the gaming industry. The game features several characters who identify as LGBTQIA+, allowing players to engage with their stories and experiences on the battlefield.

One notable character is Tracer, who was revealed to be a lesbian in an official Overwatch comic. This revelation not only added depth to Tracer's character but also highlighted Blizzard's commitment to representing diverse sexual orientations within their game. Similarly, Soldier: 76, a highly regarded character in the game, was confirmed as gay through in-game dialogue and additional lore.

Beyond individual character representation, "Overwatch'' creates an inclusive environment by incorporating LGBTQIA+ themes and storylines throughout its lore and interactions. The in-game experience allows players to witness the unique stories of these LGBTQIA+ characters, fostering a sense of connection and empathy within the game's vibrant community.

Blizzard Entertainment's dedication to LGBTQIA+ visibility goes beyond tokenism or surface-level representation. By developing fully realized characters with diverse sexual orientations, "Overwatch'' creates a rich and immersive experience that resonates with players from all walks of life. The game encourages players to embrace diversity, celebrate differences, and create a community that is both inclusive and supportive.

Dead by Daylight

This asymmetrical horror game developed by Behavior Interactive, has made strides in LGBTQIA+ representation and inclusivity within the gaming industry. The game includes several LGBTQIA+ characters and explores diverse relationships, showcasing the developers' commitment to visibility and inclusivity.

One notable aspect of “Dead by Daylight" is the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ characters like Kate Denson and Tapp, who are confirmed to be bisexual. This representation not only adds depth to these characters but also highlights the game's dedication to showcasing diverse sexual orientations within the horror genre.

Features characters like Nancy Wheeler from the TV show "Stranger Things," who display queer-coded relationships. These representations contribute to the game's overall LGBTQIA+ visibility and create an inclusive environment for players.

The in-game experience allows players to engage with these LGBTQIA+ characters and witness their stories unfold, fostering a sense of connection and empathy. By incorporating LGBTQIA+ representation, "Dead by Daylight'' promotes visibility and inclusivity within the horror genre, showing that diverse identities can be acknowledged and celebrated in all types of storytelling.

Behavior Interactive, the developers of "Dead by Daylight," have expressed their commitment to incorporating more LGBTQIA+ content into the game. This dedication demonstrates their understanding of the importance of representation and the impact it can have on players.

Through its diverse cast of characters and exploration of queer storylines, the game creates an environment where players can feel seen, understood, and accepted. Behavior Interactive's efforts in incorporating LGBTQIA+ representation contribute to the ongoing progress of creating a more inclusive gaming community.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends, a popular battle royale game developed by Respawn Entertainment, has been at the forefront of championing LGBTQIA+ visibility and inclusion within the gaming industry. The game introduces a diverse cast of characters, many of whom identify as LGBTQIA+. This commitment to representation not only adds depth to the game's storyline but also fosters a sense of inclusivity and community among players.

Here are some key points about Apex Legends, its queer storyline, and LGBTQIA+ visibility:

  • Bloodhound: Bloodhound is a non-binary character in Apex Legends, using they/them pronouns. Their inclusion allows for a greater representation of non-binary identities within the gaming world. Bloodhound's mysterious background and unique abilities make them a fan-favorite among players.

  • Gibraltar: Gibraltar, one of the original characters in Apex Legends, is openly gay. His strong personality, protective nature, and defensive abilities make him a valuable asset on any team. By featuring a gay character, Apex Legends showcases LGBTQIA+ representation in a positive and normalized manner.

  • Loba: Loba, a stylish and cunning thief, identifies as bisexual. Her backstory and abilities tie into the game's narrative, while her representation as a bisexual character adds another layer of diversity and inclusivity to the game.

  • Fuse: Fuse, a charismatic explosives expert, proudly identifies as pansexual. His inclusion as a pansexual character in Apex Legends further expands the representation of different sexual orientations within the game.

  • Valkyrie: Valkyrie, is confirmed as a lesbian character. Her strong aerial abilities and connection to the game's lore make her a fascinating addition to the roster of LGBTQIA+ characters.

  • Catalyst: Catalyst, a transgender woman, joined Apex Legends as the first transgender character in a battle royale game. Her inclusion marks a significant step forward for transgender representation within the gaming industry.

Creating Inclusive Gaming Communities

The Influence of the LGBTQIA+ Community

The LGBTQIA+ community has been instrumental in driving the creation of inclusive gaming communities. Their advocacy for visibility and representation has pushed game developers to include diverse characters and storylines that accurately reflect the real world. This inclusion not only allows LGBTQIA+ gamers to see themselves represented but also encourages a broader understanding and appreciation of diverse identities among all players.

By actively engaging with game developers and studios, the LGBTQIA+ community has made strides in challenging stereotypes and promoting inclusivity. Through initiatives such as workshops, panels, and online discussions, they have encouraged game developers to consider the importance of representation and its impact on fostering a sense of belonging within gaming communities.

The Impact of LGBTQIA+ Representation

Promoting Empathy and Understanding

LGBTQIA+ characters and storylines in video games have proven to be powerful tools for promoting empathy and understanding. By immersing players in diverse narratives, games like Dead by Daylight have allowed players to step into the shoes of LGBTQIA+ characters, experiencing their struggles, triumphs, and relationships firsthand. This exposure leads to greater empathy and understanding among players, breaking down barriers and fostering a more inclusive gaming environment.

Validation and Welcoming Online Communities

When LGBTQIA+ gamers see themselves represented in video games, it provides them with a sense of validation and belonging. Seeing characters who share their identities and experiences helps LGBTQIA+ players feel seen, heard, and welcomed in online gaming communities. This validation is crucial in combating feelings of isolation and fostering a supportive environment where LGBTQIA+ gamers can connect, share experiences, and build lasting friendships.

The impact of LGBTQIA+ representation goes beyond the individual level. It ripples outward, influencing the broader gaming community to embrace diversity, empathy, and inclusivity. As more games incorporate LGBTQIA+ characters and storylines, the acceptance and support within gaming communities continue to grow.

Advocacy and Activism in the Video Game Industry

The video game industry has seen a significant increase in advocacy and activism in recent years, with various communities working towards promoting diversity and inclusion. One community that has played a crucial role in this movement is the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Role of the LGBTQIA+ Community

The LGBTQIA+ community has been instrumental in advocating for diversity and inclusion in the video game industry. They have pushed for better representation of LGBTQIA+ characters, storylines, and themes in games. By doing so, they aim to create a more inclusive gaming environment where players from all walks of life can feel represented and accepted.

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have raised awareness about the importance of diverse representations in video games. Through social media campaigns, online forums, and gaming conventions, they have brought attention to the need for more inclusivity in the industry. Their efforts have not only influenced game developers but also sparked important discussions among players and enthusiasts.

Initiatives and Organizations Promoting LGBTQIA+ Rights

Several initiatives and organizations have emerged to support LGBTQIA+ rights in the gaming industry. Let's take a look at a few notable ones:

  • "Gayming Magazine'' - Gayming Magazine is an online publication dedicated to LGBTQIA+ representation in gaming. They cover news, reviews, and features on LGBTQIA+ characters, developers, and events. By highlighting positive portrayals and addressing areas of improvement, Gayming Magazine plays a pivotal role in shaping the industry's perception of LGBTQIA+ gamers.

  • "Gamers Outreach" - Gamers Outreach is an organization that promotes inclusivity in gaming through charity work. They focus on providing video game equipment, like consoles and game libraries, to hospitals and healthcare facilities. By bringing the joy of gaming to patients, including those who identify as LGBTQIA+, Gamers Outreach uplifts spirits and fosters a more inclusive gaming community.

  • "GLAAD's Network Responsibility Index" - GLAAD, a media advocacy organization for LGBTQIA+ rights, releases an annual Network Responsibility Index (NRI) that evaluates LGBTQIA+ representation in video games. The NRI assesses major video game publishers and developers, highlighting those who portray LGBTQIA+ characters and storylines in a positive and authentic manner. This index encourages the industry to strive for better representation and hold themselves accountable for fostering inclusivity.

These initiatives and organizations, among others, are integral in promoting LGBTQIA+ rights in the video game industry. Through their efforts, they are pushing for a more inclusive and diverse gaming landscape where everyone feels welcome.

The advocacy and activism of the LGBTQIA+ community have had a profound impact on the video game industry. By raising awareness, supporting positive representation, and fostering inclusivity, they are reshaping the future of gaming. Together with other communities and organizations, they are working towards a more diverse and accepting industry for all gamers.

Economic Impact

How the LGBTQIA+ Community is Shaping the Video Game Industry's Success

The influence of the LGBTQIA+ community on the video game industry goes beyond representation, as it also has a significant economic impact.

  • According to a recent Nielsen Games survey, LGBTQ+ gamers are 29% more likely to play role-playing games, indicating a higher engagement level and potential market for game developers.

  • LGBTQIA+ friendly games have shown great commercial success, with their inclusive content attracting a wide audience and contributing to increased sales and revenue.

The success of LGBTQIA+ friendly games highlights the economic importance of catering to diverse communities in the video game industry.


The influence of the LGBTQIA+ community on the video game industry cannot be understated. Through their demand for representation and inclusivity, they have made significant strides in making their presence more visible in video games. Games like, "Life is Strange," "Overwatch," "Dead by Daylight," and "Apex Legends'' are just a few examples of games that have embraced diverse LGBTQIA+ characters, storylines, and relationships.

Beyond representation, the LGBTQIA+ community has played a crucial role in creating inclusive gaming communities. Their advocacy and activism have fostered acceptance and support within these communities, promoting empathy and understanding. LGBTQIA+ gamers now feel validated and welcomed, forming bonds with like-minded individuals who share their experiences.

The economic impact of the LGBTQIA+ community on the video game industry cannot be ignored. With their significant market share, games that embrace LGBTQIA+ themes and characters have seen success, impacting sales and revenue. This economic influence further highlights the importance of catering to the LGBTQIA+ community's needs and desires in the gaming industry.

The influence of the LGBTQIA+ community on the video game industry is undeniable. Their demand for representation, inclusivity, and support has reshaped the landscape of gaming. As the industry continues to grow, it is crucial to recognize and prioritize the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community, ensuring their continued visibility and contributions to the industry's success. By embracing diversity and creating spaces that are inclusive, the gaming industry can continue to evolve and thrive.

Written By: 

Roberto Bojorquez


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March 20th 2023

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