Year: 2015 (started)
Publisher: Cartoon Network Games
Developer: Grumpyface Studios
Country: United States
Genre: Action-adventure, role-playing
The Steven Universe: The Light game series is based off of the Steven Universe animated television series by Rebecca Sugar, who identifies as a non-binary woman herself (using she/they pronouns). Steven Universe as a franchise has more games outside of The Light series, but The Light series refers specifically to Attack the Light, Save the Light, and Unleash the Light. Rebecca Sugar helped write the story for all three of these.
The first game of the three, Attack the Light, was released in 2015 on Android, iOS, and Kindle devices. Save the Light, its sequel, was released in 2017 on the PS4 and Xbox One, being later released in 2018 on Windows and Macintosh operating systems, as well as digitally on the Nintendo Switch. It was physically released for the Switch in a bundle pack in 2019. The most recent game in the series, Unleash the Light, was released in 2019, returning to its mobile origins (released on iOs 13’s Apple Arcade, iPadOS, and tvOS).
The animated television series has been heralded for its inclusion of queer content (such as a same-sex wedding), also being called the queerest cartoon and queerest animated show on television. It also won its first GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Program in 2019, becoming the first animated series to win the award.
The game series sports many of the same characters that appears on the television series, but to our knowledge, there is no explicit queer dialogue or text within the game series. By virtue of being the same cast of characters, the games are part of a series that includes many queer characters and storylines, such as Stevonnie, Ruby, and Pearl. The gems themselves are confirmed by Rebecca Sugar to be sexless, and generally use she/her pronouns, except for certain gem fusions that use they/them pronouns like Smoky Quartz.
- 30th GLAAD Media Awards. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30th_GLAAD_Media_Awards#Winners_and_nominees
- Attack the Light. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://steven-universe.fandom.com/wiki/Attack_the_Light
- Brammer, J. P. (2017, January 30). Steven Universe Is the Queerest Animated Show on TV. Retrieved from https://www.vulture.com/2017/01/steven-universe-the-queerest-cartoon-on-tv.html
- Henderson, T. (2018, July 11). ‘Steven Universe’ Makes LGBT History with Same-Sex Wedding. Retrieved from https://www.pride.com/stevenuniverse/2018/7/11/steven-universe-makes-lgbt-history-same-sex-wedding
- Necessary, T. (2018, July 18). Rebecca Sugar Opens Up About Being Non-binary. Retrieved from https://www.pride.com/comingout/2018/7/18/rebecca-sugar-opens-about-being-non-binary
- Pearl. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://steven-universe.fandom.com/wiki/Pearl
- Rebecca Sugar. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Sugar
- RebeccaSugar. (2014, August 21). r/IAmA – I am Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, and former Adventure Time storyboarder, AMA! Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2e4gmx/i_am_rebecca_sugar_creator_of_steven_universe_and/cjw8e1p/
- Ruby. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://steven-universe.fandom.com/wiki/Ruby
- Rude, M. (2018, July 5). “Steven Universe” Is the Queerest Cartoon on Television. Retrieved from https://www.them.us/story/steven-universe-is-the-queerest-cartoon-on-television
- Save the Light. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://steven-universe.fandom.com/wiki/Save_the_Light
- Smoky Quartz. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://steven-universe.fandom.com/wiki/Smoky_Quartz
- Steven Universe. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Universe
- Stevonnie. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://steven-universe.fandom.com/wiki/Stevonnie
- Unleash the Light. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://steven-universe.fandom.com/wiki/Unleash_the_Light