Please read about our methodology here.
The relevant LGBTQ content for each of the games was then written up as a post (roughly one post for each type of content). Each post was classified within as many of the following categories as was relevant. You can follow the links below for added detail on the larger categories. If you wish to see game content for a particular category, you can simply use the top menu of the website.
- Actions: This is a broadly defined category for actions players can do in the game, which are not relationship/romance/sex related, that have been used as examples of LGBTQ content in games. It includes everything from homoerotic finishing moves to cross-dressing quests. As cross-dressing was a dominant theme in our coding, we have also separated that out as a sub-category.
- Artifacts: This refers to in-game objects or visuals that are LGBTQ references or related, including potions that change gender or punny business or product titles.
- Changed in Localization: As games are a transnational industry, some content is changed as games are adapted for new markets. In some cases LGBTQ content is removed so as not to offend a constructed market. The games listed in this category reportedly had some LGBTQ content changed, though we appreciate any verification that these changes are intentional and not simply mistakes in translation (you can contact us here).
- Characters: This category is for in-game characters, playable and non-playable (NPCs), who are explicitly or implicitly coded as: queer, bisexual, pansexual, lesbian, gay, asexual, demisexual, aromantic, demiromantic, biromantic, panromantic, homoromantic, transgender, intersex, non-binary and/or genderqueer, or gender non-conforming. In the case of bi/pan identity, we generally code characters as bisexual if they express interest in two or more genders, while coding characters as pansexual if it’s explicitly stated in the game’s content. We also indicate if these are playable characters (in any of the games they appear), based on real people, or characters whose queerness is more intertexual if they appear as any of the above categories in games’ paratexts (movies, comics, books, etc.). We categorizes as “rumored” characters who are rumored to be any of the above categories, but for whom we could find no strong evidence they are coded as such in the game texts.
- Easter Eggs: Easter eggs are hidden extras in games and other digital media, that requires meeting obscure objectives, playing a game in a specific (unexpected) way, or reaching certain in-game states before it can be accessed.
- Homophobia/Transphobia: This is content or actions that expresses, implicitly or explicitly, homophobia or transphobia. In most cases it is in the form of hostile dialogue directed towards a particular character, but we have also categorized in-game events that reinforce or represent homophobic or transphobic sentiments here as well.
- Locations: This category includes spaces in games like bath houses or bars that are coded as queer spaces. It is subdivided into “explicit,” “implicit,” or “rumored” spaces. Some of these are spaces that were removed during the localization process (which are additionally marked as “changed in localization”).
- Mentions: This category includes dialogue or text that reference LGBTQ-ness in some way. It includes off-hand remarks about sexuality or gender, etc. that may or not be an explicit part of the main game.
- Mods: Game modifications (mods) are player-made additions to games that alters the visuals or operation of a game. In this archive that includes mods that allow for same-sex relationships, change gender presentation options, or enable other LGBTQ content.
- Queer Games/Narratives: Simply put, this is where we have put games which are wholly about a queer-related narrative or whose interactions reflect some aspect of queer life.
- Relationships/Romance/Sex: Many games, particularly RPGs, allow players to have relationships and sex, or even marry, NPCs. The games categorized here include same-sex relationships/sex as part of the options in the game. We have also separated out “Sex workers and bisexuality” as a separate category of in game optional relationships for reasons explained here.
- Traits: This category includes characteristics that the player-character can acquire in the game that affect gameplay options.