This categories refers to playable characters (PCs) and non-playable characters (NPCs), who are not mainly available as an optional relationship/romance/sex partner for the player-character, whose sexual orientation or gender have been classified in into the following, not mutually exclusive, subcategories:
- Asexual: Explicit and implicit
- Bisexual: Explicit and Implicit
- Gay: Explicit and Implicit
- Gender non-conforming
- Intersex: Explicit and Implicit
- Lesbian: Explicit and Implicit
- Non-binary and/or Genderqueer: Explicit and Implicit
- Queer Women
- Queer Men
- Transgender: Explicit and Implicit
For definitions of these and other terms used in relation to LGBTQ people and communities, please see UC-Berkeley’s Gender Equity Resource Center’s extensive glossary here.
- Changed in Localization
- Playable Character
- Real Person
Sexuality and Gender Categories:
To help make this archive useful to as wide an array of users as possible, we have subdivided the queer (sexuality) characters into the commonly used categories gay, lesbian, and bisexual. We would, however, like to make a clear caveat on how those categories are used: those assignations are largely based on how our sources have defined those characters. In many cases, whether the representation of the characters in the game is enough to affix a sexual identity to them is very much up for debate. A female character having a relationship with another woman is not really evidence of how either defines her own sexual identity. In many cases games do not explicitly define these characters sexuality, and the process of untangling implied sexuality is a contentious one.
Moreover, within each of these categories there are characters whose gender and sexuality are explicit stated and those that are more implicitly represented through dress, affect, and other signifiers. There are also characters whose gender and sexuality are represented differently in games released to different markets. This is why we have further broken our sexuality and gender into two subcategories (Explicit and Implicit), and added a “changed in localization” category.
If you have information on a more accurate way to classify any of these characters, please feel free to send us a an email.
Changed in Localization: Sometimes when games are released in different markets translation errors or content changes result in characters or content being removed, or changes in the how sexualities or genders are presented.
Playable Characters: When characters in this archive are playable (i.e. can be choose as player-characters) we mark them as such. Individual entries indicate if these characters are playable in every appearance in a game series, or only in some games. All other characters are non-player characters (NPCs).
Real Person: This category is used if the character’s sexuality is defined by the fact that they are a real person whose sexuality is known.
Intertextual reference: This category is used if the character’s sexuality is known via a non-game text in a franchise (e.g. television show, comic book, etc.).
Rumored: There are some characters who are rumored to be in any of the above categories, read queerly, and those who can be interpreted through a transgender lens (Garcia, 2012). In the absence of any clear evidence that these characters are explicitly or implicitly coded as queer in the game itself we have places these characters in the “Rumored” category to honor fan readings and so they are accounted for in the archive.
- Garcia, T. (2012, March 26). A Brief History of Transgender Characters in Video Games [Updated]. TransGamerSociologist. https://transgamersociologist.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/a-brief-history-of-transgender-characters-in-video-games/