This is something I came across yesterday that I felt was important to share. Queensland based writer Alayna Cole recently presented a really interesting and positive panel at the Digital Games Research Association of Australia’s 2016 conference on improving video game representations of the Queer perspective, and luckily for those who weren’t at the event, she’s very kindly uploaded her presentation slides online.
I won’t post all the slides on here, since I’d much prefer if you switched on over to her own website to check it out for yourself, but here’s a quick overview. Titled I Exist: Improving the Representation of Queer Perspectives in Videogames, Alayna’s presentation asks a very important question; Why is diverse representation so important?
Diverse representation of all types is important in the media that we consume for two key reasons: it helps validate and solidify the self-identity of those being portrayed, and helps to increase understanding of differing perspectives and experiences for those who are not being portrayed.
– Alayna Cole, I Exist: Improving the Representation of Queer Perspectives in Videogames
Diversity has been a big talking point across 2016 and not just in video games, but in terms of our digital entertainment medium, it’s an important topic of conversation. Alayna goes into great detail, explaining how there is a level of Queer representation already within the gaming community and the steps taken to actively include more such representation. However, it’s still not as prevalent as one would hope.
It’s very much worth reading. I, for one, was surprised that a Swedish research paper showed that gamers within the queer community felt that representation within video games ‘didn’t exist’, which is entirely disappointing to see. It’s eye opening, but Alayna’s presentation does show plenty of positives towards what’s happening within our community. The full paper will be released soon, but in the meantime you can read the presentation as show at the event right here.