“The fight for gay rights isn’t limited to real-world spaces. There’s a swelling movement for greater diversity and LGBT representation in video games that’s about to reach a national tipping point.
[Recently] Nintendo issued a public apology for failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life, a new life simulator that lets users customize everything about their characters except the sex of their significant others. The company claimed that future version of the game will be “more inclusive.” There are also upcoming indie games like Ultimate Gay Fighter, billed as the world’s first gay video game, and a new documentary, Gaming in Color, devoted to the movement.
Modern game titles now have more people who exist outside traditional gender and sexual orientations, represented more broadly and accurately. We are getting to a place where we can say that there are relatable and realistic gay characters young gamers can be inspired by.
But LGBT characters have been around almost as long as video games themselves—hidden in plain sight—and they’ve become some of the most beloved, enduring characters around.
The video game industry started coming into focus in the early 1970s—almost parallel to the LGBT rights movement—following the success of basic tennis game Pong. But it took another decade for gay characters to begin appearing in video games. In the 1986 computer game Moonmist, a woman is seen to be angry with her girlfriend. It’s hardly a starring role—and the girlfriend in question is marrying a man—but she’s widely recognized as the first gay character…”