MidBoss, the company behind 2064: Read Only Memories, is kicking off its Summer of Pride gaming celebration to coincide with Pride Month. The event features a myriad of gaming personalities from the LGBTQIA+ community streaming queer-friendly games on Twitch all month long.
Participation is simple. All you’ll need is a web browser or the Twitch app to watch – you can sign up for a Twitch account here if you don’t already have one. The festivities begin at 12PM Pacific (UTC-8) June 01 with Jeff Brutlag streaming Dominique Pamplemousse. A full schedule of streamers and games can be found on the event’s website here.
If you’d like to play along with the featured streamers, or just want to check out excellent queer-friendly games, here’s links to two curated bundles on Steam featuring most of the games you’ll see during the Summer of Pride gaming celebration:
TNW reached out to MidBoss’ CEO Cade Peterson to talk about inclusivity in gaming and how gamers who identify outside of the LGBTQIA+ community can be better allies. On the gaming industry’s efforts toward inclusivity, Peterson told us:
While we’ve seen great strides in most areas of inclusivity for many games from many companies, we’re still far away from where we want to be.
One example includes shoehorning a flat, 2-dimensional token character into the LGBTQIA+ category after the fact — it comes across as a nice gesture that panders. Another is what I call “villainism” — making the sole queer character a damaged, evil soul in the game, etc.
Don’t do these things. It’s trite and we deserve better.
What we want is thoughtful care put into the creation of characters from the beginning so they’re a real part of their game universe, bring meaningful depth to the overall story and truly add value to the game.
Gamers in the LGBTQIA+ community deserve to see themselves represented in games. In addition, those who identify as cisgender and straight deserve to see well-represented queer characters too. Exposure therapy is the simplest remedy for ignorance.
TNW asked Peterson how gamers can be better allies, he told us:
Applaud the studios loud and clear when you play a game that offers you a different perspective on life, living, and loving. Share your thoughts with others. Always remember that your whole life, generally speaking, everyone in the minority space of gender and sexuality has had to adapt to cis and heteronormative games … This is a part of becoming better informed and more well-rounded as a person.
It’s up to each and every one of us to make the gaming world a welcoming place for everyone. But the companies making games have an even greater responsibility to ensure we’re all represented. If you’re game developer who isn’t sure how to go about doing that, or you’d like an assist to make sure you get it right, MidBoss has your back. Peterson told TNW:
If any studio wants to help ensure they’re on track with making a well-made inclusive game, please reach out to us. Either we will work with you or we will refer you to other great resources.
Share your Pride Month gaming story with us! Tag us on Twitter or email Tristan@thenextweb.com.