Thursday, April 18, 2024
Features

Gayming Awards 2022: Best LGBTQ Character

If you’re looking for an award show that’s queer and entertaining, then you’ll want to know more about the Gayming Awards – the first and only global award ceremony celebrating LGBTQ+ video games and the people behind them. With this award show we’ll show off many incredible categories, including Gayming Awards 2022: Best LGBTQ Character, sponsored by Rocksteady.

For this prestigious category, we look at characters that aren’t just some caricature that’s been spoonfed to us in order to make us care about even the tiniest of scraps. Instead, we look at characters that are detailed, messy, and represent us in a way that isn’t artificial but are authentic and meaningful.

This category is proudly sponsored by Rocksteady Studios, a London-based game studio that is well-known for the Batman: Arkham series of games, as well as the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League.

You can find out more about the show – and how to attend – here. In the meantime, let’s look at the amazing characters that have been nominated for this category, and what our judges had to say about them!


Alex Chen – Life is Strange: True Colors

“The central character in the game, she’s authentically bisexual, hugely likable, and layers sass with dry humour and eventually a fierce sense of morality. She’s portrayed by both voice actor (Erika Mori) and singer (mxmtoon) who do a wonderful job of bringing her to life.”

“Though this series of games feature multiple queer characters, Alex Chen is a great example of a true bisexual playable character in a video game, due to her referencing previous relationships with both men and women in the game – and it not just being a present-day choice you’re being asked to make as the player. Plus, the choices she makes in-game come with no drama or fallout for being with either Steph or Ryan.”

“Alex is specifically bisexual and the games makes a point of ensuring the romance options are not giving players a choice between whether she is straight, or gay based on the gender of her chosen partner. Not only is this bisexual visibility refreshing to see, spotlighting a person of colour as a the protagonist gives this entry in the franchise new spaces to explore.”

Helmut Fullbear & Bob Zanotto – Psychonauts 2

“It was nice to see a nice, unambiguous gay relationship in these characters in a franchise I wouldn’t expect to see it.”

“Both Helmut and Bob are incredible characters, and their relationship is the most authentic I’ve ever seen in video games. It has everything: heartbreak, longing, and more importantly – love. One of the healthiest couples in games, too.”

“The relationship between Helmut Fullbear & Bob Zanotto is unambiguous in this game and it is refreshing to see them both presented in such a matter-of-fact way.”

Steph Gingrich

Steph Gingrich – Life is Strange: True Colors

“Steph represents a spectrum of experience in queer life. Heartbreak, yearning, pride, and most importantly, hope.”

“She is a badass, geeky, music-loving lesbian who also plays DnD. Who wouldn’t love her? More seriously like every other character in LiS:TC she is well written, relatable, and genuine. So much so that she got her own dedicated DLC.”

“While Ellie from The Last of Us represented lesbians in her own way, Steph is a much more grounded, level-headed character who has her own dreams that don’t necessarily get pushed to the side just so the main protagonist can shine.”

Lake gay

Meredith Weiss – Lake

“Meredith Weiss perfectly captures the quintessential American midwestern woman.. or what I imagine them to be like. It’s an experience that is admittedly the widely accepted safe default but I had a great time stepping into the shoes of this character. Depending on how you play her, she can be dry, witty, compassionate, and most importantly, queer. It’s a small story so the romance opportunities match that and I had a great time with it. There’s the option to ride off into the sunset with my film-obsessed girlfriend and you can bet that I absolutely did that.”

“Meredith Weiss is a programmer who lived in a big city in 1986 with a healthy relationship with her parents and coworkers. During your stay in Lake, Weiss has the option to date a cisgender male and female. Weiss has a great sense of humor and loyalty to her friends. A video game rarely presents a queer character (or any storytelling) without overused tropes. Weiss is a great role model and example of an LGBTQ character in storytelling.”

“You play as Meredith Weiss, a middle-aged woman who moves back to her hometown of Providence Oaks to deliver mail to the residents there. Along the way, you meet different people – including Angie, a film-lover who is also a lesbian. Meredith’s relationship with her, and how different it is to the male romance option, is incredible and detailed.”


What an incredible selection of LGBTQ+ characters that have been nominated this year! And it isn’t just us that are excited – we got the chance to speak with Rocksteady, who is sponsoring this category, to talk more about their studio, how the studio celebrates its LGBTQ+ employees, and a whole lot more.


Sponsors

The Gayming Awards are proudly sponsored by… 


Supporters

The Gayming Awards are proudly supported by… 

Bandai Namco – a Japanese multinational video game publisher

Green Man Gaming – a British-based online video game retailer, distributor and publisher

Space Ape Games – mobile games maker

Ukie – the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry trade body

game – the German Games Industry Association

Out Making Games – the UK games industry’s LGBTQ representation group

Games London – the agency promoting London as a hub of games making

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.