Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dead by Daylight highlights the GaymerX consultation process with David King

Dead by Daylight revealed their first LGBTQ+ Survivor, aka David King, back in April this year. However, they didn’t do this alone – Dead by Daylight turned to GaymerX to help with consulting, making sure that they did David’s story right.

The community has called for LGBTQ+ Survivors to be added to Dead by Daylight for a long time now, so long that before David was revealed as the game’s first Survivor, some queer fans felt that the reveal was never going to come at all. Nonetheless, the space of time meant that GaymerX could work with Behaviour Interactive to tell David King’s story in a way that felt authentic.

In a series of tweets from the Dead by Daylight Twitter account, the asymmetrical horror game reveals more about GaymerX’s help, what the team was looking for in regards to LGBTQ+ representation, and what inspired them about David in particular.

“Our first step was training. We wanted to ensure mutual understanding and create a shared language to talk about challenges, strategies, and goals when crafting LGBTQIA2+ stories in games,” explains GaymerX’s Katie Kaitchuck, Executive Director, and Brian Kunde, Culture and Operations Director. “GaymerX sat down with the DbD development and community teams to discuss queer representation, history, inclusion, player safety, and crafting authentic narratives before we even started looking at character’s backstories.”

As time has progressed and Dead by Daylight has gotten bigger, more and more Survivors have entered the fold with rich backstories. There’s the depressed and out-of-her-depth gamer Feng Min, the protective and determined racer Yui Kimura, and so much more. Because of these strong characters, GaymerX is said to have faced some challenges when deciding which existing character should ‘come out’. “Everyone has their favorite head canon about which characters are queer, us, the fans, even the developers.”

The team at GaymerX and Dead by Daylight also faced the challenge of having a global, international audience. “We had to ensure our recommendations reflected LGBTQIA2+ issues and experiences around the world, not just from our North American perspective.”

For David King, the consultation process seemed to come easy to both Kaitchuck and Kunde once they read his backstory, particularly at finding out that David’s story was influenced by Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Fight Club is a piece of media that goes deep into the overcompensation of masculinity, and the toxicity that comes with it – something which has been conveyed through David’s backstory, and previous lore tome.

“Palahniuk is an out, gay author and both the book and film center around homoerotic themes and internalized homophobia. It just fit perfectly.” Kaitchuck says. “I remember saying to Brian, “They already wrote a gay character, and it’s David King.”

To find out more about GaymerX and their consultation process, you can visit their official website.

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.