Tuesday, May 28, 2024

A Goodbye to Gayming Magazine from Aimee Hart

Four years ago, I was asked a very important question: do you want to become editor-in-chief of Gayming Magazine?

Unless I’ve been living in a simulation, the answer was obviously yes. Since 2021, as EIC, I’ve helped transform Gayming Magazine into a website that queer gamers could go to and enjoy. And it was, indeed, a position that I feel confident in saying that people would be envious of. Queer criticism has been my bread and butter for many years, even before I joined the games industry, and the fact of the matter is that people from all over the world are still hungry for it — especially when its focus is on video games.

Video games have always been queer, though not quite as literally as they’ve slowly started to become. There are more games out there that have LGBTQ+ storylines or characters than there have been since video games earlier days, to the point that now GLAAD has started including them in their yearly reports and findings. That feels amazing. Even if GLAAD summed up what I already knew: despite what seems to be ‘a lot’ right now, it’s not nearly enough.

In many ways, under my leadership, Gayming was meant to try and change that. Either by showing developers that there is an audience for their games, or showing publishers that queer gamers are not only worth their time and energy, but investment. As time went on, I realized that I was far more interested in showcasing the former, rather than the latter. Money will always talk in this industry, it’s just a fact at this point, but instead of centering that and becoming more disillusioned, I rather enjoyed helping audiences find the games they were looking for.

With the above in mind, I loved my time writing guides and lists that answered the questions that a lot of queer gamers do ask: can you be gay in this game? What are the LGBTQ+ inclusive video games coming out this year, when are they coming out? These were always fun to do a deep dive for, knowing that they would be helpful to a range of different people, such as those who were perhaps not out yet, or coming to terms with their identity. Alternatively, gamers who are a little like me, and want to actively play games that they can see themselves in.

And these editorials? They flourished and further proved my point: that there is an audience in queer gamers and that, despite the howling of a vocal few who claim gaming companies are having diversity and inclusivity forced down their throats, times are changing, slowly but surely. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. As I said in my introductory post, I didn’t want Gayming to fall into the same hole of coverage that focuses on only the cis, white, skinny side of things. Looking back, I feel as though I accomplished that, but certainly not by myself.

My time at Gayming wasn’t just me, me, me. In 2022, I was joined by the ever-talented Ty Galiz-Rowe, and to say that they changed Gayming for the better would be a serious understatement. Their coverage, from esports to reviews to guides, was phenomenal from start to finish. One of my favourite pieces from Ty was their review of In Stars and Time, a game that not only is kick-ass but spoke to both of us on a personal level. I also loved his deep-dive and analysis into the episodic nature of Black Tabby Games’ Scarlet Hollow, and how the trait system intersects with player choice. Ty’s ability to make the nuts and bolts of everything sound interesting and fun always made reading his work enjoyable and I’m so privileged to have worked with him as my Deputy Editor.

That doesn’t even begin to describe the fantastic work of all the freelance writers I’ve worked with during my time here. I still read Matteo Lupetti’s feature surrounding Cyberpunk 2077 and the genre whenever I feel like reading some damn good criticism, and did I mention their work on Stonewall 1969? God, what a feature. Then there’s Kylie Noble and her work around browser games and their resistance to being policed, as well as highlighting several lesser-known series that spoke to the sapphic experience. And, honestly, I could talk about all the freelancers I’ve worked with all day. They’ve done a stupendous amount of work, and I’m lucky, so utterly lucky, to be part of even a sliver of it.

There’s been so much great work at Gayming that even with me going on to do new things, I know that I left a legacy I can be proud of. As for where I’ll be going next, that’s still a secret. But if you’d like to keep up with my work, then you can find me on Twitter/X at @AimemeRights, where I’ll continue to post about Dragon Age 2 (has anyone heard of it?) an unholy amount.

See ya, Gayming Magazine. It’s been fun.

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One thought on “A Goodbye to Gayming Magazine from Aimee Hart

  • I will miss your articles 🙁 Thank you for your work at Gayming Magazine and all the best for your future!

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