VIDEO GAY-MER | What are some great gay couples in video games?

They are few and far between, but I've managed to narrow down a few of my favorites.

In the world of queer gaming, we have to latch onto the canon queer couples that we're given.

We don't see a lot of them, and when we do, we love them with all of our hearts. Admittedly, half of the time one of them dies or they're barely there, but even then they matter a little bit. They matter much more than the queerbait-y, kind-of-sort-of-barely couples that we're given (cough-cough Life is Strange cough-cough).

It's hard to pick some, because you have the think about exactly what counts as "canon." Like, Life is Strange is not canon - it's hinted at and never followed through. Sorry, but that ending where you pick Chloe doesn't count. So, in the end, these are the main criteria for this small list:

1. They have to be a romance between two out characters.

2. Neither can die - because killing queer characters for pain is annoying. Queer people die/have died enough in real life.

3. If they are optional - then they have to be a romance-able option that affects your character.

4. If they are side characters, then they need to be a major driving force in the game.

And with that, here are a few of my favorite couples.

Gregg and Angus (Night in the Woods)

A couple of months back, I wrote about Night in the Woods and its important contribution to the queer gaming world. This little adventure/exploration game had some astounding representations of bisexuality and mental illness. But the heart of the game lies in the relationship between characters Angus and Gregg.

When I played through the game a second time, it floored me how layered these guys' relationship was. Mostly, you see this through Gregg. You hear him constantly talking about how he doesn't deserve Angus, because Angus is a really good guy. This is a typical trope in a lot of relationships in media, but it's not something you see in a lot of queer relationships.

Most of the time, it constantly revolves around the struggle with sexuality and coming to terms with that while being in a relationship. Both Angus and Gregg are very real gay characters in the sense that they don't have to deal with that. Sure, they both probably dealt with that separately - but by the time Night in the Woods starts, they're in a committed relationship. The only issue is Gregg's idea that he isn't good enough for his boyfriend, because he thinks he's trash.

And while that is sad, it's really great to see queer characters getting treated like real people with real problems.

Samantha and Lonnie (Gone Home)

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, we have Samantha and Lonnie from the queer classic, Gone Home! This couple has the odd distinction of never appearing on screen. We hear Samantha's voice, but we never interact with either her or Lonnie. Instead, we take the role of Katie, Samantha's sister, as she pieces together what happened in her home while she was away.

During your time, you figure out that Samantha had a hard time adjusting to life in her new high school. But, she finds solace in a girl named Yolanda, or Lonnie, and eventually they become romantically intertwined. However, when Katie and Sam's parents find out - Sam is forbidden to see Lonnie. And Lonnie finds out that she's about to ship out to join the army.

However, all is not lost, they do end up together. While it's tragic that Samantha had to suffer - what makes her and Lonnie's relationship so important is the power it gave Samantha. Not only did she get the courage to leave her home, but she found acceptance and love in someone. There was no suicide, there was no death or physical pain of any sort. And Samantha didn't let the tragedy of her parents' horrible parenting define her.

And while we never find out what Katie thinks of everything - I like to believe that she loves Sam and Lonnie just as much as I do.

The Sole Survivor and Preston

I know, I have a lot of negative opinions about Fallout 4 - but even I can't deny that they did right by us queer folk by including some amazing same-sex romancing options. My favorite of which has to be the goody two-shoes of the Commonwealth, Preston Garvey. I don't know what it is about this guy. Is it because he fights for the people of the Commonwealth with such tenacity? Or is it because he looks to you as a friend and a beacon of hope, not just for the people, but for himself?

What makes this relationship, and literally every queer relationship option in this game, is how important each character is to the game and unapologetically in love with you they are allowed to fall. Each character plays an important part in the story, or they have a specific side quest that has a pretty interesting story attached. Preston, for example, brings back an entire militia to defend the Commonwealth.

Preston is important, and his sexuality does not define him, but he is also never afraid to love you. There is never a moment where he's like, "But you're a man!" None of the characters are like that. They just fall in love with you - and that means so much! Doesn't it?

So, what did you think of my list? Did you agree? Did you not agree? Well, if you did, wonderful! If not, tell me why in the comments. Or, better yet, tell me what you think your list would be! I'd like to hear more from you guys.

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VIDEO GAY-MER | What games are important to your queerness?

Queer gaming is very new, but that doesn't mean that we can't find a way to connect.

Everyone can name their first queer movie.

Mine was Beautiful Thing, a British made-for-TV film based on the play by Jonathan Harvey. I watched it in secret on Logo when I was twelve - and it made my little gay heart go pitter-pat, and really opened my eyes to how great (and sad, sometimes) being gay can be. A lot of people had this experience with their first queer movie - unless you watched something like Brokeback Mountain (in which case, I'm very sorry).

I don't know how to describe the feelings - it's a mixture of validation and giddy joy. It's a unique thing to minorities in the US - because most of the time we're not talked about. So, to see a movie that captures our experience is pretty amazing. And, despite the pickings being slim when it comes to video games, these kinds of experiences still happen. Whether we project onto a character, or we were lucky enough to start gaming when queer characters became a thing - we have felt that mixture of validation and giddy joy.


My first queer gaming experience was back in 2012 - I started gaming when I was about 9 years old. My first major game was Kingdom Hearts, and at that point in time, I had only been playing JRPGs. My cousin introduced me to Fallout 3 when I spent the summer at my grandma's house. My grandmother had no internet or cell service, so playing games and watching anime was all we could do (my cousin had a crap-ton of anime and games).

By the end of the summer, Fallout had taken over my life. It opened up a whole new world of video games for me, and I loved it for that. So, when Fallout New Vegas came around - I was ecstatic. Ultimately, though, I ended up disappointed, because the game was riddled with post-release bugs and my files got corrupted two different times. But not before I had my first ever queer gaming experience.

For those that haven't played the game, Fallout: New Vegas, much like Fallout 3 gives you the opportunity to gain "perks," which are in-game buffs to each character. They can do a lot - you can shoot rifles better, take more hits, etc. There's a special one called "Confirmed Bachelor," which allows you special dialogue options towards other men. I thought it was going to be like deadly options, because it also gave you a damage increase on male targets. Turns out that's wasn't the case.

Basically, this perk let you flirt with guys and succeed. It delighted me, and made the tumultuous experience that I'd had with game a little better. Every time I could use the perk's dialogue option, I did. And the guys, despite being video game characters, were all pretty attractive. It changed a lot of my perception about what kind of characters could be in a video game. I smiled for the rest of the day after I first used "Confirmed Bachelor."

It also made me hyper aware of the lack of this feeling in other games. It sparked this odd sense of boredom within me every time I played a game that lacked any sort of queer element. I rolled my eyes when I replayed Final Fantasy X and watched Tidus and Yuna fall in love. I got annoyed during my replay of Fallout 3, even.

I didn't hate these games. I still loved them very much, but I began noticing a pattern that repeated itself over and over again. And I needed some more spice to that same tired formula. So, while my first queer gaming experience was amazing - it also broke the glass in terms of the lack of content I was getting. My eyes were opened and I couldn't close them.

It's the same with queer movies - once your eyes are open, they want to see more. And unfortunately, you don't always get more. You just get the same or worse, none at all.

Luckily though, trends are changing - and I couldn't be happier.


I want to hear from you, the person reading this. What was your first or favorite queer experience in gaming? What opened your eyes to the beauty of representation in your desired medium? I want to hear about what moment you felt connected to a video game. It doesn't have to be 100% queer. Did you relate to a character? Did you see a storyline that resonated with your queer experience?

You can comment below, or you can even send a submission to my website!

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