Queer representation in video games is important. The validation and visibility of all relationships is something we should strive for, and some titles are more ahead of the game than others.
June is Pride Month, and if you're looking for queer-friendly games with positive LGBTQ+ representation, we've rounded up five examples that you can play without fear of fridging or straightwashing, with confirmed queer relationships and other awesome things that anyone can enjoy no matter how they identify. Looking for something to play that features some amazing relationships? Try out one of these games!
Butterfly Soup is something of an indie darling created by Brianna Lei, and it's all about girls falling in love while playing baseball. It follows a burgeoning relationship between characters Diya and Min-Seo, who are just beginning to realize they have feelings for other girls. Their journey is nothing but heartwarming and hilarious at times, with relationship developments peppered with anime, gaming, and internet culture references that anyone can enjoy, and celebrating queerness at every turn. It's a breezy, enjoyable adventure with characters that'll stick with you, and we're still hoping for a sequel.
Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator
Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is exactly what it sounds like. You play a hot dad looking to meet and romance other hot dads. It doesn't get any simpler than that. This celebration of queer relationships, especially between tons of different daddies (including Teacher Dad, Goth Dad, Bad Dad, and other versions), is a laugh-out-loud journey that has you dating some intriguing characters. It's never shaming or making fun of each relationship, only offering some interesting developments along the way. As far as dating sims go, this one's a great way to test the waters.
Read Only Memories
Queerness is a central theme in Read Only Memories, a retro-tinged love letter to classic titles like Snatcher and cyberpunk in general. Explore Neo San Francisco, a melting pot of characters with varying sexualities and presentations, all handled with surprising maturity. The game even makes sure it's using the correct pronouns players would like to go by — or you can enter your own if you'd like! Several queer relationships are represented within as well, and they're a seamless part of the story, with inclusivity remaining first and foremost a huge priority for the developer. It doesn't hurt that it features an awesome narrative, too.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us explores something of a zombie apocalypse — except the enemies aren't your typical zombies, and this isn't your typical game. It's an excellent adventure from Naughty Dog that features an important coming-of-age tale for one of its confirmed queer protagonists, Ellie, as she meets and forms a friendship with, then falls in love with another survivor named Riley. We've seen that Ellie has grown into a beautiful, confident young woman thanks to E3 2018's The Last of Us: Part II's debut trailer (and has a new girlfriend at that!) but this action game's first rumblings of Ellie's orientation gave us plenty more reasons to root for her. It's clear Ellie, as a queer character, will be an important pillar for the series moving forward, too.
Life is Strange
The first season of Life is Strange is spent building up an optional relationship between protagonists and best friends Chloe Price and Max Caulfield. You can choose not to pursue it, but who wants to do that? The childhood friends have always been working up to a special, beautiful moment. When you can finally choose to lay a smooch on Chloe's hella soft lips (that's probably how she'd describe them) it makes for some amazing payoff, especially since these ladies were destined to be together. The game also features another awesome character, Steph Gingrich, an openly queer geek girl who we'd totally ship with Chloe if she weren't already with Max. This game is inclusive AF, and that's not even counting Chloe's relationship with Rachel Amber, which you learn all about in Life is Strange: Before the Storm.