Presented at GX Australia 2017. Can be found in video format here.
Queerly Represent Me and the underrepresented. Alayna, Twitter at alayna m cole. Jess, Twitter at zammit jess. Saf, Twitter at wanderlustin. Charlie, Twitter at charlie the G fish. David, Twitter at c p t hollingworth.
At GX Australia 2017, we hosted a panel with a couple of special guests so that we could discuss representations of queerness, and the queer identities that we have found are underrepresented in games. The presentation includes statistics based on the QRM spreadsheet database, as well as the Representations of Diversity in Games (2017) survey.
Our panel consisted of David Hollingworth (moderator), Alayna Cole (QRM founding director), Jess Zammit (QRM data analyst), Saf Wander (special guest), and Charlie Francis Cassidy (special guest).
But what is Queerly Represent Me? Queerly Represent Me logo. Website showing visual database, spreadsheet database, resources and about. Website queerly represent dot me. Twitter at queerly rep me. Hashtag g x q r m.
Queerly Represent Me is a resource hub and research organisation. Once of our resources is the Queerly Represent Me database, which is available in both visual and spreadsheet formats for our varied audience. This database tracks all instances of queer sexualities, genders, and relationships in games, which allows us to track all sorts of things, like whether representation is increasing or which identities are underrepresented.
Table showing representation of queer identities. Please click here for access to a full description of the table in text form.
We categorise for a range of different queer identities, as well as where they appear in games (protagonist, NPCs, other references). Some identities are combined for the sake of categories being useful to both consumers and researchers who are accessing the site: we try to be specific enough that people can find someone like themselves or people they know, but also be broad enough that researchers can track trends. This table shows how many instances there are of games featuring these categories across our database (from 1981 to 2017 so far), which contained approximately 750 games at the time these statistics were documented.
The same statistics are listed below in number form so they can be used without transposing, if required.
|Asexual / aromantic*
|Bisexual / plurisexual
|Nonbinary / non-conforming*
|Other / uncategorizable
Please click here for access to a full description of the table in text form.
A picture of Charlie F Cassidy and a picture of Saf Wander, with images they feel represent themselves. Next to Charlie's picture, there is a picture of the Pokemon appearance selection screen with multiple character with different hair, a picture of the Stardew Valley relationship tracker screen, with names of a variety of genders, and a screenshot of the pronoun selection screen in Read Only Memories. Next to Saf's picture, there is a picture of an unusual looking creature with large ears.
Who are you? Who represents you? Prior to our panel, our special guests—Charlie and Saf—shared some examples of representations they could relate to so that we could populate these slides. The results were limited, but these examples offered a talking point for the pair on the day when discussing current representations of nonbinary genders and pronoun selection, polyamory, and asexuality. I will leave it to them to discuss what these representations mean to them in the video.
What are you looking for in representation? Picture of Charlie and Saf. Multiple boxes in the background with question marks on them.
After discussing what is lacking in existing representation, our special guests told us more about what they would like to see in representations of these identities. See the video.
What does our research say?
As part of our work, Queerly Represent Me conducted the Representations of Diversity in Games (2017) survey in February 2017 that was designed to examine how people feel about representation of diverse identities in games, as well as gaining a better understanding of what people think 'diversity' means. Although some of the respondents were trolls, and others were quite ignorant of what we mean when we refer to 'diversity' (indicating a desperate need for greater education), many of the respondents had positive thoughts to share, which we hoped to end our panel on:
People should feel like they can belong, even in a fantasy world. I want everybody to not just see their identity represented. Everyone should get to be the protagonist. Games are for everyone. Diversity and representation always matter. Questions?
After our panel concluded, we were asked a number of wonderful, thoughtful questions by the audience. These can be viewed on the panel video. If you have any questions about the content of this panel or the work that Queerly Represent Me does, feel free to contact us at email@example.com