Read Only Memories

A living area with desk and computer. Alongside it, the portrait of an android. Text reads 'ze/zir/zir/zirs, xe/xir/xir/xirs, custom pronouns, previous options'.
  • Developer: MidBoss
  • Publisher: MidBoss
  • Year: 2015
  • Genre: Adventure Point-and-click
  • Platform/s: PC

Read Only Memories is an incredibly popular example of positive representation of sexuality and gender, and was created by Midboss, the company behind GaymerX. The game was designed to prove that queer characters and themes can be included in games that are also enjoyable in their own right, a topic discussed on The plot of Read Only Memories asks questions about what it means to be human, with a number of people (known as 'hybrids') experimenting with gene splicing and cybernetic enhancements. There are also personal computer robots known as ROMs, which are designed to help their human masters and replicate sentience without actually achieving it.

You are able to choose your pronouns when creating a character in Read Only Memories by selecting from a thorough, pre-determined list or by entering your own. You encounter many gender diverse people throughout your adventure, such as a person (Sympathy) who has a beard and moustache and who goes by she/her pronouns, as well as finding people of varied sexualities, such as references to your sister's ex-girlfriend. Read Only Memories asks questions of gender and labelling when your robot companion, Turing, starts to wonder what gender pronouns they should adopt and if robots can even have a gender.

However, it's important to note that even a representation as popular as those in Read Only Memories isn't flawless and might not be perfect for everyone. One respondent to the Queer Representation (2016) survey shared their thoughts about the game: "As a trans woman who used to identify as nonbinary, there's a lot of baggage that comes along with using pronouns that aren't she/her or he/him. To really represent people who identify outside of that binary, I think it's important to show what it's like."