Gender diversity with LGBT videogame characters
The fight for LGBT visibility isn’t limited to just the big screens or on our TVs. There’s also a swelling movement for greater diversity and representation with a number of LGBT videogame characters in your games.
Modern game titles now have more videogame characters who exist outside traditional gender and sexual orientations, and are represented more broadly and accurately.
For example, there is the recently-introduced trans cleric character Mizhena in the expansion game of Baldur’s Gate.
Because of this, we’re getting to a place where we can say that there are relatable and realistic gay characters young gamers can be inspired by.
However, LGBT characters have been around almost as long as video games themselves– hidden in plain sight– and they’ve become some of the most beloved, enduring characters around.
Here are five of them:
LGBT videogame characters #1: Birdo of Super Mario Bros. 2
Nintendo introduced Birdo as an egg-spitting villain in the second edition of its massively popular Super Mario Bros. series.
According to the manual, the dinosaur creature with the red bow atop its head “thinks he is a girl and spits eggs from his mouth. He would rather be called ‘Birdetta’.”
LGBT videogame characters #2: Faris Scherwiz of Final Fantasy V
Born female and raised as a male by pirates, Faris made the rank of captain herself. She often gets confused or even offended by the subject of her gender and its effect on others’ view of her.
Faris is reserved overall but staunchly defends those near to her. She has a huge and expansive backstory that runs the gamut of betrayal, success, failure, identity crises, and the like.
LGBT videogame characters #3: Kanji Tatsumi of Persona 4
Kanji is possibly the most ambiguous character on this list. When you confront his shadow, it’s pretty much a flaming homosexual.
Outside of that, Kanji has many awkward encounters with males and is extremely shy around females.
He slowly comes to terms with his more “feminine” attributes, and even though he never outright says “I’m gay,” he’s pretty much certainly bisexual.
LGBT videogame characters #4: Liara T’Soni of Mass Effect
Liara is an Asari, a long-aged alien race, who is a scientist and researcher and who is wise and knowledgeable far beyond her years. She’s also a solid shot with a pistol and in peak physical condition.
She later becomes the world’s leading information broker but somehow still takes time out to save friends in need and help Shepard save the earth.
LGBT videogame characters #5: Undyne of Undertale
Undyne is first presented as the mentor of another character, Papyrus. She is a sea monster and the leader of the king’s royal guard who is sent out to hunt down the human in order to protect the other monsters from harm.
What makes her interesting, though, is that she is one of the rare instances of a queer woman who doesn’t show any overt feminine traits being shown as a major character in a video game
Sadly, as in real life, LGBT videogame characters still face issues of acceptance in the mainstream even up to now. This can be seen in the critical reviews being thrown at the recent Baldur’s Gate videogame solely because of their trans character.
Despite this, it’s only a matter of time before the acceptance for more LGBT videogame characters reaches a tipping point.