Queer Me, or The Queer Games Library, is a new digital game library, which will curate video games as queer experiences for young people.
Created by a team of students in Glasgow, The Queer Me library presents young users with a selection of video games (and other multimodal digital texts) which offer the opportunity to explore diverse gender and sexuality expressions, or a queer perspective through play.
According to the team behind Queer Me:
Video game platforms are unique technological spaces where social practices take place around specific interests – they have also been traditionally most popular with young people. Games themselves, each with their own interactive narrative structure, can therefore become critical tools for young people to encounter, explore, and try out diverse queer identities, as well as playfully theorise new, queer perspectives on the world. The Queer Me library is an attempt to create an archive of these tools, and curate them for users according to their level of queer experience.
The Queer Games Library curates its digital video games into three categories: Queer Me, Queer You, and Queer World.
Queer Me games offer users the opportunity to experience or construct their own specific gender/sexuality expression through gameplay: character design or development, play choices, events selection.
Queer You games offer users the opportunity to explore the queer perspectives of other individuals or groups through gameplay: character interactions, play choices, events selection.
Queer World games offer users an entirely alternate worldview through the construction of a gameworld that is in some way queer or representative of queer perspectives. The library team call this the ‘Q3 system’. Site moderators use it to categorise suggested games based on gameplay and research data before adding them to the digital archive.
Queer Me is designed to be a safe and fun space where young people can find games that reflect different perspectives on the world. We wanted all young people – queer, straight, not-sure, whatever – to be able to see themselves in the video games they play, as well as encounter diverse game characters and other possibilities for how the world could be. But, as an added bonus, we realised we were also building a platform where developers who care about queer representation in their games could get their games seen, played, talked about, and also see work by other developers with similar aims.
We’re just as interested in hearing from those industry folks as we are from young people. It’s still early days, and we have plans to expand in a few different ways, so anyone producing queer games, or who knows a good queer game we haven’t listed, should definitely get in touch!
The site has a contact us function, and we can also be found on Twitter and Instagram. Ideally this thing will grow into a community of rad video game enthusiasts – players and developers – who are interested in gay games.Emilie Owens – co-founder of The Queer Games Library
Goals For The Library
The aim of the library is to bring queer resources to young people, and in so doing promote games and game developers who are working to bring better representation to the industry. As the field of gaming continues to explode in popularity and size, the team hopes that offering a digital space where young game enthusiasts can find, share, and communicate about queer games will help shine some light on LGBTQ+ identities both within the world of games, and of game makers. At the very least, they hope the archive will give young people a better chance to see themselves reflected in the games they play .
Expanding The Library
The team behind Queer Me hope to expand the games library to encompass a broader range of queer games, and developing comments sections that allow users to discuss their experiences with the games through the site. They also aim to add a blog where discussions around gender, sexuality, the queer community, and gaming can take place.
Longer term goals include producing content (videos, interviews) that showcases some of the members of those communities, and organising in-person events to bring them together. This could include young game enthusiasts doing play-throughs, game developers and designers discussing or demonstrating their process, or discussion panels and conferences with experts in the field on issues of queerness and gaming.
Though the LGBTQ+ community is increasingly visible in the 21st century, it isn’t hard to find spaces and places where queer identities are still marginalised, diminished, and even feared. The Queer Games Library hopes to make a space within the world of gaming where young people can have safe and positive experiences with queerness, regardless of their gender or sexual identity, by promoting queer perspectives through play.