Queer Tropes vs Video Games: Video Games’ Relationship Status – It’s Complicated

In this installment, we examine the complex history of gay relationships in games, from Fallout 2 in 1998 to much more recent games like Dream Daddy and The Last of Us: Left Behind. For a long time, even those rare games that included any opportunities at all for players to pursue queer romance or sex options often cordoned off that content like something that needed to be carefully quarantined, requiring players to make a series of specific choices in order to access it, even as those same games frequently put heterosexual content front and center. Narrative and gameplay mechanics have regularly been used as tools to normalize straight relationships while othering or demonizing queer ones, but a relatively recent wave of games that center gay relationships demonstrates how games can serve to normalize and celebrate queer love as well.

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