A DigiPen gaming school student has created a new "Gaymer" survey, hoping to determine what homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual gamers look for in a video game.
The original "Gaymer" survey was created to "quantify the existence of an invisible minority." Now that we know that they do indeed exist, it's time to find out what they like. Paul Nowak, a masters student at DigiPen, has created the new survey in order to make an in-depth study of what "gaymers" want from their games.
Ideally, I want to learn what exactly it is that gaymers want from their games and how that differs from their heterosexual counterparts. I'll take that information to develop guidelines the industry can use when trying to make gaymer inclusive games that don't become offensive or insulting to any gamer regardless of sexual orientation. If someone had done the same kind of research when the industry was trying to reach out to female gamers, girls wouldn't have had to suffer through the wildly unsuccessful attempts of games like "Mary Kate & Ashley's Winner's Circle" pony racing. I'm hoping to help the industry avoid the same mistakes as it reaches out to gay gamers.
I've gone through the survey myself, seeing as it is open to gamers of all sexual orientations. Aside from the initial question about sexual orientation, it mainly concerns itself with questions about content, genre and game features, before slipping into more specific questions about homosexual content, using games like Enchanted Arms, Bully and The Sims as examples.
As for the survey's motivation, I find myself a bit conflicted. I've just never thought of gaming as a pastime that sexual orientation figures into. Nowak makes a valid point about the industry's stumbling first attempts at reaching a female audience, but are homosexual gamers that much different from everyone else that they need to be catered to specifically? I'm not saying they shouldn't be...I suppose I am asking if they really want to be.