What Do Gay Gamers Want From Their Games?

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.

New Gaymer Survey [Full Sail via Joystiq - Thanks Alexander]


Comments

    "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 find it amusing when gamers insult these sorts of games, like the "imagine" series on DS, saying that girls don't want these games, it's insulting, etc... guess what series of games is the favourite of my bosses young daughter? Just because YOU don't like it doesn't mean someone else can't...

    "...are homosexual gamers that much different from everyone else that they need to be catered to specifically?"

    I get the feeling that could be what the survey is trying to discover. If (as is pretty likely),gay gamers are no different to hetero gamers? Well, nothing wasted but a survey.

    And if the groups actually turn out to be significantly different? That'd be something sorta useful to know.

    Still not actually expecting to see any statistically major differences myself though, no.

    I used to drink Gaymers cider but no one seems to stock it anymore. The only reason I drank it was the name.

    What do vegetarians want from their games, or people with red hair, or colour-blind people? Why is sexual orientation such a defining characteristic in this day and age?

      TPTB are obsessed with Eugenics / population reduction, so they never miss a chance to promote anything that may discourage procreation. That's why homosexuality gets injected into every issue, regardless of relevance.

    As a "Gaymer" (Yaaay, everything has a label...) I was happy to fill out the survey.

    I don't feel like there's a lack of homosexual content in games, but just a lack of choice.

    For example, in Mass Effect, I played that game as if Shepard was me. I made decisions in that game like I would make them myself, given the choice.

    So when there's a lack for a Male, Male romance. I feel a little jilted. I can choose Weapons, Armour, Upgrades, Party Members and even if some people live or die, but can't choose to smooch on another guy. It disconnected me from the game world and it's story. I can choose where a multi-million credit space ship lands, but not to flirt with Garrus. =P

    But that's THOSE types of games, where you DO make the character your own. You make all the choices. In other games, like Max Payne or even GTA IV. I think it was right that Niko Bellic didn't actualy date other men in the game, as I felt that wasn't a part of his chracter, story and his life.

    Most girls I know that play video games play games like Barbie Horse Adventure and etc. some play these games regularly but I don't consider them hardcore because they are just casual games. There are more girls I know that play games like TF2 and Counter Strike so it balances out.

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