There's been article after article about how gaming culture (and perhaps all of nerd culture) is typically and fundamentally a straight, white, cis-male dominated scene. However you look at it, it's hard to deny the fact that the character landscape in video games is a little monochromatic.
This is where The Arkh Project comes in. The group is trying to raise money to create a game that represents the under-represented. The idea is this: take a development team made up entirely of queer people and people of colour and create a fully-realised RPG that stars a main cast of mostly queer people and people of colour. The Arkh Project is asking for $US100,000, which they plan to spread out over a series of different fundraisers, to cover the costs of their game. The project's indiegogo page summarises their goal like this:
The Arkh Project is a group of amazing people getting together in an attempt to raise funds and create a video game completely off the beaten path. People of colour are often tokenized in video games, leaving them to play one of very few roles. Queer people are consistently left in the dust in meaningless relationships, or relationships that are mocked. We're looking to turn that upside down. This game is for people who don't get to be fantasy and sci-fi heroes! This game is to help normalise the millions of other people who play video games!
An eventual release is planned for PC and Mac, with a possible release on Xbox Live. The game is still in its design phase, and the team is currently putting together concept art. In other words, this is a long, long way from being a playable game. The spark is there, however, and something like this is certainly overdue.
UPDATE: Many commenters have pointed out The Arkh Project's past, including statements attributed to its members, doesn't speak well of its ability to execute on its ambitions, or of being a strong voice for diversity. This post, by someone who supports the concept of queer characters in videogames, particularly raises some legitimate concerns with the substance of The Arkh Project's business plan. It also points out that an Arkh Project member runs a Tumblr blog entitled "dumbthingswhitepplsay", which has posted some topics that damage the Project's moral authority on the subject of diversity. [ h/t BubbleF***ingBuddy]