At Queerly Represent Me, we love game jams. Queer-themed game jams like Rainbow Jam, Yuri Jam, and Yaoi Jam* inspire independent developers to make their own games and share their queer stories, and help us increase the numbers in our queer games database. But while we love every single game produced in these jams, we've found that these games often have a lot of similarities in terms of representations and genre; we want to show that queerness can permeate all game genres and that there is all sorts of diversity, even within the queer community!
Last year, Queerly Represent Me attended GX Australia and DiGRA International to speak about trends in queer games over the past few years, including a preliminary study into representations and genre. Although overall it's obvious that queer representation is lacking in the games industry, looking specifically at queer games, we noticed an overwhelming majority of queer games feature cis gay and lesbian representations within the visual novel, interactive narrative, and RPG genres.
Every single one of these games is valuable, but it's also important that we show the diversity within the queer community and explore the ways queer people can fit into other genres. So, for this jam we challenge you to represent the underrepresented in your games.
Consider representing: Intersex characters, asexuality and aromanticism, nonbinary and non-conforming genders, trans folks, explicit bisexuality (particularly for men), and polyamory.
Consider making: Sports games (including driving simulators), beat 'em ups, incremental 'clicker' games, tower defence games, platformers, puzzlers, or survival horror games.
Consider exploring: The ways sexuality or gender permeate our lives in ways that aren't related to dating / relationships.
Prove to game designers everywhere that there's more to the queer community than cis gay and lesbian characters, and that queer folks can easily fit into any genre.
We've partnered with Freeplay Independent Games Festival to show the crowd favourite submissions from our game jam to the public on 25th May 2018. We will be showing off plenty of your games throughout the day to celebrate the diversity of submissions, and the amazing work that indie games are doing in allowing creators to tell unique stories.
"WHEN CAN I START?"
You can start right now if you want to! We have no strict rules around when you can start, so long as you do the bulk of the work during the fortnight of the game jam. Whatever the 'bulk' constitutes is entirely up to you and your conscience. But feel free to get started on planning, creating assets, or familiarising yourself with an engine.
* We are also excited by jams like Ace Jam, the first asexual and aromantic focused jam, as far as we are aware. This jam is helping to create more games that represent the underrepresented in terms of queer identity.