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Updating LGBT tag to LGBTQIA+

A topic by EnbyKaiju created 61 days ago Views: 362 Replies: 20
Viewing posts 1 to 9
(3 edits) (+6)

SUCCESS! Thanks for the Itch team for featuring both the LGBTQIA tag and the Queer tag. LGBT is still of course available, but this means that folks who tag their game in a way that feels right for them is now an option. 

Thanks to everyone for their support and discussions on this. <3 

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It's fantastic that Itch remains a beacon of hope for those in the LGBTQIA+ community making & playing games, however the LGBT tag doesn't cover everyone it needs to so that folks are included.

Having the LGBT tag updated to LGBTQIA+ would mean that folks who are part of the asexual/aromantic, intersex and queer parts of the gender/sexuality would be included. There are already many game jams that include these folks, but still no inclusive tag to bring them into the rest of the community.

Please consider updating the tag to be more representative of the community as a whole. Thanks

Additional: Removal of the LGBT tag as a whole is not the end goal here, it is to make the LGBTQIA (and Queer if possible) tags visible from basic searches so that they become a standard for tagging games made by the community.

(edit: the tagging system doesn't handle the +. It's still better to have LGBTQIA than the shorthand LGBT) 

(+2)

Agreed, it's a minor thing that would help make the full acronym more commonplace. I know LGBT gets used as shorthand a lot but since it's a tag that would get auto suggested it's not like it'd be in any way unwieldy.

(+4)

I agree that this is extremely important. As someone not fully represented in just the "LGBT" tag, and as someone often left out and forgotten about in representation, I can attest to how important this sort of thing is. Representation matters. A tag that fully represents members of the LGBTQIA+ community matters a lot.

(1 edit) (+3)

Agreed! Please do this!

Edit: I just tried to add this to a game of mine, and it appears that the "+" character is not supported in tags.  I've added LGBTQIA for now.

(+2)

As a gamedev with a game containing an asexual character, it only makes sense to use the full acronym! Lgbt, while a fantastic shorthand, doesn't fully capture the community.

(+2)

Agreed! I have a game that deals heavily with queer themes that didn't fall under the LGBT acronym. Tagging it was more difficult than it should have been!

(+3)

I'd like if at least the q was in there. otherwise nonbinary peeps can excluded

If I'm being honest, I think this is a fundamentally misguided approach.

Itch.io doesn't create the tags - people type in the tags and choose ones that they wish to have. I've seen tags that exist for one game only - I've seen tags that are extremely misspelled. Etc etc etc. Itch.io didn't designate 'LGBT' as the tag. People did.

Right or wrong, it's highly unlikely that Itch.io would go back and change an entire tag to be another thing, and not allow people to tag their works 'LGBT'. For better or for worse, that is what people chose to tag their works, and forcing people to use a different tag seems like a very poor idea overall.

If you want the 'LGBTQIA' tag to be larger, that's something to take up with the community. If you (general you) create games, tag them with that. Perhaps create a game jam where half the point is to put your works in that tag? That would not only create more games, but also draw attention to it. (Even if people couldn't create games for that specific game jam, if they had before, perhaps they'd see that and change whatever tag they were using.) That would be my best suggestion, as well as simply bringing it up. For example, the Rainbow Game Jam has a discord (as do most of the game jams, when they're active). Join it and bring it up there, as an example?

If you want the 'LGBTQIA' tag to be more commonly used, I truly think the community is the way to start. From how itch.io genuinely functions as a website, I think it's highly unlikely they'd change it - as, again, it wasn't a tag they truly created in the first place - so I think if you want it to be a more common tag, starting with the community is the better way to go.

Cheers, and good luck!

Moderator

You are correct. Creators chose this tag, early on, not anyone from the Itch.io staff. Still, if there was a compelling argument, and sufficient community consensus, it wouldn't be a big deal to change the database so that "LGBT" is renamed to something more inclusive. The question is what. "LGBTQIA+" is unwieldy, arguably off-putting to some people, and probably still leaves a few letters out. "Queer" would be my favorite, but some people still think it's a slur (mistakenly, by the way; there's a whole story behind that, too). Other attempts at inventing a more general acronym failed entirely.

For better or worse, "LGBT" caught on because it's, well, catchy, and also reasonably short. Much like we're stuck using the term "game" for a lot of interactive works that don't really meet any dictionary definition thereof. People are welcome to try and change the situation, but frankly, that seems likely to take a while if it will happen at all.

(+1)

Queer has absolutely been used as a slur that contributed to the repression of several people I know personally, for one.

For two, "it's unwieldy" isn't really a good enough reason to shortcut on representation - the reason LGBT caught on is because it started as LGBT, and the QIA+ was added as it became apparent there were people who should be together under the umbrella but weren't represented. It's also simply not unwieldy in the context of a game tag - the full tag will come up when you type LGBT while adding a tag, and it will be a suggested tag if you search LGBT. I don't know how the itch search actually works but I wouldn't be surprised if just searching for LGBT also matched the LGBTQIA+ tag. So it really isn't unwieldy in this context, and the more it's used in common situations like this, the less "unwieldy" it'll be in normal conversation - it'll just be "correct"

(1 edit)

Seconding the q*r thing - from very personal experience - but I don’t think that the LGBT tag also covers the games tagged LGBTQIA. You can search LGBTQIA as a separate tag and then filter out the games tagged LGBT (which then only leaves like, two games rip), and you can also tag your game BOTH LGBT and LGBTQIA. I’m pretty positive that searching a tag only gets what’s SPECIFICALLY tagged with LGBT, and not games that have tags that INCLUDE LGBT (such as the tag LGBTQIA, LGBT themes, etc).

This is just from my own time spent messing around with the search/tag filters, because I’ve been trying to find every game that fits under the umbrella and make collections for them, but yeah.

When you search for "adve" it suggests the tags for "adventure" and "action adventure" up the top. It won't suggest LGBTQIA+ because it's not one of the official/endorsed/suggested tags, whereas LGBT is, hence the desire to rename.

Moderator

I don't think the "LGBT" tag is given any special treatment by the system. The "adventure" tag is because it denotes a genre, and genre is specifically tracked. But tag popularity also factors in searches; one that's only used for a few games might not be returned. "LGBT" happens to be frequently picked by creators, because it's been around for a while. If you can convince people to use "LGBTQIA+" more, I'm sure it will start showing up as well.

At this point I'd argue that LGBTQIA (or any variation thereof) is practically a genre in itself now. The number of different games and stories we have coming through from the community on an almost daily basis in different forms speaks to that.

Maybe we need to have these games as their own genre now???

Anyway, I've made a push to have folks tag their games with LGBTQIA and/or queer to help boost visibility. Does anyone know how many games need to be tagged with something before it will show up in the search bar?

Moderator(+2)

I asked, and it seems my information was wrong. Tags have to be vetted by an admin before they are picked by free-form searches. To quote the official answer: "there's no automatic promotion of a tag (to prevent abuse)". Your proposal is now under consideration. Sorry for the delay and confusion.

Thank you thank you thank you <3<3<3

I think this would be entirely counterproductive. For context, I'm the maker of an adult LGBT-tagged game, which also includes Straight, Intersex and Asexual characters and themes (plus a Queer character coming in the next big update). Adding an ever increasing list of letters to the acronym is confusing to many -especially those from outside Western/westernised cultures - and may actively harm the promotion of LGBT games and the issues they raise by abandoning a widely-understood term. Additionally, if the aim is one of inclusion, why stop at LGBTQIA? (especially since the + won't be possible). Won't all the 2-Spirited, Crossdressers, Pansexuals, and all the hundreds of other possible configuration of sexuality and gender want to know why they're not included? I think itch should stay firmly out of the acronym game and stick with LGBT.

(+1)

Have you read the previous responses to this? Many folks don't feel included in LGBT. To not include them is harmful to the community as a whole.

There's nothing stopping folks from using LGBT as a tag, just like all tags they are up to the gamedevs to decide, this point was to make LGBTQIA and Queer tags visible to the community as a whole, as they don't even show up in partial searches.

It's impossible to include EVERY gender and sexuality in the specutrums in one acronym, but the closest we have right now is LGBTQIA because it at least attempts to cover as many as possible even under very broad definitions. This isn't counter-productive, there's nothing stopping LGBT from also being visible, especially for games that don't feature anything outside of that, but please don't make an assumption for the community as a whole without listening to their voices. And so far the voices have been in favour of this updating tags to make them visible.

I indeed read the entire thread before responding - that's why I'm aware that not all contributing voices are on board with your suggestion. However, even if I were the only voice in disagreement, I would still make my argument. This is what I believe, and as an LGBT game dev I have a stake in the outcome of the debate. Let's try not to marginalise dissent with appeals to majoritarianism - it rarely leads to a just outcome, and it is an odd position for anyone attempting to represent minorities to take.

Further to that, I made absolutely no assumption for the community as a whole in my reply - I simply represented my own views on the matter, and pointed out that not everyone in the community is coming from the same place. Ironically, your last post makes a number of assertions representing yourself as the voice of the community - which I don't accept.

Returning to the meat of your argument, many folks would also not feel included in LGBTQIA - rendering it an inefficient solution to the problem of inclusion. Another thread would simply start up requesting LGBTQIA2S - then LGBTTQIA2SA - ad infinitum... If all these tags are to become visible searches, they will end up clogging the search system and leading to players missing out on content they might otherwise enjoy. Since each game is only  allowed 10 tags, creators would also be in a bind - they surely won't wish to make all 10 tags variations on the LGBT+ theme, but they won't want to be missed out on each of the individual searches.

LBGT - as the most generally recognised umbrella term - seems to be entirely adequate for the search and tag functions (which are, after about functionality and ease-of-access rather than addressing any questions of inclusion and community). I am, however, somewhat more supportive of a separate Queer tag - owing to its combination of sexual and political orientations.

(+1)

Looks like the team here came up with the best compromise. Just make LGBTQIA, LGBT and Queer their own featured tags. :) now everyone can tag in a way that feels right for them without worrying about confusion or being left out. 

In the end this is all I really wanted. I. Just didn't know how their systems worked

(+1)

Congrats - looks like you made your case well :) And respect to the itch team for being so responsive to player requests.