It can be quite complicated to know how to mark Pride when you're a company based in Denmark, with workers from ~12 countries, and feel a bit uncomfortable with the corporatising of Pride.
There's which Pride to mark, for one thing: Pride Month in the USA marks the Stonewall Riots, but Pride in the UK, for example, is connected to the Gay Liberation Front, inspired by the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., then there's the many, many rolling Pride Weeks across Europe. Copenhagen Pride happens in August, and this year EuroPride is in Belgrade in September.
We are a team that includes LGBTQ+ people, more than a third of us are somewhere in there, and to be quite honest there's a certain pressure in the shadow of USA Pride to perform Pride in June, which is anyway a strange thing to do in a place or realm of work.
I personally, as Studio Lead, am eager not to put the labour of representation on a team whose labour is being employed to make a game. In my opinion, one of the best things a workplace can offer in terms of proactive and radical inclusion, is that you don't have to do work advocating for your inclusion (although obviously we're not perfectly 'there' - subconscious and implicit biases will persist, which makes the work always a verb, never a noun, and something I don't consider we will have 'done', ever).
Die Gute Fabrik, under my leadership, believes this: that a radical revolution in systems of healthcare, mental health, education and work, borders, plus tired ill-fitting binary, heteronormative, cis-centred, white supremacist, ableist concepts such as 'family' and 'sexuality' and 'bodies' and 'gender' is essential. That queer utopias are necessary. And that LGBTQ+ folks shouldn't have to market themselves.
We're here, some of us are queer. And in light of all the above, we decided to share with you some of our favourite or upcoming recent works of game by or involving LGBTQ+ creators. Buy their games. That's something.
Dreamfeel’s If Found
The award-winning Dreamfeel’s If Found uses the central mechanic of erasure to explore the diary of a young Irish woman called Kasio as she reflects on her return to Achill, the challenges with her family, friendships, and the looming black hole about to destroy the earth.
Humble Grove’s No Longer Home
Humble Grove’s No Longer Home features music by our own Eli Rainsberry, and is a semi-autobiographical story-driven adventure game set in a magical realist house-share in contemporary London. The apartment's inhabitants are preparing to leave as their university graduations approach and must deal with immigration restrictions splitting up the two central characters that render their futures precarious and uncertain. Strange and mundane, careful and intimate.
Thirsty Suitors by Outerloop games
The upcoming Thirsty Suitors by Outerloop games is thrilling to see for a game at the AA level (rather than indie or III) end of games. With writing and story by the incredible Megna Jayanth, Thirsty Suitors just won an award at Tribeca, before it's even out! A "game about culture, relationships, family pressures, and expressing oneself", Thirsty Suitors is a cinematic, turn based action/fighter with RPG elements, where you have to reconcile with (fight) your exes, with incredible visuals and a unique style. Check out the trailer here, and follow the team on Steam or Twitter to get it when it comes out.
The Queer Games Bundle
For the past couple of years the Queer Games Bundle has collected (and it's definitely collected rather than curated, so you'll need to be prepared to go in curating for yourself what interests you) a huge number of itch.io's tiny indie experimental games by people who identify as queer in some way. In 2022 that's 413 creators’ tiny indie experiments. They split proceeds between all creators. Check it out for an insight into the experimental works happening at the fringes right now.
We Dwell in Possibility by Robert Yang & Eleanor Davis
We Dwell in Possibility by Robert Yang and Eleanor Davis is a beautiful free browser-based game made for the Manchester International Festival in the UK, they describe it as "a queer gardening simulation shaped by intimacy and politics – designed by Robert Yang, a videogame developer whose work explores gay subcultures, with visuals by cartoonist and illustrator Eleanor Davis."
The Queer Games Avant Garde - Bonnie Ruberg
The Queer Games Avant Garde - edited by Bonnie Ruberg - is a book which collects an important recent history of queer games practices at the edges of games practice, i.e. where most of the interesting stuff happens. It platforms many different voices from the past couple of decades, sets up histories that otherwise might be forgotten, and is a great place to start if you're someone from outside of or adjacent to games wondering where all the queer games practices are at.
Dream Askew by Avery Alder
Dream Askew by Avery Alder is one half of a tabletop game game book about a queer community after the apocalypse. Alder's The Quiet Year is a masterpiece of the genre of accessible tabletop games for people trying to imagine futures together, and Dream Askew focuses particularly on queer experience as part of that. Highly recommended.