Building off of my last article, I thought I would share some of my favorite games. I am not a hard-core gamer, like I used to be. I still play often and on varying consoles. I am still a PC gamer, but I also have my Xbox, PlayStation, and my Switch. Each one has its own reasons I like them and console specific games. I don’t have a preference of one over the other except for my PC. As far as game styles, I usually stick with First Person Shooters (FPS), Action button masher types, puzzle style games, some MMORPG, and roleplaying. I only play online for one MMORPG and the rest I prefer to play solo, for stress relief. I enjoy gaming all the same and usually prefer a well written story over insane action sequences. That being said, lets jump into my list.
In my last article I mentioned a game called Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator. I had downloaded for my Switch before I wrote the article and only gotten as far as the intro. So as a summary, it is a visual novel style video game and was originally released in 2017 for Windows and Mac. In it you play a single father of a daughter and you are moving to a new town. In the new town you meet seven other dads that are datable. Your job is to win one of them over. Being a completely gay video game, it is refreshing. The story doesn’t seemed forced. There is a good balance between serious and humorous topics. You are also give the chance to play mini games through the story. With the Dadrectors cut that you are given with the Switch, you can go back and replay those mini games. The only downside is re-playability. Sure, you have various choices of phrases you can use in a situation, so there is some option for change, but it does seem limited. And as how your character looks doesn’t affect interaction, there isn’t need to worry about it. The graphics are beautifully drawn and colored, the story is thought out and well scripted. The minigames are a fun treat, as well.
Another strong favorite of mine is Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and was released in 2004. If you ever played the table top version of Vampire the Masquerade, then the game draws heavily from that source material. Even in the character sheet you use for making your digital character. It follows closely to the actual vampire clans from the game. The story is very well written, the action sequences are complementary to the story. From an LGBTQ point of view, the only remotely close storyline is that female characters are allowed to flirt with female NPCs, but men cannot. As I mentioned in my article on Wednesday, this can be seen in some game and is used for enhancing the game to a heterosexual male, more so than being inclusive. It can be bought on Steam, if you want to go back and check it out. By far one of the best vampire themed video games out there, let’s hope that Bloodlines 2 will give us similar story but much more inclusive.
One of the big reasons that I do love my PlayStation is the fact that Sony has some incredible exclusive games. They are always beautifully done and engaging and have always left me wanting more. That is why the Spider-Man video game that Sony release in 2018. First, I have to say that the amount of detail they put into this open world game is fucking amazing. While you are slinging webs down any given street in New York, you actually feel as if you are there. Any famous skyscraper is rendered in the same detail as if it was the real thing. If you are an achievement collector, there are plenty to keep you busy and the story is captivating and engaging. I love the fact that you can swing through Greenwich Village and see Pride flags, and a building painted in a huge rainbow. Giving you the feel that you are in fact part of the neighborhood. Even the three added DLCs work with the story line to make you feel like you are actually buying something of worth. I only hope they come out with an equally amazing Spider-Man game, in the future. After all, they set us up for a Miles Morales story line and that would be amazing to see.
A game that I have not gotten a chance to play, but really want to is called 2064: Read Only Memories. In 2064, you are surrounded by various LGBTQ and hetero characters, but you also have the ability to write your own bio. That also allows you to choose what pronouns you want to be referred by, in the game. If you haven’t guessed, it is set in the year 2064 and is a cyberpunk puzzler. Thankfully this game does not focus on romancing the characters but more on respecting identity. You play a detective who is helping a sentient robot, Turing, find their creator and who also happens to be your friend. This game has been on many reviews receiving high marks and is next on my download for the Switch. If you have played it, let me know your thoughts.
The problem I have with any game that has an LGBTQ component, at this time, is that all too often it feels forced or added to just to try to create an inclusive theme. One reason I like Dream Daddy is that it never really said that you were a gay dad, you simply moved to a town and interacted with people to find a date, that happened to be other gay dads A more natural way of how dating would be. There were no over the top stereotypes, just natural variations of people. Where Bloodlines added the lesbian/bi character more for affect instead of true plot development. Having played through with that scenario, I can vouch that it was more of just a way for heterosexual men to have fun with it. I long for a video game that is so inclusive that it doesn’t feel as if they are pandering to include LGBTQ. A lesbian, gay, or bi couple simply would be a couple. A trans or a non-binary character wouldn’t have to be so over the top, instead it would just be another character. What we need are more LGBTQ people out there writing and developing games to create the inclusion so many of us desire. Will that person, be you?