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A Ga(y)me for Everyone

As video games grow in popularity, they have become more inclusive to reach a broader, diverse audience. There are now legions of LGBTQ gamers, known as Gaymers.

Lifelong gaymer Alexa Loveridge said, “I’ve been gaming since I was five and I’m 36 now. There’s so-so-so much more content for the LGBTQIA community, and I’m grateful for all of that.”

Loveridge cites Bioware, a Canadian game development studio, as being a leader in the industry, with games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect having several options for LGBTQ players.

Alexa said, “My favorite series is the Dragon Age Series. It’s an open world RPG, and your character can choose up to three other party members from various parts of the story. Several party members are romanceable. Some are straight, some are bi, and some are gay.”

Loveridge, who uses the pronouns they/them said, “Dragon Age: Origins was the game I picked up after I was involved in an accident. So when I couldn’t leave my house to see friends, I made friends with my party members. I romanced Leliana, a religious rogue bard with red hair.”

Leliana in Dragon Age: Origins by BioWare

They explained that Mass Effect was similar to Dragon Age, but set in space. “Yay, alien romance”, Loveridge exclaimed.

Loveridge said, “Because of games like [Mass Effect and Dragon Age] more companies are adding same sex romances.”

Shannon Loftis, a Studio Manager at Microsoft, recommended “Gaming for Everyone” or G4E, a website where you can learn how “Microsoft is making Xbox a more fun, diverse and inclusive place for everyone to play.”

Loftis said, “This is a multi-stream effort that spans companies across the gaming industry with the goal of making both the industry and the content accessible for everyone to have fun. This is a longstanding commitment that Xbox has had to the gaming industry.” She added, “Its roots are in the Women in Games group that I founded more than twenty years ago with a couple of other Microsoft employees.”

Twitter has been a resource for meeting queer gaymers of all stripes, especially because the Mass Effect and Dragon Age fandoms are so big and mostly welcoming. A lot of people I follow or mutually follow are also into the same games. Everyone offered good recommendations, too.

I had a chance to play a dating simulator game called Dream Daddy where you date… you guessed it: dreamy dads.

Michael Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and sit-down author. As a comedian, he has performed all around the country, most notably, the Ice House, the Comedy Store and the Improv in Los Angeles. As a writer, Michael Buzzelli has been published in a variety of websites, magazines and newspapers. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant,’ Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine. He is also a Moth Grand Slam storyteller and actor. His books, "Below Average Genius," a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column in the Observer-Reporter, and his romantic comedy,  “All I Want for Christmas," are on sale at Amazon.com. He is working on a LGBTQ romantic comedy called, “Why I Hate My Friends.” You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. (He / Him / His)