Escape From Pleasure Planet is a game whose target audience is gay men. Isn’t it strange how rare that is? Escape From Pleasure Planet made me realize I haven’t seen a gay game on Kickstarter before. What a missed opportunity! Kickstarter is the absolutely perfect place for such niche items. The lack of LGBT-oriented games on the market is due to their lack of commercial success. Not everyone is comfortable possessing such a game if they aren’t part of the LGBT community and such. The great thing about Kickstarter is that doesn’t matter. Since you fund the game before you start developing you don’t stand to lose anything. That’s why I’m surprised that there aren’t more projects like it.
I agree with Escape From Pleasure Planet’s developer Luke Miller that we need more LGBT-oriented games. Making original games is going to go a lot better than harassing Disney to #GiveElsaAGirlfriend or make Captain America gay. It has to be an original game too, we’ve seen what happens when someone exploits diversity to virtue signal a la Beam Dog, and it’s not pretty. Escape from Pleasure Planet is a start. Looking at it I’m actually not too fond of it for multiple reasons. I worry that because there is such an emphasis on it being a gay game that the actual character will be defined by their sexuality.
The other thing that bothers me is that the characters have the most stereotypically gay clothes. It’s a small thing but it compounds my worries that this game will be so focused on sexuality that it will lack everywhere else and fall flat on its face.
I know I sound like a broken record when I talk about this issue but here I go again: When you are creating a character (or game) who is a minority, don’t make that their defining characteristic. Think of Samus, she’s got a lot going on with her character other than being a woman and that’s why she stands out.
Escape From Pleasure Planet has some technical issues with their Kickstarter that I think are worth mentioning. It doesn’t say in the subheader that the game is a point-and-click adventure which is pretty relevant info. I’m put off from pledging by the fact the lowest default pledge is $20. I feel like that is a little inaccessible, but it is a niche product I suppose. The last thing is just that without watching the video the Kickstarter doesn’t really have much information about Escape from Pleasure Planet.
I’m still on the fence about supporting it. On one hand, I want to support diversity on Kickstarter, on the other, I don’t want to fund something that fails spectacularly and puts a mark against the community.
What do you think of the Escape From Pleasure Planet Kickstarter? Do you think more LGBT games should be produced?