[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]f you’re reading this review then chances are pretty good that you’re a gamer. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t be here. While becoming more mainstream year by year, the “geek culture” is still a niche group of “outsiders” to most people outside of the industry. Now imagine being a geek and being gay, lesbian, or transgender. That puts one in not one but TWO “oppressed minorities”. Possibly more if you identify as multiple queer labels. Back in early 2013 Midboss Games launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary on what’s become known as the “gaymer” culture. And while backers have already had the chance to watch Gaming in Color, it’s just been released to the public at large.
As a queer gamer myself, I know all too well how people within the industry (either as fans or developers) can be mean and dismissive of anything that doesn’t fall within the straight cis worldview. And while it’s becoming much more accepted, at least from the indie crowd, there’s still the need to educate others what it means to be a “gaymer”. And that’s just what Matt Conn, Philip Jones, and others set out to do in filming Gaming in Color. Covering all sorts of topics ranging from representation of queer characters in games to tackling the “haters and trolls” in the community (and everything in between) this documentary aims to bring to light a growing subculture of the gaming world.
While I’m most certainly not against playing the “macho man who saves the world and gets the girl” that most AAA titles seem to focus on I’d love to see much more diversity in games and Gaming in Color just proves the point that, for the most part, it’s a testosterone fueled rampage in the mainstream media. Still, as mentioned in the documentary there is more representation in the past several years than there has been in the past. Even going so far as to cite the Mass Effect series and other big name titles that makes same sex relationships possible. It’s a start at least.
More and more people are coming out as queer gamers and they have a right to be heard. Or you’ll continuously get the nasty trolls and haters who say “So what? Keep sexuality and gender identity away from my fun.” I’ve actually been hit by this in news stories a couple years ago (long story…and a painful one) and I’ve seen it affect others who identify as LGBT. And you’d be surprised by how many of us there are. The thing is that this shouldn’t even be an issue and Gaming in Color takes on all of these issues with dignity and poise.
Gaming in Color was filmed and edited by the same people behind the queer gaming convention GaymerX and they included footage from the first year. While I have yet to attend one (I’m actually going this year for the first time) I did manage to meet both Matt and Philip at GenCon last year and both men are some of the nicest I’ve had the chance to meet. If you enjoy a good gaming documentary in general then you should check this one out. As mentioned, it’s just been released to the public on several platforms. You can see the full list (and trailer) on their updated Web site here.