You Helped Me Realize I Was Bisexual (And Games Did, Too)

I never really had a ‘crew’ like the one at FemHype before. The first real online community I joined was on YouTube. I had been actively following content and watching videos since 2008 — and probably even earlier — but I never really found my niche. So I bounced from community to community in search of one. I liked certain platforms, but I never really connected with anyone.

Then FemHype became a huge part of my life. First my sister started it and then, a year later, she invited me to join the team as Social Media Manager. I had always loved video games, but never really got involved online. Despite my lack of knowledge, you all welcomed me with open arms. I don’t know if I ever said thank you, so here goes: thank you.

When we were recording videos and creating content, I was struggling with really bad anxiety. I had panic attacks every week, and sometimes even twice a week. Still, the comments were upbeat, the feedback was genuine, and the response was far more positive than I had hoped for. I didn’t realize that I even needed a community like FemHype until I had one.

Everyone here opened dialogues for me that I had never felt comfortable discussing before. You taught me the patience and grace necessary to learn from varying perspectives and to know when to listen. Not only that, but when I finally opened up about my anxiety, you encouraged me to reconnect with myself and validated what I was feeling.

Continue reading “You Helped Me Realize I Was Bisexual (And Games Did, Too)”

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Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Character Creation Systems

Sims 4

[PART 1] [PART 2] [PART 3] [PART 4] [PART 5]

In May 2016, I conducted a survey across social media that encouraged respondents to discuss their favorite and least favorite representations of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games, as well as examples of pronoun use and character creation systems. The survey received over 150 responses, the data from which has been used to inform a five-part series for FemHype, as well as the ongoing development of the Queerly Represent Me database.

It is important to note that many of the same games were discussed in both the ‘favorite’ and ‘least favorite’ sections of the survey, often for the same type of representation and sometimes even by the same respondent. For example, the Dragon Age series featured in the top five most common responses across all ten of these questions. It is difficult to represent diversity in a way that works for everybody and, as such, you may disagree with the opinions of those who suggested the below games as positive examples. If you have your own favorite representations that have not been featured in this series, I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Character Creation Systems

Character creation systems allow players to personalize the character that they play within a game, sometimes opting to create a representation of themselves or who they would like to be. For this reason, respondents to the survey often favored games that were most capable of creating a character they identified with, and those games that did not have this functionality were listed as having respondents’ least favorite systems.

Interestingly, there was sometimes a sense of shame attached to the favorite character creators that respondents listed, potentially due to the games that these creators were connected to. A lot of responses were followed by question marks to indicate uncertainty or started with phrases like ‘Weirdly’ or ‘Strangely enough.’

Continue reading “Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Character Creation Systems”

Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Pronouns

Read Only Memories

[PART 1] [PART 2] [PART 3] [PART 4] [PART 5]

In May 2016, I conducted a survey across social media that encouraged respondents to discuss their favorite and least favorite representations of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games, as well as examples of pronoun use and character creation systems. The survey received over 150 responses, the data from which has been used to inform a five-part series for FemHype, as well as the ongoing development of the Queerly Represent Me database.

It is important to note that many of the same games were discussed in both the ‘favorite’ and ‘least favorite’ sections of the survey, often for the same type of representation and sometimes even by the same respondent. For example, the Dragon Age series featured in the top five most common responses across all ten of these questions. It is difficult to represent diversity in a way that works for everybody and, as such, you may disagree with the opinions of those who suggested the below games as positive examples. If you have your own favorite representations that have not been featured in this series, I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Use of Pronouns

Querying the community about their favorite use of pronouns in games saw mixed responses. Some wrote enthusiastic essays about their favorite and least favorite examples of how pronouns have been used, while others seemed to indicate uncertainty at what the question was asking. Some suggested that they did not have a response because they had never really thought about it, but that they saw the importance of including diverse or gender-neutral pronoun choices in games and, after completing the survey, were interested in paying more attention to this type of representation.

One respondent answered the question by saying, “She/he will do just fine imo,” demonstrating a lack of understanding regarding how exclusionary only offering he/him and she/her pronouns can be to those who identify with a gender or genders outside the binary.

Continue reading “Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Pronouns”

Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Relationships

Mass Effect

[PART 1] [PART 2] [PART 3] [PART 4[PART 5]

In May 2016, I conducted a survey across social media that encouraged respondents to discuss their favorite and least favorite representations of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games, as well as examples of pronoun use and character creation systems. The survey received over 150 responses, the data from which has been used to inform a five-part series for FemHype, as well as the ongoing development of the Queerly Represent Me database.

It is important to note that many of the same games were discussed in both the ‘favorite’ and ‘least favorite’ sections of the survey, often for the same type of representation and sometimes even by the same respondent. For example, the Dragon Age series featured in the top five most common responses across all ten of these questions. It is difficult to represent diversity in a way that works for everybody and, as such, you may disagree with the opinions of those who suggested the below games as positive examples. If you have your own favorite representations that have not been featured in this series, I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Representations of Relationships & Relationship Management Systems

The opinion of respondents to the queer representation survey was mixed when people considered their favorite relationship management systems. Some respondents prioritized systems that mirrored reality with unmarked flirtation options and invisible systems that were challenging to figure out. Others sought the opposite—praising games with relationship systems that were clearly defined and that warned when you accidentally made decisions that would have negative impacts on the relationships you were pursuing.

Still, respondents mostly agreed on two key points. Firstly, they were unhappy at even the strongest relationship management system if there was inadequate representation of queer relationships or poorly handled representation of polyamory.

Continue reading “Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Relationships”

Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Gender

Dragon Age

[PART 1] [Part 2] [PART 3] [PART 4[PART 5]

In May 2016, I conducted a survey across social media that encouraged respondents to discuss their favorite and least favorite representations of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games, as well as examples of pronoun use and character creation systems. The survey received over 150 responses, the data from which has been used to inform a five-part series for FemHype, as well as the ongoing development of the Queerly Represent Me database.

It is important to note that many of the same games were discussed in both the ‘favorite’ and ‘least favorite’ sections of the survey, often for the same type of representation and sometimes even by the same respondent. For example, the Dragon Age series featured in the top five most common responses across all ten of these questions. It is difficult to represent diversity in a way that works for everybody and, as such, you may disagree with the opinions of those who suggested the below games as positive examples. If you have your own favorite representations that have not been featured in this series, I’d love to hear about them!

Favorite Representations of Diverse Genders

Discussions surrounding improved representation of women in games have become more prevalent, and were a trend in responses to the queer representation survey, but my higher priority was to learn about respondents’ favorite examples of other diverse genders in games such as transgender and nonbinary representation. This desire was reflected by respondents, who indicated that they would like to see more positive representation of trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people in games.

Survey respondents’ favorite representations of diverse genders are listed below—ordered from most common response to least common.

Continue reading “Queerly Represent Me: Favorite Representations of Gender”

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