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A recent report has revealed that the representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in video games is not as prevalent as in movies and television.
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A recent report has revealed that the representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in video games is not as prevalent as in movies and television.

According to a recent report by the US advocacy group Glaad (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), the video game industry is lagging behind TV and film in terms of LGBTQ+ representation. The study, which surveyed US players, revealed that 17% of gamers identify as LGBTQ+, a significant jump from the 10% reported in a 2020 Nielsen Games study and 10% higher than the estimated proportion of LGBTQ+ individuals in the general US population.

In contrast, a mere 2% of video games include a character who identifies as LGBTQ+. This is significantly lower than the representation found in films (28%) and primetime TV shows (11%) in both 2022 and 2023, according to Glaad’s other reports.

Glaad conducted a survey, in collaboration with Nielsen, of 1,452 gamers in the United States, including those within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community. The results showed that both groups value the opportunity gaming provides to gain insight into the perspectives of individuals who are unlike themselves (with 80% and 67% respectively).

According to the report, a significant number of LGBTQ+ players have encountered harassment while playing online, with 52% reporting such experiences and 27% choosing to stop playing a game as a result.

According to the report, games and gaming communities play a significant role in the self-expression and social support of LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly in states where laws discriminating against them have been suggested or implemented. In these states, 55% of players reported feeling more accepted in gaming communities compared to their physical communities. Additionally, 65% stated that gaming has aided them in dealing with difficult situations, and 75% agreed that they are able to express themselves more freely in games than in real life.

According to Tristan Marra, the head of research and reports at Glaad, our findings show that 75% of LGBTQ+ gamers feel comfortable being their authentic selves while gaming. Additionally, 72% of these gamers report feeling positively impacted by seeing representation of their sexual orientation or gender identity in games. This representation helps to improve their self-perception as LGBTQ+ individuals.

“Gaming serves as a crucial outlet for young people, especially in regards to diversity and inclusivity. According to Gallup, approximately one in five adults belonging to Generation Z identify as LGBTQ+, with other data suggesting the percentage may be even greater.”

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The report by Glaad puts forth suggestions for video game developers, publishers, and marketers. These recommendations include taking accountability for creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ players within gaming communities, as well as seeking guidance from media professionals on the appropriate portrayal of queer characters.

Source: theguardian.com