Games

LGBTQIA Video Game Collection Newly Donated by Playhouse’s Powerful Museum

The Strong Museum of Play, located in Rochester, NY, has won a new collection of gaming history dedicated to LGBTQIA representatives from 1986 to the present. The collection includes articles, websites, blogs, web forums, videos, images, instances of expression (including homophobia and transphobia), relationships, etc., lives in museums as research support, and is published online. There are many titles you’ve never heard of, including a collection of 1,290 games, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Brothers, Fallout, and Sims. A pandemic may prevent visitors from currently going to the Museum of Play for a collection or archive of different games, but you can check out the collection online now. And in the future, this collection will be useful for exhibitions and exhibition creation in museums.

According to The Strong, the prologue screen of Caper in the Castro, the earliest known computer game with a special focus on LGBTQ themes.

“This collection is an important resource for anyone studying game gender, sexuality, or LGBTQ expression throughout history, enabling the museum to tell the story of the video game industry more completely,” said the museum archivist. Julia Novakovich said. “From hidden subtexts and problematic stories to games where players can make their own decisions about a character’s sexuality, weird expressions in video games have made great strides in the last few decades.” The collection has been available online since 2016. Founded, as of December 2020, there were 1.8 million visits.

The project was founded in 2015 by Dr. Adrian Shaw, a professor at Temple University and author of Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Limits of Gamer Culture. That happened after GayGamer.Net, an online archive of LGBTQIA history in games, went offline. Since then, it has relied on research assistants and volunteers from various Temple University to become a new source of historical preservation for LGBTQIA and a resource for researchers, journalists, critics and gamers.From 2016 to 2018, the team focused on tracking and logging information. This process consisted of developing a spreadsheet model to create a system that could add resources over time. This was primarily achieved by Dr. Matt Shoemaker at Temple University. Candidates Aja Binette and Shaw have improved the process with the help of Cody Mejeur, a graduate student at Michigan State University.

Research assistants Hocheol Yang and Weimei Sun continued the research process, filling in the blanks over time, using the Wayback Machine Internet Archive to access information, and recording new items and “broken links.” This year, a final addition was made and donated to The Strong.

Of course, such collections are by no means perfect. The team is actively looking for developers to provide entries, information, and assets to their collections. For more information on donation contact information and its methodology, please visit the LGBTQ Game Archive.

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