GAM­ING’S LGBT+ ICONS

Th­ese char­ac­ters have helped to des­tig­ma­tise per­cep­tions and be­come real cham­pi­ons of rep­re­sen­ta­tion

Games TM - - ACCESS -

EL­LIE

the last OF Us Chances are, if El­lie were real and ca­pa­ble of re­act­ing to the con­cept of be­ing con­sid­ered an icon of any kind she would be hor­ri­fied, ap­palled and not a lit­tle un­com­fort­able with the con­cept. But that’s part of why she’s so spe­cial; she’s a grounded, prag­matic, car­ing but steely per­son. She’s a fully rounded char­ac­ter with de­sire and a ra­tio­nal mind, and that makes her spe­cial in the gam­ing world.

IRON BULL

dragon age: IN­QUI­SI­TION Per­haps the thing we love most about Iron Bull is how up­front and self-ac­tu­alised he is. There’s no great ar­ti­fice to his char­ac­ter. He knows who he is, he knows what he’s ca­pa­ble of and he knows who he wants to be ro­man­tic with. Those are pretty ad­mirable qual­i­ties. We also re­ally like Do­rian and Sera, but we didn’t want to pack out this sec­tion with In­qui­si­tion char­ac­ters.

CHLOE

life Is strange/be­fore the STORM There’s so much go­ing on with Chloe through both of the Life Is Strange sto­ries so far; she goes through the ringer and seems to be re­ally fight­ing with her­self about the per­son she’s go­ing to be. But that’s what teenage life is like for many of us, and in that re­spect Chloe’s jour­ney is a uni­ver­sal one of emo­tions ma­tur­ing and view­point clar­i­fy­ing. It’s just that for Chloe love seems too of­ten tinged with tragedy.

VAMP

Me­tal gear solid 2/Me­tal gear solid 4 LGBT+ char­ac­ters as vil­lain­ous fig­ures was some­thing of a trope in games for a while, and on the sur­face you might think that’s where Vamp falls too with his bi­sex­u­al­ity, but we don’t think so. In ac­tual fact, like so many Me­tal Gear bad­dies, he’s a rather fun and charis­matic fig­ure and his sex­ual iden­tity is part of con­fi­dent, ag­gres­sive, vam­piric per­sona. He wears it loud and proud and we have to re­spect that.

TRACER

Over­watch You might think that there’s no real point to defining sex­ual iden­ti­ties to the Over­watch ros­ter given its lack of in-game nar­ra­tive, but here’s the thing: Over­watch’s he­roes lived long be­fore the game’s re­lease, ex­ist­ing in fan com­mu­ni­ties, pon­dered about and mused on for fan fic­tion. Hav­ing de­fined lives is ac­tu­ally very im­pact­ful, and a lesbian cover star to a ma­jor triple-a shooter is noth­ing to be sniffed at.

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