Playersexuality and Plurisexuality in Videogames

Slides and relevant additional information based on a presentation given by Alayna Cole at AlterConf Melbourne 2017.

Plurisexuality Playersexuality
  • ‘Plurisexuality’ is an umbrella term that describes bisexual and other multiple-gender attracted identities
  • Plurisexuality is defined by more than sexual and/or romantic behaviour towards the player
  • Evidence of self-identification, relationship history, and/or queerness in the game world
  • ‘Playersexuality’ is a term to describe attraction to a player-character regardless of gender
  • Playersexuality is defined by sexual and/or romantic behaviour towards the player
  • No evidence of self-identification, relationship history, or queerness in the game world

This increase in recorded queer representation is explored in detail in 'Representations of Queer Identity in Games from 2013–2015', a summary of a presentation given at DiGRA 2017.

Types of representation found in the Queerly Represent Me database are discussed in 'Queerly Represent Me and the Underrepresented', a summary of a panel at GX Australia, 2017.

These statistics, the categorisation of games, and how they were analysed is discussed more here.

More on playersexuality in Stardew Valley can be found on FemHype.

More on normativity in Fallout 4 can be found on PlayWrite.

Shaw discusses the 'lost queer potential' of Fable in-depth here.

Clinnick analyses bisexuality and playersexuality in Dragon Age here.

Note: This slide accidentally disregards Isabella from Dragon Age II, who is revealed as bisexual, regardless of the player-character's gender.

Tips for developers

More information about how developers can avoid playersexuality can be found on Queerly Represent Me and Gamasutra [coming soon].

Tips for players

More information on playersexuality, player-centric design, and a framework for analysing representations will be available in a paper set to be published in 2018.