Introduction

A few years ago, I made myself a ‘to-do’ list. Not the practical, productive kind, before you start offering praise and congratulations for my organisational skills. No, my list had three headings: ‘games to play’, ‘movies to watch’, and ‘television shows to watch’. Ticking things off this list was a way of calming my anxious mind, and making me feel like I was doing something with my life, even when I was being traditionally ‘unproductive’. The problem (that clearly I should have seen coming) was that the list just kept growing.

The world refused to stop churning out new media to let me catch up (rude), so it all became a little overwhelming, and my calming activity stopped being so calming. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your outlook) at the end of last year, a virus corrupted all the files on my computer and I lost that ‘to-do’ list. All that work was gone. All those hard hours of doing ‘not-much-but-sort-of-something’ were going to have to go unrecognised. But when I sat down at the beginning of this year, ready to create a new list, I had a better idea – why not record all the things I had done, instead of the things I had left to do? I used to cross all these things off this list, but I wasn’t making another list to look back on and use to make me feel like I’d achieved something. So this year, with the help of PlayWrite, I’m doing something a little different. This year I’ve decided to write a list of the games I have played, and because I’ll always be a games critic at heart and that’s hard to shake, I’ll be writing a little about each title.

But wait, there’s a twist. Because I still love lists, and crossing things off a pre-existing list still makes me feel good, I’ve set myself a goal. Last year, a wonderful resource was created that identified games exploring ‘gender, sexuality and relationships’, meaning that all the games I’d probably want to play anyway are now collected in one place, on one handy list. Queerly Represent Me, as the database is known, now includes more than 700 individual titles – and my goal is to play through every single one of them. Some of them are big, some small, so obviously this will take me more than a year, but the journey has to start somewhere. I’ll update this list as I go, and even if only a few people join me on this quest, I’m hoping it will help to encourage others to give these wonderfully diverse games a go.

Note: I first began making small steps towards this goal when QRM first started. I also spend a lot of time playing games. So, to give myself a head start, I’m going to cheat a little and include some games I played in 2016 before I knew I was going to be keeping track of this.

Update: In an exciting turn of events, Charlie has joined me on my journey (and the QRM team more broadly!) to help me be more accurate when it comes to representations of gender and gender identity! Charlie is a super rad trans masc nb human whose opinions I respect greatly, so I’m thrilled to have them on board.