Queer Representation (2016) survey

In May 2016, I conducted the first Queer Representation survey via social media regarding the representation of sexuality, gender, and relationships in games. The survey remained open for two weeks, and received responses from 158 participants. Below you can find visual representations of key data, as well as articles and additional writing inspired by the responses.




Data


Favourite Representation of Sexuality in Games 31% - Dragon Age series
10% - Life is Strange
9% - Mass Effect series
Favourite Representation of Diverse Genders in Games 17% - Dragon Age series
13% - Undertale
7% - Fallen London & Life is Strange
Favourite Representation of Relationships in Games 27% - Dragon Age series
12% - Mass Effect series
9% - Fallout series & Stardew Valley
Favourite Use of Pronouns in Games 20% - Undertale
18% - Dragon Age series
17% - Read Only Memories
Favourite Character Creation System in Games 17% - The Sims series
15% - Fallout series
14% - Saints Row series




Analysis




Additional Writing




Process

The Queer Representation (2016) survey asked respondents the following questions:


Favourites

  • What is your favourite example of representation of sexuality in a game, and why?
  • What is your favourite example of representation of gender in a game, and why?
  • Which game has your favourite example of a 'relationship management' system (i.e. a game where the player-character can date and/or marry other characters), and why?
  • Which game has your favourite representation and use of pronouns in relation to gender, and why?
  • Which game has your favourite character creation screen/system, and why?

Least Favourites

  • What is your least favourite example of representation of sexuality in a game, and why?
  • What is your least favourite example of representation of gender in a game, and why?
  • Which game has your least favourite example of a 'relationship management' system (i.e. a game where the player-character can date and/or marry other characters), and why?
  • Which game has your least favourite representation and use of pronouns in relation to gender, and why?
  • Which game has your least favourite character creation screen/system, and why?


I also asked a number of general questions, allowing respondents to share any additional thoughts that they may had regarding representation. Lastly, I provided the option for respondents to tell me about their own sexuality and gender identity, as I was interested in seeing the way their representation priorities were influenced by their own identities.

I was overwhelmed by the response my survey received, both in size and quality. I received incredibly helpful data, as well as insightful and personal anecdotes, and a vast number of well wishes. I have used this information in two key ways:

Firstly, I have collated the responses so that the games with the most popular representations within my sample could be determined. I have visually represented this data, and have also listed the top three games from each category with associated percentages.

Secondly, I have written five articles that discuss the survey responses in more depth, providing quotes from respondents relating to the most popular games, as well as a full list of the games that were discussed by respondents.

While the visual representations of my data includes only the responses relating to people's 'favourites', the responses to the 'least favourites' and general questions—as well as connections to respondents' own sexualities and genders—have informed the five aforementioned articles, as well as additional writing.

I appreciate your interest in my survey and its results. If you have additional queries, please feel free to contact us via email or Twitter.