Gaming in Color is a documentary exploring the story of the queer gaming community, ‘gaymer’ culture and events, and the rise of LGBTQ themes in video games. A lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer gamer has a higher chance of being mistreated in an online social game. Diverse queer themes in storylines and characters are still mostly an anomaly in the mainstream video game industry. Gaming In Color explores how the community culture is shifting and the industry is diversifying, helping with queer visibility and acceptance of an LGBTQ presence.
Filmed in between GamyerX 1 and GaymerX 2 conferences, the film examines the LGBTQ gaming community, the good, the bad, and the future. The documentary begins focused on the issues within the gaming community and experiences of the gay individuals as gamers. It throws you in the deep end, jumping right into the subject. Each person comes off as very relateable in their experience, no one is abrasive, or comes off bitter or angry. Instead there’s a fine mix of experiences that doesn’t really paint anything negatively, instead it shows things honestly. Personal experiences are hard to refute, and the documentary going that route was a smart decision that changes the tone from an academic one to a human one.
The second part of the movie shifts to focus more on where things stand now. It does show progress from where things were, to where they are today. Again, the positive is emphasized not just showing off some of the LGBTQ games out there, but also why they’re important. The sense of community is strong, and that community is emphasized by a positive tone. They come off as a group that you should want to game with, whether you’re LGBTQ or not. But, while there’s positive advancement in representation, it’s not all the way there, and that’s how the movie ends, where things need to go.
My only knock at all, and it’s minor, is the documentary uses gaming as a general term, shows images of tabletop games, but primarily talks video games. It’s a weird mix, and a distinction between the board game community and video game community might have been good to do.
The documentary is a fine introduction to the LGBTQ game community. We’re not talking a deep academic look, or go too deep into the history or issues. Instead the documentary puts human faces to the experience, showing there’s a real person you’re interacting with through technology.
The documentary is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, PlayStation, Xbox, Vudu, VHX, Gumroad, and Vimeo. The film will also be coming to steam at a date to be announced. For those interested in LGBTQ issues, or gaming culture, it’s a film that’s an absolute watch.
Overall rating: 8.75
Graphic Policy was provided a FREE copy for review