To continue our celebrations of Pride Month, we’re sharing our favourite diverse video game characters.
When a character represents who you are, that can create a deep connection. Video games can establish this connection more profoundly than a TV show, as we’re able to play as or interact with those characters. To celebrate that connection, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite characters that represent people across the LGBTQIA+ community.
Max (Life is Strange)
Dontnod came out with its first episodic game series — Life is Strange — back in 2015. Praised for its experimental graphics and indie music choices, the game also had a bisexual young woman at the helm.
Max Caulfield is a student in college, aspiring to become a photographer when she discovers she has the power to rewind time. During this discovery she meets her old friend, Chloe Price and a dark mystery unfolds, with Max at the center.
As Max, you can be romantically involved with either Chloe, or a male friend of hers — Warren. We played for the mystery, and we stayed for Max’s character progression — the romantic subplots are a stepping stone to an absorbing, intense story.
Tracer (or Lena Oxton) is one of the main DPS characters of Overwatch — often seen as the face of the game. Known for her cheerful demeanour and high-energy gameplay, fans enjoyed seeing her character develop in a short comic back in 2016.
In this comic we see a heartfelt interaction between Lena and her girlfriend exchanging gifts for Christmas. A kiss is shared between the two of them, and the comic continues expanding on the lore around Overwatch.
We hope to see more around this very loving and sweet couple in the future, as well as further expansion on Soldier 76’s own character development.
Parvati (The Outer Worlds)
Obsidian rose from the ashes of Fallout: New Vegas and returned with their biggest RPG game ever: The Outer Worlds. Playing as a passenger from an abandoned ship that was left in cryosleep for over a hundred years, players must save what’s left of their people and navigate this new world.
One of the first people you meet is an engineer called Parvati Holcombe, who wishes to accompany you and keep your ship going. It isn’t long after docking at the Groundbreaker that Parvati takes interest in a woman called Junlei, and it’s your job to play matchmaker and help Parvati ask her out.
In Parvati’s journey to finding love, she reveals that she dislikes physical affection — and it turns out your own character can relate (if you choose to). This interaction confirmed that Parvati was a bisexual asexual, something incredibly validating for a community of bi and ace people. The success of The Outer Worlds’ story and characters has us pumped for the recently announced sequel from E3.
This game is a joy on multiple levels — from its puzzle gameplay to the story beneath. You play as a man called Vincent Brooks who suffers from terrible (and playable!) nightmares. He’s in a committed relationship with Katherine, but begins having an affair with a different “Catherine” who he wakes up to in bed every morning.
Things get even more complicated with the introduction of a new love interest — a neighbour suffering with amnesia — Rin. If you decide to pursue Rin instead of your girlfriend or your side squeeze, it’s revealed that Rin is actually a male crossdresser. This revelation unlocks a scene where Vincent questions his sexuality, and comes to the conclusion that gender doesn’t matter to him — he loves Rin.
It isn’t stated whether Vincent is pansexual or bisexual, but either way, the outcome of Rin’s story is heartwarming as they find love.
Mileena (Mortal Kombat)
We all love a bit of blood, guts and bone-breaking. Although at its core, Mortal Kombat always ramps up the gore with each game, there is a deeper story to it. If you decide to play the campaign with each installment, you may be surprised to find yourself getting invested in some of the background characters.
Introduced back in Mortal Kombat 2 as a mutant clone of Kitana, Mileena was later an antagonist for Mortal Kombat X. In her interactions, she is very flirtatious with most characters, but that all changed in Mortal Kombat 11.
In a real classic of an ending, Mileena uses her new powers to rule over time and establishes a relationship with Tanya. The two are seen with a baby and despite the dark overtones of this ending, it’s kind of sweet in its own apocalyptic way.
Playable Character (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)
When New Horizons took the world by storm during the pandemic, players were excited for not new gameplay, but also new and improved character customization. If you’re a veteran of Animal Crossing, you’ll know that in previous games you could play as a boy or a girl. It would even affect your hairstyle options unless you unlocked the opposite gender’s hair!
With New Horizons however, all you have to do is simply pick your name and you’ll be off to your new island! This step forward in the series made those under the spectrum of fluid gender identities feel seen and valid.
You can identify as either, neither or both and wear any type of clothing you want to. No matter which gender you identify as, the in-game characters will always use they/them pronouns.
Krem (Dragon Age: Inquisition)
Bioware’s most recent installation into the Dragon Age series saw a continuation of their openness towards gender and sexuality. In previous games, you could be gay, bi or straight and represent as either a male or female. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, this pattern still continues and even offers a look into transgenderism.
Krem is a character that arrives in the game along with a potential companion (and love interest) Iron Bull. After a few interactions with Bull and his friends, you come to discover that Krem is a transgender male. His heartbreaking story of growing up as a woman, and his relationship with his family falling apart resonated deeply with many players.
Krem felt accepted and welcomed as a man by his friends, and Iron Bull never saw him as anything other than his friend and second-in-command. In the end, it’s a heartwarming tale of a found family.
Sir Hammerlock (Borderlands)
Remembered fondly as the first friendly human face you encounter in Borderlands 2, Hammerlock went from a simple ‘fetch quest’ NPC to a character with real depth. He’s a hunter, remembered for his posh British accent and Victorian style — easily remembered by all players of the series.
In Borderlands 3, Hammerlock got a spoonful of character development when it is revealed in a quest that he is dating Wainwright Jakobs. We get to see more of Hammerlock’s personality and his vulnerabilities with his boyfriend, making for a fun quest.
In the credits we see that Wainwright proposed to Hammerlock not long after the events of the game. Not to mention, a DLC was released that is centered around their wedding. Even on the unforgiving planet of Pandora, there’s a lot of love going around.
Our dedication to Pride Month
We’re celebrating Pride this month by promoting LGBTQIA+ streamers you should be watching, and here at Stakester we’re making donations to AKT — a charity dedicated to helping homeless LGBTQIA+ youth. Follow our Medium and find out how we’re supporting them in our next Pride article.