Student creates new gay gaming survey

PinkNews Staff Writer October 9, 2009
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Two years after the first ‘Gaymer’ survey, a student has released a new version to find out more about what lesbian, gay and bisexual players want from their video games.

The original study, conducted at the University of Illinois and involving over 10,000 respondents, found that gay gamers experienced a high level of homophobic attitudes and language.

Now, student Paul Nowak from gaming school Full Sail, has expanded it to tell game makers far more about the specific needs and interests of their LGB audience.

He told Joystiq: “Since Jason Rockwood’s survey in 2006 was the first of its kind, it got stuck with the burden of proving to the academic community that the gay gaming community even existed. Now that he’s been successful at that, we can make a more in-depth study of what exactly gaymers want from their games.”

Nowak said he wanted to focus on things like plot, genre, customisation and other in-game experiences, rather than homophobic abuse.

He added: “Ideally, I want to learn what exactly it is that gaymers want from their games and how that differs from their heterosexual counterparts.

“I’ll take that information to develop guidelines the industry can use when trying to make gaymer-inclusive games that don’t become offensive or insulting to any gamer regardless of sexual orientation.

“If someone had done the same kind of research when the industry was trying to reach out to female gamers, girls wouldn’t have had to suffer through the wildly unsuccessful attempts of games like Mary Kate & Ashley’s Winner’s Circle pony racing. I’m hoping to help the industry avoid the same mistakes as it reaches out to gay gamers.”

The 2007 study was found to have a strikingly high number (30 per cent) of heterosexual respondents. Nowak added that he was also interested to hear what straight adult women gamers had to say.

The survey is open now and can be found here

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