Hello! All this week Eurogamer is celebrating Pride with a series of stories examining the confluence of LGBT+ communities and play in its many different forms, from video games and tabletop games through to live-action role-play. Next up, Sharang examines the way players are using video games to explore the potential of a queerer future.
When we talk about videogames as "escapism", we tend to focus on provenance: we're escaping from the humdrum of our jobs, our obligations, the petty horrors that fill modern life. Seldom do we focus on destination. Where are we escaping to? Is it actually a better world than the one we're attempting to leave behind? Videogames can offer us worlds we might like to live in; can they offer us worlds we can live in? And particularly for queer people, what does that world look like?
In Tracing Utopia, a documentary that premiered in the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2021, filmmakers Nick Tyson and Catarina de Sousa question a group of queer teenagers about their vision of a queer utopia. The responses are varied. Better access to mental healthcare, queer history in schools, desegregated bathrooms... "My idea of a perfect world is a forest," chimes in one teen.