Research Articles

Talking to Gaymers: Questioning Identity, Community and Media Representation



With few exceptions, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals are generally ignored in the realm of digital games. This ethnography of members of an online gay gamer, or gaymer, community allowed me to better understand their thoughts on LGBTQ representation in games, as well as the construction of the gaymer community. How gaymer identities are constructed, how this community is formed, and how its members discuss the representation of LGBTQ individuals in video games are discussed here. Gaymer identity was found to be more complex than the simple ‘homosexual gamer’ defi nition often used implies. Finding a space to express this identity was much more important to members than the invisibility of LGBTQ individuals in video game texts. The relative importance of in-game representation was tied to the context of play. The political implications of these fi ndings are discussed in the conclusion of this article.

Keywords: video games, transgender, queer, lesbian, identity, gay, bisexual

How to Cite: Shaw, A. (2017) “Talking to Gaymers: Questioning Identity, Community and Media Representation”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 9(1). doi: