Under 2% of console video games include LGBTQ characters or storylines, despite the fact that 17% of gamers identify as queer, according to a new GLAAD survey.
Per the 2024 GLAAD Gaming Report, published Tuesday, one in five active gamers are LGBTQ.
More from Variety
“GLAAD’s finding that 17% of active gamers are LGBTQ, and the growth from 10% of active gamers being LGBTQ from Nielsen’s Games360 study in 2020, proves their tremendous influence on the gaming industry,” said Stacie de Armas, Nielsen’s senior vice president of diverse insights and initiatives. “The study shows that for LGBTQ gamers, a safe and inclusive environment goes beyond the game itself — with nearly 70% indicating they are less likely to buy from a studio with a history of mistreating LGBTQ workers.”
According to GLAAD’s survey, 72% of LGBTQ gamers say say that seeing video game characters with their sexual orientation or gender identity “makes them feel better about themselves,” and that increases to 78% for the 13-17-year-old demographic.
Additionally, GLAAD reports that LGBTQ gamers are 1.4 times more likely than their non-LGBTQ counterparts to buy or play a video game because it allows them to play as a character that matches their gender identity.
“We developed this report and the GLAAD Media Institute’s Gaming program as a resource for the critical need to increase the representation and options for LGBTQ characters and storylines in games,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “Games should include an array of characters and stories, including LGBTQ ones, and every gamer should be safe.”
The 2024 GLAAD Gaming Report data was collected by Nielsen between June and August 2023 via a third-party panel and 1,452 active PC/console gamers self-reporting behavior in a 10-minute survey.
(Pictured above: Venture, “Overwatch 2’s” first nonbinary hero/Credit: ActivisionBlizzard)
Best of Variety