Pride Month has become a largely commercialised event, with monolithic companies temporarily painting the rainbow flag across their online presence in an attempt to capitalise on what should be a celebration of personal freedom and identity. But queer creators are now taking a stance, and fighting back against what Pride Month has become – reclaiming its purpose and impact. To that end, hundreds of queer game creators have partnered to form a unique bundle on itch.io – the Queer Games Bundle 2022.
The Queer Games Bundle is designed to help support the creative work of numerous queer creators around the world, with over 500 projects included in the whopping package. For USD $60 (AUD $83), contributors will gain access to a vast array of stories from across the LGBTQIA2S+ spectrum.
Those unable to fork out the price of a single AAA game for all this goodness do have access to a ‘pay what you can‘ option for USD $10-20 (AUD $28-14), but given the breadth of this bundle, the full price is very reasonable. According to the bundle’s description, proceeds made will be split equally between all makers who chose to receive funds for their projects.
‘Purchasing the Queer Games Bundle is a direct action that you can take right now to support queer people in a life changing way and in exchange you get over 500 amazing, heartfelt, fun, and radical games,’ the bundle reads. ‘Help nurture our diverse queer arts community, fund the creation of the next great game you love, and find your new favourite game by purchasing the bundle today.’
There are a number of excellent stories in this bundle – too many to list – but here are a few highlights that should give you an idea of what you’re in for:
- A Mortician’s Tale is a death-positive story where you work as a mortician in a funeral home
- Finding Felicia is a point-and-click game exploring the trials and tribulations of sisterhood
- Kaiju Noir is a noir detective story featuring whopping monsters
- What’s your gender? is a journey through a maze that explores concepts of identity and gender
- Visigoths vs Mall Goths is a tabletop game about conflicts and romances across time
- TOUGH GUY TRYING NOT TO SCREAM IN A HAUNTED HOUSE is a spooky adventure through horror-themed rooms
- Raptor Boyfriend: A High School Romance is a 90s teen drama game about trying to find love
- My Alien Roommate is a romantic visual novel about hiding your alien roommate from the world
- Wolf’s Wool is an abstract visual novel about discovering your true identity beneath a ‘crumbling cover’
- You Are A Horse is pretty self-explanatory
- 2064: Read Only Memories is an award-winning point and click indie cyberpunk game
- Later Daters: The Series is about finding love so you don’t die alone
Many of the games included tell wild and abstract stories that illuminate more about gender, identity, and how these concepts relate. There are tabletop games included, as well as digital games, zines, and other intriguing projects.
This Pride Month, you should consider supporting queer creators directly, rather than giving money to corporations attempting to capitalise on the celebrations. You can find out more information about the Queer Games Bundle here.