Overwatch 2’s new hero is very queer and fans are obsessed

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Lifeweaver, also known as Niran Pruksamanee, was originally leaked via a now-pulled article from PCGamesN, but information has been restored thanks to Kotaku. Cheers Kotaku.

The team over at Overwatch has never truly strayed when it comes to providing hot new heroes, but this one in particular has us standing at attention. Not only does he look great, but Lifeweaver is (apparently) pansexual too. How this will be conveyed in-game or through the character’s backstory has yet to be revealed, but we’ll be sure to add him to our list of LGBTQ+ characters in Overwatch once we have more information.

Outside of likely being part of the LGBTQ+ community and even giving us hints about the love life of other heroes, Lifeweaver is the first Thai hero to be added to the game. “The bigger inspiration of this character is the mandala shape,” Senior Character Technical artist Chonlawat Thammawan told PCGamesN. Thammawan had also initially pitched a Thai hero to the character concept team. It is seemingly no coincidence either that the hero is meant to launch during Songkran, the Thai New Year’s national holiday.

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Link, the gay icon

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The Legend of Zelda’s beloved and iconic protagonist, Link, is tagged in more than 17,000 pieces of fanfiction on Archive of Our Own. Among those stories, more than 300 are tagged with “Trans Link,” and nearly 2,000 feature Link in a romantic relationship with Prince Sidon (or Ganondorf, for the enemies-to-lovers fans). AO3 may not be the only metric for how many Zelda fans interpret Link as gay and/or transgender, but it’s one of the biggest.

This is no surprise, as fans have been speculating on Link’s gender and sexuality since at least 2009, though realistically he’s been on the minds of queer players since The Legend of Zelda was first released in Japan in 1986. Nintendo has denied rumors that Link is queer. In a 2015 interview with Kotaku, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma said Link is “not gay. He’s just an odd person.”

However, though Aonuma shut down speculation about Link’s sexuality within the franchise canon, his statement also opened the door for further fan interpretation. Oddity has long been inextricably linked with queerness, even beyond the etymological connection. For decades, heteronormativity has forced queer people to exist on the fringes of society.

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I Was A Teenage Exocolonist

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2022 was filled with incredible games, from God of War Ragnarok to Elden Ring to Midnight Suns and so on. Yet for me one of the stand-outs was a rather small independent title: I Was A Teenage Exocolonist. The game takes a look at the standard visual novel tropes and expectations, perfects them, then turns it into something brand new.

A bit of context for you: I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is a combination of a visual novel with a card-based puzzler. Your life events and your day-to-day activities are played out in the form of a card game, where you have to solve a specific puzzle in order to progress and thus increase your skills (of which there’s a massive range of, from biology to empathy to how good you are with animals). There’s multiple different endings, multiple different love interests, and above all else, the ability to be whoever you want to be.

The twist that makes it different to most other visual novels out there is that the game works similar to a roguelike. You WILL die, at various different points in the story depending on the choices that you make, and within the story this is explained as a cosmic event that keeps you in a loop.

There’s characters that will die in the story during your first run that you can save in future runs because both you as the player, and the character you’re playing as, remember what happened in previous lives. Once you’ve played multiple times, this heavily streamlines the game to the point that you can literally say to characters “Hey I know your secret” and they respond in shock and awe. Yet despite this being amazing, it’s not what I adore about I Was A Teenage Exocolonist.

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League of Legends’ gay black champ censored in some countries

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Riot Games has admitted to censoring the new LGBTQ+ League of Legends character in conservative countries. Back in October, the video game developer made headlines when they announced the game’s first Black and openly gay character K’Sante.

“A mighty guardian wielding weapons forged from an apex predator he once slayed, K’Sante is a hero of his people, dominating fights with keen judgement and defiant fire,” Riot said in a statement. “His weapons may appear defensive at first, but given the right moment, he can transform them into lethal blades, taking down giant foes others dare not approach.”

In addition to Riot Games announcement, Game of Thrones star DeObia Oparei revealed that he would be voicing the groundbreaking champion, writing: “I’m excited to give life and voice to K’Sante and make history portraying the first LGBTQ+ Black champion warrior.”

On 3 November, the highly anticipated character was officially released on the League of Legends platform. While K’Sante has become an instant hit within the expansive fanbase, his openly gay identity has been censored in certain parts of the world.

In an interview with Sky News, League of Legends executive producer Jeremy Lee revealed that certain words, like “lover” and “partner”, have been removed from K’Sante’s story in countries hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community.

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Bridget is trans!

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Gaming still has a lot of baggage when it comes to femininity. The medium that largely focused on an audience of straight white men for its early decades has become one of the most diverse forms of media in the world. Such progress has different ethnicities, sexualities, and genders welcomed into the fold as the toxic echo chamber becomes more tolerable.

Things are changing, and we’re forced to confront long-standing issues before we can justify moving forward. Rampant sexualisation, thinly-veiled racism, and fear that supporting more inclusive audiences will see games reduced to political objects are all things we’re still grappling with. Progress is being made, but slowly, and not without forces holding us back. I don’t think this will change, at least not for a long time, but the steps being taken by games like Guilty Gear Strive give me hope for the future. More specifically, characters like Bridget.

Guilty Gear Strive confirmed earlier this week that series veteran Bridget is transgender. This had been part of a complex headcanon for years, but the continued use of masculine pronouns and the narrative’s unwillingness to explore this aspect of her character meant nothing was ever satisfactorily confirmed in the canon. Raised in an English village, Bridget was brought up as a girl due to a local superstition that twins born of the same gender were bad luck, but has remained in ‘girl mode’ well into adulthood.

Read on: Bridget’s Trans Identity In Guilty Gear Finally Leaves Behind The Character’s Harmful ‘Trap’ Origins

Hooked On You: An unlikely dating sim

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Hooked On You is a Dead by Daylight dating sim – a sentence which I thought would never exist before, and now feel foolish for ever doubting. If there’s one thing I should have learned after playing Dead by Daylight for so long, it’s that the community is one of the horniest I’ve ever been part of.

So it was only a matter of time before Behaviour Interactive took notice of that and, with a little help from a community vote, decided to put their plan in action and team up with Psyop (I Love You, Colonel Sanders!) to deliver a dating experience like no other. And, for those who have played the asymmetrical horror game? Hooked On You feels like a messy, but well-meaning love letter from the developers to Dead by Daylight players from start to finish.

The general gist of Hooked on You is that you play as yourself, only it’s a you that has managed to wash up on a beach island where there’s a omnipresent Narrator that lives in your head and the deep, dark Ocean is one vague threat away from killing you. And if you think that’s bad, then guess what? There’s also 4 bloodthirsty killers that live on Murderers Island, and all are willing to hack you into pieces if you make the wrong (or right, I’m not here to judge your tastes) choice. Fans will recognize these Killers (and romance interests) as The Huntress, The Trapper, The Spirit and The Wraith, and each has a compelling side to them that’ll either reward your interest in them, or send you to packing to the afterlife with a few less limbs.

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Humble Games to publish queer farming sim Coral Island

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Humble Games, the indie publishing body from digital storefront Humble Bundle, have announced their partnership with Coral Island developers, Stairway Games.

Coral Island is a re-imagined farm sim game that’s inspired by the classics like Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, developed by a multinational team based in Indonesia. The game invites players to experience an enchanting, unique island where folks live at their own pace and encourage you to do the same.

Players will live off the land; nurturing animals, exploring the world by land and by sea, making the island a more vital and harmonious place, and even taking the time to get to know the residents of Coral Island. Here you’ll be able to get closer and build a friendship, or maybe even more… if you play your cards right, that is.

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Strategy game Crusader Kings III finally adds gay marriage

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An upcoming update for the popular grand strategy game Crusader Kings 3 will be bringing one of the most requested features to the game: gay marriage.

Queer fans and players of Crusader Kings 3 have had a rocky history with Paradox Interactive when it comes to the inclusion of LGBTQ+ sexuality within the game. While in the vanilla version of the game – which means no mods too – you’re able to express sexual attraction to the same-sex, you’re never able to to take on a same-sex partner in any way, shape, or form. You’re not even allowed to take them as a consort.

This, obviously, led to more than a few queer fans feeling upset. After all, it meant that you couldn’t play the game as you wanted by having a gay family, whereas straight players were able to with no trouble at all. It got even worse for gay players when an update led to a mod – which allowed same-sex marriage and consorts – to break. When a modder decided to distribute the mod again, bypassing Paradox Interactive, it led to them being banned. Eventually, the same-sex mods that had been brought to its knees, were fixed in a patch.

Since then, Paradox Interactive has seemingly taken on board the criticisms from the LGBTQ+ community and in a future patch (update 1.5) that will launch alongside the Royal Court DLC, will be adding gay marriage to Crusader Kings 3.

As we briefly explained beforehand, same-sex attraction and relationships were allowed in the original game, but you were never able to make it official in the eyes of your court and the world. With this new custom rule being added, not only will you be able to continue playing your Crusader Kings 3 with gay marriage involved, but you won’t have to rely on a mod to do it. Just a simple press of an option and voila, you can make the gay agenda a reality!

You’ll be able to lead a group of gay, married evangelists against the world when the update (and the Royal Court DLC) goes live on February 8.

via Gayming Magazine