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1 in 5 active gamers identify as LGBTQ, but community is underrepresented in video games: report

Despite LGBTQ people making up nearly one-fifth of all active gamers in the U.S., only 2 percent of all video games have LGBTQ storylines or characters, according to a new report from GLAAD.

“We are nearly invisible in game representations despite being a significant percentage of gamers,” Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, said in the report.

Other findings in the report include 72 percent of LGBTQ gamers saying that seeing characters with the same sexual orientation or gender identity “represented well makes them feel better about themselves,” with the percentage being higher among younger age groups, at 78 percent for those ages 13 to 17.

The report also noted that 68 percent of LGBTQ gamers “wish there were more prominent LGBTQ storylines in games.”

“Games offer the opportunity to explore fantastical worlds, experience narratives in new ways, simulate day-to-day life, and recreate real events ranging from key historical moments to contemporary sporting events,” the report reads. “As LGBTQ people exist in our world, they must be included in these imagined or recreated worlds.”

The report also noted that 70 percent of LGBTQ gamers and 46 percent of non-LGBTQ gamers said that they “are less likely to buy or play a game if it contains harmful tropes or stereotypes about the LGBTQ community.”

An Ipsos survey from June of last year found that about 9 percent of adults around the world identify as LGBTQ. The survey also found that 3 percent of those from across the globe identify as lesbian or gay, 4 percent identify as bisexual, 0.9 percent identify as pansexual and 0.9 identify as asexual. The survey also highlighted that members of Generation Z were more than twice as likely to identify as bisexual, pansexual or asexual in comparison to millennials.

The GLAAD survey was fielded by Nielsen Games from June 2023 to August 2023, featuring 1,452 respondents.

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