New report suggests almost a fifth of ‘active gamers’ are LGBTQ, while the amount of representative game content is lacking

Ellie from The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered
(Image credit: Sony/Naughty Dog)

The non-profit LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has released its first-ever State of LGBTQ Inclusivity in Gaming Report, which has revealed some interesting statistics surrounding the LGBTQ gaming community and the content of games available. 

The methodology involved partnering with Nielsen Games to field a 10-minute survey to “active PC/console gamers in the United States with a boost sample of LGBTQ+ gamers.” In total, 1,452 “active gamers” were included in the data. Notably, the report found that almost a fifth of its respondents (specifically, 17 percent) identified as LGBTQ. This percentage was found to be higher in younger age groups, with an estimated 23 to 28 percent of respondents under 35 being LGBTQ. 

Despite this, however, the report stated that LGBTQ video game content is “lacking.” After counting up the number of games tagged as including LGBTQ content on Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch’s digital libraries, it was found that these games accounted for less than two percent of each platform’s selection. In total, 146 games with LGBTQ content were available on Xbox, while PlayStation had 90, and Switch had 50.

Meanwhile, on Steam, 2,302 LGBTQ-tagged games were counted, although this still accounted for less than 2.5 percent of the total storefront. Furthermore, this number fell to 1,506 games (or 1.7 percent) when games with “adult-only sexual content” were removed from the list. 

Elaborating on this in the report, GLAAD said that it acknowledges that “representation is not applicable to every type of game,” but noted that “most games today are rich, multimedia experiences that broadly incorporate aspects of world-building, narrative, and characterization.” It added: “Additionally, because our representation data is based on PC and console games (excluding mobile), we believe it is an accurate reflection of gaming’s overall lack of progress. That less than 2 percent of available games have LGBTQ content is out of step with contemporary media, and the game industry is failing LGBTQ consumers and our allies.”

Wrapping up the report, amongst other things, GLAAD called for “at least [...] an equal proportion of games with LGBTQ characters as there are LGBTQ people who are gamers,” across different platforms and genres, so that players can see themselves represented no matter what they want to play.

Looking for some new games to play? You can find some excellent recommendations on our roundups of the best indie games, as well as the best PC games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.