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Gray notes that while queer people—along with women and people of color—have long been expected to sympathize with straight, white cis characters, the mainstream games industry remains reluctant to ask the reverse.
The game casts you in the role of a single father who has just moved to a new town with his teenage daughter.
Although the two of you have been on your own for a while, the death of your spouse—you can specify if they were male or female—clearly still weighs on your mind.
"We can have narratives that are about queer people that are not necessarily about being queer.
It’s about these relationships.”When you create your own character, you also have the option to make him a trans dad if you wish, complete with the ability to choose chest binders.
Leighton Gray, a 19-year-old student at the Savannah College of Art and Design who created, cowrote, and art-directed , is queer herself; when she and cowriter Vernon Shaw sat down to develop the game, she says, defying stereotypes was at the forefront of their minds: “We wanted to set up expectations and knock them down.”Those complex characterizations not only make the story far more interesting, they render obsolete the usual rules of dating sims.
For all of the genre's seeming emphasis on romance, dating sims often contain a reductively transactional notion of love and sex, relying on a mechanic that independent game developer Arden once described as “kindness coins”: Put enough compliments or gifts into the object of your affection and receive sex in return.
The game and the community surrounding the game was so positive and loving that it encouraged them to be themselves.”'s success belies a long-held assumption of the mainstream gaming world: that making games about LGBT people is an inherently niche endeavor, one that limits your potential audience and sales.
While the industry has taken marginal steps toward inclusion, queer characters still tend to crop up as sidekicks and subplots rather than as protagonists.
You meet six other dads who just happen to live in the same suburban cul-de-sac, and with a little help from a Facebook analogue called Dadbook, the dating begins.
The result is something as sincere and funny as it is heart-rending, a self-aware, deeply humanistic game whose witty script makes even the most groan-worthy dad puns seem to sparkle.
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