Hello! All this week we’ll be celebrating Pride and the power of positive representations in games. Every day we’ll be bringing you stories and insights from different parts of the LGBT+ community. You can also help support Pride with Eurogamer’s newly redesigned t-shirt – all profits from which will be going to charity.
Growing up I didn’t really have much access to LGBT+ content; it was the perfect mixture of a lack of queer media in all forms and a belief that, if I was lucky enough to find something, it wouldn’t be very good. The one game series I found that did allow me to express my sexuality was Harvest Moon (now called Story of Seasons.) The downside was that if I wanted to pursue a bachelorette, then I had to play as a male character, even when I could pick my gender. Later instalments in the series did have character customisation, but I’d have to sacrifice hours of gameplay simply to unlock this feature. It was, in essence, representation of my own creation and, no matter how hard I tried, it always felt rather hollow.
Playing Stardew Valley for the first time, I realised that I could finally experience every aspect of the farming role-playing genre without compromise. My plans for local business domination were no longer hampered, because, in this game, I could play as a lesbian farmer from the moment I inherited my grandfather’s farm. His ghost also didn’t have to wonder why I had spent the money he’d left me for turnip seeds on a haircut.