Advertising games with LGBT content to LGBT customers

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witchboy
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Advertising games with LGBT content to LGBT customers

#1 Post by witchboy » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:23 pm

I was thinking that I think there is a real market to advertising games with LGBT characters and themes to LGBT websites and magazines. Maybe something as simple as just sending a demo to gay websites or magazines that do entertainment reviews.
There are very very few video games out there that market to gay customers, I think games like Fatal Hearts and Heileen could find a strong customer base from gay video game customers who are seriously underserved by the market.
Just a suggestion I thought might help sales.
PS I am so psyched about Heileen 2 coming out this fall!

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hanako
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#2 Post by hanako » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:49 pm

I have tried to an extent. Strangely enough, it had very little effect. LGBT gaming websites dutifully posted the news item and then went back to arguing over which two characters in big-name AAA games would make the cutest couple. :) It's possible I just don't know the right sites.

(Similarly, offering free copies of Science Girls to a girls' gaming site for review got a polite email and then nothing as the site went back to complaining about big-name companies not putting enough girls in games.)

A blogger/columnist writing about his or her personal experiences with a game would probably get more attention, but that's not something I can do myself - that would be shilling. A lot of gaming sites will take guest columns, if someone wanted to write such a thing. Writing about what you HAVE found in games and what you've liked and disliked about it, as well as what you have NOT been able to find in games and would like to see more of...

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witchboy
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#3 Post by witchboy » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:59 pm

That is frustrating.
I don't really know many places to recommend. 365gay is a very popular gay news site that does entertainment reviews, you might try submitting there.
I am a member of gaymers, a yahoo group for gay gamers, I could at least mention the games to stir up a little intrest.
You could always try submitting demos to the big magazines like Advocate or Out, you might get lucky and someone there could give it a try.
I do find it frustrating that the mainstream market is full of so little originality, and very little diversity. Video game gay content is pretty close to zero outside of the Sims franchise. And then great games like Heileen and Fatal Hearts are unknown to the general public. Makes me want to beat my head against a wall.

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tamda
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#4 Post by tamda » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:05 pm

Witchy? I think there are tons of games with gay characters, across most genres even. I can name, in wide American console release, 3 FPS, 12 RPGs off the top of my head.

The key is not so much targeted marketing, as it is that the characters are included as regular people/characters. Personally, the forced "We have a gay character! lookit meeee!" that I sometimes see is a turnoff.
Having a fun tongue in cheek approach like the Tradewinds Franchise is lovely, and it wound up over time getting both flack and applause. Hanako's wonderful handling of a trans character in her most recent title has me in spasms of joy, especially since it wasn't hidden, wasn't over stated, was instead a very pleasant shock, and so tastefully done I had to replay to that ending again and again to see variants.

I think any good press for Hanako rocks, but gay specific targeting? Honestly, most Gay sites that deal with indie games have to wade through bad BL and Yaoi games, they probably won't blink at Cute Knight unless a friend mentions it in passing.

I got into Cute Knight, lesse, about 2 years ago through Wild Games. Never saw more games by her and figured she only made the one, or got hired by a bigger company.

For fun, I googled it a few weeks ago, to install on my step-daughter's computer, and was sucked into the demo of Cute Knight Kingdoms.

That's what Hanako needs, is more people to stumble over her works, and then actually give them a real chance.
To do that, they need to hear word of mouth. I forwarded the demo to three friends, and installed Cute Knight deluxe on my daughter's machine.

I plan to go track down a store copy of the CD to give to a friend for her birthday. She also happens to be a game tester that works at a company with hundreds of other gamers.

That's how indie games spread best, virally by word of mouth, not by advertising. Recommend the game for it's strong game points, and let the gay characters be a very nice and pleasant surprise.

(And keep the Fundie Nutty people from listing the game on their bann lists a little longer. ;) Might accidentally broaden a horizon or two of a little Tabitha Sue!)
Why oh why do I spend so much time on life sims?
....
Oh, cause they're cute.
And fun. Oh, and oh yeah, I have no life besides work and games. Ahh.
....
It explains so much!

deadgraceful
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#5 Post by deadgraceful » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:58 pm

I find it really frustrating how gay and feminist gaming sites only look at mainstream games, then complain at the lack of diversity. I would like to see more mainstream games with GLBT content that is not condescending or stereotyped, but there are many indy games that have really interesting portrayals of all kinds of alternate sexuality. They're just very hard to find. A bit more attention from these websites would be good. It would be a good way both to give publicity to little-known games and to provide a positive example to mainstream game developers.

I find the same problem with sites arguing over lack of innovation in games. Do they honestly think that the mainstream gaming companies are going to provide that innovation? Obviously, as in film, it's going to come from the small independent firms who are doing it for the love, and not just to make as much money as possible, and who are able to take risks as they are marketing to a specific audience.

Anyway, I hear Dragon Age: Origins has an unprecedented level of GLBT content (well, G & L anyway) for a mainstream game. That will keep them arguing for ages I guess (and ignoring other more interesting games). I'm still looking forward to playing it though.

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witchboy
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#6 Post by witchboy » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:27 pm

I'm getting Dragon Age for Xmas.
I agree that indy games can be hard to find. That's why I was suggesting alternate ways of marketing. I still believe there are gay people out there whose intrests aren't being served by the mainstream market and would be interested in buying indie games with LGBT content if they knew where to find them or that these games even exist.
For all I know there may be some really great indie games that I would want if I knew about them, and I at least have some idea of where to look.

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hanako
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#7 Post by hanako » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:20 pm

I've seen some articles about Dragon Age, yes.

Some blogs are calling for contributors. If you have anything to say about the subject, PLEASE chime in! Obviously I'd love it if you said nice things about me, but talk up other indie and casual stuff too, and how they handle glbt/feminist/other issues.

For instance, anyone played Heartwild Solitaire? You really don't expect a casual card game to have a domestic violence plotline.

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