“Queer Man Peering Into A Rock Pool.jpg” set a record with us through its demo: less than three seconds into the game and we were already crying with joy!
Unwritten rule of video games: you only walk one way. The protagonist’s strides are linear, decisive. It’s the walk of the cool and capable hero, even when the hero is a heroine. Legs like straight lines, torso straight too, bold as someone who knows everything is owed to him.
Weird walks are left to funny games and comic reliefs. It’s a very cishet way to walk. Now we’re going to share a queer secret: we strive to mimic the cishet walk because our bodies are structurally different.
Legs stand apart and knees take on random rotations; feet go in multiple directions because we never know where the next fabulous thing to chase or annoying relative to avoid will be; arms are unaware of gravity, which is an evolutionary necessity to fly off from fascists.
Watching Queer Man’s protagonist walk was like seeing ourselves in the mirror for the first time. When he started jumping, we thought of all the bullies who teased us as kids for not being masculine enough and saw in his shameless freedom a beautiful, giant “fuck you”.
We’re valid and beautiful even when we’re running and jumping like we’re made of Play-Doh. We leave the stiff, boring walks to the bullies.
Playing games with non-conforming characters is necessary, but it requires enormous listening skills. The lives of those who step outside the norm are different. It’s not enough to create a standard character and attach a random label to it to create a living character.
It’s extra work, a lot of effort. But if all goes well, someone will tell you one day that they cried with joy within three seconds of starting your game. We hope you liked walking with us here, just as much as we loved walking with the main character of the game!