LGBTQ games exhibition opens in Berlin

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An exhibition exploring the LGBTQ history of the games industry has opened at the Schwules Museum in Berlin

Called RAINBOW ARCADE, the Schwules Museum’s website describes it thus: “For the first time worldwide, the queer history of video games will be explored in a major exhibition: RAINBOW ARCADE features a wide variety of exhibits spanning over 30 years of media history, including playable titles, concept drawings, modifications written by fans themselves and documentations of online communities. The exhibition will be taking stock of contemporary pop cultural questions of representation, stereotypical and discriminatory narratives in entertainment media, and our cultural memory.

“It is remarkable that while video games have become a natural part of our contemporary culture, almost every new release that doesn’t portray LGBTIQ people and the realities of life in a negative way is quickly celebrated as groundbreaking or discredited as sudden ideological politicization. Yet there are a few examples of mainstream titles from the 1990s featuring relatively sensible coming-out storylines and same-sex marriage & flirting options.”

The partially crowdfunded exhibition was curated by Sarah Rudolph of herzteile.org, Jan Schnorrenberg of the Schwules Museum and Dr Adrienne Shaw of Temple University, who founded the LGBTQ Game Archive.

Should you find yourself in Berlin, RAINBOW ARCADE will run until 13 May. And you can check it out on the Schwules Museum’s website.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.