The second annual Gayming Awards, where games across the entire industry were celebrated for their creativity and how they chose to represent the LGBTQ+ community, took place at the Troxy theater in London. In an industry like video games, where even the smallest steps of progress feel like a monumental achievement, an event like the Gayming Awards is a bright spot.
“We obviously don’t expect every games awards to be celebrating queer stuff up and down the categories,” Gayming Magazine founder Robin Gray told UPROXX. “There’s obviously more things out in the world, but that’s why the Gayming Awards exist, so the community can have that moment without necessarily expecting other people to do that for us.”
Gray launched Gayming Magazine in 2019 and later started the Gayming Awards with the goal of giving LGBTQ+ players and developers a positive spotlight. Historically, gaming has focused on appealing to a straight, white, male audiences that make up a large portion of players and people within the industry. As a result, members of the LGBTQ+ community are rarely in the spotlight, and the Gaymind Awards provides a place within the gaming industry for members of the LGBTQ+ community to have their accomplishments to be uplifted.
“It was a bit of a reaction to seeing other mainstream video game awards shows doing a bit of the work in celebrating diversity, but really you only ever see them cropping up as the special category, for lack of a better phrase,” Gray says. “I think for us, we really want to dig into that, because I think hanging a medal on one game, or one person, it’s obviously wonderful, but it kind of misses the nuance that we bring to it in terms of the best character, best game, best developer, or people who are doing stuff in the industry looking outwards. So for us, it gives the opportunity to really dig in and celebrate queer video game excellence, whether that’s in game, in the industry, or around the peripheries with streaming.”
Through two years, the Gayming Awards have already made strides across the games industry. EA served as the inaugural presenting sponsor, Twitch filled that role in 2022, and many of the categories were presented by major publishers like PlayStation and Xbox. Major studios and brands are showing they want to be part of what the Gayming Awards represent — Gray says he’s been “led to believe” that having Xbox and PlayStation on the same bill “is nearly unheard of.”
Considering the support and publicity that has come in such a short time, we can expect the Gayming Awards to continue to grow as the event reaches its third year. All of this, Gray hopes, will continue to push progress within gaming.
“The industry is going in a very positive direction,” he says. “I think the people at the top need to really start reaching down into their organizations, identifying these diverse people, and putting them on on leadership pathways. Ensure that they have the training and the support, they need to grow into the next generation of leaders.”