The Melbourne Queer Games Festival has returned for 2021, the international selection features games exploring themes from romance, pride, and transness to fatphobia and sexuality.
A labor of love, produced by a team of hardworking volunteers, MQGF is an annual celebration of games by queer creators running alongside programming for Melbourne International Games Week, there are games here for everyone to sink into and explore.
Luke Miller, Lead Organiser of the Melbourne Queer Games Festival joins SIFTER for a chat about building the grassroots festival, curating the line up of over 50+ games on their showcase and the importance of being a sex positive festival.
“It’s come from people who love queer games and have been making them and [have] seen there’s not enough space for them," said Miller
“I’ve always felt there’s an empty shelf where these games should be."
Wanting to dive into some of the games showcased at MQGF 2021? Here’s a few picks from the SIFTER team:
- HAPPY PRIDE by Gamaturgie - created by french game developers Axell Boue & Paulette, this short piece of interactive fiction has you exploring gorgeous hand-drawn environments and partaking in the experience of attending Pride for the first time. (make sure to download the english version or you’ll be using google translate to work out the narrative).
- MINOTAUR HOTEL by Minanon - Visual novels and interactive fiction dominate a lot of indie micro-games made by queer creators. The accessibility of the tools required to create these games means that they can be a great place to experiment and write queer romance and erotica that is otherwise not seen of represented in most media. So that’s why this game about being a big swole muscle minotaur, dating all sorts of hunky animals while managing a hotel is a great window into the world of queer dating sims.
- WINTER by Freya Campbell and Elliot Herriman - an experimental work of interactive fiction by UK game dev, Freya C, touches on themes of transness, visibility and connecting with a girl with a skull for a face. Playable in your web browser.
- A DAY OF MAINTENANCE by Peter Maringell - Ever wanted to play an open-world truck driving simulator game, but in a world populated by gay robots? This is the game for you. A slow paced and relaxing, meditative work of interactive fiction.
You can see the list of fifty-seven games included in the festival here and the shortlisted titles for the MQGF awards here.