Published on 08 May 2022

How online games like The Sims and Coral Island are empowering Asia’s LGBT and queer folk

South China Morning Post, 8 May -

In a region where discrimination against the LGBT community persists, video games are emerging as a tool for therapy. Virtual environments have increasingly allowed players to alter their digital self-representation. Games like The Sims have recently allowed players to create non-binary and trans characters. More locally, Coral Island now allow players to choose their preferred pronouns.

The introduction of these options allow players to feel seen and represented, Dr Chen said, and can even provide a kind of therapy. “When you don’t have the freedom to choose your appearance or the safety to act freely, video games can be extremely empowering,” she said. Despite its positive impact, an expert warns that fetishisation, lack of representation, are still obstacles to overcome