As the gaming industry continues to evolve, so does its representation of LGBTQ+ characters and themes. This progress is particularly important for teenage players, who benefit from seeing diverse and inclusive narratives during their formative years. Here’s a look at some MindJam picks of notable LGBTQ+ inclusive games suitable for teenagers in 2024.

1. Stardew Valley (12+)

Stardew Valley, developed by ConcernedApe, is a charming farming simulation game that allows players to create their own character and build a life in the quaint town of Pelican Town. The game features same-sex marriage options, enabling players to form relationships and marry any eligible bachelor or bachelorette, regardless of gender. This inclusivity makes Stardew Valley a welcoming game for players of all backgrounds.

2. Life is Strange: True Colours (16+)

Deck Nine and Square Enix’s Life is Strange: True Colours is a narrative adventure game that centres around Alex Chen, a bisexual woman with the supernatural ability to experience others’ emotions. Players can explore romantic relationships with either a male or female character, allowing for a personalised and inclusive experience. The game’s deep storytelling and relatable characters make it a great choice for teenagers.

3. The Sims 4 (12+)

Maxis’ The Sims 4 continues to be a leader in inclusivity within the gaming industry. Players can create characters with any gender and sexual orientation, and same-sex relationships and marriages are fully supported. The game’s continuous updates reflect the diversity of its player base, making it a staple for inclusive gameplay that resonates with teens.

4. Tell Me Why (16+)

Developed by Dontnod Entertainment, Tell Me Why is a narrative adventure game praised for its sensitive and accurate representation of a transgender character. The protagonist, Tyler Ronan, is a transgender man, and his identity is seamlessly integrated into the storyline. This thoughtful portrayal provides meaningful representation and resonates with teenage players seeking inclusive narratives.

5. Spirit Farer (12+)

Thunder Lotus Games’ Spiritfarer is a management game where players take on the role of Stella, a ferrymaster who helps spirits pass on to the afterlife. The game features diverse characters and explores various forms of relationships, including LGBTQ+ ones. Its emotional depth and gentle storytelling make it suitable for teenagers while offering meaningful representation.

6. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (3+)

Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a social simulation game that offers players extensive freedom in expressing their identities. Players can customise their characters’ appearance and clothing without gender restrictions, and the game features a diverse cast of villagers. This open-ended approach allows for a highly personalised and inclusive experience, making it a hit among teenagers.

7. Celeste (7+)

Celeste by Matt Makes Games is a platformer that tells the story of Madeline as she climbs the titular mountain. The game is celebrated for its challenging gameplay and beautiful narrative, as well as its representation of Madeline, a transgender woman. This aspect is subtly integrated into the story, offering positive representation for transgender teens.

8. Oxenfree (12+)

Oxenfree by Night School Studio is a supernatural thriller that follows a group of teenagers as they explore a mysterious island. The game features LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, woven into a captivating narrative. Its engaging story and relatable characters make it an excellent choice for teenage players seeking inclusive games.

9. Night in the Woods (12+)

Night in the Woods, developed by Infinite Fall, is an adventure game that explores themes of mental health, identity, and relationships. The game features several LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, presented in a way that is relatable and engaging for teenage players. Its narrative depth and quirky characters make it a standout title.

10. Minecraft (7+)

Minecraft by Mojang Studios is a sandbox game that encourages creativity and exploration. While the game itself doesn’t focus on character relationships, the inclusive nature of its character customization options allows players to express their identities freely. Additionally, the vibrant community often creates mods and servers that celebrate LGBTQ+ themes, fostering an inclusive environment for teenage players.


Final Thoughts….

These games not only provide entertainment but also foster a sense of inclusion and representation for teenage players. By integrating LGBTQ+ themes and characters in a thoughtful and age-appropriate manner, these games help create a more inclusive gaming culture. As the industry continues to evolve, it’s crucial for developers to keep prioritising diversity and inclusivity, ensuring that all players feel seen and valued in the virtual worlds they explore.

At MindJam, we wanted to show games that celebrate diversity and inclusivity because we believe every young person deserves to see themselves in the virtual worlds they love. Our game selection features characters and stories that reflect a wide range of identities and experiences, ensuring everyone feels seen and valued. By playing these inclusive games, we can create a fun and empowering environment where young people can explore, learn, and grow together. At MindJam, we’re committed to making gaming a positive and inclusive experience for all.