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As you may have gathered from last week’s piece that was specifically for Heather Hogan, sometimes Queer Your Tech is me just answering questions that queers ask me about tech. This week, Heather’s question is: Where are the women who make Let’s Play videos? Maybe we can veer away from the toxic masculinity prevalent in gaming culture for a hot minute, while I take two weeks to answer this question. Here’s my first roundup of ladies who do video game playthroughs on YouTube and stream on Twitch. Some are queer, some aren’t. It’s by no means exhaustive, so if you think I’ve missed someone, please drop their channel in the comments!
Autostraddle gamers Dufrau and Jenna both recommended Geek Remix to me, and I can totally see why! This dynamic duo (Mari and Stacy!) has a whole playlist of LGBTQIA games that they’ve played through! In particular, Dufrau is all about their Life is Strange playthrough. They made me laugh in the first thirty seconds, so.
Recommended to me by Rachel Burton on Twitter, MaeveActually is new to the Let’s Play genre. I can’t watch much past the intro because she’s playing horror games and I AM A SCAREDY CAT. Her tagline is “sucking at games so you don’t have to,” and I suck so badly at video games, I was predisposed to be endeared. From what I watched of her intro and first video, I was totally right. Super endearing.
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Full disclosure, Taylor is a friend of mine and one of the first people I asked about who to look out for in the Let’s Play/Playthrough/Streaming world. I FINALLY caught some of her stream just last night, where she helpfully explained to me wtf the jolly green giants were doing in Sims 4 and then took a vampire on a date in a museum bathroom. Taylor is openly queer and cultivates a Twitch community that is warm and friendly (they all said hi to me when I popped in!). Taylor streams both games AND art-making, so you’ve got a two-for-one in this excellent Twitch channel.
You might know CypherofTyr as Tanya DePass of I Need Diverse Games. For some reason, I thought DePass was mostly a tabletop gamer (probably because I heard her on the D&D podcast that I definitely listen to, come on, y’all know me), but Whitney Pow set me straight with her recommendation. DePass specifically selects games featuring diverse characters to play on her Twitch channel.
SimplyUndrea came recommended by two separate humans. I’ve watched a little bit of her video library on Twitch and I swear, even if she’s playing a stressful game, her mellifluous voice is so relaxing. Even when she’s like, oh, that scared the crap out of me, it’s like a wind whispering through the trees. I chose the above video because watching her toss food to this big monster beast in this game is exactly what it’s like trying to teach my dog how to catch. Undrea streams from her PS4.
AustenMarie has the best hair I’ve ever seen, and in her 420 Zelda Stream, she says it’s a mess, which feels like a lie. AustenMarie is openly queer and also is hair goals. She has a great habit of mimicking cute sounds back to video game characters that make them/. Once again, this stream is a two-for-one as AustenMarie streams art-making as well.
CalamityJamie recommended Taylor, Taylor recommended CalamityJamie. This queer gaming community is AWESOME and everyone loves each other. It makes me want to jump back into video games. When I first signed on to CalamityJamie’s channel, she was playing Stardew Valley, which we all know is hella gay. Then I played Stardew Valley before bed because I got so many farm aspirations.
Okay, I know I just posted a clip of Friskk playing Uno instead of an actual-length video, but it’s the laugh that gets me. The laugh and the beer. Watching Friskk play is like watching your friend on their couch. Her vibe is so warm and game-night-y. I think this mere 45 seconds of video would be enough to convey the mood that seems to be going on here.
Once again, this is a channel I largely cannot watch because HORROR. But TheRPGMinx does have a playlist entitled “Two Lesbians Play,” and that I can mostly handle. I posted the above video from that playlist because Minx and Krism (other lesbian extraordinaire) react to this car being a manual and I LAUGHED MY ASS OFF in the library. This poor person sitting across from me is like whyyyyy. The game they’re playing in that video is called Manual Samuel. I looked it up and apparently you have to control every little thing he does, including breathing, which would cause me to defenestrate my computer. KUDOS TO YOU, LESBIANS, for not rage-breaking your equipment.
Heather had one suggestion for our epic roundup, and that’s Rinsays. An Australian Let’s-Play-er, she plays a bunch of different sorts of games. I chose to watch some of her Sims 4 playlist, in which she sets about making an entire neighborhood of TV characters. I had NO IDEA you could change, like, the timbre of their voices. Rin is a queer woman who’s also famous for her TV reaction videos, Glee recaps, and #LexaDeservedBetter.
Special thanks to Dufrau, Jenna, Whitney Pow and TQ for the nudges in the right direction! Next week, even more Let’s Play Folks! I asked the Twitterverse and y’all, we will never have to watch cis dudes play games again unless we truly want to, is all I’ll say. If you reached out to me on social media and were expecting to see yourself here, don’t worry: part two is on the way! And if there’s someone you absolutely want to see featured, feel free to leave their channel in the comments.