Gayming Magazine has revealed that renowned game developer Robert Yang will be the recipient of the Gayming Icon Award at this year’s Gayming Awards. The Gayming Icon award is given to an individual that has significantly contributed towards furthering the status and increasing the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in the gaming industry.
Described as “one of the most controversial game developers in the world”, Yang has been the driving force behind potentially the purest definition of “queer games”. His work, including historical bathroom simulator The Tearoom and male shower simulator, Rinse and Repeat, explores the world of consenting gay sex.
Yang has previously called for the games industry to be more open about topics like sexuality, noting how queer sexual content is banned or minimized in certain areas. Importantly, this is framed through a lens of respect and consent with Yang calling the industry to be more open in regard to sexuality and sexual content.
Upon accepting his award, Robert Yang wanted to share the following message:
“Thanks for naming me the Gayming Icon this year. The goal of my games has always been to explore gay and queer sexuality in games, and it’s always very motivating and encouraging to know there’s an audience for this type of work. Thanks for your time and attention. I also want to thank the countless trans women who pioneered so much queer game design practice before me — yet so many have been forced out of games by right-wing harassment movements or by the larger lack of institutional support from the industry. Let us remember that better representation means more than diverse fictional characters, it also means empowering and supporting real marginalized people and their real lives.”
Robin Gray, founder and editor of Gayming Magazine had the following to say on Yang’s award:
“The Gayming Awards celebrates all types of queer games as art forms. Robert Yang’s work in celebrating and exploring consenting gay intimacy, sex, and kink is something that should be widely celebrated, not shied away from. He has single-handedly defined a whole genre of gay games and I am so proud that we have chosen him to be the recipient of our Gayming Icon Award for 2021.”
Previously, Robert Yang was an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU Game Center. He holds a BA in English Literature from UC Berkeley, and an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School for Design. Find out more about Robert Yang at his website: debacle.us
The Gayming Awards 2021, presented by EA Games, exclusively on Twitch, will broadcast February 24th at 20:00 GMT. As with the Gayming Icon Award, the nominations and winners of each category have been voted upon by a committee of LGBTQ+ video game industry professionals.
You can find out more information on the 2021 Gayming Awards here: http://gaymingawards.com
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