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LGBTQ Game Archive collection

 Collection — Container: digital collection
Identifier: 120.4257
The LGBTQ Game Archive collection is a compilation of primary sources (including articles, websites, blogs, web forums, videos, and images) used in the creation of the LGBTQ Game Archive. Files within this collection document LGBTQ content in video games from the 1980s through present day. Many major hit game series, including The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Brothers, Fallout, and The Sims, are covered within these materials. Additional scope and content information can be found in the Contents List section of this finding aid.

The LGBTQ Game Archive collection is arranged into eleven series. This digital collection can be accessed on-site at The Strong.


  • 1986 - 2020



The majority of materials in this collection are in English, with a few instances of Japanese.

Conditions Governing Access

At this time, digital games in Series V are limited to on-site researchers only. Please see The Strong’s Digital Games Files Access Policy.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, she has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


12.6 Gigabytes (Digital only.) : Accessible on-site at The Strong.


The LGBTQ Game Archive collection is a collection of primary sources (including websites, articles, blogs, forums, videos, and screenshots) used in the creation of the LGBTQ Game Archive.

Historical Note

The LGBTQ Game Archive, established by Dr. Adrienne Shaw, documents the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer content in games. This site collects LGBTQ video game content, cataloging games or game series and categorizing relevant material by actions, artifacts, characters, locations, relationships, traits, and more (including instances of homophobia or transphobia found in games). The intended audience is broad; the LGBTQ Game Archive is meant to be an online resource for researchers, journalists, critics, game designers/ developers/ publishers, game players, and anyone interested in learning more about the history of LGBTQ content in video games. Since 2015, the project has relied on research assistants from Temple University as well as various volunteers to collect information on, and create entries about, games with LGBTQ content.

The bulk of these files were saved by Cody Mejeur during a Digital Humanities post-doctoral project as a Graduate Student in the English department at Michigan State University. This project was an extension of an earlier effort established by Shaw through a Temple University Digital Scholarship Faculty Fellowship to preserve the materials used in the LGBTQ Game Archive after GayGamer.Net, a major source of LGBTQ gamer history, went offline. With research assistance from Aja Binette (then a Temple University Sociology PhD candidate) and Head of the Digital Scholarship Center Matt Shoemaker, Shaw created a model for bulk saving of the content and produced a spreadsheet file that could be used to add item information and metadata to a digital collections site hosted on Omeka. Mejeur further refined and automated the process of capturing various resource formats. Temple Communication and Media Studies Research Assistants Hocheol Yang and Weimei Sun continued to populate the metadata spreadsheet file and tracked down “dead links” which were available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. These efforts took place from 2016-2018, with final additions of files in 2020 before the digital collection was donated to The Strong.

To learn more about the project and its methodology, refer to

System of Arrangement

Series I: Administrative, 2018-2020

Series II: Articles, 1989-2020 and n.d.

Series III: Blogs, 2008-2020 and n.d.

Series IV: Forums, 1996-2016

Series V: Games, 1989-2020

Series VI: Gaming magazines, 1986-2012

Series VII: Images, 1986-2018 and n.d.

Series VIII: Notes, 2015

Series IX: Videos, 2007-2018

Series X: Websites, 1997-2018

Series XI: Wikis, 2013-2018

Custodial History

The LGBTQ Game Archive collection was donated to The Strong in October 2020 as a gift of Adrienne Shaw. The collection was accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 120.4257 and received on a hard drive with two additional related digital collections.

Related Materials

The Strong received two additional related digital collections from Shaw: the Rainbow Arcade collection (open for research) and the Joshua D. Savage digital game documents archive (which will be available in 2021).

Andrew Borman at The Strong helped to create a preservation copy of Caper in the Castro (1989) for designer C.M. Ralph and Adrienne Shaw at the LGBTQ Game Archive. Read more about that on the museum’s Play Stuff Blog.

Processed by

Julia Novakovic, November 2020



Finding Aid to the LGBTQ Game Archive Collection, 1986-2020
Julia Novakovic
20 November 2020
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)