I was pleased to see a second large-scale survey released that seeks to explore the little-studied world of gays in gaming. This one is from Paul Nowak, an MS student from Full Sail University. The so-called New Gaymer Survey (which is something of a misnomer since it is open to people who identify themselves on any position in both the sexuality and gamer spectra) goes further than the Old Gaymer Survey by soliciting ga(y)mer opinions on same-sex content in specific games. Aside from being a useful research tool to fill in a couple of holes on my Gay Games to Get list, the New Gaymer Survey offers a chance to support the study of gay issues in gaming and perhaps promote more enlightened representations of diversity in games across the board. Nowak intends to use the results of the survey to help the industry find successful ways to reach out to the gay community.
I haven't decided how I feel about the implications of the "gaymer" label yet (nor the prominence of the word "gay" in discussions of queerness in games), but it's a show of solidarity in the face of the fact that the gay gaming community (not unlike other non-male, non-white groups) has been at best poorly represented and at worst blatantly mistreated by game developers and gamers alike. Virulent homophobia and misogyny in particular are proudly upheld traditions in multiplayer settings and gaming discussion forums, and I find it quite disappointing that announcements of surveys of this kind lead to an extremely polarized comments section - those who understand the importance of visibility and fair representation, and those who don't.
At any rate, I hope that advertising for this on Hastac will attract some academic gamers to the mix. Participate in the New Gaymer Survey at http://www.newgaymersurvey.com