Diverse Games to Keep an Eye Out for in 2022

Hey there Blerdy Tribe, it’s a brand new year and there have been some huge strides within the gaming community. Indie games are becoming more prominent, with more mainstream sites covering them much more frequently than they have in the past. But, for me the most exciting is the shift towards more visibility for traditionally underrepresented groups in games! Don’t get me wrong, there is still a ways to go, but, I’m happy to see that there has been an effort to create more representative games and a lot of that has to do with a diverse creators stepping in to create games that reflect their own experiences, identities, and cultures.

As a Black gamer I am always on the look out for diverse games, so once again I did a call for games with planned 2022 release dates that feature characters and stories centered around often underrepresented groups–and as always the community provided!

Thank you to everyone who sent me their projects or shared the tweet–you guys are the real MVPs! So, I spent some time shifting through all the responses and checking out game pages for this post and y’all I am excited for all of these games! If you’re like me and you’ve been craving more diversity in your games, this is the list for YOU!

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5 Games Like Nightshade

Hey Hey Blerdy Tribe! I’m bringing you another Games Like list—the blog series where you guys vote on an otome game and I go out and find five games that are similar to the title you guys picked. Last time I wrote a list of 5 Games Like 7’scarlet, so definitely check that post out if you’re looking for some great mystery romance games to get into! For today’s post, I ran a poll over on Twitter and 157 of you lovely readers voted for the historical fantasy otome game, Nightshade (Hyakka Hyakurou)!

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Games I Plan on Finishing in 2022

It’s a brand new year and once again I’m setting unrealistic goals for myself! I am very aware that I didn’t finish any of the games on 2021’s list, but I dunno, I have a good feeling about 2022–this is the year I’m finally going to make a dent on my backlog (maybe).

I’ve been sitting on a lot of games, some for years, but, I’m definitely going to make an effort this year. So, here are some of the games I plan on actually finishing in 2022!

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Blerdy Otome Otakon 2021 Con Coverage

Hey there Blerdy Tribe! It’s no secret that I live in the DMV area and while the East coast might as be iconic when it comes to otaku events, the DC are a does have plenty to do for the nerdy set! Most folks know about the Cherry Blossom festival in the spring, but we also have a handful of premiere conventions! I’ve had the chance to check out the two big anime conventions Katsucon and Otakon both as a regular attendee and as press from other sites. But, in 2021 I was able to check out Otakon as press for myself! Yes, you read that right! Blerdy Otome attended Otakon 2021 and it was such an awesome opportunity!

Otakon is one of the biggest Anime conventions on the East coast and definitely a must for fans of Japanese culture looking to fellowship with their fellow nerds! Of course I have you covered on the highlights of the con, so let’s dive in and check out some of the awesome things you can see and do at Otakon!

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Polling the #OtomeArmada: Which Endings Do You Play Through First?

It’s no secret that otome games are still very niche genre within the broader gaming community. Even with an increase in English localizations of Japanese otome games here in the West, our community is fairly small–but, what we lack in size we more than make up for in voice! As a collective, the online otome fandom has been especially vocal when it comes to protecting our otome games–whether that is calling out localization companies on the quality of their releases or letting companies know what games we WANT to see released in the West– you can bet that the collective voice of the otome community will be heard.

As a blogger I use my platform to promote otome games (and indie romance visual novels), but I am just one of many voices in the otome games community and I don’t speak for everyone. So, I wanted to reach out to the #OtomeArmada and see where we stand on certain topics specific to our community. Nothing fancy, just a Twitter poll every now and again to spice things up. Last week I asked you guys ‘When playing otome games, which endings do you like to play through first?’–and the response was overwhelming with 410 of you all casting your vote.

But, I wanted to do something with this and actually list out some takeaways from the poll and kind of suss out some trends! So, let’s break down the results!

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Game Devs Who Do Diversity Right

Hey Blerdy Tribe, it’s Monday and that means it’s Melanin Monday here on Blerdy Otome! Instead of bringing you another Melanin Friendly Game, I wanted to shake things up a bit this week by spotlighting some of the game developers I love who always bring us amazing diverse titles! Each of these devs have consistently brought us games chock full of great representation, telling stories that feature characters a wide range of backgrounds, identities, orientations.

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Is This Otome? – Inclusivity in the Otome Games Fandom

So, apparently there has been some discourse in the otome games community—I mean, when is there not drama—concerning using the term “otome” for more inclusive titles. There have been some folks in the fandom who are upset that folks are using otome as a catch all term for any game that fits the otome mold, ie. a protagonist who romances pursuable characters. Some, use otome to encompass idol and card-raising mobile games, like A3!, and more recently Tears of Themis. While others feel that LGBT+ indie games to be otome. 

This is not the first time this issue has cropped up over the years and it most definitely won’t be the last, but I think this new wave of discourse is just disheartening. Times have changed, games are becoming more inclusive and more people are seeing media that speaks to them and their truth, so it only makes since that the language we use should grow and change with the media. So, today I’m going to talk about what makes an otome an otome and where I stand on including LGBT+ games within that otome umbrella. 

Joseimuke

 

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Confessions of an Otome Gamer: Indie Otome are BETTER than Otome Games

I know, potentially polarizing opinion incoming–don’t @ me.

But, if you’ve been following me for awhile it shouldn’t be such a big shock that I prefer indie otome games over the more “traditional” Japanese otome games. I mean on a very basal level, indie otome games are much more accessible and available than Japanese otome games. Sure, we’ve been getting tons more otome games than we have in the past, but given the volume of otome games being released in Japan annually, what we get through localization is merely a drop in the bucket. Not to mention localization titles are selected and curated by companies that at the end of the day are protecting their bottom line. So the games that do make their way to the West are ones that are considered the most “financially viable” (read: safe).

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Voices of the Community – Game Devs on LGBTQ+ Representation in Games

Hey Blerdy Tribe! It’s Pride Month and that means every site and major company is decked out in all their rainbow colored branding and for one short month the LGBTQ+ community is on the front page of everyone’s newsfeed. It’s a time of celebration for how far the community has come over the years, but also for how wonderfully multifaceted the LGBTQ+ community is and continues to be.

Throughout the month, queer people and stories have been at the forefront of everyone’s consciousness, with companies using queer individuals to promote their products and brands. But, for many in the community they don’t have the luxury of being able to speak on their own behalf or the safety to be their true authentic selves. Or worse, people from outside of the community will do the talking for them…

While we’re making strides to create safe spaces for folks, there is still a ways to go especially in some nerd spaces and fandoms. The gaming sphere is especially notorious for being unkind to folks who aren’t white cishet men. So I’m glad that more folks are starting to branch out and create their own independent projects.

This Pride Month, I wanted to take a step back and create a space for folks from the LGBTQ+ community to speak their truth–because Blerdy Otome is and always will remain a safe space. So, I did a call for Queer game devs/folks working in the gaming industry to participate in an “interview” where they shared their thoughts and their experiences on being queer in the gaming community. The response was overwhelming and I want to thank everyone who lent their voices to this project–you all are the real MVPs! So, enough of me, let’s turn things over to the amazing folks!

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Fangirl Friday – Battle Brides, Roomies with Benefits, and Virgin Wizards

Hey Blerdy Tribe, how’s your week been? We finally made it to Friday and for those of us in the States, Monday is Memorial Day, so we get a THREE DAY WEEKEND!! Since I get every other Friday off during the Summer this marks my 2nd three day weekend in as many weeks and trust I’m loving it! This week starts the beginning of me officially starting some of the new tasks that came with my recent promotion so it’s been kinda hectic for me on the work front, but my supervisors have been really good about helping me out when I get stuck with something. 

Last week I finally took the plunge and officially did my first Twitch stream and let me tell y’all it was terrifying—I get super nervous talking in front of people and even with my camera off (due to technical difficulties) I did still fumble a bit every now and then. But, everyone who came through was super nice and patient with me and I cannot thank you all enough for hanging with me through my first stream! I fucked up and forgot to turn on the save stream feature on Twitch so sadly there is no VOD there, but my inner Virgo had the forethought to record the stream on my end and I did upload my copy to YouTube, so you can see it there. I’m still working on a schedule, but I might try streaming this weekend (no promises though). 

So, between the hustle and bustle of the week I managed to check out some neat shows and manga and I just need to get some fangirling out! 

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