June is coming to a close, and so is a fantastic Pride Month here at Media Molecule. We’ve had a grand old time celebrating all things LGBTQIA+ with our Molecules and the Dreams community, including some memorable(opens in new tab)Pride-themed(opens in new tab)streams(opens in new tab), a tonne of curated Pride goodness in-game - and even a rainbow-coloured bake sale(opens in new tab).
So why not a Pride-themed Dreamview Weekly Roundup? Of course, here at The Impsider, we love to platform queer creations all year round. But we will happily take any excuse to spread a little more love, and cheer on the Dreams community’s amazing propensity to express themselves and uplift each other through their art. Happy Pride, folks!
Estimated playtime: 20 mins
We do love a good Pride parade - where else do you get to see superheroes, drag queens and Sackboys shaking their fans all in the same place? But perhaps you’re after something a little more low-key for your celebrations this year. Fortunately, these three proudly LGBTQIA+ creators have you covered, with a delightful mini-fairground filled with activities, collectibles, community references and more. The general objective is to find all 20 golden balloons hidden around the park. Many can be found by enjoying the attractions, for instance the hedge maze (which also contains a touching message of support at its centre) while others are more deviously hidden in secret spots.
But considerate design choices will help you out here. Riding the Ferris Wheel or jumping into the spray of a powerful fountain will give you a good overview of the whole area - while if you decide to tinker with the day/night cycle using the giant buttons, the golden balloons will light up so that you can still spot them in the dark. It’s worth grabbing them all to experience the Pride Train, a rather funny and very heartfelt tour through a community-created wonderland that somehow manages to be even gayer than It’s A Small World - no mean feat.
Estimated runtime: 30 mins
Pride isn’t all about parties and cake - it’s a good time of year to actually learn the history behind what we’re celebrating, and about the pioneers who blazed the trail for where we are today. Sheik13_LoZ has been using their Dreams-made art to do just that, adding a variety of lightly interactive episodes to their series Queer History. Pride Flags: Meanings and History is a comprehensive guide to exactly what each part of the progressive Pride flag stands for, and a great place to start. But other episodes take a closer look at some lesser-known gay symbols and icons.
For instance, did you know that violets are a queer symbol that dates all the way back to Ancient Greece and Sappho? Or that Wendy Carlos is thought to be the first-ever transgender woman in electronic music, and helped create the original Moog synthesisers? These topics and more are given time and attention through Sheik’s text games. You may have to be a bit patient with the text-scrolling here - there’s no way to speed it up, and pressing X might mean you accidentally skip over parts - but the fascinating tales are well worth a few minutes of your time.
Estimated playtime: 1 hour
We will never not love Helen’s games. The drag queen game developer often plays on LGBTQIA+ themes to glorious effect - the Gender level in Prly Prkit Adventures, and the motley lineup and backstory of Queer, Queer Futurity come to mind. It felt only fitting that Witch World be part of our Pride Month Roundup, then, a delightfully funny and surprisingly detailed open-world fantasy RPG that features a customisable protagonist “unbound by gender”. Sure enough, the character creator is a smorgasbord of unrestricted fabulousness, allowing you to mix and match whatever you can dream to express yourself. Want to play as a deer-headed, lizard-eyed fashion model with a frying pan mallet and magical powers? Knock yourself out.
The game itself is another proud display of Helen’s riotous love of colour and form, as well as the customary unbothered shonkiness. You’ll befriend giant cats, moon-faced mirrors, and help the citizens of this world by using your powers (apologies, however, to the person with the overturned cart that we accidentally levitated into the river - though your reaction was hilarious). You’ll come to learn of the valley’s sad history but, in a storyline that feels very apt for Pride Month, you’ll also discover there might be a way to help it heal and move towards a brighter future.
A Story About Love#
Estimated runtime: 5 mins
Pride’s a great time to listen to your friends’ personal stories about their own journey with identity. SaucelessOne offers one in the form of a song: unapologetically full-throated and wonderfully vulnerable by turns, this autobiographical number explores themes such as feeling like an outsider, struggling with religious beliefs and the transformative - often slow - process of self-discovery. Sauceless’ standout vocal style is as hauntingly lovely as ever, a careful but confident falsetto that develops just as venwave’s painted visuals pulse and blossom into new forms. And there’s a happy ending, too, as the final part of Sauceless’ story reveals that something else has blossomed between the two artists of this creation.
Keep The Flag Flying#
Estimated runtime: 2 mins
A perfect candidate for the final spot of this week’s Roundup, steve128k’s powerful short animation reminds us that there’s still plenty of work to do when it comes to fighting for human rights. To the beat of an ominous backtrack, it lists out every country in which being gay is still a crime, along with the legal punishments people can suffer as a result. It’s sobering stuff - and we have to say, the choice to make this non-interactive feels very apt, as more and more places and punishments flash by uncontrollably with no sign of stopping.
However, in a beautiful touch, the rainbow colours of the Pride flag only become more saturated as the animation progresses, finally ending with a strong message to keep the flag flying. Props, also, to stevie’s description for this creation: “It’s been up for 2 years. Any smart-arse comments will be met with love.” Now that’s allyship.
Check out the playable edition of this week's Dreamview Weekly Roundup right here in Dreams!
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