The video game industry has made tremendous strides in trying to become a more inclusive place for everyone. We’re slowly seeing more and more stories being told featuring character from all walks of life.
June is Pride Month, which is both a celebration of how far LGBT+ have come and a reminder that we need to continue to be an advocate for human rights. Perhaps it’s no coincidence then that one of the questions asked in the latest “Ask Riot” was focused on LGBTQ+ representation in League of Legends.
Specifically, the question asked if Riot has plans to add in-game canon LGBT+ couples in League of Legends. While Riot acknowledged they will continue to highlight LGBTQIA+ stories, they didn’t want to absolutely commit to forcing specific LGBT+ couples stories.
"Whether or not our LGBTQIA+ champions are in relationships with one another will depend on the characters and where they are in their own personal stories. Some may be single, some couples, some may be ex-lovers/enemies, and others might have budding interests and are still discovering who they are."
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Riot’s extended answer is that they want the League universe to be a place filled with stories that players “can see themselves and have characters they want to relate to.” They’ll continue to add LGBTQIA+ champions, although they admit they might not all be part of a couple.
Naturally, the expansive League universe is one that accommodates diverse storytelling. And it’s better for it.
Riot explained that video games are in a unique position for storytellers to offer “window into someone else’s world.” The importance of this diverse storytelling can lead to more inclusiveness and empathy for one another.
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The storytelling approach will vary from champion to champion. Some bits of story will be subtle clues shared through voice lines. Others stories will be told through different mediums, whether that be digital comics, cinematic videos or actual shows.
Over the past couple of years, Riot has made a concerted effort to expand the League of Legends universe to other forms of medium. Arcane, for example, is an animated series set to debut on Netflix this Fall. The series will take us to the utopian Piltover and underground of Zaun and seemingly follow the adventures of Vi and Jinx.
There’s enough room in the League of Legends universe for all sorts of diverse storytelling and for characters of all backgrounds to co-exist.