5 video games that will help kill time during a long flight

The queer travel season is right around the corner, so let the games begin!

After a historic, nigh-schizophrenic winter that involved traditional blizzards in the American northeast and an atypical deluge of precipitation in Southern California, the sun’s finally out. Not surprisingly, gays are itching to dip out of town for the various LGBTQ+ events jam-packed into nearly every weekend of summer: White Party in Palm Springs, monthly shares in Fire Island, the dust-stained debauchery of Burning Man, or one of the myriad Pride Festivals speckled across the country.

The double edge sword of traveling is figuring out how to kill the monotony between destinations, whether it’s a transcontinental flight to P-Town or a schlep through the Nevada desert to Black Rock City. A fun and effective way to kill time is firing up your travel console and indulging in a video game. To help both our veteran and neophyte “gaymers”, we’ve uploaded a menu of entertaining games to improve your summer travel experience. Game on!

Octopath Traveler II

This sequel to 2018’s popular RPG (or for those uninitiated in video game vernacular, role-playing game) for Nintendo Switch kicks off a new story utilizing the same gameplay format. As the title implies, the narrative involves eight characters of distinct archetypes (warrior, scholar, merchant, etc) traversing overlapping storylines. For those seeking queer representation, we suggest beginning the game as Temenos, the sweet, brainy cleric, to kick off your joystick journey with the not-so-subtle, homoerotic relationship between him and his himbo sidekick Crick.

Marvel Snap

For non-Nintendo users who prefer playing games on their phones, this digital card game is a marvelous option. Available on both Android and IOS, this game features a sprawling cast of Marvel characters, including over two dozen openly LGBTQ+ heroes and anti-heroes. Queer mutant fan favorites such as Iceman, Mystique, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead put the “Homo” in “Homo Superior.”

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Another option for Switch users is this much-anticipated sequel to 2017’s “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Continuing the adventures of the hero Link, this RPG features an open-world format similar to the sword-and-sorcery game “Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” or the post-apocalyptic “Fall Out 4.” Although MIllenials have been traversing the kingdom of Hyrule since the release of the inaugural LoZ game in 1986, the franchise nestled itself into the annuls of queer culture in 1998 when the titular Princess Zelda assumes the gender-bent persona of Sheik on “Ocarina of Time.” “Tears of the Kingdom” releases on May 12th, just in time for your Memorial Day travels. Fingers crossed this installment includes more gender-fluid representation.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

The open-world format has also been adapted to the latest installment of the generation-spanning Pokémon franchise. Set in the Spanish pastiche of Paldea, the complementary games of “Scarlet” and “Violet” continue the tradition of capturing and evolving portmanteau-named pocket monsters in the protagonist’s quest to become a Pokémon master. Gaymers quickly gravitated to the water-type starter Quaxly, a baby duck described as “earnest and tidy,” who glows-up into a vivacious flamenco dancer.


This third-person RPG, which dropped on Switch in 2021, features Yu and Kay, a pair of fugitive lovers escaping Apiary, an authoritarian society that inflicts forced marriages upon its citizens. An update of the game now allows players to select the genders of the protagonists, allowing gaymers the option of participating in the same homosexual relationships with which they identify in real life. The game offers a co-op (cooperative play) option, so you can travel the cosmos with your fictional same-sex lover while simultaneously traveling the country with your actual same-sex lover.

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