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Google’s search algorithm translates “gayest game ever made” as “worst game ever made”

(Non-)update: Yep, it’s still happening.


Original story (22 July 2016): Up Multimedia’s Luke Miller has taken to Medium to discuss an alarming Google search algorithm that essentially translates “gay game” to “worst game”.

“Do a [Google] search today, in 2016, on ‘gayest game ever made’ and the search algorithm will return mostly results about the ‘worst game ever made’,” Miller writes.

“In 2016 the culture has changed for the better but we are still dealing with the legacy. While fewer people use the phrase “gay game” as a slur, no person ever says “that game’s so gay” and means it in a positive way.

“Very few developers who make games with gay content refer to them as gay games. Commercial reasons, shame, dismay at labels? Probably a mixture. This means there are a lot of terrible uses of the phrase “gay game” out there but very few positive ones,” he continues.

While obviously not Google’s fault, its suggested searches and, indeed, search results show that there’s an uphill battle to be fought in order to reclaim the word and its proper meaning.

“I don’t blame [Google’s] algorithm,” Miller concludes. “It has simply floated the reality of the situation to the surface. In that regard it has done gay men and software developers a service. However, I’m mad that this casual prejudice exists in the world of computer games.”

Up Multimedia has previously released My Ex-Boyfriend The Space Tyrant and is currently at work on its sequel, Escape from Pleasure Planet. Both are proudly described by Miller as gay games.

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.