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How the first LGBTQ+ video game was given a second life

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode For All Eternity.

In 1989, CM Ralph created "Caper in the Castro", the first LGBTQ+ video game. Nearly lost when diskettes became obsolete, this piece of gaming and queer history found new life in the Internet Archive.

About CM Ralph

CM Ralph holding floppy disks of the video game, "Caper in the Castro"
/ CM Ralph
CM Ralph
CM Ralph holding floppy disks of the video game, "Caper in the Castro"

CM Ralph is an artist and designer who has been creating for decades. In 1989, they created Caper in the Castro, the world's first LGBTQ+ video game which found new life in the Internet Archive in 2017. They graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz program for Interactive Media Design in 2002 and went on to teach Digital Film Editing & Special Effects at the University for three years. In 2017, they retired from a 45-year career in manufacturing to work full-time as a creator. They create in a variety of mediums including graphic fine arts, visual effects, film, animation, music, experimental media, and illustrations.

About Adrienne Shaw

Adrienne Shaw is an Associate Professor in Temple University's Department of Media Studies and Production. She is also a member of the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication graduate faculty. She is the author of Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture. In 2021, she became a member of GLAAD's Gaming Advisory Council and served as a judge for the Gayming Awards since 2021. She is the founder of the LGBTQ Game Archive and co-curator of Rainbow Arcade, the world's first exhibit of LGBTQ game history. Shaw received her doctorate in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and her bachelor's degree in sociology from Mount Holyoke College.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Andrea Gutierrez and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour and Rachel Faulkner White. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

TED Radio Hour
Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Andrea Gutierrez
Andrea Gutierrez (she/her) is an assistant producer on It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders. She's drawn to stories at the intersections of gender, race, class and ability in arts and culture.
Sanaz Meshkinpour
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Rachel Faulkner White
Rachel Faulkner is a producer and editor for TED Radio Hour.