One cannot help but feel sometimes that “Gameboys,” a 2020 web series developed by The IdeaFirst Company on YouTube, was made to cash in on the recent prominence of the boys’ love genre in live-action through Southeast Asia, as pushed forth by the Thai series “2gether” which shone an international spotlight on the premise. Nevertheless, the Philippine series about two online gamers who find love amidst the COVID pandemic proved solid and entertaining enough to stand on its own merit. Not only is a second season in the works, this week it also got nominated in the International Emmy Awards. reports that The IdeaFirst Company’s “Gameboys” series was named as one of the nominees in the 2021 International Emmy Awards. The announcement was made by the International Emmy governing body, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (IATAS) this past Tuesday, September 7, with IdeaFirst then sharing the news via its official Twitter and Instagram pages the following day, September 8. “Gameboys” is in the running for the “Kids – Live-Action” category. The fact that it is in the “kids” category is indicative of how far the journey for LGBT+ representation has indeed come.

Even better, this is not even the first international recognition the web series got. Last November in the 2020 Indie Shorts Awards Seoul, “Gameboys” not only got nominated but won as Best Web Series. Its citation in that awards noted that the product “met the highest standards of excellence.” Now, their next big race for international recognition has come, and at no less than the International Emmys, which has been awarded since 1976. It probably helps that “Gameboys” eventually got streamed on Netflix by December of that year, just one of the many platforms the series is available in now.

“Gameboys” stars Elijah Canlas and Kokoy De Santos as Cairo and Gavreel, online gamers who meet via Zoom chat during the pandemic. Initially gaming rivals, Cai finds himself unsettled at first by how much Gavreel fan-boys over him. Yet despite initial awkwardness and the barrier of enforced pandemic isolation, the two strike a rapport that gradually blossoms into a relationship. The IdeaFirst Company first premiered the series on YouTube, then on Netflix with reshot and additional footage. Its newest platform to premiere in was GMA7’s Heart of Asia on digital TV Box this past June.

Other nominees in the same category as “Gameboys” include series from the Netherlands, Australia and Argentina. It is the only Filipino nominee in the whole International Emmy Awards, its 2021 awarding ceremony set for October.

Image courtesy of Twitter