Video Games Have Always Been Queer
Argues for the queer potential of video games While popular discussions about queerness in video games often focus on big-name, mainstream games that feature LGBTQ characters, like Mass Effect or Dragon Age, Bonnie Ruberg pushes the concept of queerness in games beyond a matter of representation, exploring how video games can be played, interpreted, and designed queerly, whether or not they include overtly LGBTQ content. Video Games Have Always Been Queer argues that the medium of video games itself can—and should—be read queerly. In the first book dedicated to bridging game studies and queer theory, Ruberg resists the common, reductive narrative that games are only now becoming more diverse. Revealing what reading D. A. Miller can bring to the popular 2007 video game Portal, or what Eve Sedgwick offers Pong, Ruberg models the ways game worlds offer players the opportunity to explore queer experience, affect, and desire. As players attempt to 'pass' in Octodad or explore the pleasure of failure in Burnout: Revenge, Ruberg asserts that, even within a dominant gaming culture that has proved to be openly hostile to those perceived as different, queer people have always belonged in video games—because video games have, in fact, always been queer.
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Anal Rope argued Art of Failure ball body bringing queerness Burnout Revenge challenge chapter chrononormativity cisgender Consentacle critique de-gamification describes desire elements embodied empathy explore fail feel film first-person shooter flâneur game-makers game’s gameplay gamers games culture gamification gender and sexuality genre GlaDOS goal Halberstam hegemonic heteronormative Hitchcock’s Ibid identity indie games interactive interpretation Juul LGBTQ LGBTQ subjects mainstream games meaning mechanics Miller move narrative non-player characters normative notion Octodad octopus Pac-Man paddles perspectives physics games player-character playing queer pleasure Pong Portal potential queer affect Queer Art queer experience queer failure queer game design queer game studies queer games avant-garde queer intimacy queer play queer studies queer subjects queer temporality queer theory queerness in video Realistic Kissing Simulator representation resist Screenshot by author Sedgwick Sedgwick’s sense social space speedrunning stealth games straight structures Super Mario Bros too-close reading transphobia video-game walking simulators