Video games have developed into a rich, growing field at many top universities, but they have rarely been considered from a queer perspective. Immersion in new worlds, video games seem to offer the perfect opportunity to explore the alterity that queer culture longs for, but often sexism and discrimination in gamer culture steal the spotlight. Queer Game Studies provides a welcome corrective, revealing the capacious albeit underappreciated communities that are making, playing, and studying queer games.
These in-depth, diverse, and accessible essays use queerness to challenge the ideas that have dominated gaming discussions. Demonstrating the centrality of LGBTQ issues to the gamer world, they establish an alternative lens for examining this increasingly important culture. Queer Game Studies covers important subjects such as the representation of queer bodies, the casual misogyny prevalent in video games, the need for greater diversity in gamer culture, and reading popular games like Bayonetta, Mass Effect, and Metal Gear Solid from a queer perspective.
Perfect for both everyday readers and instructors looking to add diversity to their courses, Queer Game Studies is the ideal introduction to the vast and vibrant realm of queer gaming.
Contributors: Leigh Alexander; Gregory L. Bagnall, U of Rhode Island; Hanna Brady; Mattie Brice; Derek Burrill, U of California, Riverside; Edmond Y. Chang, U of Oregon; Naomi M. Clark; Katherine Cross, CUNY; Kim d’Amazing, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; Aubrey Gabel, U of California, Berkeley; Christopher Goetz, U of Iowa; Jack Halberstam, U of Southern California; Todd Harper, U of Baltimore; Larissa Hjorth, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; Chelsea Howe; Jesper Juul, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; merritt kopas; Colleen Macklin, Parsons School of Design; Amanda Phillips, Georgetown U; Gabriela T. Richard, Pennsylvania State U; Toni Rocca; Sarah Schoemann, Georgia Institute of Technology; Kathryn Bond Stockton, U of Utah; Zoya Street, U of Lancaster; Peter Wonica; Robert Yang, Parsons School of Design; Jordan Youngblood, Eastern Connecticut State U.
Bonnie Ruberg is Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Interactive Media and Games division at the University of Southern California and assistant professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. The lead organizer of the Queerness and Games conference, she has written for The Village Voice, The Economist, and Wired.
Adrienne Shaw is assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production at Temple University and a Media and Communications PhD program faculty member. She is author of Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture (Minnesota, 2014).
"Queer theory and video games might be considered by some to be an odd combination. But this anthology showcases both the interesting areas where the two fields overlap and explorations of the areas where there is tension. There is much to create and critique in these spaces and Queer Game Studies provides a broad entryway into these ongoing discussions."—Lambda Literary
"These are provocative ideas, but the future of video games depends on them."—Games World of Puzzles
"This anthology is essential reading for scholars, students, and lay persons who are interested in the issues that arise at the intersection of digital games and queer theory."—CHOICE
"Queer Game Studies triumphs as a collection of rigorous essays that challenge, problematize, and extend queer modes of inquiry into the realm of video games."—Los Angeles Review of Books
"An important and unique addition to existing scholarship in a field that is still incredibly young."—Critical Studies in Media Communication
"Every new page seems to burst with fascinating ideas about how this artistic medium could reach its full potential. You don’t have to be a game developer to appreciate the ideas laid out here, but those who are interested in making games, no matter how small, should look into this book for a treasure trove of inspiration."—Pop Matters