[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 3: Queer, feminist, and race-conscious games and game studies

Bonnie Ruberg bruberg at uci.edu
Tue Mar 17 02:38:28 AEDT 2020


Thanks so much for Alenda for getting us started on this week's topic. It's
an honor to get to talk with you all, and especially to be featured
alongside Amanda Phillips and Ed Chang, two amazing queer game studies
scholars whose work I truly admire.

As Alenda mentioned, work at the intersection of queer studies and game
studies - or what we call "queer game studies" - has been growing rapidly
over the last 7 years or so. One of my great professional pleasures has
been to see new people come to this important work. For folks who are
interested in getting to know this area of scholarship and its key/current
conversations, a few resources you might be interested to check out:

- "Not Gay as in Happy: Queer Resistance and Video Games"
<http://gamestudies.org/1803/articles/phillips_ruberg> - this is the
co-authored introduction to a special issue of *Game Studies* that Amanda
and I co-edited a couple years back. It's a fiery call back to the radical
politics of queerness, and it's still one of my favorite academic things
I've (co)written.

- *Queer Game Studies
<https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/queer-game-studies>* - this
is a reader that features lots of amazing voices, including both academics
and game developers, exploring connections and overlaps between queerness
and games. It also includes a wonderful piece by Ed that lays out
theoretical thinking for queer games.

- "Queer Game Studies: Intro to the Field and Bibliography"
<http://ourglasslake.com/queer-game-studies-101/> - this is a living
resource that offers a brief crash course in queer game studies and then a
(long and ever-growing!) bibliography of published texts on queerness and
games. It's broken out into subcategories like affect, archives, bodies,
community, design, etc. There's a little something for everyone :).

Looking forward to our conversations this week!
-Bo (Bonnie Ruberg)

On Sun, Mar 15, 2020 at 1:32 PM Alenda Chang <achang at filmandmedia.ucsb.edu>
wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thanks to week 2's discussants for the analog games conversation! I
> hope everyone is weathering this stressful time of social distancing,
> lockdown, and uncertainty. At least these posts may provide a brief
> but welcome distraction.
>
> This week, we're fortunate to have three guests who have been at the
> forefront of some of the most exciting and sorely needed scholarship
> in game studies. Bonnie "Bo" Ruberg and I went to grad school together
> at Berkeley, where I knew they were someone to watch after a
> scintillating presentation about how Kafka's love letters to Felice
> Bauer were akin to cybersex avant la lettre. I've been hearing about
> Amanda Phillips's work since her time at both UC Santa Barbara (where
> I now teach) and UC Davis's ModLab. And... full disclosure, I'm
> related to Ed Chang. Much of our work on games today grows out of a
> shared childhood experience of reading, playing games, and going
> online together.
>
> Week's topic: Queer, feminist, and race-conscious games and game studies
> As Carly Kocurek wrote in Coin-Operated Americans, gaming has "an
> overwhelming gender problem." Certain cadres of gamers are notorious
> for their gatekeeping and cultures of exclusion, famously writ large
> in the #GamerGate debacle. This week, we consider what theoretical
> paradigms and design practices could make game studies and development
> more inclusive.
>
> Looking forward to more voices chiming in,
> Alenda
>
> --
>
> Guest bios:
>
> Bonnie “Bo” Ruberg
> Bonnie Ruberg, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of
> Film and Media Studies and the Program in Visual Studies at the
> University of California, Irvine. Their research explores gender and
> sexuality in digital media and digital cultures. They are the author
> of Video Games Have Always Been Queer (2019, New York University
> Press) and the co-editor of Queer Game Studies (2017, University of
> Minnesota Press). Ruberg is also the co-founder and co-organizer of
> the annual Queerness and Games Conference. They received their Ph.D.
> from the University of California, Berkeley and served as a Provost’s
> Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Southern California.
>
> Ed Chang
> Dr. Edmond Y. Chang is an Assistant Professor of English at Ohio
> University. His areas of research include technoculture,
> race/gender/sexuality, video games, RPGs, and LARP, feminist media
> studies, cultural studies, popular culture, and 20/21C American
> literature. He earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of
> Washington.  He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on queer
> American literature, speculative literature of color, virtual worlds,
> games, and writing.  Recent publications include “Drawing the Oankali:
> Imagining Race, Gender, and the Posthuman in Octavia Butler’s Dawn" in
> Approaches to Teaching the Works of Octavia E. Butler, “Playing as
> Making” in Disrupting Digital Humanities, and “Queergaming" in Queer
> Game Studies.  He is completing his first book on algorithmic
> queerness and digital games tentatively entitled Queerness Cannot Be
> Designed.
>
> Amanda Phillips
> Amanda Phillips (US) is Assistant Professor of English and Film and
> Media Studies at Georgetown University. They wrote Gamer Trouble:
> Feminist Confrontations in Digital Culture (NYU Press, 2020) and
> co-edited the "Queerness and Video Games" issue of Game Studies. Their
> other publications can be found in Feminist Media Histories, Games and
> Culture, Debates in the Digital Humanities, Queer Game Studies, and
> more.
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
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-- 
*Bonnie "Bo" Ruberg, Ph.D.*
Assistant Professor
Department of Film & Media Studies
University of California, Irvine

bruberg at uci.edu // ourglasslake.com // @myownvelouria
<https://twitter.com/MyOwnVelouria>
pronouns: they/them
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