In this Book

  • Video Games Have Always Been Queer
  • Book
  • Bonnie Ruberg
  • 2019
  • Published by: NYU Press
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summary

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.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Half-Title Page, Series Page, Title Page Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-28
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  1. Part I. Discovering Queerness in Video Games
  1. 1. Between Paddles: Pong, Between Men, and Queer Intimacy in Video Games
  2. pp. 29-55
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  1. 2. Getting Too Close: Portal, "Anal Rope," and the Perils of Queer Interpretation
  2. pp. 56-83
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  1. 3. "Loving Father, Caring Husband, Secret Octopus": Queer Embodiment and Passing in Octodad
  2. pp. 84-109
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  1. 4. Kissing for Absolutely No Reason: Realistic Kissing Simulator, Consentacle, and Queer Game Design
  2. pp. 110-132
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  1. Part II. Bringing Queerness to Video Games
  1. 5. Playing to Lose: Burnout and the Queer Art of Failing at Video Games
  2. pp. 133-157
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  1. 6. No Fun: Queer Affect and the Disruptive Potential of Video Games that Disappoint, Sadden, and Hurt
  2. pp. 158-183
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  1. 7. Speed Runs, Slow Strolls, and the Politics of Walking: Queer Movements through Space and Time
  2. pp. 184-208
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  1. Conclusion: Video Games' Queer Future: The Queer Games Avant-Garde
  2. pp. 209-230
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 231-234
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 235-246
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 247-258
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 259-270
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 271-272
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