Gay not queer

'Gay Essay' Photographer Helped Bring Queer Life out of Shadows

The present issue is in fact the largest in the history of the journal. That this issue presents more than a dozen voices foregrounding queer perspectives is itself a manifestation of the power of resistance.

Rather, we aim to de-center the center, to resist the very hierarchy that dictates that certain ways of knowing and being are marginal or central. It is an honor to bring this new work in queer game studies to new readers, from game studies and beyond. At the same time, more than an informative introduction to the intersection of queerness and games for our straight, cisgender colleagues, we see this issue as a beacon for our fellow queers: We see you.

We value you. Join the resistance. Our commitment to the politics of resistance also demands that we resist ourselves. By this we mean that we must maintain self-criticality and welcome critiques of our own positionality. Game Studies is a venerated venue that brings status and validation, as much as we ourselves want to resist these hierarchical systems of value. Both special issue editors hold tenure-track faculty positions at respected universities.

We have worked hard for these privileges, but they are privileges nonetheless. This is an exciting moment for queer game studies, but also a slippery one. As an emerging paradigm, queer game studies is still new: Yet that means it risks hardening, growing disciplined i.

To uphold the very ethos of queerness, we must seek ways to allow this work to shift, to veer, and even to revolt against itself. We must resist the desire for a disciplinary stamp of approval. In addition, while we believe that this special issue brings many important new topics of discussion to queer game studies, we recognize that there are crucial topics not foregrounded here. There is still a need for more thorough engagement with disability.

There is still a need to further investigate the place of queerness in analog games, such as in live-action role-playing games, both as experiences of play Sihvonen and Stenros, and objects of design Trammell and Waldron, These topics merit additional future research. We hope that others will take up this scholarship, drawing inspiration both from our insights and our omissions.

Frustration, anger, and longing are all valid and valuable drivers of the work of resistance. The articles in this issue call on us to look for new sites of queer potential in games, and also to confront the limitations of that potential. If the story that is still commonly told about the place of queerness in games is one about an empowering push for greater representation and inclusion, these articles tell a different story.


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Yet, the pieces presented here leave us with a constellation of questions and provocations that cannot be ignored. For queer people, both players and scholars, why should representation and inclusion be our goals? If mainstream video games are the medium of empire, why would we want to be represented in them? If the video game industry is exploitative, what is the value of being included in it? Why should our queerness be subsumed into the capitalist machinery of making games and consuming them? Is there such a thing as radical inclusion?

There are no easy answers to these questions. This issue points us toward a radical vision of queerness and games that lies on the horizon: This issue could never have come to fruition without the help of many, many individuals. Open access publishing is a worthy and important enterprise, but it requires all hands on deck.

We wish to thank the editors and staff of Game Studies for the opportunity to assemble this special issue, and for their guidance and assistance throughout the process.

Gay but not queer: Toward a post-queer study of sexuality | SpringerLink

We are also grateful to the anonymous volunteer reviewers who gave their time and labor so generously to read and comment on the submissions, and for the authors who worked bravely and tirelessly to bring their ideas to the world. We are sustained by the entire community of queer game studies, but particularly by Alexandrina Agloro, Josef Nguyen, and Adrienne Shaw, whose emotional and intellectual support throughout this and many other projects has been invaluable.

Amanda Phillips would also like to thank Caetlin Benson-Allott, Alexis Lothian, and Dana Luciano for their advice and input during the editorial process. Bo Ruberg would like to thank Aaron Trammell for his support, as well as the fierce, playful co-organizers past and present of the Queerness and Games Conference, who have helped bring queer game studies and queer game communities into being.

And finally, to the queer, trans, nonbinary, antiracist, decolonial, feminist, and otherwise outcast troublemakers of our community, inside and outside of video games and game studies: You give us a reason to do the work and keep the conversation rolling, and we hope to always be of service to the resistance.

Fuck respectability. Fuck white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy. We are not gay as in happy; we are queer as in fuck you. It evades some of our most elementary tools: It is most famous on the Internet thanks to an image of a white woman in a midcentury-style dress pointing a gun, whose creator is similarly elusive. See Jenkins for an account of when a game studies academic was asked to defend Grand Theft Auto in front of a live television audience.

For a critique of how game studies responds to moral panics around video games, see Leonard Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others.

Copyright information

Duke University Press. Anthropy, Anna. Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: New York: Seven Stories Press. Bailey, Alan and Hanif Leylabi. The Debate. Borman, Andrew. The Strong Museum of Play, 7 Sep. Queers in Space: Communities, Public Places, Sites of Resistance. Bay Press. Chang, Edmond. Adrienne Shaw and Bonnie Ruberg.


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University of Minnesota Press. Chen, Mel. Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. Chess, Shira. Orgasms, Heteronormativity, and Video Game Narrative. Chess, Shira and Adrienne Shaw.

Not Queer, Just Gay. No, Thanks.

Clark, Naomi. Condis, Megan. Gaming Masculinity: Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. Consalvo, Mia. Studying Sexuality in Video Games. Mark J. Wolf and Bernard Perron, eds. Studying the Sims and Sexuality. Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games. Deterding, Sebastian.

Dibbell, Julian. My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World. Henry Holt and Company, Inc. Engel, Mo. Theorizing a Queer Game Mechanic. Freeman, Elizabeth. Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories. Situated Play, Tokyo, September Gray, Kishonna. Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live: Theoretical Perspectives From the Margins. Halberstam, Judith. In A Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives.