Alum Bonnie Ruberg's Queer Games Studies Reviewed in First Person Scholar

17 Nov, 2017

Alum Bonnie Ruberg's Queer Games Studies Reviewed in First Person Scholar

BCNM alumna Bonnie Ruberg's Queer Game Scholars has been reviewed once again, this time by E. Deshane of First Person Scholar. Queer Game Studies is an anthology edited by Ruberg and Adrienne Shaw discussing video games from an LGBTQ+ approach. Deshane provides a comprehensive, self-reflective look at the book's materials, including Ruberg's organizational involvement in the Queerness and Games Conference (QCon), writing:

[The best research] learns to relish and find its power in those borderlands, and uses them to its best purpose. For Ruberg, QGCon was the first time “in academia, the first time in games, and possibly the first time ever, I felt like I had found a community where I could be the version of myself that I am on the inside” (271) and she, along with her co-editor Adrienne Shaw, has managed to combine these personal feelings of belonging with a strong academic eye for content that makes Queer Game Studies both conscious of its scholarship’s historical past as much as its potential future.

Queer Game Studies does this so well because the label ‘queer’ derives its academic and social power from the same revelling in the in-between. As Ruberg and Shaw write in the introduction, viewing this work as ‘queer’ is a way to be inclusive—studying a variety of different LGBTQ identities and the spectrum of gender—but it also allows for a queer methodology which “[provides] a valuable framework for interrogating the very systems that structure the medium” since it has “the potential to simultaneously destabilize and reimagine video games themselves” (ix).

Deshane also comments on the powerful representation of transexual voices, a frank discussion of romance that respectfully examines a much-vilified genre, and the possibility for a future that resembles the resounding tone of inclusivity that Ruberg and Shaw have established in Queen Game Studies. "Thriving, not merely surviving, seems to be the overall goal for [the book]," Deshane notes, looking toward to an optimistic conclusion.

Read the full review on First Person Scholar here.