Commons Conversation Revisited: Bonnie Ruberg

23 Apr, 2019

Commons Conversation Revisited: Bonnie Ruberg

BCNM was lucky to host Bonnie Ruberg for the final Commons Conversation of the spring 2019 semester. A UC Berkeley alum who earned a PhD Comparative Literature and a DE in New Media from BCNM (2015), Ruberg shared their pivotal research exploring gender, sexuality, intersectionality, social justice, digital media, and digital cultures to a full house in the BCNM Commons. Currently, they are an Assistant Professor of Digital Games and Interactive Media in the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine, co-editor of Queer Games Studies (Univ of Minnesota Press, 2017), and the co-founder of the annual Queer Games Conference (QGCon), which they inaugurated while a grad student at UCB.

The lecture drew from their recently published book, Video Games Have Always Been Queer (NYU Press, 2019) as well as new research directions, and opened a conversation, “more broadly about this intersection between LGBT issues and video games, and how working through queerness allows us to understand video games differently.” Ruberg delved into the core argument of their book, “that all video games, even games that don’t appear to have LGBT representation, can be understood as queer”; highlighted ways of thinking about this, including queer interpretation, queer play, and queer design; and shared new explorations regarding how queerness can be seen in the computational technologies that underlie videogames, as well as actionable take-aways for design.

2019 Commons Conversations: Bonnie Ruberg