Bo Ruberg in Oxford Bibliographies

17 Jan, 2020

Bo Ruberg in Oxford Bibliographies

Bo Ruberg is undoubtedly an expert in the field of feminist and queer video game studies and they are sharing their knowledge in the world, contributing, along with Adrienne Shaw, Alexandrina Agloro, Josef Nguyen, and Amanda Phillips, to Oxford Bibliographies on the topic!

From the description:

To date, there are no general overviews of feminist and queer game studies, though there are several core texts, edited collections, and special journal issues. Much of feminist game studies might more rightly be called women’s game studies, as the feminist goals of the work were largely focused on ethnographic and qualitative scholarship on women and girls who play and make games. Research on masculinity in games comprises a much smaller subcategory of research. A related but separate thread of this work includes feminist analyses of game texts, as well as feminist critical game making praxis. Importantly, feminist game studies has existed for as long as game studies has been around (being formally named as such around the year 2000), questioning essentialist and hegemonic approaches to gender differences in game play and production. However, it took several years for feminist game scholarship on the whole to adopt an intersectional approach that could account for how gender presentation, sex, sexuality, race, age, embodiment, and so on shape game play experiences, the game industry, and textual representation. As feminist game scholarship became more intersectional, moreover, queer game studies (which has many overlaps with feminist game studies) coalesced in the early 2010s, owning in part to a slow but increasing acceptance of game analysis in departments more traditionally associated with queer theory (such as comparative literature and film studies departments). Moreover, an increase in mainstream representations and discussions of sexuality, a critical mass of game studies work on gender and sexuality, the rise of a queer indie game movement (due in part to new distribution channels and free design software), and academic conferences such as Different Games and the Queerness and Games Conference, all helped lead to a proliferation of queer game studies work. Similar to the trajectory of earlier feminist game studies, early work in this area focused on analyses of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) game content, players, and the game industry. The emergence of queer game studies communities, however, also corresponded with queer game design communities taking a queer approach to games beyond literal forms of representation. Moreover, queer game scholarship has come to represent a new paradigm through which queerness as a lens is used to question norms of design, play, and representation.

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