Not Gay as in Happy: Queer Resistance and Video Games (Introduction)

Ruberg, Bo; Phillips, Amanda
Game Studies

The place where queerness meets games is a site of radical potential. At this intersection stands the invitation to radically reimagine games and play: their forms, their meanings, their politics, and their place within the world. We are standing now in the midst of a crucial shift in the relationship between games and queerness. This is not because mainstream video games are becoming more diverse, or because the game industry is becoming more inclusive, or because discriminatory “gamerbros” are becoming more empathetic, as many have enthusiastically claimed (Riley, 2018). It is because queer people are destabilizing and reenvisioning games from the bottom up. Over the last half a decade, we have seen this revolutionary work taking place in areas of game making, game community organizing, and game scholarship. Dozens (if not hundreds) of LGBTQ independent developers are creating games about, by, and for queer people. Events like Different Games, GaymerX, and the Queerness and Games Conference have created spaces that are explicitly and unapologetically queer. On the academic front, the new paradigm of queer game studies is rapidly gaining speed. Queer lives, queer voices, and queer desires are rising up to resist the status quo of games...