Dr. Bonnie “Bo” Ruberg is Pioneering Queer Game Studies

Dr. Bonnie “Bo” Ruberg is Pioneering Queer Game Studies

When I started my MFA program in the fall of 2018, my Introduction to Graduate Studies course assigned a conference paper on a topic of our choice. I used this opportunity to dive into my latest video game obsession at the time, Undertale, and the way it portrays gender roles and nonbinary identities. Despite the dearth of peer-reviewed papers, I managed to find an article at the Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures (the people who run Archive of Our Own) that floored me, a piece by a Professor Bonnie “Bo” Ruberg examining how Undertale fans have “straight-washed” the game rather than confront its overtly queer themes. That paper was everything I needed it to be and more, opening up the field of queer games study to me.

Imagine my glee when I was asked to actually talk to the person who wrote that paper. (more…)

Greenlight This, You Cowards: Let’s Go On Dungeon Dives with Dungeon Wives

Greenlight This, You Cowards: Let’s Go On Dungeon Dives with Dungeon Wives

Welcome back to Greenlight This, You Cowards, where we talk about our favorite TTRPG podcasts and how we’d love to see them adapted into other media! In previous installments, Alenka talked about why Queer Dungeoneers should be an animated fantasy show and Dames & Dragons should be a dating sim. Today I want to talk to you about one of my favorite new shows, Dungeon Wives, and why I want to see it as a cozy, cooperative exploration platformer reminiscent of Terraria. (more…)

Preview: Spiritfarer is Charming, Whimsical, and Thoughtful

Preview: Spiritfarer is Charming, Whimsical, and Thoughtful

PAX 2019 was a strange experience—amid a cascade of harassment and assault accusations, thousands of people came together to celebrate gaming. The weekend is a blur now, almost a year later, but one game sticks out prominently in my memory: Spiritfarer, a “death-positive” management game following an adorable little psychopomp, Stella, who helps spirits cross over. (more…)

Exercising Mediocrity: Playing Skate 3 as Myself

Exercising Mediocrity: Playing Skate 3 as Myself

I can kickflip in real life. I can also ollie down a five-stair. What I can’t do is kickflip down a five-stair! Every time I’ve given it a go, it has always ended with some part of my body bloodied and/or scraped after an all-too-personal meeting with the pavement. Falling is a big part of skateboarding, and learning how to fall is one of the most important aspects of ensuring that your time with skateboarding is longer rather than shorter. Skateboarding is an exercise in pushing against gravity with concrete and metal. The concrete and metal always win, but sometimes a skater can work with them to cheat gravity and land a trick—an endeavor that can often feel like a war of attrition; small steps towards progress that are punctuated by often hard slams. Through accepting that one’s body can only take so much punishment and the humbling fact that most of us will never go pro, we must accept our boundaries. (more…)