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…)
Sidequest’s former managing editor Naseem Jamnia used to do sciencey things, but they now slam their keyboard and call it art. Their debut novella, THE BRUISING OF QILWA, introduced their queernorm, Persian-inspired secondary world; their middle grade horror debut SLEEPAWAY comes out in 2025.