January 10, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Chang Gives Keynote on ‘Queergaming and Queer Possibilities’

Dr. Edmond Y. Chang, posed in front of window

Dr. Edmond Y. Chang

Dr. Edmond Chang gave the keynote at a Queer History Month Workshop at Oregon State University where he explored the desire for queerer design, queerer play, and queerer possibilities in video games.

Chang is Assistant Professor English at Ohio University.

His keynote was titled “Ready Player Three: Queergaming and Queer Possibilities.”

Abstract: Given recent critiques of the lack of diversity in digital games and their subsequent backlashes, this talk examines the ways games are not only stereotypical particularly regarding gender, sexuality, and race but also the ways games limit, constrain, and norm players.  Looking at a range of games, from mainstream bestsellers to indie titles, this presentation argues for diversity in games that is beyond just stirring in additional token plots, romances, and characters.  Rather, how might we imagine, design, and play video games that challenge these tropes and conventions?  Ultimately, how might we define and embrace queergaming or alternative, inclusive, more radical modes of creating and playing?

Chang also presented a workshop on “#WeNeedDiverseGames: Close Playing Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Games.”

Abstract: This workshop hopes to offer critical ways of analyzing, engaging, and even teaching games to address gender, sexuality, and race.  Through the practices of “close playing,” how might video games address the lack and need for diversity and inclusion?  How might we understand the ways characters of color are often rendered as either lighter-skinned protagonists or darker-skinned enemies?  And, finally, how might we understand how the binary nature of computers leaves little room for different genders and sexualities?

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