Queer Gamer Assemblages and the Affective Elements of Digital Games

  • Spencer Taylor Berdiago Ruelos Department of Informatics, University of California at Irvine


Centering a discussion of gaming as an embodied experience, this essay explores the affective and embodied relationship between LGBT/queer gamers and video games. Drawing on qualitative interviews with seven queer gamers, I argue in that we should understand gamers as socio-technological assemblages, in order to illustrate how gamer identity, subjectivity, and sociality are enacted through the relationship between the body of a gamer and the game technologies. I further expand upon this by tending to how queer gamers talk about their embodied experiences and affective connections to various games through worlding and storytelling elements. These stories illustrate how games create affective possibilities for connection and belonging for queer gamers. I conclude by arguing that an attention to gaming as an embodied experience expands our conceptualizations of play and helps us understand the worldmaking practices that queer gamers often employ.


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January 14, 2018