Playing queer: Affordances for sexuality in Fable and Dragon Age

Stephen Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

This article adopts the lens of queer theory to examine the terms of inclusion of non-heterosexual identities within recent mass market role-playing games. Focusing on Lionhead Studios’ Fable and BioWare’s Dragon Age series, I suggest how the intersection of queer theory’s resistance of presumptive categories for sexuality and theories of game design – notably the concept of affordances – may provide for a critique of the performative constraints through which gamers are able to ‘play queer’. While even-handed dynamics of relationship game play may espouse a liberal rhetoric of inclusion, I propose that a predominant logic of sameness – grounded in an even-handed ‘blindness’ to sexual difference – may also restrict the possibilities for queer identification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • role play
  • queer theory
  • sexuality
  • affordances
  • Fable
  • Dragon Age

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