Informatics Guest Speaker Series
Winter Quarter 2020

Friday, February 28, 2020

“The Queer Games Avant-Garde: How LGBTQ Game Makers Are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games”

Bo Ruberg
Assistant Professor, Department of Film and Media Studies
UC Irvine

Abstract:
The queer games avant-garde is a vibrant network of independent video game developers whose radical, experimental, vibrant, and deeply queer work is driving a momentous shift in the medium of video games. This talk draws from interviews with these innovative game-makers. Their insights go beyond typical conversations about LGBTQ representation in video games or how to improve “diversity” in digital media. Instead, they explore queer game-making practices, the politics of queer independent video games, how queerness can be expressed as an aesthetic practice, the influence of feminist art on their work, and the future of queer video games and technology. This work offers a portrait of an influential community that is subverting and redefining the medium of video games by placing queerness front and center.

Bio:
Bonnie Ruberg Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Their research explores gender and sexuality in digital media and digital cultures with a focus on queerness and video games. They are the author of The Queer Games Avant-Garde (2020, Duke University Press) and Video Games Have Always Been Queer (2019, New York University Press) and the co-editor of Queer Game Studies (2017, University of Minnesota Press). Ruberg is also the co-founder and co-organizer of the annual Queerness and Games Conference. They received their Ph.D. with certification in New Media and Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and served as a Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Interactive Media and Games Division at the University of Southern California.

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