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The Queer Games Avant-Garde by Bonnie Ruberg

The Queer Games Avant-Garde by Bonnie Ruberg


The Queer Games Avant-Garde - How LGBTQ Game Makers Are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games by Bonnie Ruberg


In The Queer Games Avant-Garde, Bonnie Ruberg presents twenty interviews with twenty-two queer video game developers whose radical, experimental, vibrant, and deeply queer work is driving a momentous shift in the medium of video games. Speaking with insight and candor about their creative practices as well as their politics and passions, these influential and innovative game makers tell stories about their lives and inspirations, the challenges they face, and the ways they understand their places within the wider terrain of video game culture. 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. These engaging conversations offer a portrait of an influential community that is subverting and redefining the medium of video games by placing queerness front and center.


Ryan Rose Aceae, Avery Alder, Jimmy Andrews, Santo Aveiro-Ojeda, Aevee Bee, Tonia B******, Mattie Brice, Nicky Case, Naomi Clark, Mo Cohen, Heather Flowers, Nina Freeman, Jerome Hagen, Kat Jones, Jess Marcotte, Andi McClure, Llaura McGee, Seanna Musgrave, Liz Ryerson, Elizabeth Sampat, Loren Schmidt, Sarah Schoemann, Dietrich Squinkifer, Kara Stone, Emilia Yang, Robert Yang




“In their new book, Bonnie Ruberg introduces and documents the provocative, playful, and occasionally weird world of queer game-making. The Queer Games Avant-Garde provides a compelling collection of interviews from many of the designers who dance at the edges of what games can be. This book is recommended reading for designers, artists, researchers, and anyone who takes play seriously.” — Carly A. Kocurek, author of Brenda Laurel: Pioneering Games for Girls


“Bonnie Ruberg and twenty-two incredible game makers give voice to a game revolution. The queer games avant-garde isn't just pushing at the boundaries of the medium, it's exploding what games can be into millions of multi-colored worlds where we can all play! An exuberant and essential exploration of the personal, political, and playful.” — Colleen Macklin, Associate Professor of Media Design at Parsons School of Design 


"The queer game makers who operate from marginalised subject positions, making their voices heard in and through games, form an important and timely topic for a book. For a European reader, The Queer Games Avant-Garde offers a fascinating glimpse of contemporary North American realities and the anxieties around doing creative work in the current political climate." — Tanja Sihvonen,  Times Higher Education Supplement


"This is a special book. . . . The world of video games is so much bigger and more spectacular than the AAA marketing cycle would have you believe. Ruberg’s conversations are a reminder of the breath of the medium, and also the steps we must take collectively for a healthier, safer, and more vibrant future." — Sharon Ross,  Report Door


"Ruberg says that games, like literature, can be read through a queer lens, and perhaps more essentially, played in ways that are queer." — Nina St. Pierre,  Bitch


"The book’s 20 chapters run the gamut of queer desire and representation, intimacy (rather than empathy), community, intersectionality, influences, and queering games beyond representation. . . . [I]t’s accessible for those who aren’t scholars including game makers, gamers, games journalists, and anyone interested in the present and future of queer and indie games." — Naseem Jamnia,  Bitch


"Given both its fascinating subject and its approach to the subject, The Queer Games Avant-Garde is a fresh and fascinating peek into an underexplored area of video games, as well as a highly relevant exploration of the ways in which these games both draw from and give back to their creators and players.… All in all, The Queer Games Avant-Garde will provide an interesting and accessible read for a wide range of readers interested in the creation and theorization of video games." — Maria Alberto,  Information, Communication & Society

  • Details

    Imprint: Duke University Press 

    Publication Date: 10 March 2020

    ISBN: 9781478006589

    Pages: 288 with 48 illustrations

    Format: Paperback

Notice to European Customers

All European Customers: You may be required to pay a local import tax on or before delivery for parcels entering the EU. Please check your local import rules for purchases from the UK.


Germany and Republic of Ireland: Due to a high return rate of parcels, we are sadly no longer shipping to Germany and the Republic of Ireland. 

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