Toppling Invisible Walls: Emergent Narratives and the Construction of Queer Videogame Spaces

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Methvin, Connor Leslie
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Middle Tennessee State University
Toppling Invisible Walls invites the reader to reconsider the means with which players interact with videogames. While videogames certainly exist as an interactive medium, analyzing them in conjunction with spatial frameworks reposition them not just as objects of analysis but worlds that players literally navigate; and, as any world, such are subject to the prejudices of those that create and inhabit them. Toppling Invisible Walls takes this position and locates primarily queer players in relation to videogames: how they recognize themselves (or don’t) within these digital worlds, how space is created for the otherwise underrepresented, and how this creation of space is received in various ways. In utilizing a series of anecdotes before expanding into closer game analysis, videogames may be understood both as a means by which we escape the world and as a way (sometimes deliberately, sometimes inadvertently) to reaffirm the very oppressions sought to be escaped. In employing and validating emergent narratives as acceptable creation of meaning, the multiple realities both faced and desired by queer players is afforded more attention—to the effect of not only recognizing the evident lack of representation in the field of videogames, but also of accepting the multiplicity with which queer people exist and present themselves in worlds digital or otherwise.
Emergent narrative, Gender, Queer, Rhetoric, Videogame, Rhetoric, Multimedia communications, Gender studies