Review of Gaming Sexism: Gender and Identity in the Era of Casual Video Games by Amanda Cote

The book addresses the structures and systems around games and how they shape experiences for players. Cote conducted a series of interviews with players to generate insights about their play and interactions that are woven throughout most of the book, but the data from those interviews are beautifully packaged alongside a deep understanding of video games and game studies. Cote is exceptionally well-read, fluidly referencing core work in game studies by the likes of Shira Chess, Mia Consalvo, Kishonna Gray, Sal Humphreys, Jen Jenson, and Suzanne de Castell, Aphra Kerr, Carly Kocurek, Lisa Nakamura, Anastasia Salter, Adrienne Shaw, T.L. Taylor and plenty of others. Continue Reading

Avatar Crossing: Self Representation in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

While it’s fun for players to dress their villagers up in different outfits alone, exploring avatar customization can also lead to reflexive experimentation and opens up a deeper understanding of the player’s sense of self. The extensive customization found in New Horizons provides a place for its players to experiment with their online identities. By creating and developing their villager, it will be argued that users are also able to play with their own personal identities outside of the game, showing how one’s avatar can be used as a point of introspection. Continue Reading

Making Good Trouble: A Review of Amanda Phillip’s Gamer Trouble: Feminist Confrontations in Digital Culture

Books and games have been an invaluable source of consolation during my city’s lockdown restrictions. Reading Gamer Trouble: Feminist Confrontations in Digital Culture during this “unprecedented time” was no exception. Gamer Trouble explores videogame texts and events through an intersectional feminist lens, unpacking the 2010 Dickwolves controversy and offering fresh readings of Fallout 3 (Bethesda, 2008), Portal (Valve Corporation, 2007) Bayonetta (Platinum Games, 2009), and Mass Effect (Bioware, 2007-2012). Continue Reading

‘This is the Fate I Choose’: How a Shakespeare-Hating Game Developer Made the Best Shakespeare Adaptation I’ve Seen All Year

I argue in this essay, Elsinore’s use of branching and discoverable dialogue, multiple story paths as well as choices and consequences, construct a narrative mode that reveals the themes of racism and sexism and the ways in which systems of oppression reinforce each other in the narrative. Elsinore uses the video game medium to reorient Hamlet around the intersecting vectors of gender and race, and in doing so it offers an intersectional feminist reinterpretation of Hamlet. This essay will look at how Elsinore adapts Hamlet by focusing on the treatment of Ophelia’s sexuality, showing how narrative agency and discoverable dialogue can reinforce the intersectional commitment of the game. Continue Reading

A New Year, A New Us +

As we enter into a new year, we’re all thinking about how incredibly thankful we are to each and every reader and contributor that has continued to make First Person Scholar the amazing publication that it is. With everything we’re all dealing with and the changes FPS made back in September, it heartens us every day to see the continuing engagement we have with all of you. Now that our holiday break is over, we look forward to sharing more amazing pieces, and hearing from new and familiar faces who wish to publish with us. Continue Reading