Queer Modding

Revealing a Place for Queerness in Games Through Alternate Reading, Play, and Remixing

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This paper will explore some key examples of players subverting the intended and heteronormative game meanings through queer modding. For the purposes of this paper, queer modding will be considered any modification made to a game’s intended meaning, including queer play, queer reading, or the direct altering or remixing of a game—usually done through modifying the game’s code. While the term ‘modding’ typically only refers to the altering of code, queer play and reading will be considered here as additional methods, as they achieve similar goals as code modifications and are more approachable to a wider range of people. Continue Reading

Let us live in hope

Hopeful Engagement in Pre-Release Game Communities

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There are no publicly playable builds, and much of the music, graphics, and even game mechanics remain to be designed. Nonetheless, the developer, Visionary Realms, Inc. has already organized multiple livestreams of material and even had YouTube personalities play and “review” the game – such as it is. These small drips of content then permeate spaces likes r/PantheonMMO, where community members spin out thread after thread analyzing the precious little information they have, speculating about the future, and even producing their own ideas and concepts for the game. Continue Reading

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged?

The Sociology of Community Discipline in MOBAs

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Anyone who’s spent much time playing online games has seen it: cooperation balanced on the edge of a knife, always at risk of instant collapse into a torrent of ethnic and gender slurs. For all its many achievements, the Internet has also provided a forum for angry individuals seeking to vent their angst on the world—and in few contexts has this proven more pernicious than in the realm of online gaming. Something about the fusion of competition with the Internet’s general digital anarchism elicits displays of spectacularly terrible sportsmanship, and MOBA-style games—multiplayer online battle arenas (specifically League of Legends, Dota 2, and Heroes of the Storm)—have proven particularly susceptible to this. Continue Reading