Cards Against Humanity Is _________

Playing With & Playing Up Difference in Games

I want to frame this essay with the current furor going on in video game cultures and video game communities, particularly the backlash against women gamers, feminist critiques of games, and any charges of racism, homophobia, ableism, and such in games and gaming communities. Think Anita Sarkeesian, Briana Wu, #GamerGate, Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life scandal, and the recent Pew report that reveals that women are largely unwelcome in gaming. In essence, it is really important to understand that among certain segments of gamers what fuels the backlash is the defense that, “a game is just a game.” Because it is play and not “real,” games are thereby immune to analysis or critique, and players themselves are somehow released from responsibility as well. Continue Reading