Queering Human-Game Relations

Exploring Queer Mechanics & Play

Special Issue - QGCon - Clark and Kopas

In this talk, Merritt and I will be using the word “queer” in a very particular way. It might be easiest to think of that usage as the “verb” use of queer, and think about what it means to “queer” something. We want to give you some thoughts on the nature of the relationship between human beings and games, in the past and present, in the stories we tell about games and the way they shape us, what assumptions we make about human-game relations and how we might be able to queer them. Queer is a word in a constant process of mutation, inherently unfixed. As a young queer in the process of figuring myself out, I sought a word that described me—that somehow encompassed the different-than-expected tangle of my gender, my sexuality, the ways I use and make my body. “Queer,” as I understood it, dealt with these dilemmas by being a relentlessly unfixed signifier—not just available for reinterpretation and redeployment, but by insisting on standing for what’s outside, still unintelligible, not part of an orderly system. Continue Reading