No homosexuals in Star Wars? BioWare, 'gamer' identity, and the politics of privilege in a convergence culture

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13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fan studies scholar Henry Jenkins lays out a blueprint for participatory culture that highlights its potential for more democratic, more inclusive mediascapes, asserting that corporate media producers have an economic incentive to listen to the suggestions and demands made by its fans. This article questions who is able to lay claim to titles like 'fan' or 'gamer', how those titles are being contested along gendered, racialized, sexualized, and classed lines, what happens when new groups lay claim to those titles, and how some fans are reacting to the loss of their privileged relationships with content producers. I look at fan responses to North American game developer BioWare's decision to diversify games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Dragon Age II by adding the option to play as a gay male character. I discovered that what was often framed by fans as a desire to prevent politics from leaking into gaming and ruining its unique attractions manifested as the maintenance of a heterocentric construction of the gamer identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-212
Number of pages15
JournalConvergence
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2015

Keywords

  • BioWare
  • Convergence culture
  • Embodiment
  • Fan studies
  • Feminist video game studies
  • GLBTQ
  • Gamer culture
  • Privilege
  • Queer theory
  • Star Wars

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