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Playing with Identities: Queering Digital Narratology and the Exploration of Gender and Sexual Identities
journal contributionposted on 26.11.2017, 23:41 by Calvin Fung
This study builds upon previous research that discusses gender and sexual identities and digital narratives by introducing a queer narratological approach to character creation mechanics. First, Lisa Nakamura’s identity tourism and narratological constructs are applied to formalize the concept of the exploration in digital narratives. Second, exploration of gender and sexual identities is demonstrated through a queer narratological analysis of two digital narratives, Always Sometimes Monsters (2014) and Hustle Cat (2016). Third, the development of character creation mechanics in The Sims (2000-2016) series is examined to reflect the advancement toward progressive game designs. Concerns regarding a sexuality blind approach and the downplaying of homophobia are addressed, and Helene Cixous’s poststructuralist "other bisexuality" as a transgressive product of the fluidity of identities in digital narratives is emphasized. This study elaborates the often-disregarded workings of queer narratology and theory in digital narratives or game designs.