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Free Content S(t)imulating history: Queer historical play in Gone Home and The Tearoom

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In this article, I analyse two recent videogames about queer history, Gone Home (2013) and The Tearoom (2017), to demonstrate the potential of play as a method of queer historical engagement. Responding to recent scholarship on queer history and nostalgia in popular culture, I contend that videogames offer novel ways for interacting with the past that foreground the positive affective dimensions of play (joy, pleasure, camp, humour, etc.) without denying the realities of historical trauma and injury. Queer historical play, I posit, is an alternative method for engaging with the queer past that breaks from the overwhelming emphasis on trauma and the antisocial in queer studies of history and queer studies more broadly.

Keywords: Gone Home; Robert Yang; The Tearoom; anti-sociality; play; queer game studies; queer history; video games

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Ohio State University

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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  • Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture (QSMPC) is a refereed academic journal devoted to the study of representations and expressions of queerness in its various forms. International in scope and representing a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, it publishes scholarship on topics at the intersection of media/popular culture and queerness in gender/sexuality. QSMPC invites articles and artwork pertaining to queerness in media and popular culture, as well as reviews pertaining to recently released queer media artifacts.
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