Over the last several months writing has become a true labour of love; I’ve endured the fiery trials of editing and peer review, coming out the better for and bringing my work to a wider audience. As the links below will show, that has– remarkably– come to fruition at long last. So, to everyone here (all three of you) thank you for your readership and support, which has given me the confidence and thought-provoking commentary that I’ve needed along the way. I shall keep nuclear unicorn’ing away!
In the meantime, you can entertain yourselves with Game Changer, an article I wrote for this season’s Bitch Magazine which explores the sociological reasons behind the viciousness of online bullying. Why, I ask, does prejudice reach a frenzied, uncivilised pitch in gaming? Is it because of anonymity? (Spoiler alert: no.) I argue instead that we fail to hold people accountable because we think of the internet as being “less real,” thus facilitating actions that a moral framework in an unimpeachably real space might not so readily entertain. By accepting the virtual world as part of the ‘real world’ and by challenging the arguments of those who claim they need to be bigots in order to have fun, we can make the internet a more humane place for us all.
Also this month, I’m being published in Women Studies Quarterly, a major academic journal in gender studies put out by CUNY’s Feminist Press. In this season’s Enchantment issue, which assembled articles about the role of fantasy and imagination in life and politics, I wrote a lengthy peer-reviewed paper– entitled ‘The New Laboratory of Dreams’– which posits roleplaying games as sites of resistance and politically imaginative creativity. By encouraging people to construct lives, worlds, and scenarios, such games implicitly reveal the constructed nature of the real world and facilitate useful thinking about how it might be changed, or to simply experiment with this, that, or the other social environment. Such imaginative spaces, I argue, democratise the culture-making tool of game development and make game design “a domestic leisure activity.” Building on my own experience of discovering my womanhood through roleplaying, I examine how such social reconstruction can occur through gaming as a whole and use the RPG Eclipse Phase as an example of a brave new genre of intelligent, politically thoughtful games that push us beyond our comfort zones.
Finally, yes, at long last, the sluggies have hit the big time. Feministing’s article about the recent changes to the GID diagnosis headlined with the slugs re-enacting the medical industrial complex. I’m so proud of you, little slugs!