Queer Reading Video Games

This PhD project has two objectives: examining queer orientations in previous scholarly literature on video games, and working out a theoretical framework and a methodology for reading games by trying out different strategies on Dark Souls (2011) and Bloodborne (2015).

Picture: Dimitris Christou, Pixabay

The primary aim pf this project is to provide a nuanced way of reading games queerly. I combines two approaches that work in tandem to meet this aim. First, I'm tracing queer orientations in existing video game scholarship written between 2013-2021, dubbed the queer game studies paradigm (Shaw & Ruberg, 2017). Second, I aim to build a theoretical and methodological framework for reading video games grounded in queer and skeva reading strategies. To accomplish this second task, the thesis uses action role playing games Dark Souls (2011) [PC version] and Bloodborne (2015) [Ps4 version], developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco and Sony Entertainment respectively, as case studies. 

The project contributes to the dialogue between gender studies and game studies. Being located at the Centre for Gender Research, my primary goal is to further feminist and queer engagement with video games. The video game industry is a behemoth, and like with other massive industries, continuing to develop a critical engagement with said industry and its products is crucial.  

Marie Dalby

PhD student at Centre for Gender Research

PhD student at Department of Game Design

Research questions

game design tree
Picture: UKT2, Pixabay

  1. How is queerness oriented in queer video game scholarship?
  2. How can one develop a strategy for reading video games, based on queer and skeva reading traditions?
  3. How can video games inform theoretical conversations in queer theory?
Last modified: 2024-03-06