Why we need feminist game studies

Authored by: Mia Consalvo

The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Feminism

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138845114
eBook ISBN: 9781315728346
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315728346-14

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Abstract

The editors of this collection gave their authors a series of questions that this volume hopes to address. Among others, they include “Is foregrounding a gender-centered axis still relevant?” and “How does feminism invigorate academic research and politics?” If you are an academic who works in the area of game studies and you write about gender, or if you are simply a woman in this field, these questions remain all too relevant. The goal of my chapter is to explain why that is, as well as to argue for the consistent need for a strong feminist engagement with popular culture, and game culture in particular, in this contemporary period. Game studies has witnessed a growing engagement via feminist critiques of game content as they relate to representations of women and girls, but this chapter will also highlight how feminist scholars must both continue to analyze the larger games industry for its structures and practices, as well as the field of game studies itself, which – knowingly or not – often marginalizes games or game content that is deemed as “feminized” and therefore “not worthy” of sustained attention.

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