Last month I gave a talk at the Queerness and Games Conference. I took it as a chance to reflect on the relationship between queerness and hegemony when writing histories that include marginalised perspectives. To build histories that challenge authority rather than creating it, I think we have to dismantle not just great men, but also the idea that there is a main stream of history to which some stories just don’t belong. People seemed pretty excited by it, but I think there’s a lot of work still to do developing the points I wanted to make, so I’m hoping there will be an opportunity to publish something on this topic in the future. Nonetheless, if you’re keen on seeing where I’m up to so far on this you can read the text of the talk on Medium.
Memory Insufficient is part of that attempt to change the way that I do history, to accommodate the fluidity and fragmentation of human experience. The latest issue, on disabilities in games history, has done very well and has been shared with about 1,500 people. Even though it’s short, the content there is very powerful, challenging us to think about representation not just in terms of ‘is this depiction sympathetic’ but also in terms of what games tell us about the meaning of our bodies and minds.
It’s finally ready! Dreamcast Worlds is out now, just in time for the 14th anniversary of the Dreamcast’s US launch.
You can learn all kinds of things about the book on rupazero.com, which includes a really amazing collection of press coverage the book has already received. I’m so pleased with the reception that the book has received so far. It’s been a long journey to get here, but I think it’s been worth it.
If you just want to go ahead and buy the book already, you can now do that at Lulu.com.
Thank you to all of the backers of the book. You’ve all been incredible and I’ll always be grateful for letting me make this happen.
I am so pleased with this month’s Memory Insufficient. People have taken on the subject of games hardware with a wide variety of approaches; autobiographical accounts of technological change; polemics about our engagement with industry rhetoric; and lengthy essays studying phenomena produced from the 19th century to the present day. The issue is a criticism of prevailing narratives about games history, but it’s also an examination of the nature of the material studied, and a fascinating account of change and continuity over almost two centuries.
I hope you like it. And don’t forget to check out the call for submissions for next month.
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From the ‘morality games’ of 19th-century Britain to the optimistic futurism of High Frontier, games have a long history of representing imperialist conquest. The four essays published in this month’s Memory Insufficient look at different ways that game designers’ worldviews have been implicated in their own representations of colonial projects.
(Edited 22nd July at 9am PST: small changes to Puerto Rico article and amended image attribution for front cover.)