On the Importance of Queer Romances - Role-play as Exploration and Performance of Sexuality
Sihvonen, Tanja; Stenros, Jaakko (2019)
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This article investigates various kinds of analog and digital role-playing games (RPG) from the perspective of queer romance. We are interested in finding out how ‘queer’ appears in the composition of role-playing games through analysing players’ explorations and performances, as well as the options for romance in these games. We will look into a variety of role-playing games as research material in this study, from non-digital play – such as traditional tabletop role-playing games to live action role-play, or larp – to single-player digital RPGs. We ask how queerness affects the options for romance, whether localised in an event or in the composition of a single character, and what kind of exploration it serves. Is queerness to be found in the romance mechanic, or crunch, of RPGs, or is it part of the fluff: the setting and character descriptions? This article’s orientation is theoretical, and the main reference material here comes from RPG studies as well as queer game studies.
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