Games of Archiving Queerly: Artefact Collection and Defining Queer Romance in Gone Home and Life Is Strange
Renee Ann Drouin
Abstract: The medium of video games often fails to depict queerness with positive representations. To combat the harmful stereotypes or optional queerness in the medium, I advocate for an application of queer archival methodologies to define and locate queerness in gaming. Queer archiving, with a focus on emotions, trauma, establishment of identity, and multimodality, pairs well with the digital nature of video games. Gone Home (2013) and Life Is Strange (2015), two video games with narratives reliant on the developing romantic relationships between teenage girls, grant us examples in which the inclusion of queerness is reliant on such archiving. Within each game, players gather artefacts to compile archives. In turn, these archives create irrefutable spaces in which queer content is included.