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dc.date.accessioned2017-04-26T08:16:46Z
dc.date.available2017-04-26T08:16:46Z
dc.date.created2017-03-01T13:33:05Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10852/55261
dc.description.abstractProgressive and serious representations of homosexuality in Western mainstream video games are a recent phenomenon, and the Canadian developer BioWare has been instrumental in diversifying gender and sexuality representations in mainstream game culture. This thesis is an extensive study of the representational practices of BioWare's role-playing game series Mass Effect and Dragon Age. The study views games as important cultural texts. I approach the games through critical textual analysis drawing on theories from media studies, gender studies, game studies and queer theory, and I discuss how these games can be seen as reflections of, negotiations with and challenges to representations of sexuality and gender in contemporary Western mainstream media and games culture. The thesis provides a comprehensive qualitative theoretical, methodological and analytical contribution to the study of representations of sexuality and gender in games. The current dominant industrial strategy for representing homosexuality in mainstream games is optional content which the player must actively pursue. In the BioWare games, homosexuality is primarily offered and represented through 'romances': optional romantic relationships the player can enter into with non-player characters (NPCs). In the analysis I make a distinction between 'public' and 'private' gameworlds. The former is the overall gameworld the player traverses during main quests and sidequests, and the latter is the sphere of player-pursued romances. I investigate the different representational practices of each type of world and discuss the complex relationship between representations, player assumptions and player interactions. The study finds that the public gameworlds generally have a foundational heteronormative premise that is very careful and contradictory in what it represents and communicates, and which is complicated by possible player interactions. This premise weakens over time with subsequent game releases. The private gameworlds, on the other hand, can be much more explicitly queer and experimental with their representational practices, and explore queer themes not readily found in other mainstream media. The study also shows that while both series become more progressive over time, they generally have a strained and anxious relationship with male homosexuality, which reflects overall mainstream media attitudes on representations of male and female homosexuality.en_US
dc.languageEN
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisher07 Oslo Media
dc.titleFrom Embracing Eternity to Riding the Bull: Representations of Homosexuality and Gender in the Video Game Series Mass Effect and Dragon Ageen_US
dc.typeDoctoral thesisen_US
dc.creator.authorØstby, Kim Johansen
cristin.unitcode185,14,9,0
cristin.unitnameInstitutt for medier og kommunikasjon
cristin.ispublishedtrue
cristin.fulltextpreprint
dc.identifier.cristin1455005
dc.identifier.pagecount426
dc.identifier.urnURN:NBN:no-58062
dc.type.documentDoktoravhandlingen_US
dc.identifier.fulltextFulltext https://www.duo.uio.no/bitstream/handle/10852/55261/2/PhD-KimJohansen-Ostby.pdf


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