Conversations and struggles around issues of difference in mainstream games continue to focus on the question of representation. Alternately, queer play, like queer sex, is sometimes conceptualized as a purely negative form of resistance to the reproductive imperatives of capital. Neither perspective provides much room for imagining radically different futures, offering only the promise of incremental change or else the total refusal of the future as being the privileged domain of heterosexuality.
But what if we refuse the supposed choice between pragmatic strategies and nihilistic rejection of futurity? Following the work oflate scholar José Esteban Muñoz, what would it mean to consider the primary work of queer games as performing futurities? In this workshop, we will focus on play rather than representation, and specifically consider ways that digital games might disrupt heteronormative understandings of bodies, time, and sex and ultimately function as means of imagining queer utopias. We will play through several digital games to begin thinking about how to create games that function as, in Muñoz’s words, a means of “stepping out” together, before attempting to collaboratively imagine and begin work on these kinds of projects.