Cover of Adrienne Shaw's book Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture. Cover shows glitch art of multicolored fields and a pink sky with clouds

Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture

Author: Adrienne Shaw

University of Minnesota Press, 2016

Services: Editing, Indexing

Winner, 2016 Outstanding Book Award, presented by theInternational Communication Association's Popular Communication Division

Winner, 2015 Video Game Librarian Award, presented by Warp Zone

Video games have long been seen as the exclusive territory of young, heterosexual white males. In a media landscape dominated by such gamers, players who do not fit this mold, including women, people of color, and LGBT people, are often brutalized in forums and in public channels in online play. Discussion of representation of such groups in games has frequently been limited and cursory.

In contrast, Gaming at the Edge builds on feminist, queer, and postcolonial theories of identity and draws on qualitative audience research methods to make sense of how representation comes to matter.

In Gaming at the Edge, Adrienne Shaw argues that video game players experience race, gender, and sexuality concurrently. She asks: How do players identify with characters? How do they separate identification and interactivity? What is the role of fantasy in representation? What is the importance of understanding market logic?

In addressing these questions Shaw reveals how representation comes to matter to participants and offers a perceptive consideration of the high stakes in politics of representation debates.

Putting forth a framework for talking about representation, difference, and diversity in an era in which user-generated content, individualized media consumption, and the blurring of producer/consumer roles have lessened the utility of traditional models of media representation analysis, Shaw finds new insight on the edge of media consumption with the invisible, marginalized gamers who are surprising in both their numbers and their influence in mainstream gamer culture.

*Book description from publisher

Cover of Adrienne Shaw's book Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture. Cover shows glitch art of multicolored fields and a pink sky with clouds