Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming

Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming

by Kishonna L. Gray, Anita Sarkeesian

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In Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming, Kishonna L. Gray interrogates blackness in gaming at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and (dis)ability. Situating her argument within the context of the concurrent, seemingly unrelated events of Gamergate and the Black Lives Matter movement, Gray highlights the inescapable chains that bind marginalized populations to stereotypical frames and limited narratives in video games. Intersectional Tech explores the ways that the multiple identities of black gamers—some obvious within the context of games, some more easily concealed—affect their experiences of gaming.

The normalization of whiteness and masculinity in digital culture inevitably leads to isolation, exclusion, and punishment of marginalized people. Yet, Gray argues, we must also examine the individual struggles of prejudice, discrimination, and microaggressions within larger institutional practices that sustain the oppression. These “new” racisms and a complementary colorblind ideology are a kind of digital Jim Crow, a new mode of the same strategies of oppression that have targeted black communities throughout American history.

Drawing on extensive interviews that engage critically with identity development and justice issues in gaming, Gray explores the capacity for gaming culture to foster critical consciousness, aid in participatory democracy, and effect social change. Intersectional Tech is rooted in concrete situations of marginalized members within gaming culture. It reveals that despite the truths articulated by those who expose the sexism, racism, misogyny, and homophobia that are commonplace within gaming communities, hegemonic narratives continue to be privileged. This text, in contrast, centers the perspectives that are often ignored and provides a critical corrective to notions of gaming as a predominantly white and male space.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807174395
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 09/02/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 218
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Kishonna L. Gray is assistant professor in the Department of Communication and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She is the author of Race, Gender,&Deviance in Xbox Live and the coeditor of Feminism in Play and Woke Gaming: Digital Challenges to Oppression and Social Injustice.

Anita Sarkeesian is an award-winning media critic and the creator and executive director of Feminist Frequency, an educational nonprofit that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces.

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