Sexy 16-Year-Old Baby-Eater: Gendered, Sexualized, and Racialized Discourses in Exalted, Second Edition

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Institutionen för tillämpad informationsteknologi

Sammanfattning: Previous research finds roleplaying games, as well as the wider spectrum of geek culture thatthey exist within, to be defined by discourses favoring a white, heterosexual, cis-maleviewpoint, drawing up and reproducing stereotypes and tropes that are inherently misogynist,homophobic, and racist. Heretofore, research into discourses of gender, sexuality, and race inroleplaying games has focused overwhelmingly on market leader Dungeons & Dragons (1971-ongoing), largely neglecting to scrutinize other well-established titles that may adhere to orbreak from the same tendencies. This thesis attempts to bridge part of that gap by looking atthe fantasy roleplaying game Exalted (2001-ongoing), a game with a reputation for challengingconventions of the genre and the medium. Scrutinizing a dataset of 31 sourcebooks makingup the majority of the material published for the second edition of the roleplaying game, thethesis uses a method of multimodal feminist post-structural discourse analysis to unpackdominant discourses within the roleplaying game text. Putting findings in context with theory,the thesis finds that the second edition of Exalted reproduces many of the same discoursesfound in roleplaying games and in wider geek culture: In text and images, women areconstructed as normatively young and beautiful and as adhering to a pre-set, limiting andcommodified set of roles matching Irigaray’s (1985) virgin, mother, and prostitute; womenwho fail to adhere to these roles are routinely Othered as are racial, sexual, and genderminorities. This is entirely in line with similar findings for other roleplaying games, suggestingthat even active attempts to subvert genre tropes and discourses may result in reproducingsaid tropes and discourses. This extensive study of a major roleplaying game edition mayprovide a significant launching point for research into the continued evolution of roleplayinggames and geek culture.

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