Monday, October 30, 2006
Video games=transgressive?

I've recently been writing about how Noora, a comic character in a new Middle Eastern comic book series, is queering not only the notion of Islamic femininity but also sexuality. The comic series rejects much of the heteronormative assumptions other books are based on. It seems this is a new trend.

The maker of [the absolutely disgusting game] Grand Theft Auto has a new controversial game out which features boys kissing.

"Bully stars 15-year-old Jimmy Hopkins, who must navigate cliques, fights and young love at his new boarding school, along the way winning brawls, completing missions and plying girls with candy and flowers in exchange for kisses. But Jimmy can also use the same approach with boys. When Jimmy approaches a tall, blond boy with some flowers, the boy replies: "I'm hot. You're hot. Let's make out." Gay video game enthusiasts have embraced "Bully" which was the U.S.'s third top-selling game in the week ending October 27, according to figures from UBS.
"Progress!" wrote one reader of, who applauded the move by Take-Two's Rockstar Games studio."

I'm not sold this is progress. I mean, is it really progress to feature a gay character who is highly sexualized and/or overly violent? It seems pretty conservative to me. Don't we already know that gay men are villains? Does this video game really disrupt that image?


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