Abstract

In this project, I created a framework for exploring problems with representations of marginalized characters in video games called "critical modding." The main goal of this project was to provide a method for addressing issues with portrayals of queer characters in video games through modification of a game's narrative and gameplay systems. I also created a video game prototype called Life in the Megapocalypse as a digital tool for engaging in critical modding. In addition, I created classroom assignments based on the game prototype aimed at helping people learn more about problems with portrayals of queer characters in games through critical modding that can be found in Appendix B. I created the critical modding framework based on established research on education, queer representation, and narrative design related to video games. The video game prototype is built in a text-based interactive fiction scripting engine called Inky and is stored in a web-based version on my website; I also provided selected source code from the game in Appendix C of this project. The game focuses on representations of queer characters in a post-apocalyptic world and asks the player to make choices by offering the characters guidance, as well as talking with them to learn more about them. This project is valuable in that it provides a research-based framework for exploring problems with portrayals of queer characters in video games through modification, an idea that has not been explored in established video game research. It also provides a tool for doing so in the form of the video game prototype, offering a unique approach that blends traditional academic research with digital design.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Salter, Anastasia

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Degree Program

Texts and Technology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008670;DP0025401

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0025401

Language

English

Release Date

August 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Howard - Final Ink Prototype.ink (82 kB)
Final Ink Prototype.ink

Howard - Final Ink Prototype.js (132 kB)
Final Ink Prototype JavaScript

index.html (1 kB)
Life In The Megapocalypse

ink.js (123 kB)
Ink

main.js (8 kB)
Main

style.css (2 kB)
Style

Included in

Game Design Commons

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