Queer representation in digital games : A textual analysis of of The Last of Us Part II

University essay from Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för informationsteknologi

Author: Josefin Nordin; [2022]

Keywords: Digital Games; Gender; LGBTQ; Queer; Transgender;

Abstract: As a fairly new form of media that is currently increasing its number of LGBTQ characters, digital games and their queer representation is an interesting research are, in equal parts in order to see what potential stereotypes and tropes may be in play aswell as to compare it to what has been done before in other forms of storytelling. The question at hand for this thesis is regarding Queer representation in the commercial game The Last of Us Part II, released in 2020. The game was analyzed through the use of a textual analysis. The main, queer, characters were analyzed through their dialogue, their backstory, their progression as well as the way they were presented and received by the rest of the game-world inhabitants. In order to fully understand the characters, the research includes media representation in film and tv that may have contributed to the way their storylines as well as characterization was created, ranging from the horror-genre itself to LGBTQ representation in both film, tv and games. The research provided interpretations of the main characters and the ways theirq ueerness can be interpreted. The characters and their narrative was deemed to contain both positive and negative portrayals, while similarities to real-life experiences of LGBTQ individuals could be seen as mirrored in this post-apocalyptic game-worldfilled with zombies.

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