WGST Instructor Saffyre Falkenberg spoke at the Queerness and Games Conference (QGCON) in Montreal, Canada on September 27, 2018. Falkenberg’s talk titled, “‘Does it bother you that I’ve…been with men?”: Reward Mechanisms and Queer Sexuality in Dragon Age,” looks at fantasy role-playing game series Dragon Age produced by BioWare and the queer representations among characters, the gaming mechanics driving the narrative that inform and educate gamers on queerness. Falkenberg argues that approval systems present in the Dragon Age games function as a way to reward or punish players for their acceptance or rejection of queer sexualities in certain narrative contexts. By viewing representation and game mechanics as an integrated system rather than as two separate aspects of a game, both designers and scholars can better understand how queer sexualities function in video games.
Her talk was referenced and well received by popular gaming podcasts, including Waypoint Radio. Great work Saffyre! You can watch her talk here and you can listen to the podcast here (Listen at 1:33:30).