Chaucer's Losers, Nintendo's Children, and Other Forays in Queer Ludonarratology


Chaucer's Losers, Nintendo's Children, and Other Forays in Queer Ludonarratology

Tison Pugh

Frontiers of Narrative Series

282 pages


December 2019


$55.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

December 2019


$55.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

December 2019


$55.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Tison Pugh examines the intersection of narratology, ludology, and queer studies, pointing to the ways in which the blurred boundaries between game and narrative provide both a textual and a metatextual space of queer narrative potential. By focusing on these three distinct yet complementary areas, Pugh shifts understandings of the way their play, pleasure, and narrative potential are interlinked.

Through illustrative readings of an eclectic collection of cultural artifacts—from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda franchise, from Edward Albee’s dramatic masterpiece Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter fantasy novels—Pugh offers perspectives of blissful ludonarratology, sadomasochistic ludonarratology, the queerness of rules, the queerness of godgames, and the queerness of children’s questing video games. Collectively, these analyses present a range of interpretive strategies for uncovering the disruptive potential of gaming texts and textual games while demonstrating the wide applicability of queer ludonarratology throughout the humanities.


Author Bio

Tison Pugh is Pegasus Professor of English at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of The Queer Fantasies of the American Family Sitcom and Innocence, Heterosexuality, and the Queerness of Children’s Literature, among others.


“Pugh does an impressive job as he addresses one of the major gaps in narrative theory: the lack of adequate study of play and game theory. He also provides a bracing intervention into queer narratology. The book is nuanced, insightful, provocative, and important; I recommend it highly.”—Brian Richardson, professor of English at the University of Maryland

Table of Contents

Introduction: David Sedaris’s Queer Poker Game
Part 1. Theorizing Queer Ludonarratology
1. Theorizing Ludonarratology
2. Queering Ludonarratology
Part 2. Structures and Readings in Queer Ludonarrativity
3. Win/Loss
Pregame: The Thrill of Defeat
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Queer Losers and Blissful Ludonarrativity
4. Players
Pregame: Whose Side Are You On?
Edward Albee’s Queer Players and Sadomasochistic Ludonarrativity
5. Godgames
Pregame: Fun and Games with Sociopaths
David Fincher’s Films and Ludonarrativity’s Queer Godgames
6. Rules
Pregame: May the Better Player Lose!
J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Novels, Muggle Quidditch, and Ludonarrativity’s Queer Rules
7. Children
Pregame: Of Preschoolers and Prodigies
Nintendo’s Queer Children and Questing Ludonarrativity in The Legend of Zelda Video Games
Conclusion: Gone Home and the Ludonarrative Limits of Queer Representation
Works Cited

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