From camp to kitsch: A queer eye on console fandom

Rob Gallagher
unpublished
Offering a queer perspective on video game fandom, this article considers the factors that fostered a subculture of Western devotees of Japanese video games in the 1990s. Focused on readers of the English publication Sega Saturn Magazine, it shows how, for these players, Japanese games became the basis of a collective identity founded on precisely the kinds of perverse over-attachment, projective identification and hermeneutic ingenuity that Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick identifies with camp. Citing
more » ... ith camp. Citing this subculture as an example of how fans transform the texts they put to use, the article also addresses its implications for our understanding of fandom today, at a time when the proliferation of quantitative analysis techniques is transforming the production and consumption of games. Such techniques, I argue, threaten to compromise the contingency and ambiguity on which camp thrives, instead fostering the kinds of cynical calculation Sedgwick associates with kitsch.
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