On October 24, the Film and Media Studies Department brought in author and scholar Aubrey Annable. Annable is the author of the book Playing with Feelings: Video Games and Affect and is currently a professor at Carleton University in Canada. The conversation began with Professor Dan Reynolds presenting Professor Annable and explaining all of her attributes and awards. After this, he gave Annable the opportunity to talk and discuss what she has written. She spoke about her writings, and the video game Gone Home. She explained that her book is about how video games are a structure of feelings, as well as how her book questions where queerness resides in a video game. In addition to describing these aspects of her book, she demonstrated what the game Gone Home looked like. She showed us how the game was played and the motives behind the different steps that are taken in order to complete the game. Annable also discussed the criticisms and praises of the game. She explained that critics said the game is boring and lacks action and need for skill, as well as perceives problems in ethics. On the other hand, she stated that the game focuses on the novelties of a violent setting with nonviolent storytelling.
Overall, I felt that the talk was very interesting. I really enjoyed listening to a scholar in the video game field discuss the importance of a game like this. I appreciated the fact that she did not only speak about the pros of the game, but she also mentioned the things she, as well as other critics, have found wrong with it. As we learned in class, video games and other forms of digital media shape the way we think. As a result, I think that her research on queerness in video games is a topic that is very important to look into, especially at this moment in time.