Season Three, Episode Four

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone:
The Secret Worlds of Video Games with
Dr. Derritt Mason and Dr. Angel Matos

Transcript coming soon!

Get your quarters ready! Dust off your Super Nintendo! Perfect your avatar’s hairstyle! In this episode, we’re continuing our exploration of secret and hidden childhoods by talking about video games. While video games have long been at the center of adult anxieties about childhood, they also invite young people into vibrant virtual spaces. In a conversation with Professors Derritt Mason and Angel Matos, we ask how these digital worlds might invite children and teens (and even adults!) to imagine new environments — or re-imagine the world around them. Together, we consider how video games make new stories and new modes of storytelling available to young people. 

Derritt Mason, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Educational Leader in Residence at the University of Calgary, teaches and researches at the intersection of children’s and young adult literature, media and cultural studies, and gender and sexuality. They are the author of Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and Culture  and co-editor with Kenneth Kidd of Queer as Camp: Essays on Summer, Style, and Sexuality, which won the Children’s Literature Association Edited Book Award in 2021. 

Angel Matos, an Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College, is an expert in youth literatures, queer studies, and screen cultures, with interests in queer young adult literature and culture, teen cinema, video games, Latinx cultures, and theorizations of time and space. His work primarily explores the queer possibilities and limitations in texts and media created for teen audiences. He is the coeditor, with Pamela Robertson Wojcik and Paula Massood, of the book Media Crossroads: Intersections of Space and Identity in Screen Cultures.  

reading list

Anthropy, Anna. Rise of the Video Game Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form. Seven Stories Press, 2012.

Consalvo, Mia, Dmitri Williams, Nicole Martins, and James D. Ivory. “The Virtual Census: Representations of Gender, Race, and Age in Video Games.” New Media and Society, vol. 11, no. 5, 2009, pp. 815–834. 

Mason, Derritt. “I Suck at This Game: ‘Let’s Play’ Videos, Think-Alouds, and the Pedagogy of Bad Feelings.” Teaching and Learning Inquiry, vol. 9, no. 1, March 2021, pp. 200–217. 

––––––––. Queer Anxieties of Young Adult Literature and Culture. University Press of Mississippi, 2020. 

––––––––. “The Virtual Child, or Six Provocations on Children’s Literature and (Pre-) Digital Culture.” The Lion and the Unicorn, vol. 45, no. 1, January 2021, pp. 1–24. 

Matos, Angel. “The Queerness of Space and the Body in Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda Series.” Media Crossroads: Intersections of Space and Identity in Screen Cultures, ed. Matos, Paula J. Massood, and Pamela Robertson Wojcik, Duke University Press, 2021, pp.

Night in the Woods, Infinite Fall, 2017.  

Ruberg, Bonnie. Video Games Have Always Been Queer. NYU Press, 2019. 

Spiritfarer, Thunder Lotus Games, 2020. 

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