Individual Work
Quing’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames

Dietrich Squinkifer’s (aka "Squinky") Quing’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames was inspired by tensions over the identity of gamers and responds to the online debate frequently referred to as Gamergate, alongside the still persistent accusations that feminists encounter online in the world of gaming and beyond. Quing's Quest clearly and explicitly advocates for diversity in games, a position directly counter to Gamergate's arguments that gender diversity in video games and the journalism surrounding the field would ultimately “ruin” the industry.

Quing’s Quest is a text-based hypertextual gaming environment. It is built in Twine and takes clear inspiration from old-school adventure games, including Sierra’s King’s Quest series and other text-based online games like ZORK. The game takes place on a spacecraft named the “Social Justice Warrior,” a pejorative term used online to deride and dismiss activists (and especially feminists or queer advocates). The game features a character exiled from a planet named "Videogames" after the invasion of the “misogynerds.”

It is a queer response to exile, dismissive readings, and the feelings of displacement queer writers saw in print, and still see in the digital in literature and games. Its neon colour scheme and tendency towards stars, sparkles, and other qualities of "femme" aesthetics stand in stark contrast to earlier text-based games that prioritized dark, violent, and "masc" aesthetics. The narrative of the game similarly resists the monomythic, heroic, and masculine qualities of the Sierra games. Instead, Quing's Quest VIII is an exuberant, humourous, and radical revision of these heroic myth quests that shows how much old narratives of gender are still at play in Gamergate and other similar online violence.

Author statement: 
You are a young monarch of mysterious and indistinct gender, valiantly trying to survive exile from your home planet — or whatever’s left of it since the invasion, anyway. A Twine game featuring music, sound effects, incisive social commentary, old-school adventure game references, a cute genderfluid pirate NPC, a working toilet, and glitter.