Portland State University. Department of English
Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing
1 online resource (x, 94 pages)
Fantasy games -- Anecdotes, Cosplay -- Anecdotes, Housing -- Anecdotes, Family violence -- Anecdotes
The Gamer Who Destroyed the World and Other Stories from my Life is the framework of a memoir about the extrapolation of utopic ideology upon bodies. It chronicles the author's life and lineage, examining themes of family, gaming, technology, gender, domestic violence, and economics. The memoir is divided into a prologue, three chapters, and an epilogue. The prologue is a scene depicting the teenaged author at a Live Action Role Play ("larp") game. The first chapter focuses upon the author's family history and her childhood experience of growing up in low-income housing in the 1990s, during which she creates meaning by working for money, until her childhood is disrupted by two expulsions: the expulsion of meaning from the "franchise" workplaces of her teens, and an abrupt expulsion from her childhood home. The second chapter flips between two realities: the author's anxiety as she struggles with homelessness while pushing herself through the American university system, and her adventures in the nerd subculture of the 2000s, focusing on her transition from cosplay (pretending to be fictional characters at genre conventions) to larp (pretending to be part of a fictional universe with others at a campground, dance club, or other physical location). The third chapter jumps forward to the authors' life in a Bay Area cooperative house during the Occupy Movement in 2011. The epilogue jumps back in time to 2006 to describe the author's final experiences larping, and the text concludes with her reflections on the concepts of consent and utopia.
Steele, Samara Hayley, "The Gamer Who Destroyed the World and Other Stories from my Life" (2014). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2020.