Design as Drag: Performing Identity via Autobiographical Game Design

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I’m proposing a post mortem of my MFA thesis, REVISIONS, a series of autobiographical, metafictional vignette games about growing up as a gay Korean-American game designer. I hope to explicate on how designing a game about my own life reinforced the idea that identity is largely performative. The talk will reflect on the individual design decisions I made and how those manifested in a game that’s in parts sincere and completely opaque. Lastly, I will discuss the unique experience of an designer watching players play as the author, including the awkward negotiating of self vs. artificial self.



Steve Cha is an interactive media and game designer based in Los Angeles, California. He recently received his MFA at the University of Southern California.