My research interests tend to focus on online communities, video games and gaming culture, and queer media and cultural production. Below you’ll find summaries of what I’m currently working on, as well as past projects with which I’ve had the pleasure of being involved.
LGBTQ Video Game Archive
I am an active collaborator and co-author, having previously been an undergraduate research assistant, on the LGBTQ Video Game Archive project directed by Adrienne Shaw. We have been collecting and synthesizing information on all available LGBTQ/Queer content in digital games from approximately the 1980s to present day. The archive is intended to be a resource for scholars, journalists, critics, and all others interested in the history of LGBT/Queer content in video games.
- Shaw, A., Lauteria, E.W., Yang, H., Persaud, C.J., & Cole, A.M. (2019). Counting Queerness in Games: Trends in LGBTQ Digital Game Representation, 1985-2005. International Journal Of Communication, 13, 26. Retrieved from https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/9754
- Shaw, A. and Persaud, C.J. (In Progress). Beyond Canon: Reading Video Game Queerness in Community
Social Media Collective @ Microsoft Research
I had the immense pleasure of spending a year and a half as the Research Assistant to the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England where I was supervised by Nancy Baym, Tarleton Gillespie, and Mary L. Gray. Among many other duties, I have worked on multiple book projects and academic articles at various stages of production, developed literature reviews on a wide range of social media and society topics, and collaborated with researchers and professionals in numerous divisions at Microsoft.
Looking for Queer History in Digital Games
I earned Honors Scholar distinction in the Temple University Honors Program through my thesis project entitled – “A game about the AIDS epidemic?”: Looking for Queer History in Digital Games. Drawing from media history, digital game studies, sociological theory and queer studies, I theorize the absence of HIV/AIDS representation in digital games in the 1980s and 1990s. By interrogating this cultural void alongside other forms of media that did address the AIDS epidemic, I argue that a gay games market was not produced to engender the creation of “AIDS games”. Broadly, my honors thesis questions how queer histories come to be in different forms of media and contributes to the on-going work of mapping a queer history of digital games.