Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2024

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Travis Loof

Second Advisor

Charles Lubbers

Third Advisor

Benjamin Hagen


Trans, Video Games, Unconventional, User Perception, Video Game Studies, Review Analysis

Subject Categories

Contemporary Art | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Visual Studies


Alongside the increase in video game popularity, a subclass of games was formed that offer very unconventional gaming experiences. These games offer different stories that differ greatly from games made on multi-million-dollar budgets. Many of these types of games exist on the fringes of the industry and portray LGBTQ+ themes through their writing or gameplay. One of these games uses the medium of video games to process their trauma by relaying their own story. The game “He Fucked the Girl Out of Me” is an autobiographical video game that highlights the story of the Author and their experiences with transitioning and participating in sex work. Their story discusses managing their self-esteem and trauma as well as figuring out how to adapt to an ever-changing identity. Themes of gender portrayal have been studied since the advent of video games. Games like this showcase a discussion about gender identity only it is about a real-life person rather than a character. That simple change in who the subject is makes the game much more personal and rarer to see discussed in a literary sense. The experience left me wondering how other players would react especially given its unconventional nature and strong subject matter. 279 user game reviewers were collected and analyzed for thematic elements occurring in response to the game. The results of the review analysis found that players were generally positive towards the experience and talked mainly about the content of the game, such as the story, as well as how they felt playing it. Several reviews also questioned the need for the story to be a game in the first place. This research is important as it shows how users may respond to stories from diverse audiences as well as how interactive narratives can convey lived experiences.



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