Ludo-Latinidad: How Latinidad is Made and Played Out in Digital Games




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This thesis investigates the cultural practice of play in digital games where the play of Latine characters evoke border violence. By providing the framework of Ludo-Latinidad, it reveals the way global games, such as Overwatch and Valorant, systemically recode and remediate systems of border infrastructure, bordervelliance, and necropolitics as fundamental aspects of play. Despite the way Overwatch and Valorant are set in the speculative future, this framework draws out the imperial ideologies seeped into the game play where violent border ideologies and racialization are being reproduced. Ludo-Latinidad also interrogates the everyday practice of play as a participatory process that implicates every player in the performances of borders. It also pivots thinking of game worlds as playable borderlands where enforcement and disruption of border ideology takes place among players in a multitude of ways. While the encoded ideologies of borders may haunt the intended play of Latine characters, this research concludes with the possibilities of resistances enacted through play where ruptures of borders are possible. In the playable borderlands, oppressive systems are present but so are thriving counterhegemonic communities.



Mass Communications, Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, American Studies