This article traces a limited affective history of game studies in order to understand why marginalized scholars frequently feel unwelcome and uncomfortable in the field. Following the work of Clare Hemmings and Sara Ahmed, it digs into the inaugural issue of the journal Game Studies as well as the infamous narratology-versus-ludology debate to understand how the anxious and emotional rhetoric of the early game studies field imaginary created an environment hostile to the political perspectives of feminist studies and other political scholarly fields. It introduces the concept of “scholarly negging” to account for the gendered emotional manipulation enacted by men who seek to control the field's terms of conversation.

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