…this pilgrimage is a walking against and away from that hushing of manyness of the past in the present by both dominators and those resisting domination. (Lugones, 2003, p. 18)
The following work is a theoretical first approach to both creating conversations and relationships between the theories of la Maestra Maria Lugones (2003, 2008, 2011) and Prof. Sandy O’Sullivan (2021a, 2021b, 2022) and how they are useful to counter the workings of modernity and the colonialities inherent in video games. This first stage will give place to future analysis on how queer Indigenous people resist through playing and interacting with them.
My starting point is the colonial invasions as they are presented by the Decolonial Turn, specifically Decolonial Feminism, and the Filosofía de la Liberación (Philosophy of Liberation) emerging from Abya Yala. I am referring to what the Zapatismo calls the “500 years long night” (EZLN, 1995), which they consider includes the results of the invasion of this territory by the English in 1788. The first steps involve unraveling the patterns of domination using theories constructed from both colonized spaces. I will attempt to construct relationalities of the processes and the connections between these souths, by first untangling the “mito de la modernidad” (myth of modernity) as understood by and Enrique Dussel (1994, 2006). With that background I will then turn to the connections and possible engagements between the Sistema Moderno/Colonial de Género (Modern/Colonial System of Gender) and the Colonial Project of Gender and Everything else, by M. Lugones (2011) and S. O’Sullivan (2021b) respectively. After that we will give the first steps towards unraveling how these colonialities and patterns of domination, as presented by the reviewed authors, are being reproduced in video games as I look at some examples. Thus, allowing for future witnessing faithfully the resistances by queer Indigenous people, who engage with them in multiple ways. In its current iteration this analysis is a product of the discussion that occurred in the conference “What matters: Indigenous LGBTQ+ Pasts, Presents and Futures”, where I was encouraged by Prof. O’Sullivan to present. In doing so I gave my first step into my PhD work on the Project they direct titled “Saving Lives: Mapping the influence of Indigenous LGBTIQ+ creative artists”. The idea to make it this introduction to the creation of connections between the anti/decolonial work being done both in Abya Yala and in this continent, were, for me, closely related to the title of the Conference. Mainly, due to both central theories being preoccupied with the core call of it. Later, I was welcomed by Associate Professor Corrinne Sullivan to contribute to this special issue with the same proposition.
The myth of modernity and modernity’s hiding efforts
1492 created a nodal point by initiating the European conquest and colonization that would expand across the world. Its importance as a breaking point was also marked by the development, in the following centuries, of the mindset and the worldview that would accompany the domination in Abya Yala and so-called Australia. This is my first topic of interest. The core construction within this hegemonic perspective revolves around what Dussel has called the “mito de la modernidad” (myth of modernity) (1994).
At the center of it lies the pretended preexistence of Europe as a center, as a beacon of civilization. However, this pretense, built by a manipulation of history, that is still present and reinforced continuously, hides how Europe created itself with that image. Particularly, how it gave itself the reason and rationality of civilization.
… to be able to assert itself as the more developed stage of humanity, it necessarily needs to negate the humanity and rationality of every other non-European, non-western culture and civilization, but especially that of Indigenous people. (Bautista Segales, 2018b, p. 71).
I understand the way history has been structured and how it continues to be taught and disseminated seeks to further reproduce this sense of superiority. In that sense, Europe is presented as always being the location where civilization happened. From the ways Ancient Greece is signaled as the “cradle of civilization” and the somehow direct connection with the European expansion and conquest of the rest of the world many centuries later. As I will show below, this reproduction of history is the core playable element in many video games. By way of this discourse the occurrences of thousands of years are obscured and determined as having only one possible outcome. History is rewritten time and time again to fit the recognition that Europe (and later the US) always was and always will be the civilizatory center (cfr. Bautista Segales, 2018a; Dussel, 2006; Maldonado Torres, 2016; Moreton-Robinson, 2015; O’Sullivan, 2021b). Therefore, the only spaces from where legitimate and truthful knowledge is created. This is also the core value and idea reproduced and being reproduced by the coloniality of knowledge, about which I will talk later. As latter analysis will show, this construction and understanding of history is embedded into video games. The “encounter” with the Aboriginal people of the islands and the continents is, for Dussel, the key to finding the cracks in the myth, because, as it turns out,
America is not discovered as something that resists differently, as the Other, but as the material where “the Same” is projected. It is not about the “appearance of the Other”, but the “projection of the Same”: “a covering up” (Dussel, 1994, p. 35).
With this reversal of the consideration of the Other, I propose we can rethink the ways it is treated even today. If we think of the Other as the Same, not as an alien but as someone who was created in this analogy of superiority, we can expand on the uncovering of the so-called justifications of power relations and oppressions. Only through the consideration of the Same as Other can modernity truly expand on its sense of superior thinking and animalization and degrading of the populations of the rest of the world. It allows us to understand why the insistence on calling every exploratory conquest as a discovery, because otherwise the true nature of this military and exploitative enterprise would emerge. In that sense, by understanding the confrontation between Indigenous and European people as an encounter of the Same, we understand why Dussel refers to the arrival in the Americas as a covering up (encubrimiento) of the Americas and later repeated in so called Australia. Furthermore, we can comprehend the ways video games continue to push this cover up forward. In the coming centuries, Europe will think of itself as the One and construct the Other from that Same they covered up. Thus, creating this illusion of a powerful, knowledgeable centre, allowing the myth of modernity to fully finalize its purpose.
While the historical moments I have been detailing are in the past, the discussions and reaffirmation of modernity’s main arguments are, and need to be, continuously reinforced by multiple means and devices. The consideration of its own way of critical thinking as a self-explanatory characteristic is central for its legitimacy efforts:
This happens specially when in the present, that is, in modernity, one’s starting point is the fact that modernity “is” in itself, not only rational but critical. That is, what is inherent to modernity would not only be to have produced a status that conforms to reason, but also that conforms to a critical attitude, which means that the being modern would not only be to act as reason dictates, but also in a critical mode. All this means, that all civilizations previous to modernity where not constructed according to reason nor were they critical. (Bautista Segales, 2018a, p. 30).
I refer to modernity as a phrase that encompasses the whole Eurocentric, heteronormative, classist, and racist worldview. It is useful to understand how it incorporates the way of thinking I am trying to unravel in this paper. It stands behind the imposing of the binary in every aspect of human live: men-women, human-nonhuman, civilization-barbaric, gender-sex, etc. It is a reductionist perspective, that can be used for the present or applied to an incorrect understanding of the past and its processes. To characterize someone or something as modern, for me, is to understand that they are reproducing these core values, or at least some of them, as their own.
Different screen media serve as channels to help disseminate this modern perspective in the wider society and cement it as its common sense. One of the most recent and increasingly popular ways to accomplish it is through the content of video games. I will return to this point later.
The Sistema Moderno/Colonial and the Colonial Project of Gender
I have dwelled in the justifications for all sorts of violence that is the myth of modernity, now I can look into some of the other ways it uses to make the complex into the simple in order to dominate and control (O’Sullivan, 2021a, 2021b). For that I will turn to the Sistema Moderno/Colonial de Género (Modern/Colonial System of Gender), and the Colonial Project of Gender.
Maria Lugones (2008, 2011) investigated the moment of contact that led Europe to sack knowledge and richness, first from the Americas and then the rest of the world, to understand how that knowledge was hidden and attempted to be destroyed, specifically the ones related to gender. Thus, allowing for the construction of a binary heteronormative society. Let’s explore the workings of the Sistema Moderno/Colonial de Género next.
It is important to consider that while the point of contact and the Spanish conquest was the starting point for the System, alongside the covering up of the Same, it did take the Centuries around the Enlightenment, to become fully developed. Once that happened, it was used to understand the entirety of human relations in the different assaults by the European continent onto the rest of the world, arriving via this conquest to so-called Australia in 1788. It is a System that started then, and that continues, globally, to this day. At its core lies the coloniality of gender (colonialidad de género), which alongside the rest of the colonialities seeks to understand how modernity categorizes dichotomically and hierarchically. To be able to comprehend its working Lugones (2008, pp. 81–82) starts from the colonizers point of view as they categorize the world and its inhabitants.
The development of modernity’s gender conceptions runs hand in hand with the understanding of who is human. In that sense, white European (later extended to US/Canadian/Australian men) are to be considered human men, rational heterosexual, and capable to rule. Women are the European white heterosexual people that can reproduce white race and serve the white men in the home. Women are not complementing men, they serve them. Although this distinction exists, Lugones (2011, pp. 106–109) clarifies that they both are human and therefore have gender; there lies the key to understanding the functioning of the coloniality of gender: only those that poses gender are considered human.
With the covering up of the Same, emerges the other side of the situation. The white man is still the base element of comparison from where the understanding of every other living being comes to be. Therefore, those that suffer colonization are categorized as non-human-because-they-are-not-men, that is not white heterosexual men. As they are not-men, they do not possess gender, they are only sex. They are just categorized and understood to be males (machos). For its part, females exist, but not in opposition to the white men, but as the negative of the negative. They are understood as not-human- because-they-are-not-not-men. The females (hembras) fall into a strange category through a double negation, where they are female but not faulty because they are not men. Colonized males and females do not have gender, they are sex. Not only sex but a dichotomic, binary sense of it, as gender is. In the mind of the colonizers, then and now, gender and sex cannot be connected. They need to be separated to be able to account for the understanding of who is human and who is not, that is an hegemonic and universal idea of who counts as human. Gendered people, although forced into a binary, are human (Lugones, 2008, 2011). This is how the coloniality of gender works, by establishing a distinction between human gendered individuals and the animalization of those that are considered male and female. It underlines every comprehension of gender that exists in video games.
As we said before the dehumanizing binary, heteronormative, cisnormative and heteropatriarchal System is an on-going structure. It was constructed from the early stages of the covering up of the Americas and shipped around the world via colonization and is still very much alive today.
While Lugones looks to understand the colonial point of view to raise resistances to it, Prof. O’Sullivan (2021b) develops the workings of the Colonial Project of Gender from the resilience of those that it tries to undermine and hide. In that sense, both theories complement themselves to help in developing my work, as it allows me to both understand and uncover how they reproduce and impose the dehumanization and the binary in video games. The latter being one of the main focuses of Prof. O’Sullivan and how it seeks to control and simplify the experiences of queer First Nations people. The main way used to displace people, both physically and socially, is still the cutting of relationships and the destruction of kinship ties. At the end of it, modernity intends to create a nuclear family society that is tied to exploitation and reproduction of a white capitalist society.
Through the construction of an exclusive, and excluding ancestral relationship, this structure proposes relationships of meaning that relate only from progenitor to direct issue. The modern nuclear family as a repeating pattern is privileged. (O’Sullivan, 2021b, p. 1).
This work of reducing and simplifying social relations was not only imposed from the moment of invasion onwards but was then translated into the past via historical formulations: “Early and intentional colonial erasures formed from managing the reproductive rights of First Nations’ communities are fractured within the colonial record that is often relied on to frame evidence.” (O’Sullivan, 2021b, p. 3). That way a colonial imposition gets its own feedback, creating a continuous loop between explanations of a created/fabricated past that corresponds with a current re-imposition of the nuclear heterosexual family. The latter is itself legitimized by that “historical” retelling.
“The starting point is that figurines become sexed rather gendered, and then significant embellishments of sexing […] use, applying highly gendered terms such as ‘femininity’ to code the sexing […] That the terms of masculinity and femininity are used interchangeably to provide detail that affirms binary genders …” (O’Sullivan, 2021b, p. 7). As will become apparent later, video games play a similar role in this reasserting of history from this erasing and binary standpoint.
As I mentioned earlier, Lugones (2011) also establishes this division of sex and gender as a marking of the racialized and the human elements. The justification of the gendered elements and the implementation of the binary in a historical background legitimizes the continuous reaffirmation in the present. In turn, refreshing a system of oppression based on race and gender. “For contemporary Indigenous peoples, this reduced representation acts as a marker for our continued management within the colonial project, through the colonial structures and restrictions still held in place.” (O’Sullivan, 2021b, p. 8).
The continuous imposition of heterosexualism, in the territory of so-called Australia, shows how the System works and how the Colonial Project is being reinforced. As with everything that I have been discussing, the elements of race and class are intrinsically attached to these simplifications of what people are: “Heterosexualism orders racialized power relations within the colonial/ modern gender system, reinforcing colonial authority and control over sex, labour, and production.” (Day, 2021, p. 6). Day’s work serves here as both a connection and as a precedent to the conversations between continents I am trying to promote. They encourage these types of conversations, as well. The focal point of their work, as well as Prof. O’Sullivan’s, is fighting back against the imposition of the colonialities and modernity, “Evaluating knowledge about sex, gender and sexuality as specific to modernity and coloniality, thus in service of settler colonialism, expands the possibilities for addressing the gendered nature of settler colonialism.” (Day, 2021, p. 7). By making these connections, I propose a more comprehensive understanding of, not only the way the binary is understood, but of its workings integration and reproduction in video games as well. More urgent for the work of everybody involved, is the need to allow for ways out of it and the capacity to recognize themselves as human, beyond what the binary and the modern understanding presses upon them (Day, 2021).
Why video games?
The reaches of modernity and the colonialities, like I mentioned before, need to be continuously reproduced and expanded, and as I have been mentioning through this work video games are a part of that process. Mainly, because they are a part of everyday life for millions of people and replicate certain topics and are closely related to and in conversation with other screen media. The cases used here are a mere sample of a great variety of possible examples and were selected from games that have Indigenous representation.
Some of the video games, with a historical element at their core, repeat the ways modernity reworks the telling of history to fit the needs mentioned above. Many games based on the construction of societies have had great success over the years, so much as to create franchises. I am talking about the “Civilization” games (Microprose, Infogrames, Firaxis Games, and 2K Games, 1991-2016). Where history moves in an evolutionary, linear, and mechanical way, and the different factions differ in simple characteristics, making the European and US ones the default under whose image and history all the others are created. One can see the working of the Colonial Project of Gender (O’Sullivan, 2021b, pp. 6–7), in the game’s celebration of Women’s History Month (2K Games, 2020a) by placing plenty of the leaders used for different “civilizations” in this categorization of “women” without taking into consideration that they might not share the same constructions of gender. Therefore, there are no consideration or possibilities for any representation of gender diverse people. Outside these “great leaders” there are no mentions or spaces for gender representations. At the same time, “civilizations” from different points in history appear together bundled under current geopolitical constructions of nation-states, for example, the latest downloadable content (DLC) pairs Great Colombia and Mayas together, disregarding the differences not only in time but in characteristics of historical development (2K Games, 2020b). The geopolitical space, from where both cultures come from, is Othered by eliminating the historical and cultural processes under which both came to be, rewriting history to fit modernity’s discourse as O’Sullivan (2021b, 2022) establishes. Even when creating modifications (mods) to these games, trying to make them more inclusive of Indigenous populations, the coding that creates the central elements, I critiqued before, remain intact. The only files and codes that cannot be modified are those that enable this core type of gameplay and perspective. In other words, the unmodifiable aspects of the game are those that are central to the reproduction of the modern understanding of history. At the end of it all, while allowing for somewhat more inclusive representation, it does not allow for perspectives that do not go with the modern way of thinking about history and its development (Loban & Apperley, 2019).
In recent years, similar games with the same structures and game style have come out and had some success. They also share similar foreshadowing names like “Humankind” (Amplitud Studios, 2020). To further cement this, the presentation for the game, in their official webpage, one can find under the title “How far will you push humankind” (Amplitud Studios, 2021) multiple images with descriptions that reference parts of history as considered by modernity’s historical perspective. A slide used to present the game uses a similar conception, while considering the “official” development of the most relevant benchmarks in the evolutionary advancement of history (Amplitud Studios, 2021) from a modern perspective. I am referring to the transition from nomad to agricultural societies, the “discovery” of irrigation and the wheel, the “evolution” of the materials used to create tools, among others; all of which mark the European linear and evolutionary understanding of how history works and should be understood. Once again, reinforcing the perspective of history, which helps cement and further establish the force of the Sistema Moderno/Colonial and the Colonial Project of Gender. At the same time, Indigenous representation is limited to a set of characteristics and a name, or even only to early game appearances as the game evolves into more “advanced” and “civilized” moments of the game. Once again, no gender considerations can be perceived.
Another presence of Indigenous peoples is the “Moctezuma” campaign in the now classic “Age of Empires II: The Conquerors” (Microsoft, 2000). The main objective is to counter the Spanish invasion in a series of different scenarios. While giving central active subjectivity (Lugones, 2003, p. 20) to the “Aztecs”, most of the structures, units and timeframe are the same as the European, except for two unique units, namely the “eagle” and the “jaguar” warriors. I can add another critique since the Indigenous tribe called themselves Mexicas. Aztecs is the name they were given by the Spanish colonizers (Berdan, 1998). Another interesting fact is the inclusion of this campaign, with its Indigenous active subjectivity, in an expansion named “The Conquerors” and represented in its desktop icon with a conquistador’s hat. It means that to be able to access the campaign and play as a Mexica, one must first go through colonial images. It reiterates the point made before, where modernity’s perspective on history has a leading way in video games most visible aspects, name and imaginary.
One last example, I will touch upon, is the recently released open world MMO “New World” (Amazon Game Studios, 2021). The selection of the name is a first clue as to its colonial content, where it clearly marks the development of the story with colonial implications. As an online multiplayer most of the decision-making lies with the player, but the framework is given by the game and its imaginary. The promotional posters mark the second element of interest. It is closely related to this image of two worlds colliding and one dressed in apparently European clothes with the use of firearms resembling the colonization era, against people with nature-connected elements. All these elements are central to what Rojas Mix (2006) denotes as the colonialist imaginary (imaginario colonialista). At the center of the image a head looks directly at the spectator with a conquistador helmet and European style features, also resembling the colonization era (Amazon Game Studios, 2021). The topic and representation from this time period continue to be present as you enter the description page of the game, showing scenarios similar to that of the European expansion in the territories of Turtle Island (Amazon Game Studios, 2019–2023). One the latest updates, features Ancient Roman and Egyptian styled characters and skins. Two time periods that, as stated above and central to Hegel’s understanding of the evolution of history (Dussel, 2006), are usually marked as being the direct ancestry of the European center of civilization (Amazon Game Studios, 2021).
I think that these few examples serve as a signal of the many existing ways the colonialities and modernity cross and are reproduced in video games. It is not strange they do so, as video games are a part of the discourse and production of a modern mind, reproducing binary and dehumanizing perspectives and worldviews. However, they are also a media where many Indigenous queer people find their place and a community. It is also a place where they pose their disconformity with the elements I have mentioned. A space where resistances are formed, expressed, and rise.
What I have discussed so far has been the different ways that modernity and the colonialities oppress and hide complexities in people, particularly queer Indigenous people- due to the dehumanizing, hetero and cisnormative modern understanding of the world and in video games. As my work seeks to put the spotlight on how they are fighting those impositions I return to the work of Lugones and O’Sullivan. I will be turning my attention to the resistances to the above-described attempts to simplify, dehumanize and oppress people. This focus on how queer Indigenous people resist allows to put the focus on them and their ways of building paths to the future, and away from the many attempts to undermine and hide their existence (O’Sullivan, 2022, p. 18).
Resistance is a word, an action, that is well known by people living under the pressure and oppression of the colonialities. It is not a strange abstract element. On the contrary, it crosses everyday live for many people across the world, especially for queer Indigenous people. In that sense, Lugones (2003) considers the need to be able to understand ways to discover the resistances in any place. Particularly if we think about the all-encompassing worldview that are colonialities and modernity. Since those are the elements that control the discourses around everything, it is important to always “…witness faithfully, one must be able to sense resistance, to interpret behavior as resistant even when it is dangerous, when that interpretation places one psychologically against common sense, or when one is moved to act in collision with common sense, with oppression” (Lugones, 2003, p. 21).
There is a need to be able to dislodge oneself from the controls of the colonialities to be able to understand and engage with resistances. “…that we can sense each other as possible companions in resistance, where company goes against the grain of sameness as it goes against the grain of power.” (Lugones, 2003, pp. 25–26). As it is presented, I do not intend to follow resistance as actions or discourses in the public/political arena (Lugones, 2011, p. 109). I believe them to be everyday, sometimes even almost unperceivable, actions. They need to be public enough to be recognized as such and understood by those that also have separated their comprehension from modernity’s grasp (Lugones, 2003, p. 27).
At the same time, the idea that games only produce discomfort due to their content, should be put into question. The analysis of Carlson & Frazer around the joys and entertainment that Indigenous people have in the different online spaces (2021, pp. 121–136), allows me to see that video games can easily be considered as another place where they “…are sustaining networked structures of joyful affect […] produced through play, fun, humour and performance” (Carlson & Frazer, 2021, p. 136). This idea is closely related to the buildup and can even be considered as a way of constructing and showing resistances.
A central space that allows for the recognition and supporting of such responses to the modern pressure, would be the own Indigenous gaming communities. Here I resource to the theoretical construction of Carlson & Frazer (2021, pp. 55–67) around how online communities are formed: kinship and identity communities. Through these constructions I can also forward a possible conjunction of possibilities that includes the identities of Indigenous queer gamers/content creators. As these spaces, particularly online multiplayer games, can be locus of racism, sexism, homo, and transphobia (Skotnes-Brown, 2019), creating and extending ones contact groups and having a set of stablished gaming partners is crucial. There lies the main attraction for these Indigenous gaming communities. However, there is a need to further develop how they are constructed and the limits and developments they suffer. Using Carlson & Frazer theoretical construction as a starting point, I seek to also understand how communities interact by building and recognizing resistances. How their own gaming communities are constructed and the connections they create can be considered as a way of resisting the colonialities and binary impositions we have been discussing.
The retrieval of said resistances seeks to work alongside the core workings of the Project “Saving Lives”. By understanding that “Storytelling […] is […] not merely a simulacrum of iterative colonial categorization and record keeping.” (O’Sullivan, 2021a, p. 61), then recovering resistances can be a way to make the complex visible and reshape and rewrite their presence in the games. At the same time, it is through their active presence that queer Indigenous peoples create their own space and fight to be a part of a media that they love and enjoy, no matter how hard it tries to erase them. Therefore, creating paths and knowledges that allow them to continue towards a complex future of their own (O’Sullivan, 2021a, p. 63).
I do not intend to create a form of competition or comparison between the theories or the spaces from where they emerged as I recognize the continuous Care and Knowledge that nurtured and continues to nurture Country in this continent. Nor are most of the ideas, problematization and constructions emerging from Abya Yala new to the struggles and theorizations of this continent. It is due to this later parallel in discussions and theoretical formulations that I believe a fruitful and transformative relationship and connectivity can be accomplished.
The acceptance and wide use of Abya Yala started in 1992 as an action against the “celebration” of the “discovery” of the Americas. America’s Indigenous peoples collectively proposed the name to avoid the use of Spanish America or Latin America. The name is from the kuna-tule language, and its translation would mark the character of the protest inherent to its use: “fully matured land” (tierra en plena madurez). Its selection is a political positioning: it goes against the denomination and conception that considers these territories as countries in process of development (Walsh, 2020, pp. 140–141). At the same time, by using it, I position myself in a line of thought that understands Indigenous knowledge production as central to the territories where I come from and that build the core of the decolonial and anti-colonial movements and knowledge production (Bautista Segales, 2018b, p. 81).
“…poder afirmarse a sí misma como el estadio de la humanidad más desarrollada, necesariamente tiene que negar la humanidad y la racionalidad de toda otra cultura o civilización no europea ni occidental, pero especialmente la de los pueblos originarios.”
“América no es descubierta como algo que resiste distinta, como el Otro, sino como la materia a donde se proyecta “lo Mismo”. No es entonces la “aparición del Otro”, sino la “proyección de lo Mismo”: “en-cubrimiento”.”
“Esto pasa especialmente cuando en el presente, es decir, en la modernidad se parte a priori del hecho cuasi evidente en sí de que la modernidad “es” en sí misma, no solo racional, sino critica. Es decir, lo propio de la modernidad no sería sólo haber producido un estadio conforme a la razón, sino también conforme a la actitud crítica, o sea que ser moderno, seria no solo actuar conforme a la razón, sino de modo crítico. Esto querría decir que todas las civilizaciones anteriores a la modernidad ni fueron erigidas conforme a la razón ni tampoco fueron críticas.”
I have briefly explained what I mean when I talk about modernity as a construct that encompasses a worldview. It is comprised of several colonialities that help it in its reproduction. Closely related to the coloniality of gender lies the coloniality of being (colonialidad del ser), developed by Maldonado Torres (2007). It helps in understanding how the different aspects of being get reduced and simplified, and the white heterosexual middle class man is re-imposed as the ideal form of the being human. In that way, every living thing is below him and should be dominated and controlled by him. At the same time, and supporting both colonialities mentioned so far, works the coloniality of knowledge (Lander, 2001), which marks how every production of knowledge suffers from a Eurocentric fallacy. In the sense that, if is not produce by or with a Eurocentric and US-centric method, it is not knowledge. It may be folklore or storytelling, but it cannot be knowledge as it is not objective. An objectivity that is false in its core and that works to hide its euro/US centric character. The two colonialities I just presented help to understand how the myth of modernity works. All three work together to construct, and be shaped as well, by the coloniality of power (Quijano, 1992). In other words, the control over all the elements of life, constructing racialized categories and ideal conceptions of the right way of being, acquiring knowledge, and identifying, which in turn allows for the control of power and its capabilities.
It is through this distinction that the labour of people identified as women were not in contradiction to society’s rules on that activity. That is, Indigenous people or people of African descent identified as women were not considered as such, therefore they could work. Thus, their usage under enslaved conditions around the world. Their characterization as females allowed for their work to be used (Lugones, 2008, pp. 81–82).
Male and female are understood to correspond to the binary designation of animals, as it is said in Spanish. They correspond with the words macho and hembra, respectively, and are not use for human beings, unless it is to animalize them.
The duality of ludology vs narratology, that is the analysis focused on the playing part or in the narrative part of video games, central, at some point, in video game studies, is a false discussion. Even when such debate has already been put into question (Ruberg & Shaw, 2017, ix-xxxiii), we cannot even consider it a valid opposition as both sides of the construction and development of games are deeply embedded with colonialities and the binary imposition. We consider the critiques of LaPensée (2018) and Byrd (2016) as aligned and supporting the consideration we pose in this note.