Queer gamers have always been a part of video game culture. However, since the mid-2000s, the growing importance of fans to media consumption and the rise to prominence of the independent game industry have helped bring public recognition and awareness to queer gamers, game designers, and games critics and scholars. This introduction frames queer game studies as both a theory and practice, beginning a special In Practice section of Camera Obscura that profiles the Queerness and Games Conference (QGCon), the first conference explicitly dedicated to the intersection of video games and LGBTQ issues. The interdisciplinary conference includes award-winning game designers and leading academics in queer and video game studies, and its format combines presentation styles common in the game industry, such as the “postmortem,” which describes the design process of a game, with traditional academic work, workshops, public game demonstrations, and roundtables discussing race, gender, and sexual identity in video game culture. The community formed around QGCon—which was founded in 2013 at the University of California, Berkeley—informs this section's engagement with theoretical arguments and practices across independent and industry game design, queer video game theory and criticism, and queer game pedagogy. By introducing readers of Camera Obscura to QGCon and the emergent field of queer game studies, this introduction seeks to expand the relationship between feminist film theory and practice and feminist and queer video game culture and criticism.

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