sprinkle: an undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies


Life is Strange (2015), by Raoul Barbet and Michel Koch, has sparked outrage for “queerbaiting” lesbian and bisexual women in the gaming community, but criticisms pointed toward the game have failed to address its most pernicious argument. By placing the controversy within the historical context of the 1930s Hays Production Code, examining one of the game’s central lessons in conversation with philosopher Lauren Berlant’s concept of “cruel optimism” and critical theorist Lee Edelman’s anti-reproductive definition of queerness, I contend that Life is Strange (2015) reveals the inability of adherents to heteropatriarchal ideals to conceive a world beyond the current, oppressive system by which we live.

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