Oberlin Blogs

It's Oh So Quiet

January 29, 2024

Marcus Jensen '27

Really. It has been very quiet here.




I've been back on campus for winter term, although I had a bit of a late return due to some interviewing in my hometown (shameless Minneapolis plug! Do visit sometime.) for my project - a research paper on queer representation in video games. The project itself has been a ton of fun, and I’ve learned a lot - although I am now in the editing phase, which is significantly less enjoyable… In essence, I took twelve titles that featured queer characters (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the Mass Effect series, the Overwatch games, World of Warcraft, League of Legends (and Arcane), the Last of Us series (with their requisite TV adaptation), Apex Legends, Celeste, Stardew Valley, Hades, Baldur’s Gate III, and Dragon Age II), compiled their various instances of representation, then analyzed why each instance was important for the media genre as a whole and offered my analysis on how representation should be handled in the future. It was both interesting and eye-opening for me in terms of how much scholarly research there actually is out there for game studies - I had never thought of video games as something to be studied in an academic setting, but there I was, reading a comparison of Pong to Between Men and an examination of Octodad as a metaphor for queer ‘passing’ in society. The paper took up a large portion of my time every day, but there were still many hours in which I was left to my own devices, as I had neither the inclination nor interest in only sleeping, eating, and writing while on campus. To that end, I had to learn both how to enjoy my own company and plan out a schedule with little to no outside obligations. For the first week or so, I labored under the mentality of ‘Schedule? Could not be me,’ in which I stayed up until roughly 1 or 2 in the morning, woke up at 10, had lunch, worked, ate dinner, and then watched Ted Lasso with friends before returning to our respective rooms, at which point I would a) read, b) clean, c) scroll social media, or d) play video games until the aforementioned crash time. This worked wonderfully (no, not really…) for about five days, at which point I had a particularly rough Monday, decided to bite the bullet, and set up an alarm. Somewhat annoyingly, my mental state began to improve once I had a consistent sleep/meal schedule and began to go on walks (curses upon ye, actually helpful societal advice!) As time went by and I adjusted to my new routine, campus began to feel busier, with people arriving over the course of the month. I reconnected with some friends from fall term, continued watching Ted Lasso, and all in all had a lovely time on campus at a slower pace. There was contra dancing to be done, the Apollo theater to go to, and board games to play - if you looked around enough, there was always something to do. Quiet? Yes. But enjoyable? Absolutely.

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