Chris Lawrence published in Unwinnable discussing queerness in Mortal Kombat

Monday, August 26, 2019

Chris Lawrence, PhD candidate in English and Editor-in-Chief at First Person Scholar, published an article in Unwinnable about Mortal Kombat characters Scorpion and Sub-Zero. In the article, "Scorpion and Sub-Zero Should Make it Official", Lawrence does a queer reading of the characters' relationship throughout the Mortal Kombat (MK) franchise.

Lawrence looks at the bromance established between Scorpion and Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat 11 (2019) to examine and critique an overall lack of queer representation in the series:

While it’s nice to see emotional intimacy between men, the current dynamic hedges its bets by drawing upon those cozy feelings of closeness without having to commit to re-inscribing queerness into the MK canon.

- Chris Lawrence, from "Scorpion and Sub-Zero Should Make It Official"

This article represents Lawrence's broader PhD research into how videogames impact our lives. They argue that playing games restructures our cognition, meaning that we must interrogate the way games model and perpetuate real societal concerns like queer representation and celebration:

I believe that it's essential to understand how we are using what we learn in games to approach challenges in our real lives. To plead ignorance is to allow external forces to co-opt those influences and manipulate them in their favour.

- Chris Lawrence, from their bio.

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