2nd Edition

Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live Theoretical Perspectives from the Virtual Margins—10th Anniversary Edition

By Kishonna L. Gray Copyright 2025
    106 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    106 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    By focusing on the experiences of users, gamers, and audiences inside one of the world’s largest gaming communities (Xbox Live), this book provides an overview of the landscape, architecture, and socio-technical structure of console gaming. Building on previous research regarding race, gender, and technology, it provides a much-needed intersectional approach to virtual gaming communities. It draws from a wide breadth of disciplines and interviews with minoritized and marginalized users to offer an overview of the virtual oppressions these individuals navigate and resist.

    In this Tenth Anniversary Edition, author Kishonna L. Gray introduces the audience to a perspective on console gaming environments called “Multi-mediated Interactive Console Environments.” This new chapter provides a necessary understanding of these dynamic digital communities, adding console games, which have been heretofore left out of conversations on gaming, to platform studies, and addressing troubling examples on race, gender, and other identities. While the majority of scholarship on gaming comes from disciplines related to media studies and communication, it is imperative that criminological scholars engage the narrative and help move the focus on gaming beyond acts of violence or as a space that propels the military industrial complex.

    By bringing together cultural studies, criminology, media studies, game studies, and others, this text offers interdisciplinary approaches to making sense of not only the technology and its impact on users and cultures, but also the impact that (sub)cultures have had on gaming. It is essential reading for scholars and practitioners seeking solutions to some of gaming’s biggest challenges such as how to reduce harm in online gaming.

    Foreword for the 10th anniversary edition

    by Danielle Udogaranya

    Foreword from the first edition: Dismantling the Master’s (Virtual) House: One Avatar at a Time

    by David J. Leonard



    Chapter 1: Video Games as Ideological Projects

    Chapter 2: Racing and Gendering the Game


    Chapter 3: Deviant Acts: Racism and Sexism in Virtual Gaming Communities

    Chapter 4: Deviant Bodies: Racism, Sexism, and Intersecting Oppressions


    Chapter 5: Deviant Bodies Resisting Deviant Acts

    Chapter 6: Virtual Tools in the Virtual House?



    Video Gameography


    Kishonna L. Gray is an Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, & Digital Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is also a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard University. Dr. Gray is the author or co-editor of numerous books and articles including her foundational 2014 work Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live: Theoretical Perspectives from the Virtual Margins, 2018’s edited collections Woke Gaming and Feminism in Play and most recently Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming. She also has a book currently under contract titled Black Game Studies. Dr. Gray is a highly sought after speaker and regularly addresses both academic and industry audiences such as at the Game Developers Conference. She is the winner of a number of awards over the years including The Evelyn Gilbert Unsung Hero Award and the Blacks in Gaming Educator Award.