Like the revolving player avatar of puzzle game and spiritual predecessor Kuru Kuru Kururin, Roundabout highlights the awkwardness of movement through treacherous spaces. The disconnect between Georgio’s unorthodox movement and her surrounding physical environments is where queer themes are most inventively expressed. In Roundabout, Georgio Manos doesn’t conform to the normalized behavior of driving “straight,” (indeed, “straightness” is referenced throughout the game), and she thus serves as an outsider among the cautious residents of the eponymous city. The narrator characterizes Georgio as distinct from the norm, noting, “there’s only one way this chauffer drives… Georgio never stopped revolving. As a kid, Georgio learned to move with the spin instead of fighting it.” Her outsider role means that her movement is constantly judged by outside forces, and ultimately Roundabout is a game about the awkwardness of queer subjectivity in public spaces, but also about the necessity for self-acceptance.
Read the full column at Haywire Magazine.