Skeleton in a Beret: real life in a made up world

Skeleton in a Beret is a short film about transgender people getting to know themselves via their video game avatars.

As a trans activist and a historian of games, this intersection between trans identities and game avatars has been interesting to me for a few years. It came up in my book Dreamcast Worlds, and in my work on early issues of Memory Insufficient. But the issue always seemed too complex to be tied down in writing; when you put everything down as a singular narrative that needs conclusions and concrete takeaways, you risk closing down the ambiguities and diversities in favour of some easy-to-digest narrative such as “many trans people transitioned in games before they did so in real life”.

A recent project by Eden Film Productions to help trans people to make documentaries opened up the opportunity for me to learn filmmaking skills, work with a team of other trans people, and get mentorship from an experienced documentary maker. The result was this short film on two trans people’s complicated feelings about their own identities and their experiences in their favourite videogames.

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