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Twice Invisible, Twice Clandestine. Football and Lesbianism in Spain During the Years of Democratic Transition (1970–1982)

Dolors Ribalta Alcalde and Xavier Pujadas

The main objective of this paper is to analyze the relationship between women’s football and lesbianism during the 1970s in Spain as well as the invisibility characteristics of this group of women in the context of the invisibility of women’s football in this period and in the context of the political transition until 1982. In the repressive context of late Francoism and given the validity until 1978 of laws that expressly persecuted homosexuality, social, cultural, legal, and political pressure had a very important impact on lesbian women who participated in the incipient practice of football in Spain in the 1970s. Some of these players built gay social networks through sports clubs and later started clandestine meetings in bars and private celebrations. The period studied—between 1970 and 1982—coincided with the rebirth of women’s football in Spain and the international emergence of this sport. The research has been based on the use of in-depth interview as a method and historiographical technique that has allowed us to obtain the life stories of nine lesbian or heterosexual women football players in different Spanish cities (who in general have lived and live in a private sexual identity) and two coaches linked to women’s teams. These sources have been expanded and contrasted from others of a documentary nature (specialized press and bibliography) to reconstruct the context studied and contrast the reliability of the information collected. In conclusion, it has been established that, despite the low visibility of women’s football and homosexuality, the legal pressure of the period and the opposition of the public authorities and institutions of the dictatorship, the field of football allowed these women to overcome some of the difficulties in the process of building their identity and discrimination based on sexual orientation. In turn, support networks—especially of teammates—private parties and atmosphere bars, were fundamental to the life experience of young lesbian athletes in the still repressive context of the end of the Franco dictatorship and the first years of the young democratic regime in Spain.

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The Birth and Development of Sports Video Games From the 1950s to the Early 1980s

Lu Zhouxiang

This article provides an overview of the origins and early development of sports video games. The first generation of sports video games were developed by scientists in laboratories for academic purposes. Together with the rise of microcomputers and the widespread adoption of television (TV) sets, commercial video games began to emerge in the early 1970s. Like their laboratory predecessors, most of the first-generation commercial games were sports-themed and primarily designed as a platform for competition between players. In the second half of the 1970s, ball-and-paddle-based games began to be replaced by more sophisticated games adopting the rules and actions of real-life sports. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, intense competition between video game companies gave birth to many innovative titles, with various sports disciplines adapted into games. Most of the sports games created in this period were based on competitive sports including American football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and tennis, as well as recreational sports like bowling, pool, and darts, many of them long popular in Western Europe and North America, some with a huge fan base in Japan. They were clearly produced to cater to the needs of gamers and sports fans in the world’s three major TV, personal computer, video game, and sports markets at the time.

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Editorial Note

Tanya Jones

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Wearing My Heart on My Sleeve: Transgressing the Traditional Boundaries of Sport History

Christine O’Bonsawin

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“Stepping Up” for Trans Inclusion in Sport

Lindsay Parks Pieper

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Unsettling Sporting Stories

Matthew Klugman

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Dismantling Historical Hardscapes: Unsettling Inclusion as Solidarity

Nathan V. Fawaz and Danielle Peers