FiG 2013

By | Published on June 8, 2013

Well Folks, we did it! The 2nd Fem­i­nists in Games work­shop was full of ani­mated dis­cus­sion, won­der­ful thinkers, and all around beau­ti­ful peo­ple. I am also hon­oured that so many atten­dees wrote up their expe­ri­ences and the con­fer­ence high­lights. When I have a chance I will post the video that we took, but until then, I would sug­gest that every­one check out the following:

Saman­tha Allen’s write-up, on The Bor­der House Blog.

Emily Yakashiro’s write-up, on the Gen­der­Fo­cus Blog.

Port­man Doe’s write-up, on the Port­man Doe Blog.

Anita Sarkeesian’s com­pi­la­tion of tweets about her talk.

Saman­tha Allen’s storify of her talk.

Cecily Carver’s storify of her talk. 

If I’m miss­ing any­thing, please let me know!

 

FiG Folk Update

By | Published on April 15, 2013

A few small updates for every­one regard­ing FiG Folk.

First, a shout out to Heidi McDon­ald who won the Women in Games “Ris­ing Star Award” at GDC.

In more GDC news FiG made an appear­ance at GDC here!

Finally, Helen Kennedy recently com­pleted a Game Jam and the videos are up here! Check them out!

Online Harassment of Women

By | Published on February 16, 2013

Online harass­ment of women is not new. In fact, it is dev­as­tat­ing that we are still fight­ing the same bat­tle, still try­ing to con­vince the same peo­ple that this is a prob­lem, and still call­ing for change. 2012 was a ban­ner year for the harass­ment of women, espe­cially online, and in the last few months the issue seems to be gain­ing some visibility.

Most recently, here in Canada, Dia­mond Isinger has begun to doc­u­ment the online harass­ment and hate speech hurled towards the six female pre­miers that cur­rently hold office in Canada on the blog Madam Pre­mier. The media has taken notice—the blog has been writ­ten up by The Globe and Mail, the Metro News, The Van­cou­ver Sun, the CBC, and has been men­tioned on CBC radio and TV as well as BC’s Global News Hour. Details and links to these sto­ries are avail­able on the blog. (Check out the Metro arti­cle for a quote from FiG’s own Prof. Jen­nifer Jen­son:) ). Most notable in the Metro arti­cle is Isinger’s state­ment that most of the abuse is tar­geted at women’s sex­u­al­ity and appear­ance. Author Sim­coe gives the exam­ple of Mau­rie Sherman’s ques­tion to Kath­leen Wynne about how she will win over the pub­lic with her fash­ion if she only wears pantsuits. Although there was a fair amount of back­lash to the ques­tion, shock­ingly, The Metro reported that Kath­leen Wynne’s spokesper­son com­mented that recep­tion for Kath­leen Wynne has been “over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive.” After lis­ten­ing to count­less hours of radio shows ask­ing the ques­tion, ‘Is Ontario ready for a les­bian pre­mier?’ and read­ing crit­i­cisms (and abuse) of Wynne that have noth­ing to do with her polit­i­cal record, I am appalled that Wynne’s office is more con­cerned with con­vinc­ing the pub­lic that she is loved (no doubt their eyes are on the next elec­tion) than about deal­ing with misog­yny and hate speech.

The Huff­in­g­ton Post’s Soraya Chemaly wrote a fab­u­lous post on the topic of Online Harass­ment  bring­ing together a wealth of infor­ma­tion that includes more writ­ing about the issue includ­ing sum­maries of the twit­ter cam­paigns #Men­Call­Me­Things and #silent­nomore, and links to some activist resources. Chemaly went into some detail about her own expe­ri­ences of harass­ment as well as some recent cases in the media such as the attack on Anita Sar­keesian, and more recently Mary Beard, who was attacked after an appear­ance on a BBC1 tv show. Unlike Sar­keesian, who’s cam­paign for money to fund a series of videos that will pro­vide a fem­i­nist cri­tique of female tropes in video games, Beard’s attack was not related to a fem­i­nist com­ment, but a com­ment about immi­gra­tion in the UK. Both women have gone pub­lic, and while what they have been through is hor­ri­fy­ing, they agree that it is impor­tant not to be silenced, as so many women have been. One of Anita’s most recent appear­ances was at TEDx­Women 2012 where she summed up some of what hap­pened, and ended with the sup­port that she has received and the impor­tance of speak­ing out. Mary Beard has been inter­viewed by the BBC news since and posted about it on her blog A Don’s Life. Both The Guardian and The Observer included pieces about the inci­dent at the end of last month. The abuse hurled at Beard included insults about her appear­ance (com­ments which The Guardian and Observer pieces deal with exten­sively) as well as offen­sive pic­tures and state­ments about Beards’s pubic hair, a pic­ture of her face pho­to­shopped onto a labia, state­ments about shov­ing penises in her mouth… This is all noth­ing new, but it is still com­pletely unac­cept­able and just as shock­ing as when it hap­pened to Jen­nifer Hep­ler and Anita Sar­keesian last year, and the count­less oth­ers before them.

So what is our take-away here? We know there is a prob­lem, but what do we do? We keep talk­ing about it, keep refus­ing to live with it, and we make peo­ple change. Hep­ler, Sar­keesian and Beard have all taken a huge step by speak­ing out for all the women who are silenced or harassed by trolls and misog­y­nists. There have also been ini­tia­tives to pre­vent online abuse, such as Take Back the Tech’s Cyber­Stalk­ing and How to Pre­vent it, and Ms. Mag­a­zine blog posts How Some Men Harass Women Online and What Other Men Can Do to Stop It and Stu­dents Speak Out: 5 Ways to Stop Online Harass­ment. As long more resources become avail­able, and more women (and men) speak out against online harass­ment, we will share them. For now we must keep fight­ing, admit­ting that there IS a prob­lem, and that it MUST be confronted.

FiG 2013 Abstract Deadline Extended!

By | Published on February 4, 2013

We have extended the dead­line for abstracts for the Fem­i­nists in Games Work­shop to Feb­ru­ary 28, 2013. Please cir­cu­late widely to all of your networks.

Open Call:

We are invit­ing sub­mis­sions for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2nd Annual “Fem­i­nists in Games” work­shop to be held in at the Cen­ter for Dig­i­tal Media in Van­cou­ver, B.C. from May 31– June 2, 2013.

Par­tic­i­pa­tion and atten­dance at the con­fer­ence is free. There is a lim­ited amount of money allot­ted to assist pre­sen­ters with their travel costs. If you wish to apply for this fund­ing please include a short state­ment (no more than 100 words) with your abstract describ­ing your finan­cial need.

1) New Participants

We invite young and up-and-coming schol­ars and aspir­ing game design­ers as well as estab­lished prac­ti­tion­ers in the field (includ­ing researchers, edu­ca­tors and indus­try pro­fes­sion­als) to sub­mit a pre­sen­ta­tion abstract of no more than 1000 words address­ing the chal­lenge of advanc­ing gen­der equity in rela­tion to the fol­low­ing areas:

- game design and development;

- game content;

- socio-cultural con­struc­tions of “gamers”;

- player com­mu­ni­ties and online play; and

- the games industry

- cri­tiques of media treat­ment of girls/women/gamers

Pro­pos­als will be peer-reviewed, and appli­cants whose sub­mis­sions are accepted will have the oppor­tu­nity to bring their work into con­ver­sa­tion with estab­lished fem­i­nist schol­ars and activists dur­ing a two-day invi­ta­tional workshop.

2) Past Participants

We invite par­tic­i­pants of FiG 2012 who received seed fund­ing from FiG to present the findings/outcomes of their projects in a paper (max­i­mum 3000 words) and/or mul­ti­me­dia presentation.

3) Observers

We invite mem­bers from the gen­eral pub­lic, the games indus­try and acad­e­mia to attend keynotes and

work­shop round­table ses­sions, and to lend their voices, per­spec­tives and expe­ri­ences to con­ver­sa­tions and

emerg­ing ini­tia­tives that sup­port fem­i­nist pur­poses and processes in games edu­ca­tion, research, design and

devel­op­ment. Although not required to submit/present for­mal papers, each observer is requested to par­tic­i­pate in a ‘light­en­ing round’ observer panel and will have five min­utes in which to describe their an interest/challenge/question/project/game, that specif­i­cally engages with FiG’s man­date, the advance­ment, through all pos­si­ble means, of fem­i­nists in games.

4) Other/s

The con­fer­ence will include an oppor­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in a round­table ses­sion aimed at gen­er­at­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tive research project between schol­ars and indus­try professionals.

Those inter­ested in pre­sent­ing may send abstracts of no more than 1000 words, out­lin­ing their research question(s), project/s and approach, to Rachel Muehrer (feministsingames@gmail.com) or Jen­nifer Jen­son (jjjenson@gmail.com) by Feb­ru­ary 28, 2013. Those wish­ing to attend as ‘observers’ (this includes the indus­try round table) are invited to reply by March 31, 2013 with a descrip­tion of your ‘light­ning round’ sub­mis­sion short state­ment about how attend­ing might be of ben­e­fit to you (250 words).

 

FiG Content

By | Published on

We always like to keep the pub­lic informed about the projects that are hap­pen­ing in the FiG net­work. Two atten­dees at last year’s work­shop have shared this work with us and we would like you to check it out.

Rebecca Phoa recently com­pleted a 3 part mod­ule built in NWN’s Aurora Toolset. For any­one inter­ested, play it here. Feed­back is welcome!

Heidi McDon­ald par­tic­i­pated in the Global Game Jam where she and her team cre­ated this game called Ultrasounds.

Finally, Ali­son Har­vey wrote a great piece for the IGDA newslet­ter titled, #1reasonwhy and #1reasonmentors: Alliance, Col­lab­o­ra­tion, and Action for Change.

FiG funded projects. Check them out!

By | Published on February 2, 2013

About a month ago we had a get-together in Toronto and we received an update on the sta­tus of a few of the projects that we were able to fund. FiG folk have been work­ing hard and have done some amaz­ing things!

 

Dames Mak­ing Games:

Jen­nie Faber and Cecily Carver ran another suc­cess­ful incu­ba­tor over the sum­mer, Jeuxly. Their final report with all the details is avail­able here.

AND you can play some of the games from the incu­ba­tor on the DMG blog here.

 

Han­nah Epstein:

Check out the links below to Han­nah Epstein’s game-in-progress, PsXXYborg:

• YouTube
• Pin­ter­est
Face­book
Blog
•Twit­ter: @HawnzEppy

 

Pix­elles:

FiG is fund­ing another game incu­ba­tor, this time in Mon­treal. Pix­elles, run by coor­di­na­tors Rebecca Cohen Pala­cios and Tanya Short, began on Jan­u­ary 14th. Embed­ded researcher Tamara Shep­herd and long time FiG mem­ber Ali­son Har­vey will keep us updated on the hap­pen­ings. Check out what they have been up to here.

 

 

Call for Papers: Feminists in Games Workshop 2013!!

By | Published on November 30, 2012

Open Call:

We are invit­ing sub­mis­sions for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2nd Annual “Fem­i­nists in Games” work­shop to be held in at the Cen­ter for Dig­i­tal Media at Simon Fraser Uni­ver­sity from May 31– June 2, 2013.

Par­tic­i­pa­tion and atten­dance at the con­fer­ence is free. There is a lim­ited amount of money allot­ted to assist pre­sen­ters with their travel costs. If you wish to apply for this fund­ing please include a short state­ment (no more than 100 words) with your abstract describ­ing your finan­cial need.

1) New Participants

We invite young and up-and-coming schol­ars and aspir­ing game design­ers as well as estab­lished prac­ti­tion­ers in the field (includ­ing researchers, edu­ca­tors and indus­try pro­fes­sion­als) to sub­mit a pre­sen­ta­tion abstract of no more than 1000 words address­ing the chal­lenge of advanc­ing gen­der equity in rela­tion to the fol­low­ing areas:

- game design and development;

- game content;

- socio-cultural con­struc­tions of “gamers”;

- player com­mu­ni­ties and online play; and

- the games industry

- cri­tiques of media treat­ment of girls/women/gamers

Pro­pos­als will be peer-reviewed, and appli­cants whose sub­mis­sions are accepted will have the oppor­tu­nity to bring their work into con­ver­sa­tion with estab­lished fem­i­nist schol­ars and activists dur­ing a two-day invi­ta­tional workshop.

2) Past Participants

We invite par­tic­i­pants of FiG 2012 who received seed fund­ing from FiG to present the findings/outcomes of their projects in a paper (max­i­mum 3000 words) and/or mul­ti­me­dia presentation.

3) Observers

We invite mem­bers from the gen­eral pub­lic, the games indus­try and acad­e­mia to attend keynotes and

work­shop round­table ses­sions, and to lend their voices, per­spec­tives and expe­ri­ences to con­ver­sa­tions and

emerg­ing ini­tia­tives that sup­port fem­i­nist pur­poses and processes in games edu­ca­tion, research, design and

devel­op­ment. Although not required to submit/present for­mal papers, each observer is requested to par­tic­i­pate in a ‘light­en­ing round’ observer panel and will have five min­utes in which to describe their an interest/challenge/question/project/game, that specif­i­cally engages with FiG’s man­date, the advance­ment, through all pos­si­ble means, of fem­i­nists in games.

4) Other/s

The con­fer­ence will include an oppor­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in a round­table ses­sion aimed at gen­er­at­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tive research project between schol­ars and indus­try professionals.

Those inter­ested in pre­sent­ing may send abstracts of no more than 1000 words, out­lin­ing their research question(s), project/s and approach, to Rachel Muehrer (feministsingames@gmail.com) or Jen­nifer Jen­son (jjjenson@gmail.com) by Feb­ru­ary 1, 2013. Those wish­ing to attend as ‘observers’ (this includes the indus­try round table) are invited to reply by March 31, 2013 with a descrip­tion of your ‘light­ning round’ sub­mis­sion short state­ment about how attend­ing might be of ben­e­fit to you (250 words).

FiG Toronto Mixer

By | Published on November 27, 2012
We are pleased to announce a FiG Toronto Mixer that will take place on Decem­ber 6th. The event will be held at OCADU in down­town Toronto. For more details please email Rachel at feministsingames@gmail.com.
We will be pro­vid­ing snacks and bev­er­ages, and we are also pleased to announce that Cecily Carver, Jen­nie Faber and Han­nah Epstein will pre­sent­ing some of their work that the FiG ini­tia­tive has funded. Please stop by to hear about this great work and to chat with new and old mem­bers of FiG!

Halo 4 and The Permaban

By | Published on November 12, 2012

Bon­nie Ross, head of 343 Indus­tries, and Kiki Wolfkill, exec­u­tive pro­ducer of Halo 4, recently announced that Xbox Live play­ers who make sex­ist or dis­crim­i­na­tory com­ments can be penal­ized with a life­time ban from Halo 4. Read more about it here at GamesSpot. This deci­sion has pro­voked a mul­ti­tude of responses a few of which I have read quite enthu­si­as­ti­cally. I would like to focus on a few here, because there have been quite a range of thought­ful (and some not so thought­ful) responses to this policy.

First, this Red­dit post, writ­ten by lurker_lenore was writ­ten by a rather dis­grun­tled gamer who argues with the neces­sity for a pol­icy like this. The essay is unsub­stan­ti­ated, or as the author wrote:

Dis­claimer: I don’t have sources for a lot of this. It’s infer­ence based on per­sonal expe­ri­ence, so I wel­come any­one who does have a source or cor­rect information.

At least it’s hon­est, and the author did ask for evi­dence from read­ers to strengthen the argu­ment. Unfor­tu­nately it doesn’t seem that any­one was able to ful­fill the request. lurker_lenore’s main argu­ment was that sex­ual dis­crim­i­na­tion in the Xbox Live com­mu­nity is not an issue. In fact, the type of harass­ment in said com­mu­nity goes well beyond sex­ual dis­crim­i­na­tion and is an impor­tant part of the expe­ri­ence. By ban­ning sex­ual harass­ment, the com­mu­nity is doing a dis­ser­vice to women who need to develop a thicker skin. The author goes on to argue that sex­ual harass­ment in gam­ing was in fact fab­ri­cated by the group Fat, Ugly or Slutty, who fail to rec­og­nize that all Xbox Live mem­bers expe­ri­ence vile treat­ment, but women sim­ply “han­dle it differently.”

In any social envi­ron­ment, indi­vid­u­als will attempt to gain social lever­age with their peers, usu­ally in the form of accep­tance and approval. In gen­eral, women tend to gain this lever­age against men by assert­ing their sex­u­al­ity; while men gain it between one another via their accom­plish­ments; finally, men seek it from women through emo­tional empathy.

lurker_lenore’s final argu­ments against this type of life­time ban state that it will cre­ate a divi­sive com­mu­nity, includ­ing an atmos­phere where it is far more accept­able to harass men, where women are mar­gin­al­ized by gamers for being women (because clearly they are not already) AND for think­ing that they are bet­ter then men and deserve bet­ter treat­ment, and finally, where all the men-hating women will begin to hate Microsoft for:

implic­itly stat­ing that women are not as resilient as men, or capa­ble of deal­ing with insults and trash-talk with­out kindergarten-esque rules of engagement.

Iron-clad. Sur­pris­ingly, not all the com­ments agree with the author; a few even invite him to play with or as a female avatar so that he might wit­ness the real­ity of the sit­u­a­tion first hand. How­ever, the major­ity of the com­ments came from peo­ple who agreed. These posts argued that because it is okay to sling homo­pho­bic insults at men, sex­u­al­ized com­ments directed toward women are fair game, or that the whole rea­son for the new pol­icy is because the head of 343 is a Fem­i­nist, or that women are being infan­tilized by this pol­icy, or, my per­sonal favorite  that game com­pa­nies should con­tinue to appeal to their main demo­graphic of white males so that they can sell games.

A few com­ments brought up ques­tions of enforc­ing this ban, which is actu­ally a good point. This prob­lem was brought up in a few blogs as well, includ­ing one by Mary Sue con­tributer Becky Cham­bers. In her piece she applauds the pol­icy, point­ing out that Halo 4 and Microsoft are giants in their field, and this could set a prece­dent for harass­ment poli­cies all over the indus­try. Cham­bers also ques­tions the imple­men­ta­tion of the pol­icy, stat­ing that play­ers might ben­e­fit from warn­ings or reports so that they might learn which behav­ior is accept­able. This leads me to another blog post I found on Gama­su­tra by Jon W. who chal­lenges the pol­icy because, as he puts it, the game has trained boys to be sex­ist by sup­ply­ing them with a game fran­chise full of “guns and titties.”

In light of these two posts, it will be inter­est­ing to see how this per­ma­ban will be enforced and whether there is a feed­back sys­tem that re-educates play­ers in a code of con­duct. Finally, how­ever, it should be restated (as it has by many blog­gers and jour­nal­ists includ­ing Cham­bers’ Mary Sue piece) that although Wolfkill and Ross chose to high­light harass­ment against women in their inter­view, the Halo 4 pol­icy includes a ban for the myr­iad of dis­crim­i­na­tory com­ments. It seems that because the two chose to dis­cuss gen­der in their inter­view (pos­si­bly because they are women), all the male gamers (and I say this because I have not yet read a post by a per­son who iden­ti­fies as a women and dis­agrees with the sen­ti­ment of the pol­icy) claim­ing that women need to ‘ball up or get out’ should be gen­tly reminded that this is a pol­icy meant to make the gam­ing com­mu­nity a safer place for everyone.

 

FiG Funded Projects

By | Published on June 4, 2012

Those who attended the FiG Work­shop may know that we invited par­tic­i­pants to sub­mit pro­pos­als for projects that would receive incu­ba­tor fund­ing. After a few rounds of sub­mis­sions and revi­sions, the FiG Folk have cho­sen 5 projects that will receive fund­ing this year. Below is a descrip­tion of these projects. We can’t wait to see how they progress!

DEAR ADA

By Mitu Khan­daker and Emily Flynn-Jones

Dear Ada is a web­site mak­ing a space for fem­i­nine (though not nec­es­sar­ily female) voices to talk about & explore their thoughts, feel­ings and expe­ri­ences with gen­der issues and the epis­temic com­mu­nity of games. This site will give women from all areas of expe­ri­ence and all angles of exper­tise in games and fem­i­nist dis­course the oppor­tu­nity speak. We want to hear from play­ers, hard­core fans, fem­i­nists with valu­able per­spec­tives for appli­ca­tion to the cul­ture of games, men with fem­i­nist mes­sages, indie start-ups, indus­try pro­fes­sion­als and all the in-betweens.  All these voices together can give a greater rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the diver­sity of females and per­spec­tives in games and gam­ing cul­ture today. The diver­sity can hope­fully reach a greater audi­ence, make space for all kinds of per­spec­tives and opin­ions so as not to alien­ate any­one who already feels mar­gin­al­ized and pro­vide vari­ety enough of con­tent for indi­vid­u­als to relate. This space can also pro­vide the anonymity for those who feel they need to speak out but might be com­pro­mise by doing so.  From the con­tri­bu­tions to the site we also hope to be able to study the demo­graph­ics of con­trib­u­tors (even those that are anony­mously pub­lished) and track themes that might be use­ful in push­ing for­ward fem­i­nist agen­das in the games com­mu­nity and act­ing for equity.

 

DRAG­ON­SPEECH

By Heidi McDonald

Drag­on­speech is a game that was invented by a work­shop group dur­ing the inau­gural Fem­i­nists in Games work­shop, in an effort to:

1) demon­strate the effi­cacy of the FiG organization;

2) address the impor­tant issue of harass­ment in the gam­ing community;

3) address harass­ment in soci­ety at large.

The game will raise aware­ness about the effects of all types of harass­ment in games (as a metaphor for harass­ment in real life), and will pre­scribe an effec­tive rem­edy for harass­ment in both vir­tual and real spaces. Drag­on­speech will call out game harass­ment and demon­strate its effects in a visual, tan­gi­ble way. It also pro­vides a prac­ti­cal solu­tion for harass­ment in the form of coali­tion build­ing and peer sup­port. As a sec­ondary agenda, the game will bring aware­ness to the Fem­i­nists in Games group and be a tan­gi­ble exam­ple of the kinds of work done by us, at our conference.

 

EXPAND­ING AND STRENGTH­EN­ING THE DAMES MAK­ING GAMES NETWORK

By Cecily Carver, Jen­nie Faber, Ali­son Har­vey & Helen Kennedy

Build­ing on past suc­cess: The New Game Makers/DMG Incu­ba­tor 2

The New Game Mak­ers is a series jointly pre­sented by Bento Miso and Dames Mak­ing Games. The series will bring women work­ing in diverse roles within the games indus­try to Miso for a 1-hour lec­ture fol­lowed by a 2–3 hour hands-on work­shop where par­tic­i­pants will work on a small project with the assis­tance of the guest speaker and other par­tic­i­pants. The series will run in con­junc­tion with a six-week Dames Mak­ing Games (DMG) incu­ba­tor based on the model of the Dif­fer­ence Engine Ini­tia­tive (DEI) and the first DMG incu­ba­tor, which will guide and sup­port a small group of women through the process of cre­at­ing a small, com­plete game.

DMG Toronto’s sec­ond incu­ba­tor will run from July through mid-August (six weeks), in con­junc­tion with a speaker series (The New Game Mak­ers) fea­tur­ing women game pro­fes­sion­als. The guest speak­ers come from a wide range of roles, from pro­ducer and man­age­ment posi­tions to design, music, art, and devel­op­ment; and from orga­ni­za­tion sized from small indie com­pa­nies to triple-A stu­dios. Incu­ba­tor par­tic­i­pants will be selected from an appli­ca­tion pool, with the goal of cre­at­ing an enthu­si­as­tic and com­mit­ted group with a diverse mix of skills and inter­ests who might not oth­er­wise have the oppor­tu­nity to develop their inter­est in games in this way. While the incu­ba­tor will be lim­ited to six par­tic­i­pants, the speaker series will accom­mo­date a larger group (up to 30) for each presentation.

Extend­ing the net­work: DMG Mon­treal & DMG Bristol

Work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with DMG, Ali­son and Helen will orga­nize incu­ba­tors in two novel con­texts: Mon­treal, Que­bec and Bris­tol, UK. Both of these set­tings fea­ture grow­ing inde­pen­dent game com­mu­ni­ties that would greatly ben­e­fit from context-specific fem­i­nist inter­ven­tions aimed at encour­ag­ing more female-identified peo­ple to feel con­fi­dent in the process of games design. Like DMG and DEI, the pur­poses of these context-aware inter­ven­tions will be to facil­i­tate com­mu­nity build­ing, net­work­ing, skills devel­op­ment, men­tor­ing, and per­sonal growth among par­tic­i­pants, as well as the cre­ation of games by novice developers.

We will make inter­ven­tions in our respec­tive com­mu­ni­ties with the com­pre­hen­sive doc­u­men­ta­tion and feed­back gen­er­ated in DEI and the activ­i­ties of DMG, by past facil­i­ta­tors, embed­ded aca­d­e­mics, and cur­rent orga­niz­ers. Using these best prac­tices as guide­lines, we will then con­sult with con­stituents in the local com­mu­ni­ties (via indie game col­lec­tives, local aca­d­e­mics, devel­oper hubs) about ideal loca­tions, pro­mo­tions venues, show­case loca­tions, etc. Struc­turally, incu­ba­tors will be run in the for­mat of DEI, with six 3–4 hour ses­sions run over 6 weeks and capped off with a show­case to demon­strate the com­pleted games.

 

 PsXXY¥borg (pro­nounced “cyborg”)

By Han­nah Epstein

The pur­pose of this game is to eman­ci­pate a domes­tic game designer, so that she can cre­ate a game that is beau­ti­ful, immer­sive and tran­scen­dent of gen­der nor­ma­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Through using Unity and the Kinect, PsXXY¥borg will come to life as multi-player game, suited for pub­lic instal­la­tion, as the more peo­ple play­ing, the more com­plex the game play will become, all in the name of redefin­ing the social and polit­i­cal impor­tance of games. The game, PsXXY¥borg, will be inspired directly by the writ­ing of Donna Har­away and her pro­posed post-gender cyborg. It will be designed to con­tain these ele­ments of the­ory, putting into prac­tice and artis­tic expres­sion the very ideal beliefs housed within the post-gender cyborg framework.

 

WOMEN IN THE GAME INDUS­TRY – LESSONS TO LEARN

By Sonja Gan­guin and Anna Hoblitz

Gen­der dif­fer­ences are typ­i­cally dis­cussed when it comes to the use of com­puter– and video games. How­ever, today, the typ­i­cal gamer is not male. In Ger­many, for exam­ple, 10.8 mil­lion women play reg­u­larly – these are 44 % of the gamers (BIU 2012). Yet this pos­i­tive devel­op­ment can­not be seen in the videogame indus­try, which is still a male-dominated field. Why only few women work in this cre­ative and chal­leng­ing area is not quite obvi­ous. At the same time there are suc­cess­ful women in the game indus­tries as pro­duc­ers, devel­op­ers, pub­lish­ers, etc. How­ever there is lit­tle known about their biogra­phies, careers, points of views and atti­tudes. What was their spe­cific way into the indus­try? How would they describe their own role in the busi­ness? Are they con­fronted with gen­der dif­fer­ences in their daily work and what are their strate­gies to deal with it? To answer these ques­tions we plan to develop a basic study that focuses on the per­spec­tive of women work­ing in the game indus­try by inter­view­ing them as experts. With guided expert inter­views, the women’s bio­graph­i­cal sta­tus as well as key fac­tors for suc­cess could be deter­mined. The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and analy­sis of suc­cess fac­tors and strate­gies, for exam­ple in the arrays of edu­ca­tion, social net­work­ing and projects, will indi­cate pos­si­ble start­ing points for sup­port­ing female stu­dents get­ting started their career.

On the one hand, the aim of the study is to describe a sta­tus quo of the actual sit­u­a­tion of women work­ing in the game busi­ness. On the other hand, it is nec­es­sary to deduce rec­om­men­da­tions for effec­tive and appro­pri­ate pro­mo­tional mea­sures to strengthen women’s posi­tion and espe­cially to reduce the bar­ri­ers that pre­vent them from join­ing the game indus­try. This coop­er­a­tion and the sub­se­quent study intend to take con­crete mea­sures, for exam­ple a men­tor­ing pro­gram for women could be devel­oped which is based on the results of the sur­vey. Female stu­dents could get into con­tact with a female men­tor work­ing in the games busi­ness and their com­mu­ni­ca­tion could give some insights into the indus­try and facil­i­tate young women’s entry into this profession.

 

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