EVENT: Workshop on Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Digital Games, OSERA Symposium, 5/21, UO

I have been invited by the organizers of the Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance (OSERA) Symposium to give a brief talk and workshop on race, gender, and sexuality in digital games.  The organizer said in the email invitation, “I was researching some of the faculty at University of Oregon and happened upon you.  I thought that the talk you did previously at UC Santa Barbara was very interesting, and that many of our students would be interested in the subject matter.  This would be more of a talk, though it might be helpful to include some audience participation.”  Therefore, I am adapting an abridged version of my UCSB talk, combining it with previous workshops on close playing games, and framing the entire workshop with questions about diversity in games, about the backlash against feminist, queer, and intersectional critiques of games, and about queergaming.

Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance Symposium
Saturday, May 21st, 2016
University of Oregon

Sorry Not Sorry, Living our Truths
Moving Away from Assimilation, Colonization, Ableism, Identity Policing and Homonormativity.  This is My Life, This is Our Movement.

Join Us!  The OSERA Symposium is a statewide 1 day conference dedicated to serving the needs, voices, and issues of LGBTQ students while challenging societal norms around gender identity and sexual orientation.  This conference seeks to address the lived marginalization of some identities from within the LGBTQ+ justice community, and will explore the impacts of homonormativity within community organizing.  This event will allow students to not only receive skill-based trainings in a safe and inclusive space, but also to connect students to current advocacy work happening in Oregon and networking amongst their peers statewide.  The symposium will offer 20 individualized workshops, keynote speakers, and community building space for LGBTQ+ students.

Many thanks to the symposium organizers for this opportunity to share my work and to talk about games in an social justice and activist setting.  Here is my workshop:

#WeNeedDiverseGames: Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Digital Games
Saturday | May 21, 2016 | Session I | 9-10:20 AM
OSERA Symposium | University of Oregon

Edmond Y. Chang, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Women’s and Gender Studies
University of Washington
echang @ uoregon.edu

Given recent critiques of the lack of diversity in digital games, this presentation examines the many ways games are stereotypical and normative particularly regarding race, gender, and sexuality even as gamers and developers evince their promises of power, freedom, and play with identities.  How then might we unpack the ways characters of color are often rendered as either lighter-skinned protagonists or darker-skinned enemies?  Or how might we understand how the algorithmic underpinnings of programming and game design allow for and problematically constrain and recuperate gender and sexuality?

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