Why is motherhood so poorly portrayed in video games?

“I’ve never had a baby. I once had one of those dolls that you could feed and it periodically pissed itself, but I gather this represents only a fraction of the maternal experience. I’ll tell you what I have done, though: I have played a lot of video games. And games, you may be startled to discover, are not too great at portraying motherhood – though they seem to have fatherhood all figured out.” – Kate Gray, The Guardian

The Birth of the Chess Queen

“Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn’t until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king’s fierce warrior and protector.” – Publisher

Suffragetto

“Suffragetto is a contest of occupation between two opposing factions, The Suffragettes and The Police. The goal of the Suffragettes is to break past Police lines and enter the House of Commons. At the same time, The Suffragettes must also prevent the Police from entering Albert Hall, an oft-used meeting space of the Women’s Social and Political Union.” – Official Rules (Revised)

Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live

“This book examines the nature of social interactions within Xbox Live, which are often riddled with deviant behavior, including but not limited to racism and sexism. The text situates video games within a hegemonic framework deploying whiteness and masculinity as the norm. The experiences of the marginalized bodies are situated within the framework of deviance as they fail to conform to the hegemonic norm and become victims of racism, sexism, and other types of harassment.” – Publisher

Gaming at the Edge

“Adrienne Shaw argues that video game players experience race, gender, and sexuality concurrently, revealing how representation comes to matter to participants and considering the high stakes in politics of representation debates. She finds new insight on the edge of media consumption with the invisible, marginalized gamers who are surprising in both their numbers and their influence in mainstream gamer culture.” – Publisher

The Pixelles Method

“There are no easy answers or shortcuts to changing a culture and increasing diversity, but we can do more than wait around and hope it happens naturally! Pixelles is a grassroots initiative founded in Montreal with the goal to increase the number of women making games, to great success thus far…Tanya, a Pixelles co-founder, will describe the steps they took to create both halves of the program, the lessons they learned, and the changes they see in gamer culture going forward.” – Tanya Short

Pixelles

“Pixelles is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering more women to make and change games, founded by Tanya Short and Rebecca Cohen-Palacios. Pixelles organizes free monthly workshops, a mentorship program for aspiring women-in-games, game jams, socials and more.” – Pixlelles

Dames Making Games

“Dames Making Games is a not-for-profit organization founded in Toronto in 2012. We run a wide range of programs and events for women, non-binary, gender nonconforming, trans and queer folks interested in games. We are member-run, arts-focused, technology positive, collaborative, engaged, and welcoming!”

10 Ways to Make Your Game More Diverse

Curator: Steve Wilcox Steve Wilcox is an assistant professor in the Game Design & Development program at Wilfrid Laurier University where he researches & creates knowledge translation games. He is also the co-founder & former editor-in-chief of First Person Scholar.

The Dangerous Game

“Emma Vossen’s love of gaming started when she was a kid growing up in small-town Ontario. Now as a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo Games Institute, she looks to gamer culture as a microcosm of how sexism is seeded and replicated within broader society, and she draws connections between gamer culture and the rise of the political extreme right. This is the latest in our Ideas from the Trenches series, exploring the exciting insights of PhD students across the country.” – CBC Ideas