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 Well-Played Game

“In The Well-Played Game, games guru Bernard De Koven explores the interaction of play and games, offering players—as well as game designers, educators, and scholars—a guide to how games work. De Koven’s classic treatise on how human beings play together, first published in 1978, investigates many issues newly resonant in the era of video and computer games, including social gameplay and player modification. The digital game industry, now moving beyond its emphasis on graphic techniques to focus on player interaction, has much to learn from The Well-Played Game.” – Publisher

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

Introduction to Game Analysis

“Game analysis allows us to understand games better, providing insight into the player-game relationship, the construction of the game, and its sociocultural relevance. As the field of game studies grows, videogame writing is evolving from the mere evaluation of gameplay, graphics, sound, and replayablity, to more reflective writing that manages to convey the complexity of a game and the way it is played in a cultural context.” – 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)

Digital Games as History

“This book provides the first in-depth exploration of video games as history. Chapman puts forth five basic categories of analysis for understanding historical video games: simulation and epistemology, time, space, narrative, and affordance. Through these methods of analysis he explores what these games uniquely offer as a new form of history and how they produce representations of the past.” – Publisher

Playing with Sustainability

“In this article, we analyze representative commercial video games in four categories: civilization simulations, post–apocalypse first–person shooters, multiplayer survivor horror games, and historical recreations. We examine the ways their game mechanics and game scenarios represent social, economic and environmental interdependencies. We contrast these representations with future scenarios of gradually increasing scarcity of resources, climate change, and other human–environment interactions which can be influenced by transitioning to sustainable practices.” – Shawna Kelly & Bonnie Nardi

The Polar Hub

“The Polar Learning and Responding Climate Change Education Partnership (PoLAR CCEP) seeks to inform public understanding of and response to climate change through the creation of novel educational approaches that utilize fascination with shifting polar environments and are geared towards lifelong learners.” – The Polar Hub

On Board Game Accessibility

“”Appreciation of popular cultural products facilitates the building of common conversational ground, and permits friendships to accrete around a set of shared cultural experiences. It is not however the case that all individuals have equal opportunity to participate in this process. Many cultural products, popular or otherwise, remain either physically or sociologically inaccessible to large segments of the population. ” – Michael Heron