The Department of Drama and Speech Communication, along with campus partners, presents this distinguished lecture on race and gaming by visiting professor Kishonna Gray.
Intricately linked to an examination of the visual within contemporary gaming culture is the need to understand racialization, particularly because racial minorities (as gamers, developers, and characters) contemporarily and historically have faced exploitation, isolation, and othering. The continual omission and racialized distortion of marginalized groups contributes greatly to the shock of hegemonic gaming culture, typically sheltered by structural privilege, when they encounter examples of Blackness that are not discursively bound by stereotypical misrepresentations. These acts of Black communicative resistance will also be explored, examining their ability to infiltrate the hegemonic culture of gaming and lead to sustained change.
Kishonna L. Gray (Ph.D., Arizona State University) is the Director of the Critical Gaming Lab at Eastern Kentucky University as well as faculty in the School of Justice Studies, African/African-American Studies, Women & Gender Studies. Her work broadly intersects identity and new media although she has a particular focus on gaming. Her most recent book, Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live (Routledge, 2014), provides a much-needed theoretical framework for examining deviant behavior and deviant bodies within that virtual gaming community. In additional to academic outlets, her work has been featured in the LA Times, New York Times, Paste Magazine, Engadget, The Guardian, BET, and Blavity. She’s a featured blogger and podcaster with “Not Your Mama’s Gamer” and actively blogs on her own websites at kishonnagray.com and lachezbippy.kinja.com. Journey with her on Twitter @DrGrayThaPhx and the Critical Gaming Lab @CriticalGameLab.