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Emma Vossen

English Language and Literature

Emma Vossen is a PhD candidate currently writing a dissertation examining how accessible games and gaming/gamer culture is to women. Her research is specifically examining how comfortable women feel playing, talking and writing about games in both physical and virtual spaces and how this determines who enters and becomes a part of gamer culture.

She has published on the accessibility of pornography for women and the Fifty Shades of Grey series, romance and sex in The Walking Dead comic and games, and the fetish art of Superman's co-creator Joe Shuster. She was the commentaries editor of First Person Scholar and took over the role of FPS Editor in Chief in the fall of 2015. You can read various bits of her writing about Zelda, harassment in games spaces, and The Walking Dead game on FPS as well. She is the co-founder of the Games Institute Janes (GI Janes) and has been organizing monthly gaming events for women in the Games Institute.

Sample Projects

First Person Scholar

front page of the FPS website

Emma was the Editor in Chief for First Person Scholar (FPS). FPS is an online game studies periodical created and maintained by graduate students at the University of Waterloo through The Games Institute. FPS aims to occupy the niche between academic blogs and journals in establishing an informed, sustained conversation. Their articles are relatively short, thought-provoking pieces that are intended to stimulate debate on games and games scholarship.

Lady Hobbits

Lady Hobbits imageEmma Vossen and Elise Vist made the Lady Hobbits video in Neil Randall's Lord of the Rings class in the coursework year of their PhD. Because of the critiques they leveled at Jackson’s adaptation of LOTR, Emma and Elise decided to make their own adaptation, using the LOTRO game to make a machinima. their adaptation gender-bends and (somewhat, due to the limitations of character creation) race-bends the main characters of the LOTR in order to show that the story is just as interesting and relevant if the characters are not white men. It was very important to us that the story was still recognizable as Frodo’s journey, even with female hobbits. They also wanted to have some fun with the book, bringing in their own politics and making a few jokes that point out odd moments in the narrative, but they took care not to make jokes about the hobbits being female characters.

Sample Publications and Presentations

Top 25 Finalist for SSHRC's Storytellers Challenge

2013 Three Minute Thesis Competition

University of Waterloo

IMMERSe Network


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