The Games Institute acknowledges that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
The UW Women’s Centre, in collaboration with Games Institute, is hosting an educational panel surrounding misogyny in games and gaming culture as part of the Women’s Centre’s annual “Love Your Body” week. The purpose of the event is to draw on women and queer students who study gender in relation to tech, online community building, and gaming to talk about these spaces, their experiences in them, and the overall impact this has on women and queer folks.
Topics that may be discussed or touched upon during the panel include:
- Representation of women and queer bodies in gaming
- Treatment of women and queer individuals within gaming communities
- Impacts of misogyny in gaming on women and queer individuals
- Misogyny within gaming storylines and stereotypes that arise from it (such as in the GTA franchise)
- The impact that the lack of/poor representation has on women and queer individuals’ self-worth
- Public backlash of queer characters by the gaming community (e.g. Ellie from the Last of Us)
- Toxic masculinity in the gaming community
Arielle Grinberg is a PhD candidate in the Management Sciences department, supervised by Dr. Rob Duimering and Dr. Mark Hancock. She is a current graduate mentor and committee member of Women in Engineering (WiE), and the Director of The Youth Connection (TYC), a charity that fundraises to supply educational necessities to at-risk youth in third world countries. Arielle's work intersects Human-Computer Interaction with Organizational Behaviour, where she is evaluating and designing tools to better facilitate distributed collaborative problem-solving in diverse groups. She has also been part of research on the effects of gender and cybersickness in VR, and the language of gender within the VR research field. Arielle is a committed advocate and ally that contributes important discourse on issues of anti-racism, decolonization, equity, diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Shana MacDonald
Shana MacDonald is an Associate Professor in Communication Arts and the current President of the Film Studies Association of Canada. Her interdisciplinary research examines feminist activism within social and digital media, popular culture, cinema, and contemporary art. Dr. MacDonald co-runs the online archive Feminists Do Media (Instagram: @aesthetic.resistance) and the Feminist Think Tank, a space for the public mobilization of feminist theory. She is committed to being part of on-going public conversations that push back against the violence and silencing of diverse voices online because of racist, misogynist, trans and homophobic hate speech in our digital and networked spaces.
Lindsay Meaning is a PhD candidate in the English department at the University of Waterloo. Previously, her research in game studies has analyzed representations of settler colonialism and imperial ideologies in single player role-playing games. Through this work, she began to explore the connections between colonial and imperial power and the sexual exploitation and abuse of women. The strength of these connections, and their reflection in the globalization of the contemporary sex industry, has led her current area of focus studying representations of the sex industry in video games. She seeks to understand the ways in which the objectification, commodification, and sexual exploitation of women are normalized through play, and the ramifications of this normalization both in gaming communities and society as a whole.
Dr. Brianna Wiens
Brianna Wiens is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Communication Arts and co-director of the qcollaborative, a feminist design lab. Her interdisciplinary work draws on her mixed-race queer activist-scholar experience to explore the digitally and culturally mediated phenomena of networked social movements as they circulate among various spheres of power. Dr. Wiens co-runs the digital archive Feminists Do Media (IG: @Aesthetic.Resistance) out of the Feminist Think Tank, a research group committed to intervening into racism, misogyny, and queerphobia across mediated platforms, in the academy, and in daily life.