Ms. PacMac & Lara Croft: Getting Beyond #GamerGate and #MeToo Serious Play July 19, 2018
Agenda • #MeToo #Gamer Gate • What do we know about the “Game” Industry? • What lessons can Serious Game Companies share to make the whole industry better? Example from the Entertainment Industry
Game World Development… • Bench Marked Current Games • Developed A Creative Brief • Art Slam with input from 4 Artists • Focus groups with kids from urban, suburban and rural areas • And by default, their moms
Design Considerations for Serious Games K12 Learning Objective Age Reading Level Socio-Economic status Accessibility factors Mechanics Primary Language Motivational Schema Accuracy of Content Higher Ed and Adult Learning Objective Major/Non major Mechanics Primary Language Motivational Schema Accuracy of Content
Accuracy of Content What do we mean by content? • Anything that a player will see, hear or read within context or cultural environment of a game • Academic or Factual Content (Serious Games) • Cultural Content (All Games) Cultural Categories • History • Religion • Intercultural Conflict (e.g., Pocket God) • Geopolitical friction (Maps and disputed territories) Kate Edwards, Culturalization of Game Content
What isn’t there? • Gender • Race and Ethnicity • Sexual Orientation • Physical Abilities • Class
Why?! 1980… Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York
Women in Games • Damsel In Distress • Victim • Slut • How do we get beyond being sexy side kicks? Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York
Lara Gets Pants Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York
Race “Of course Grand Theft Auto is violent, misogynistic and racist. It is a ganster fantasy. How could it be otherwise? (Shaw)
Sexual Orientation Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York
Not Totally Invisible Literature here is new • Earliest Games was Caper in the Castro (1988) • Few Lead Characters • NPCs (sex workers) • Will Wright: The Sims Courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York
Best Practices • Iterative Design with end-user and purchaser feedback • Patterns of Play • Cooperative versus Competitive • Diversity on the team • Accessibility (Audio/Visual/Motor)
Selected Sources Chess, S., and Shaw, A., (2015) A Conspiracy of Fishes or How We Learned to Stop Worrying About #GamerGate and Embrace Hegemonic Masculinity, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 59(1). Edwards, Kate, (2011) Culturalization of Game Content. Friesen, E. (2017) Developing Media and Gender Literacy in the High School Classroom, Journal of Literacy and Technology 18(2). Gabbiadini, A., Riva, P., Andrighetto, L., Volpato, C., Bushman, BJ (2016) Acting Like a Tough Guy: Violent-Sexist Video Games, Identification with Game Characters, PLoS ONE 11(4). Garrelts, Nate, (2006) The Meaning and Nature of Grand Theft auto: critical essays, Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company. Google, (2018) Change the Game: The World of Women and Mobile Gaming. Juul, Jesper, (2010) A Casual Revolution: reinventing video games and their players, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Kafai, Y. B., Heeter, C., Denner, J., & Sun, J. (Eds.) (2008). Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New perspectives on gender and gaming. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Selected Sources Lynch, T., Tompkins, J., van Dreil, I. and Fritz, N., (2016) Sexy, Strong and Secondary: A Content Analysis of Female Characters in Video Games across 31 years, Journal of Communications 66. Murray, S., (2018) On Video Games: The Visual Politics of Race, Gender and Space New York, NY: I. B. Tauris. Porter, Justin, (February 25, 2017) A Fresh Narrative in Gaming, New York, NY: The New York Times. Ray, S.G., (2004) Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market, Hingham , MA: Charles River Media, Inc. Shaw, A., On Not Becoming Gamers: Moving Beyond the Constructed Audience. Shaw A., and Ruberg, B. eds., Queer Game Studies, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Shaw, A. (2014) Gaming at the edge, sexuality and gender at the margins of gamer culture, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Shaw, A., Friesem, E., (2016) Where is the Queerness in Games? Types of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Content in Digital Games, International Journal of Communication 10 (2016). Spector, B., Truell, M., (2017) The Design and Implementation of Modern Online Programming Competitions. Todd, Cherie, (2015) Commentary: GamerGate and resistance to the diversification of gaming culture, Women’s Studies Journal, 29(1).