Monthly Archives: March 2014

Upcoming talk: Brown bag talk at SIMLab Chicago

Next week I’ll be speaking on social justice and games research at Loyola University Chicago.

More information on the SIMLab facebook page.

Boundaries, Barriers, and Breaking Through:
Investigating a MMOG community through a social justice framework

As with all games, Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) are a voluntary leisure activity. However, the voluntary nature of play does not necessarily mean these gameworlds are equally open to all. To illustrate barriers to participation I present a case study of EVE Online, a space-themed MMOG with an extremely homogenous player community consisting of primarily economically advantaged white males. Drawing on four years of data collection including participant observation, surveys, interviews, and content analysis of community-created texts, I document how marginalized groups – in particular women and people of colour – are inadvertently and/or actively discouraged from participating in this popular MMOG. And yet, this lack of engagement is held up by existing community members as evidence of women’s lack of interest, which in turn reinforces gender and race-based stereotypes about MMOGs and the people who opt to play them. This investigation addresses a significant gap in current research on MMOGs, which to date has yet to substantially engage in questions about who does not play online games and their reasons for disengagement.

Proof of life

I hear the message loud and clear!  I have been off the radar this semester and folks are starting to wonder if I’ve made good on my threats to run away to study social interaction  in Antarctica.

I am in full hermit mode as I dissertate and work on the numerous things I said yes to when I was optimistic about the amount of free time I’d have this semester.  But I’m easing back into social mode as I prep for a busy spring.  You’ll see me at a few conferences including:

  • I am very excited to be attending Console-ing Passions in April. I’ll be speaking about my anti-feminism on Reddit work. I’m also looking forward to visiting Missouri for the very first time!
  • I have three(!!!) accepted papers at the International Communication Association. So you will see me in Seattle in May.
  • I’m co-chair of the Canadian Game Studies Association’s annual conference, so I’ll be at Brock in May.

But seriously, if you have funding to send a social science researcher to Antarctica, I’m your gal. Send me a note and I’ll fill you in on my proposed  project! 😉