Resource Round Up: 31st May 2013

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NINETEEN!

We have NINETEEN links in the round up today so go and put the kettle on for GOODNESS SAKE. Grab something sweet too. Yolo and all that. Here’s what we think is worth a looksee!

Events

Firstly, this one, because it’s time sensitive. If you’re in Vancouver, British Columbia, right now, you might want to head to the 2nd annual Feminists In Games workshop down at the Centre for Digital Media, where speakers include Anita Sarkeesian, Brenda Laurel, and T.L. Taylor. The program looks really exciting!

Also happening in Vancouver at the same Centre for Digital Media, is a wonderful game jam organised by I Am A Gamer, where people will be getting together for a 48 hour game jam where the games must feature a female protagonist! Awesome. That’s on from the 12th to the 14th of July, and registration opens soon if you’d like to be a part of it.

Reads

Ellen Ullman did an opinion piece over at the New York Times titled “How to be a woman programmer”, where she discusses her personal approach to dealing with prejudice and being a minority. She finds the best approach for her is to retain an “angry dignity”, as opposed to lashing out. This piece did the rounds fairly quickly, and blog posts started popping up in reaction to it, like this one from Sarah Allen (@ultrasaurus).

Chelsea Howe (@manojalpa) wrote a Dear Ada letter also expressing some of her issues with the way some people approach their activism, and her experiences being othered.

David Gallant at Gamasutra did a blog post on inclusivity, diversity, and the Difference Engine Initiative (which we LOVE), titled “We Can Do Better”. He also spoke of the Toronto gamedev scene, which seems to have heaps going for it at the moment in terms of women in development. Go Toronto!

Rhianna Pratchett says in a piece on Polygon that the #1reasontobe hashtag lit a fire in her, and that pointing out those negatives about being in the industry (as well as the positives) can actively promote change.

The story of Brosie went viral last week, you can check that out if you haven’t already seen it over at the Hawkeye Initiative. It’s a great story about a woman standing up for herself in the workplace, and her boss actually being pretty rad about it. Good stuff!

Also going viral this week has been the Cracked article “5 gamer comments that give straight white guys a bad name”. It tackles things we’re all sick of hearing in response to taking a stand, such as “Sexy girls have it easier, stop complaining”, “Sexism is over”, “My life is hard, so there’s no bias in my favour”, “never mind other people, you hurt MY feelings”, and “white males are the only real minority left!”. It has some amazing points, but would have been _even better_ if he skipped the ableist jokes he’s peppered in there. It would be a shame to ignore all the good this article is doing despite that, though, so it makes it into the round up. We acknowledge that it’s problematic.

Brendan Keogh had a bit of a peek into the Queer games scene for Polygon, where he spoke to Mattie Brice, Anna Anthropy, and Merritt Kopas about making games about their everyday lives. You know it’s going to be a great read when even the title is inspiring: “Just making things and being alive about it”.

Porpentine also explored 7 Thoughts On Women In Games on her blog, exploring power dynamics and the fight.

Kameron Hurley wrote “‘We have always fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle, and Slaves’ narrative” to discuss the representation of women in games. Best enjoyed in close proximity to this piece unpacking the argument of “historically accurate” sexism in history and fantasy, by Tansy Raynor Roberts.

The New York Times also ran a piece on the future of one of comics most iconic women, Karen Berger, as she stands down from Vertigo after over 30 years, in “Comics’ Mother of The Weird Stuff is moving on”.

Veteran games writer Susan O’Connor shared very honestly with the Gameological Society that she was at a breaking point with the industry, and had some really interesting things to say. The article also links to her Ted talk, which leads us nicely to…

Videos

Susan O’Connor’s Ted Talk! All about superhero kids, writing for games, her dad, and being the hero in your life.

Feminist Frequency has released their next Tropes vs Women in Videogames, it’s Part 2 of the Damsel’s in Distress videos. Part 1 is over here if you haven’t seen it already, and part 3 is on its way. They provide a great breakdown of what is really messed up, and that’s the first step to making better stuff, right?

Hope you enjoyed the round up for this last fortnight, we’ll be bringing more to you soon!