May Party — Digital Gaming QUILTBAG-ing Circle

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This month’s party features a talk, “Digital Gaming QUILTBAG-ing Circle”, by games researcher Todd Harper.

It’s no secret to video game-loving queer folk and their allies that the letters of our ever-expanding acronym could be better represented in games, but there’s so many questions and variables involved with that. What sort of games? What sorts of themes and characters? What’s helpful and what’s hurtful? This talk shares the experiences of working with GAMBIT interns on “A Closed World,” the many responses it got, the challenges of building a followup game, and a little postmortem of the recent Cardboard Gayme Jam held at the lab. Hopefully what’s been learned through these various experiences will help shed some light and open up discussion on this very complex topic.

Todd Harper is a postdoctoral researcher at the MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, where he studies the seemingly contradictory subjects of e-sports and fighting game culture, and queer/gender representation in games. He is currently working on adapting his dissertation on the hardcore fighting game community into a book, studying sportsmanship in League of Legends, and recently gave a well-received talk on same-sex romance options in Bioware games at the Pop Culture Association Conference here in Boston.