Latest Event Updates

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.
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April Party — Real Talk About Serious Games

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When creating a serious game (a game intentionally designed to have a purposeful impact on the players’ lives beyond the self-contained aim of the game itself) how do you keep both the game fun and the process of making the game fun? Developers from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab don’t have the answer, but they think they’re on the right track! The challenge is in maintaining respect for the serious topic while making a game that will be engaging for the players.
 
Come hear about three cases in which they’ve made games in various environments: game jams, student projects, projects for clients and provide your feedback about what makes an environment fun, and how exactly do you talk about serious things. Specific cases are the Equal Pay Game Jam from March; game development projects such as elude (a video game about depression), a boardgame created to help communities build wireless mesh networks, and current game development prototypes about prison management and medicare; and student class assignments based on the Willpath personal health tracking and rewards system.
 
Panelists are:
 
Sara Verrilli, Development Director, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Game Director for the wireless mesh network game and the prototypes about prison management and medicare; Instructor for Creating Videogames at MIT.
 
Rik Eberhardt, Studio Manager, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Game Director for elude and organizer for various game jams, including the Equal Pay Game Jam (organized to make games for the Department of Labor Equal Pay Challenge – getting data and info about the current inequities of pay into the hands of US citizens); Instructor for Creating Videogames at MIT.
 
Konstantin Mitgutsch, Postdoctoral Researcher, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Currently researching serious game design development, games for social change, and product owner for the prototypes about prison management and medicare. He has a blog categorizing various games for social change at http://purposefulgames.tumblr.com/.

Tickets for our parties tend to go fast, so if you’re definitely attending, register as soon as possible. By registering, you agree to abide by our party policy.

Our March Party — From Playtester to CEO

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This month’s party talk will be From Playtester to CEO: 20 year game industry veteran and CEO of 38 Studios Jen MacLean shares her perspective on making a career out of the games industry, progressing in the industry as a woman, and always doing something you love. Jen will discuss her experiences at small startups and major media companies, as well as how to thrive in the games industry.

Jen MacLean showcases her extensive experience in online content and interactive entertainment as CEO of 38 Studios. From the start of her career in 1992 at Microprose Software, through senior roles at AOL and Comcast and now at 38 Studios, Jen has managed game development, strategy, marketing and partnerships across multiple platforms. Ms. MacLean earned a BA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA with a concentration in international business from the Columbia Business School. She was named one of the “Game Industry’s 100 Most Influential Women” by Next Generation, one of the “Top 20 Women in Games” by Gamasutra, and is a frequently-requested speaker at interactive entertainment industry events.

Tickets for our parties tend to go fast, so if you’re definitely attending, register as soon as possible. By registering, you agree to abide by our party policy.

Our February Party – A Crash Course in Media Training!

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This month brings us A Crash Course in Media Training, offered by Alexander Sliwinski. As the News Editor for Joystiq, he’s been a prolific contributor to the site for over half a decade. He’s responsible for more than 7,000 posts and is distinguished by his breaking and original news reports. Alexander has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Hofstra University.

This month’s talk will be a rapid-fire, streamline approach to basic media training and communication. Feel free to bring all your questions on how to get coverage for your game and handle media interviews.

Tickets for our parties tend to go fast, so if you’re definitely attending, register as soon as possible.

Settle into 2012 with WIG Boston this January!

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Did you have a good holiday season? Had your fill of relatives, turkey, and Chrismas carols in every store?

Either way, it’s 2012 now, and it’s time to welcome the new year right: with another Women in Games Boston meetup! We’ll be resuming our monthly schedule on the last Tuesday of the month, which means that you should cancel whatever your plans are on January 31 and come party at the Asgard with us instead!

Our speaker this month is Heather Albano, a freelance writer of various forms of fiction. (You should check out her new book, Timepiece!) Among other roles, Heather works as a game designer for Choice of Games, which makes award-winning text-based multiple choice games for the iPhone, Android, Kindle, Palm, and web. Heather co-wrote Choice of Broadsides, a swashbuckling naval adventure in the spirit of Forester’s Hornblower or O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin books, and Choice of Romance, a court intrigue in which a young noble comes to court looking for love and catches the monarch’s eye.

Choice of Games has received quite a bit of positive press for the presentation of gender in both games (from Jezebel, from The Guardian, and from Metafilter, among others). Heather will discuss the thought processes behind these decisions, considerations and challenges with regard to their implementation, and both positive and negative feedback from players.

I’m trying a new thing with the RSVP – since the back room at the Asgard starts getting uncomfortable when more than 50 people are crowded in there, I’m capping the ticket availability at 50. That means if you want to attend, best get on the RSVP train and reserve yourself a ticket!

October meetup: Next Tuesday, 10/25

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This month’s WIG Boston will be happening once again at The Asgard, 7-10pm, on Tuesday, October 25. As usual, please please please RSVP if you are going to attend!

Matthew Weise is going to be speaking this month about the  gender politics in horror games, specifically in the slasher genre of games. Matt is the Game Design Director for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab and his primary research interest lies in the transmedia relationship between film and games: in how they each can represent meaningful fictional universes differently.

September meeting next week!

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August’s meeting was fantastic, so we’re going to keep the good time going at The Asgard this month. The meeting will be Tuesday, September 27, from 7:00 – 10:00PM EDT.

Once again, *please* RSVP if you’re going to attend — it helps, it really helps.