Games & Gender Workshop in EHU (Vilnius)
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Gender problems in video games remain among the most fiercely discussed topics in contemporary cultural studies. This subject is important mainly because both games and gender theory, in fact, haven't been acknowledged for quite a while. This is a story of three denials: games being ignored by academics, marginal status of game criticism, and, finally, certain difficulties when popularising gender agenda.
Despite being one of the most profitable industries of new media capitalism, video game industry has been considered an outsider and unimportant phenomenon, and game studies are still seen as academical underground. In its turn, establishment of gender theory as one of the most influential directions in humanities took at least half of the century. At our workshop, we are going to combine these two disciplines to overcome limitations mentioned above.
The main goal of this workshop is to identify crucial meeting points of gender studies and game studies. Another goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to solve acute problems in this field by civilized academic discussion.
We plan to discuss the following questions:
⦁ Representation of women in video games: feminist criticism.
⦁ LGBTQ+ in games: sexuality of characters, players’ reception.
⦁ Variety of genders in virtual worlds of video games.
⦁ Gender aspects of differences between games and players in different countries and cultures.
⦁ Game subcultures, gender and social capital.
⦁ And more.
Primarily, the workshop is addressed to academics interested in culture and gender studies, to media researchers and game scholars. Anyway, we hope that it will prove useful to game designers, artists, producers and even marketing specialists. Knowledge obtained at the workshop can be used to create new and better games for larger audiences of potential players who are not satisfied with stereotypical images and motifs offered by conventional video games.
This is a cross-disciplinary workshop: we are expecting philologists, culture researchers, sociologists and media scholars. A panel for public discussions of the most important topics will be held on the second day of the conference. Our tasks include not only articulation of existing problems in game studies and game critique, but also validation of their importance for the society in general.
To reach our aims, we will host a number of keynotes from Eastern European game researchers who particularly pay attention to gender aspects of games. Also, we invite students and young researchers to join us as speakers. Three best potential speakers will be chosen in a contest that will last from September 15 to October 8. It will be judged by lecturers of European Humanities University and game practitioners. The winners will receive small travel grants, and every speaker will get all kinds of support from the organizing committee
Deadline for applications of speakers is October, 8. The application form is available here:
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