[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 124, Issue 7

Sarah Schoemann sarah.schoemann at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 14:54:49 AEST 2015


Hi folks, excited to be joining this conversation alongside such brilliant
respondents!


A bit about what I’ve been up to recently:

Just last week my co-organizers and I convened the 3rd annual Different
Games Conference (http://www.2015.differentgames.org/) at NYU Polytechnic
School of Engineering in Brooklyn. Different Games is a conference on
diversity and inclusivity in games that I founded in 2012 as a student at
Poly and longtime member of the NYC games scene. While NYC has been home to
a fertile independent games scene for decades, I’ve been particularly
influenced by the creative communities its fostered in recent years,
especially with regards to DIY, indie and artist-made games. Places like
Babycastles (http://babycastles.com/) -the collectively run, DIY games
exhibition space in NYC- have been important in my development both as a
game designer and a researcher on games and games culture.

As I continue to co-organize Different Games (which has grown to 300
attendees and is cooperatively run by more than a dozen organizers spread
across the US) creating communities that can be both governed by, as well
as an expression of, deeply held values continues to be a huge motivation
for my work. As I progress with my doctoral research I hope to focus more
closely on the ways that communities of practice in indie and DIY games
have formed based on shared beliefs and experiences.

 On a related note, I’ve begun a project with Atlanta’s historic feminist
bookstore, Charis Books and More (http://www.charisbooksandmore.com/) where
myself and my classmates from the GA Tech Game Studio (
http://gamestudio.gatech.edu/) have created games related public events at
Charis as part of a collobaration we’re calling “Dear Games” (
http://deargames.tumblr.com/). Dear Games has held a number of small events
on games and feminism and we are now in the midst of outfitting a classic
arcade cabinet to showcase independent games created by women and queer
authors in the store.

I’m excited to work further with Charis on cultivating explicitly feminist
community around games. While in recent years there has been a surge of
activism and consciousness-raising with regards to the experience of women
and queer folks in the tech sector, I’d love to see more of it examined in
the context of historical feminist and anti-racist organizing and
consciousness-raising work. I’m excited to see what bringing indie games to
a diverse and decades-old feminist community space can do to provoke
conversations between contemporary game designers and feminist thinkers
from other traditions.
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