Feminist Games

quo magis speculativa, magis practica

Tag: games

more nonsense

playing a game is so entirely inconsequential
playing a game is so entirely a waste of time
playing a game doesn’t matter
playing a game
playing a game
playing a game
what are you going to do with your life?
what are you going to do with your life?
play a game
play many games
games are fun to play
fun, funny, funtastic
elastic, plastic, and entirely dividuatable
games control your lives
your many yous, your many lives
games provide incentive to
lives that are not compulsory
lives that do not matter
lives that have yet to exist
plan for the future!
step right up; claim your game!



what a game can do
depends on how you read it
can you see
the things that be
those words that exist
to trick you.

you are you
and you and you
ad infinitum, except
with each twist and turn,
pivot, subsume,
“it” depends on when.

lick, blink,
press to oblivion,
but nothing feels like
scent remembers,
as everything smells a’ history.

born in dust
the barn a’fire
an ember whisks you away,
and while be-fore you feared a’burning,
as a gas
thy freedom come.

what a joke
you’ve fallen for,
a narrative that saves you;
for you must reconcile
your hate of you,
that is you being you.

the you of you
is a deep, fried bucket of lies;
revived ad nauseum thanks in part
to the games that serve
you solitude.

teaching philosophy statement

The Teaching Philosophy Statement is a document that doctoral students are often asked to iterate throughout their graduate study in order to prepare them for the job market. This is my first crack at it, written at the conclusion of my first term in Ph.D school. 


All my life, my education has been greatly informed by an exposure to critical, ethical people, who have been generous with their time and resources as they helped me ascend from various scaffolds to the person I am today. In my classroom, I work to provide those same opportunities that are often afforded to me, but in a context that is always relevant to each individual student. Students, I believe, are their own best teachers; me—I’m at best a facilitator, a classroom-designer. I work diligently to model the praxis of my teachers, but I also demand from my students the time and commitment they need to explore and understand the various facets that define different modes of problem-solving. In my classroom, I value a diverse and broad subset of knowledges, and it is in that space that I simply ask students to relate what they know (or what they think the know) to what I know and what their peers know. Read the rest of this entry »

draft – to proceed: an exploration of games and learning


In this paper I develop a methodology for thinking about the relationship between learning and gameplay that challenges popular rhetorical frameworks that situate games as either tools or texts. After making a game and discussing its limitations in this paper, I argue for a way of thinking about game design that centers the way designers construct literacies with which to network ideas together in context.


Read the rest of this entry »


“Games under Capitalism” – an #indiE3 presentation 

[Part 1 begins at 01:35:00] [ Part 2 ends at 00:33:00 ]

games under capitalism

Warning: not to be read by someone expecting complete ideas or full sentences. Literally, this is just stuff I worked out of my head. It’s not entirely complete because I was also texting myself thoughts during the same time period, which I may transcribe at a later date. Read the rest of this entry »



Virtual worlds promise to manifest a place. The nature, organization, aesthetic and design of that space will reflect a particular way of thinking unique to the designer; but, when a player enters the virtual world, they know very little about those qualities. A virtual world becomes familiar through a process of acculturation and movement. Moving, or trying to move, can teach a player a lot about what is valued, what is expected, and what is power. Perhaps any geographer or architect will affirm that the shape, material, and boundaries of a space are just a few of the elements that manipulate and encode human behavior with meaning—and the same can be said about algorithmic and programmatic structures that translate computer mouse movement into a walking avatar. Social behavior can also be shaped recursively in a space; players themselves can elaborate upon the structure in the production of culture. Anything is theoretically possible with a computer programming language, and so the design of a virtual world—unlike the design of other cultural forms related to art and entertainment—has the potential to offer players and designers unique dimensions of experience and expression that are multiplicitous and plural.

While only conceptually bounded by the creativity of human imagination, virtual worlds are necessarily limited by frameworks that organize and manifest space, language, and bodies. Theoretically, virtual worlds are new media objects; Castronova argues that they are a technology in and of themselves, characteristically vehicular environments that transport people into a collective fantasy existence (2007: 5). As new media objects, virtual worlds are representatively numerical, modular, and variable; and, they do tend to reconstitute culture in the process of “computerizing” familiar aspects of the real world (cf. Manovich, 2002). As objects, virtual worlds are naturalized as separate entities to the real one; and similarly, virtual identities are naturalized as fragmented and only loosely connected to the material body. Really—so the logic goes—these worlds are simply containers that shape and organize human experience; ultimately, they can be reduced to algorithms and mathematical abstractions that have been orchestrated for affect. Within this operational paradigm, the virtual world is rendered as a discrete object that borrows from the real world, but that does not reflect back into the cultural system from whence it came. What I hope this thesis serves to do, however, is interrogate how a rethinking of the virtual world and the body can more meaningfully understand the symbiotic relationship between the player and the virtual world as co-arbitrators of human experience. This is a political intervention as much as it is a theoretical one. Rather than try to understand what a virtual world is, or necessarily who inhabits a virtual world, I want to turn attention to the boundaries of these spaces to understand what cannot or who cannot exist within a virtual world by virtue of design.

I am centrally concerned with the co-arbitrated constitution of gender within virtual worlds. Designers refract gender politics through their games, and players routinely embrace or struggle with those values. This thesis will argue that the process of constitution is reflected in the language, space, and bodies that inhabit the boundaries of the virtual world of Minecraft (Mojang, 2011). Inspired by the work of T.L. Taylor, Lisa Nakamura, Carol Stabile, María Lugones, and Donna Haraway this thesis will trouble theoretical notions of where the boundaries of the virtual world lie, and how recursive activity in and around the game generates normative cultural praxis. Building parallel to the work of Fron et. al. (2007) and their conceptualization of hegemonic play, this thesis is a textual analysis and discourse analysis that examines the social and programmatic construction of the game by interrogating how code, design, and fan modifications limit and facilitate play in the videogame Minecraft

what is your song

when is it a game

i have some ideas about the disposition a person would require in order to conceive of prison as a game space.

i am uncomfortable with games that benefit from the seemingly game-like qualities of systematically broken systems. maybe this is a reflection of my education about the american legal system and private, for-profit prison facilities that plague People of Color across the United States.

(my source)

in a way that television cannot, games have (and often exercise) the power to situate systems in a kind of permanence that reflect the insufficient nature of the legal system itself. there is no room for the player to interject into the code and change the way a system works.

what does it mean to “play” within the prison industrial complex? Read the rest of this entry »