2014 Speakers

The 2014 Queerness and Games Conference was honored to feature the following speakers:

Sarah Lynne Bowman, Ph.D., teaches as adjunct faculty in English and Communication for several institutions including the University of Texas at Dallas. McFarland Press published her dissertation in 2010 as The Functions of Role-playing Games: How Participants Create Community, Solve Problems, and Explore Identity. Bowman also edits The Wyrd Con Companion Book, an annual collection of essays on larp and related phenomena.
“Infiltrating Boffer Larp with Drag: Challenging Gender Performance through Role-playing Games”

Hanna Brady is a writer, a gamer, and a sometimes traveler. Her writing has appeared in TinyCo’s Tiny Castle and Spellstorm and can be found at www.hannabrady.com. In her spare time, she likes to curl up with her computer and write some more.
“Is it a Boy or a Girl?: Talking Gender with Children”

Derek A. Burrill is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside.
“Watch Your Ass! Masculinity, Play, and Games”

Edmond Y. Chang is an Assistant Professor of English at Drew University. His areas of interest include technoculture, gender and sexuality, cultural studies, video games, popular culture, and contemporary American literature. He has published an article “Gaming as Writing, Or, World of Warcraft as World of Wordcraft” in the Fall 2008 Computers & Composition Online Special Issue on “Reading Games” and an essay “Queering Bioshock” is forthcoming in an edited collection called Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games.
“Meaningful Mechanics: Game Design, Difference, and Social Justice” (panel)

Naomi Clark (keynote) is a freelance game designer who has been creating games for over two decades. She has designed, written and produced games for many different platforms and audiences. Her most recent games include Wonder City, a stereotype-breaking story game for adolescent girls, and Sandwich Kingdom, a fantasy puzzle adventure played on the Sifteo Cube game platform. She’s currently based in New York City, where she consults on a variety of game projects and teaches game design while working on an upcoming creator-owned game with the Brooklyn Game Ensemble.
“Queerness and Beyond: Rethinking Human-Game Relations”

Matt Conn is the founder of GaymerX, the first LGBTQ focused gaming convention, which just wrapped up their second year. In addition, Matt is also the Executive Producer on the upcoming cyberpunk adventure game “Read Only Memories” and co-produced the queer gaming documentary “Gaming In Color”.
“Deconstructing GaymerX – A Retrospective of the First ‘Gaymer’ Convention”

Mohini Dutta is a game designer and narrative strategist based out of Brooklyn, NY, and Mumbai, India. She is interested in the intersection between games, play and society, and all the messy stuff in between. She is currently exploring ludic social-research strategies for indigenous identity in a urban technological scenario in India. She is otherwise found at Antidote Games, the design consultancy she co-founded in NYC.
“Mindful Play: The Politics of Designing for the ‘Other'”

Merritt Kopas (keynote) is a multimedia artist & game designer interested in play as a utopian project that contains a critique of the present and the seeds of potential futures. Some of her well-known games include LIM, HUGPUNX, and Conversations With My Mother. She also curates free and accessible games at her project forest ambassador, which has been described by IGF award winner Richard Hofmeier as “a nicely-curated gift basket of games’ strangest, newest ideas.
“Queerness and Beyond: Rethinking Human-Game Relations”

Brenda Laurel (keynote) is a professor in the department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the co-founder of Purple Moon.
“Enabling Realities

Evan W. Lauteria is a Sociology Ph.D. student at the University of California, Davis. His current research focuses on the cultural dimensions of the Japanese video game market in the United States, and he is currently co-editing Rated M for Mature: Sex and Sexuality in Video Games with Matthew Wysocki.“Meaningful Mechanics: Game Design, Difference, and Social Justice” (panel)

Brad Lewter is an Assistant Professor of Animation and New Media in the School of Communication & Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University. His work has been featured at international venues including SIGGRAPH, the Foundations of Digital Games Conference, and the Savannah International Animation Festival.

Lisa Nakamura (keynote) is the Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor in the Department of American Cultures and the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
“Racism, Sexism, and Social Justice Warriors in Video Game Culture”

Amanda Phillips is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis, for the IMMERSe video game studies network. Her research unites platform and software studies approaches with feminist, queer, and critical race theory, investigating specific design practices to understand how difference is produced and policed in video games.
“Meaningful Mechanics: Game Design, Difference, and Social Justice” (panel)

DoubleCakes must be destroyed. Jetta Rae, the pinball journalist, co-editor of Consent Culture, pornographer and promoter/writer for Go Deep: Let’s Wrestle is just about able to pay her rent through writing. This is unacceptable!
“All Balled Up Inside: Consent, Pinball, & The End of “Sex as Conquest”

Margaret Rhee is a feminist poet, activist, and scholar. Her research focuses on feminist, queer, and ethnic studies with a special interest on digital participatory action research and pedagogy.As a digital activist and new media artist she is co-lead and conceptualist of From the Center a feminist HIV/AIDS digital storytelling education project implemented in the San Francisco Jail. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and will be a postdoctoral research fellow at UCLA beginning this fall.
“Meaningful Mechanics: Game Design, Difference, and Social Justice” (panel)

Sarah Schoemann is a game designer and a doctoral student in Digital Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is the founder and co-organizer of Different Games, a conference on diversity and inclusivity in games.

Alfred Twu is a designer, artist, and activist in Berkeley, California.  With a day job in architecture and over a decade of involvement in the cooperative housing movement, Alfred makes games that explore the design of communities and the environment. Alfred has also written on cooperative housing and how such large households often adopt game-like systems of rules and quantification to create equitable and consensual living spaces. 
“Games and Community Building in Cooperative Housing”

Lisa Yamasaki is a doctoral student in UCLA’s Education department and specializes in media studies, particularly in analyzing narratives in video games. Her dissertation uses the Portal video game series as a case study to draw upon a new model of narrative structure in puzzle adventure video games.
“Exploring Homoerotic Sadism in Portal: Still Alive and Portal 2

Jonatan Yde is head of studies at the department of Computer Science and game development, Dania, Academy of Higher Education. Yde holds a MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
“Game Oddities: Exploring Queer Presence in Mainstream Games”

Graduating cum laude from Yale University with honors in English Literature, Jeffrey Yohalem began his career as a designer and writer at Ubisoft Montreal. He went on to win the U.S. Writers Guild Award as lead writer of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, became the lead writer of Far Cry 3 and, most recently, co-created and wrote Child of Light.
“Queering AAA”