QGCon Local at USC

QGCon Local logoLIGMAN QGCon Local headshotBonnie Ruberg August 2015189dd13richard-lemarchand-headshot-200-px-squareunicornSACHER QGCon Local headshot





The Queerness and Games Conference is coming to Los Angeles!

Monday, 10/26, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Hosted by the Interactive Media and Games Division at the University of Southern California
Building SCI, room 206 (see campus map); free entry with registration

Headed to LA for IndieCade? Wish you could attend QGCon but can’t make it to Berkeley? Good news! The Interactive Media and Games Division (IMGD) at USC is hosting a one-day, mini QGCon on Monday, 10/26 and YOU’RE INVITED.

QGCon Local is free and open to the public (registration required). Talks, workshops, and performances presented by: Chelsea Howe, Kris Ligman, Richard Lemarchand, Brian McDonald, Bonnie Ruberg, Andy Sacher, Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer, and more! Food provided. USC can be easily reached from Culver City by public transportation via the Metro Expo line.


9:30 am – 10:00 am
Coffee and registration

10:00 am – 10:30 am
“Queerness and Games: An Introduction”
Bonnie Ruberg

At the intersection of LGBTQ issues and video games there lies a realm of infinite possibilities. But what does it mean to talk about queerness in relation to games? Today’s game-makers and scholars are approaching this question in diverse ways: from striving for increased LGBTQ representation and inclusion in game communities to using queer theory as a lens for finding the subversive potential in all games.

10:30 am – 11:00 am
“Infinite Play in Games of Love, Sex, and Romance”
Richard Lemarchand

In his 1987 book, Finite and Infinite Games, James P. Carse suggests that all human activity can be seen as one of two types of games. Here, game designer and USC Games Associate Professor Richard Lemarchand will take a look at the way James Carse discusses different attitudes to sex and love in Finite and Infinite Games, and will connect them to progressive games and intersectionality.

11:00 am – 11:45 am
“Sex Is Like Dark Souls”
Kris Ligman

Dominant narratives have a way of pushing marginalized subjects out — in games, in communities, and in society. By interrogating our normative assumptions about what is ideal or correct about games and sexual attraction, we can start to see just how artificial these standards are and begin to move past them. Alternatively, we can laugh about Dark Souls.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
“Queer Game Mechanics Workshop”
Chelsea Howe

In this workshop we’ll go back to game design basics and cover paper prototyping, playtesting, critique, and nurturing your queer game core.

1:00 pm
Lunch served

1:10 pm – 1:50 pm
“Q&A: Being a Minority in the AAA Industry”
Brian McDonald

Unsure what to expect as a minority entering AAA game dev? Already in the industry and looking for down-to-earth discussion on navigating the workplace while staying true to your identity? Join us for a candid discussion of minority life and careers from veterans/experts.Bring your questions — leave with honest, informed, actionable advice.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
“LA’s untold LGBTQIA+ History”
Andy Sacher

Andy Sacher presents a historical photo presentation describing the role that Los Angeles played in creating a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Allied (LGBTQIA+) Community in America.

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
“LAvender LA and the Rainbow Jam: Student Post-Mortems”
Students from IMGD’s “Gender and Sexuality in Video Games” course and the recent “Rainbow Jam” run by IMGD’s student organization MEGA will present their work, inspired by LAvender LA and the LGBTQ history of Los Angeles.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
“Coffee: A Misunderstanding”
Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer

A queer and socially awkward, mobile device-assisted interactive play about the weirdness of online friendships that aren’t really friendships, set in the midst of a fan convention called AwesomeCon.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
“The Future of Queerness and Games”
Bonnie Ruberg

Today we are standing at perhaps the most exciting, energizing moment in the history of queerness and video games. Where do we go from here? This interactive session invites attendees to reflect on the place of queerness in their own practices as game-makers, scholars, and players and challenges us all to imagine the future of queerness and games.

5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Closing reception
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost

QGCon Local is made possible by generous support from the Interactive Media and Games Division and the Office of the Provost. Many thanks go out to our speakers and volunteers, to the organizers of the annual Queerness and Games Conference, and to our collaborators at The Lavender Effect.