Alum Bonnie Ruberg at IndieCade

17 Oct, 2017

Alum Bonnie Ruberg at IndieCade

We love seeing our alums continue to share their scholarship with industry! Bonnie Ruberg, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of digital media and games in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. They spoke at Indiecade, the premier independent games festival, in downtown Los Angeles on October 6th. Now in its 10th year, IndieCade is held each October in the Los Angeles area and is open to the industry and to the public.

Bonnie's research explores gender and sexuality in digital cultures, with a focus on LGBTQ issues in video games. They are the co-editor of the volume Queer Game Studies, the author of the forthcoming monograph Video Games Have Always Been Queer, and one of the lead organizers of the annual Queerness and Games Conference.

Bonnie spoke at the following sessions:

ThinkIndie: Games and Politics: Where Do We Stand?

Even when they seem to be "just for fun," games can never be separated from culture; they shape and are shaped by the society around us. For this reason, games are also political. Today, in our current moment of political turbulence, it has never been more important for game makers and game players alike to confront the hard questions about the relationship between games, play, power, activism, and oppression.

In this session, a diverse group of game designers and academics explored some of these questions. How should games engage with politics? For those who are committed to social justice, what are the challenges to making games in the current political regime? Can games be a force for social change? How do we overcome resistance to political engagement within games culture and encourage others to explore the medium's full political potential?

ThinkIndie: Games and Politics: Taking Action

In this informal, workshop-style session, IndieCade community members were invited to join the speakers from the "Games and Politics: Where Do We Stand?" town hall in thinking through concrete ways that we can take political action through games and play. What opportunities are there for activism through the development and study of games? How can we come together as games professionals and players to support social justice?