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Friday, October 6 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
ThinkIndie: Games and Politics: Where Do We Stand? (Town Hall and Panel)

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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 will explore 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? 
The speaker panel will be followed by an open community Q&A and discussion. Those interested in continuing the conversation are also encouraged to attend the afternoon breakout session, Games and Politics: Taking Action.

Moderators
avatar for Lishan AZ

Lishan AZ

Lishan AZ is a game designer and writer who creates experiences that blend digital and non-digital play while inviting players to collaborate in shared spaces. Her work explores Black women's resistance, identity and historical perspectives. Lishan's M.F.A. thesis, Tracking Ida... Read More →
avatar for Jane  Pinckard

Jane Pinckard

Jane Pinckard is Assistant Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts in the Interactive Media and Games division of the School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California. She is a writer, critic, and educator who has studied the culture of video games for fifteen ye... Read More →
avatar for Bonnie Ruberg

Bonnie Ruberg

Bonnie Ruberg, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of digital media and games in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. From 2015 - 2017, they served as a Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Southern California in the Interactive Media and Games Division. Their 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 the former lead organizer of the annual Queerness and Games Conference. | | Full bio available on the... Read More →
avatar for Aaron Trammell

Aaron Trammell

Aaron Trammell is an assistant professor in the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine. He received his Ph.D. from the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers in 2015 and spent a year at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC as a postdoctoral researcher. Aaron’s research is focused on revealing historical connections between games, play, and the United States military-industrial complex. He is interested in how political and social ideology is integrated in the practice of game design and how these perspectives are negotiated within the imaginations of players. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the... Read More →
avatar for Jeff Watson

Jeff Watson

Jeff Watson, Ph.D. (@remotedevice) is an Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and a director of the Situation Lab (@sitlab).
avatar for Emilia Yang

Emilia Yang

PhD Student Interdisciplinary Media Arts and Prac, USC Media Arts & Practice PhD Program
Emilia Yang is an activist, artist, and militant researcher. Her work has been interconnected with digital communications, performance, and public art. Her research focuses on participatory culture and its relationship to media, arts, and design. Yang is currently pursuing a PhD... Read More →

Friday October 6, 2017 11:00am - 12:30pm
((ANNEX)) Democracy Forum Theater

Attendees (19)