Ideas

The dangerous game: Gamergate and the "alt-right"

Emma Vossen’s love of gaming started when she was a kid growing up in small-town Ontario. Now as a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo Games Institute, she looks to gamer culture as a microcosm of how sexism is seeded and replicated within broader society, and she draws connections between gamer culture and the rise of the political extreme right.
The world of online gaming can quickly become a space where women and minorities find themselves unwelcome. (Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
Listen to the full episode54:00

**This episode originally aired November 30, 2016.

For millions of people, online gaming is a magical -- even addictive -- space to escape to. A place for storytelling, exploration and adventure with other gamers.

Emma Vossen's love of gaming started when she was a kid growing up in small-town Ontario. Now as a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo Games Institute, she looks to gamer culture as a microcosm of how sexism is seeded and replicated within broader society, and she draws connections between gamer culture and the rise of the political extreme right. 

The examples of harassment that women gamers experience when playing on line 1:17


Guests in the program: (in order of appearance)

  • Emma Vossen -- PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo Games Institute. She is the former editor-in-chief of First Person Scholar (FPS). She now makes YouTube videos about grad student life and the PhD experience on her channel Academic Vigilante. Also, you should probably follow her on Twitter
     
  • Kishonna Gray -- visiting scholar and associate professor at MIT and founder of the Critical Gaming Lab at Eastern Kentucky University. She's also the author of Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live: Theoretical Perspectives from the Virtual Margins
     
  • Anita Sarkeesian -- director of Feminist Frequency, a non-profit organization exploring the representations of women in pop culture.
     
  • Jennifer Jensen -- York University professor of pedagogy and technology, and director of the Institute for Research on Digital Learning. She is also the president of the Canadian Games Studies Association

     

**Ideas from the Trenches is produced by Nicola Luksic & Tom Howell

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