The overarching narrative to my research to this point in my career has evolved from examining feminism and feminist interventions in videogames to trying to actively understand what the working conditions are for people who are making the games that require the feminist and queer inventions in the first place. I am now interested in understanding the embodied, experiential stories of workers in videogame production. My main interest is how the concept of 'passion' (...for games/for making games/for gaming communities) interacts with workers' experiences with precarity.
My other research is interested in making physical interventions into the game studies classroom, into the citational practices of game studies scholars, and challenging game studies scholars to question their stance as activist-scholars.
In 2016, my co-PI Krystin Gollehue and I were awarded a grant through ReFiG for $4000 to make a prototype for an 'allied bot.' In MMOs, the prevalence of automation software that does a repetitive task for players often times breaks in-game economies. We looked at possible ways to hack the hacker's equipment, and came up with a prototype that, instead of automating labour would attempt to automate the policing of abuse, or assist differently abled players to be able to access the game on equitable grounds. We produced a prototype bot that attempts to police abusive chat and intervene in online games. This was submitted to ReFiG as a practical project and is still undergoing user testing and refinement.
In 2017, I was awarded a $2500 grant through ReFiG to create and maintain an archive of diverse scholarly work that can be brought into the context of game studies classrooms and introduced to students. Utilizing folksanomic tagging to create a user-friendly, open-source, archive, I hope to have this project implemented and open for suggestions and use in the game studies classroom by the end of this year. This project is ongoing and is housed at http://diversegamestudies.com/ . This project has been submitted for publication through Journal For Electronic Publishing.
I recently submitted a project to Hyperrhize for publication called Passion Traps. Passion Traps is a project that seeks to highlight how the concept of ‘passion’ interacts with bodies in videogame production. Passion as a concept has a curious entanglement when thinking about videogame production: it lures workers to production, energizes them to make systemic changes, and can take them to the edge of complete burnout and back again. This project stands as a physical reminder that totalizing methodologies about how to characterize a group doesn’t get at the heart of the issue – especially in videogame production. Without the embodied, experiential knowledge of the people who labour to create the games that we enjoy, both scholarly and activist intervention into videogame production lack a critical understanding of how affect plays into the creation of games.
More information regarding my research interests can be found in my research statement.