Gabriela featured in news coverage of the Different Games Conference

Gabriela Richard was featured in news coverage of the Different Games Conference at NYU Poly this past weekend. The article, titled “Tackling video games’ diversity and inclusivity problems at the Different Games conference” was featured in Polygon

PolygonSAMIT SARKAR, journalist for Polygon, wrote: “…A number of the presenters discussed the harassment that people, especially women and minorities, often encounter when playing games online. Gabriela T. Richard, a doctoral student at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, discussed a study she did in which she asked Latino gamers about their gaming habits and experiences. The female respondents were more sensitive to what they saw as a lack of variety in the choices of games available to them, let alone games tailored to female players. The survey’s male participants noted a lack of ethnic representation in games — few non-white characters — though they were less sensitive to that issue than the women were to the lack of choice.

In Richard’s study, the subjects noted that non-white male characters tended to be stereotypes, while female characters were hypersexualized. Female players had to deal with gendered insults online, while men often received ethnically charged harassment. The men either became accustomed to the abuse, or decided to preclude the harassment by playing with their microphones muted and forming supportive communities with other friends of color. Harassment, Richard pointed out, is an exclusionary practice — it seeks to keep gaming confined to a niche audience of self-styled hardcore gamers… Designers often run into trouble when they try to rectify those deep-rooted inequities. In critiquing games for girls that tried to encourage and including female desires, interests and preferences, Richard found that they unintentionally pandered to stereotypes.”