Gabriela attends and questions at the EA Full Spectrum gaming event

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Gabriela Richard, graduating doctoral candidate and adjunct instructor at ECT, recently attended the EA Full Spectrum gaming event, on March 7th, which was hosted at the Ford Foundation, and sponsored by Electronic Arts (EA), the Entertainment Software Association, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Ford Foundation.  The goal of the event was to “bring together leaders from the LGBT and videogame community to talk about the state of hate in videogames, the origins of homophobia in games, the development of authentic LGBT characters and whether our industry is doing enough to combat hate.” (See http://www.ea.com/news/ea-hosts-lgbt-full-spectrum-event)

gabriela_EAFullSpectrumSpeakers and moderators included:

  • Gordon Bellamy, Tencent
  • Sean Bugg, Metro Weekly
  • Matt Bromberg, General Manager, BioWare Austin
  • Michael Cole-Schwartz, HRC Media Director
  • Deena Fidas, HRC Workplace Program Director
  • Maya Harris, Ford Foundation
  • Dan Hewitt, ESA
  • Ellen Kahn, HRC Family Project Director
  • Lucas Pattan, Out for Undergraduate Technology Conference (OUTC)
  • Hilary Rosen, CNN and Washington Post Contributor
  • Caryl Shaw, KIXEYE
  • Jaap Tuinman, EA Community Manager
  • Luis A. Ubinas, President, Ford Foundation

photoGabriela, who is studying gender, ethnicity, sexuality and context in game culture, as part of her dissertation, asked several questions of the industry and media panels for the event, stemming from part of her research. Specifically, she discussed her emerging research (with Chris Hoadley) on the role that gender-supportive communities can play in increasing the confidence and efficacy of vulnerable players, as well as players in general across gender (they are actually finding that gender-supportive communities also increase the confidence of all players, regardless of gender, but explicitly their rules around female support appear to make a more welcoming place for all).  She also asked about reporting systems and whether they could be designed in a more transparent way, because her research is finding that many vulnerable players don’t report because they don’t know whether they would be safe (though she also recognized that transparency may not be easy for reasons of keeping them effective).

Detailed coverage of the event can be found here http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/07/ea-lgbt-full-spectrum-event/