The Queerness and Games Conference. UC Berkeley. October 26th & 27th, 2013. Apply by 7/1

full name / name of organization: 
The Queerness and Games Conference
contact email: 

Where & When:
UC Berkeley Center for New Media
Saturday and Sunday, October 26th and 27th, 20013
Registration info at; @qgcon; #qgcon

The Queerness and Games Conference brings together academics and developers to embark on an innovative and interdisciplinary exploration of the intersection between LGBT issues and video games. The event will combine traditional paper presentations and panels with design discussions and creative workshops. It will establish a dialogue between academics and practitioners, articulate the stakes of the newly forming field of queer games studies, and help us imagine a future for a queer presence in video games and the games industry.

Change is in the air, both for games studies and for the video games industry. As games studies begins to blossom, finding a foothold in top universities and important new media discourses, games scholars are moving past defining and defending the field to explore new lenses for analyzing games, like the "queer." Simultaneously, queer studies is opening its doors to popular cultural art forms in new ways. Though they may seem an odd couple, queer studies and game studies in fact speak to each other about the power of play. Together, they stand poised to change our perspectives on both disciplines.

The games industry is opening itself to heated but important discussions about LGBT representation in games and game culture. Important communities of independent designers have begun exploring queerness directly in their games – challenging longstanding norms of homophobia and discrimination in this evolving art form. Together, academics and developers can create a roadmap for the future of LGBT issues in game studies and game design.

Academics and game-related professionals from all disciplines are welcome to submit proposals for talks, panels, or experimental sessions. In the academic arena, particular emphasis will be placed on: games studies, gender & sexuality, new media, information studies, literatures, film, and performance studies. Perspectives on all aspects of game development are also welcome: design, production, art, publicity, hiring, etc.

QGCon 2013 is free and open to the public. Because of the interactive nature of the event, academics, game developers, and journalists alike are encouraged to attend, regardless of official participation. Speakers are welcome to present in pairs and groups, as well as individually. A schedule of presentations will be arranged after the submission deadline of July 1st, 2013.

Possible Topics:
- What does it mean to read video games as queer?
- Where can we situate the ludic in queer studies?
- How do other issues of representation, like race, figure into the discussion?
- What is the current state of LGBT representation in games?
- What is the current state of LGBT issues in the games industry?
- How can game design itself respond to concerns about LGBT representation?
- What are the key issues in this emerging field? What is at stake in its definition?
- Are these concerns shifting? What does/should the future hold?

Suggested Presentation Types:
- Academic paper: 20 minutes*
- Academic panel: 80 minutes*
- Discussion panel (please provide your list of proposed panelists): 45 minutes
- Open-floor discussion: 30 minutes
- Workshop or game play session: 30 to 60 minutes
- Creative activity: 30 to 60 minutes

Submission Info:
Deadline for proposals is July 1st, 2013
Please send descriptions of your proposed paper or presentation (300 words)
Include the type of presentation at the top of your abstract
In addition, please include a brief speaker bio (100 words)
Questions and inquiries are welcome
Submit to

*If you are proposing an academic talk or panel, please note whether you would be willing to chair.

Contacting the Co-Organizers:
Straddling the line between academics and artistic practice, QGon 2013 is being organized by both games studies scholars and video game designers. All questions and press inquiries can be directed to However, feel free to address your messages to a specific co-organizer, depending on your interests:

- Chris Goetz, PhD Candidate: UC Berkeley: Film and Media, New Media departments
- Bonnie Ruberg, PhD Student: UC Berkeley Comparative Literature, New Media,
Gender & Women's Studies departments
- Mattie Brice, Game Designer & Critic: San Francisco State University, The Border
- Chelsea Howe, Game Designer: TinyCo, Funomena, California College of the Arts