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  • Gabriela T. Richard

MIT Talk: Gender and Gaming 20 years later

On April 7, 2017, Kishonna Gray and MIT's Women and Gender Studies Department organized an event on "Barbie and Mortal Kombat 20 Years Later." They invited a variety of speakers to discuss historical and contemporary issues around diversity in games, including gender, race and intersectionality.

Yasmin Kafai and I were invited public keynote panelists, where we discussed the latest edited volume (co-edited with Brendesha Tynes), titled Diversifying Barbie and Mortal Kombat: Intersectional Perspectives and Inclusive Designs in Gaming - the third in the influential From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (MIT Press) book series, initiated by Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins in 1998. Kishonna Gray, who is also a featured author, organized and moderated the public keynote.

In addition to the book, Yasmin Kafai and I discussed the contemporary landscape of games, game culture, the game industry and representations of gender, race and sexuality in gaming. The talk was recorded by MIT and the podcast of our comments and reflections can be heard here: There is also a good press synopsis of the talk available here.

Kishonna Gray also conducted several interviews in conjunction with the panels, including one with Henry Jenkins, which help to contextualize the contemporary landscape and issues in gaming and diversity.

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