Space Invaders: Gender, Games, and Culture Panel

@ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Room 280N, York Lanes
York University
4700 Keele St

Space Invaders: Gender, Games, and Culture

In this panel session, York University researchers Sarah Stang, Emma Vossen, and Karen Skardzius discuss their work on gender and games. Sarah analyzes issues of gender representation in games, looking at how women are symbolically and stereotypically represented. Emma discusses fair and equal access to participation in gameplay and games culture. Karen wraps up the panel by looking at the unique experiences of female streamers on the popular streaming service Twitch. Overall, each of these talks reveals problems, tensions, surprises, and areas of potential intervention into the highly fraught and contested sphere of digital games. In order to establish more critical and equitable orientations to digital game design and gaming cultures, the panellists ask: Who belongs in physical and online gaming spaces? Who determines what counts as “game culture”? How are certain groups of people represented in games themselves? In other words, who owns the “cultural clubhouse” and who are the “space invaders”?


Karen is a PhD candidate in the Communication and Culture program at York University. Her research interests include gender and media, creative labour, and digital games. Her doctoral research examines the experiences of women who live-stream video games on

Sarah is a PhD Candidate in the Communication and Culture program at York University. Her research focuses on questions of representation in games and other media. Her doctoral work examines female monstrosity in digital and tabletop fantasy roleplaying games.

Emma is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at York University with a PhD from the University of Waterloo. Her research looks at the myriad of different ways marginalized people have difficulty accessing gameplay and games culture both historically and in the present. She is the co-author and co-editor of the anthology Feminism in Play.


February 28, 2019 2:30PM – 4:00PM room 280N, York Lanes

Refreshments will be provided. Everyone is welcome!