As the DIY game scene grows and as game-making get more personal, we can observe an increasing number of games that deliberately play with feelings of awkwardness. In this panel, a rag-tag bunch of ladies and gentlequeers will take turns explaining how awkwardness figures into their game design practices, and how ideas of inappropriateness and inconvenience can be transformative in a feminist sense.

About the presenters

Allison Cole has recently given up on her dream of becoming champion of the Montreal Pokémon league to move to New York and make games at the NYU Game Center, where she continues to make games about the issues she holds most dear. Previously, she managed the mLab at Concordia University and worked on her first indie breakout hit, “In Tune: a game about navigating consent” with her dev team, Tweed Couch Games.

Jessica Rose Marcotte is a game designer and writer who has worked on games such as “Assembling Rosie (Critical Hit 2013), “Eat Dirt!” and “In Tune: a game about navigating consent.” Through these projects, she explores her interest in accessibility, diversity and provoking meaningful conversations through her work. Her PhD at TAG will explore the potential of games to make us feel complex emotions. She is a member of the Tweed Couch Games artists’ collective, a columnist and senior editor for Matrix Magazine and one of the co-directors for Critical Hit 2015.

Mx. Dietrich Squinkifer (Squinky) is a writer, programmer, musician, and visual artist who creates games and playable experiences about gender identity, social awkwardness, and miscellaneous silliness. They have an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media from UC Santa Cruz, and they are responsible for ruining videogames through such critically acclaimed works as “Dominique Pamplemousse in ‘It’s All Over Once The Fat Lady Sings!’” and “Coffee: A Misunderstanding”.

Ida Toft is a graduate student in the interdisciplinary PhD program (INDI) at Concordia University. As a member of TAG (The Technoculture, Art, and Games Research Centre) they explore politics of game technologies and game making hobby communities from an intersectional feminist maker perspective. The body, its senses and cultural material context of games take a central place in Ida’s practical and theoretical work. Despite the distance, Ida keeps a connection with the European game scene, including the Copenhagen Game Collective with whom they make game projects and events that contribute to an experimental games culture in Copenhagen and beyond.

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