Women Game Players, Characters and Creators – NRATI


LIFT and Bento Miso present


LIFT and Bento Miso present

No Reading After the Internet: Women Game Players, Characters
and Creators

with texts selected by Jennie Faber

Facilitated by Jennie Faber and cheyanne turions


The creation and consumption of video games has long been
seen as the domain of men and boys. Women and girl gamers are rendered
“invisible” by designers and communities, even while producers
attempt to capitalize on the “bored housewives” market and design
games with ostensibly girly themes.


In multiplayer games, female players are forced to
disguise their gender to avoid harassment, and are effectively silenced.
“Feminine” (non-combat) game mechanics and storytelling is derided.
Women and girls are relegated to marginal participation and spectatorship–the
only safe spaces for them. And the lack of creator gender diversity produces
games that reinforce this cycle. 


Bento Miso, located in the heart of Queen West, is a
collaborative workspace for independent web and game makers, and is expressly a
physical “safe space” for women game creators and players. Co-founder
Jennie Faber has culled a selection of readings around the theme of women game
players, characters and creators. She is interested in exploring how female
characters–playable and non-playable, enemies, villains, and heroes–and women
game-makers–producers, writers, designers, et cetera–can shape a new player
culture in which it is safe for women and girls to fully engage in and enjoy
video games. These entities are as marginalized as players, yet may hold the
key to re-programming player communities.


Excerpts from the following articles will be read aloud
and discussed by participants at the salon: “Cheerleaders, booth babes, Halo
hoes: pro-gaming, gender and jobs for the boys” by Nicholas Taylor, Jen
Jenson and Suzanne de Castell; “Gender in play: Mapping a girls’ gaming club”
by Nick Taylor; “‘Women are treated better than men online’, says NerdBoobLoot-man”
by Hoyden and Shaker Lauredhel; and “What do we do about video games?” by Roy.


No Reading After the Internet is a salon series dealing with
cultural texts, which are read aloud by participants. The particular urgency of
the project is in reforming publics and experimenting with the act of reading,
as its own media form, in our moment. No Reading
means to offer an engaged
pedagogical space where participants can retrace the steps used in constructing
understanding, productively challenging individual and collective ways through
the realms of language and interpretation. To participate in No Reading
is to invoke an exuberant
not-knowing, seeking out moments of collective illumination. No
pre-reading or research is required.


Born and raised in Alaska, Jennie Faber grew up writing, gaming, and
coding in the ’90s. Now she’s an avid gamer, a recovering prescriptivist
editor, and front-end developer. She is the Product Director at Bento Box and
co-founder of Bento Miso. She draws on her editorial background to translate
documentation and conversations into real user goals and create refined,
useful, usable applications.

No Reading After the Internet – Toronto is supported by the Liaison of
Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
. Special thanks to Bento Miso for their
support of this month’s salon.



Wednesday 14 March 2012 –

Non-members: Free
Members: Free

Bento Miso 
300 – 862 Richmond Street West, Buzz #800 
Toronto ON Canada