Bonnie goes to Sweden, talks about everything ever

There appears to be a decently high chance that I will be up and flying to Visby this Sunday to speak at the University of Gotland. Gotland, as I, a member of the geographically largely uneducated, have only recently learned, is a chunk of Sweden separated from the mainland by some cold, cold Baltic Sea. There it will be snowing. My it-dropped-below-50-I’m-freezing San Francisco self will show up doubtless unprepared.

The university runs a course in video games and human rights, and they’ve invited me to talk for an hour (or three) to 200-ish students about sex/gender in games. The teacher in me having been recently rekindled by this semester’s grad student instructing, I’m toying with the idea of putting together more of a lesson plan than a lecture. Circle up, everyone, and share…

Specifically, I’m daydreaming of a creative lesson, something like “Re-Doing Sex/Gender in Games,” which would get broken down into three sections (gender, sexuality, and sex). For each, I’d talk a bit about how these currently work, what their role is in the community, and show clips of game content. Then, after identitying problematics, I’d have student work in teams to come up with their own content: character design, storylines that include sexuality, sex mechanics.

From there they’d present, and we’d critique as a group. The idea would be to get these students, potential future game designers, thinking critically about ways to do things differently. Of course, there are lots of things that could go wrong: covering too much territory (first and foremost), having the wrong kind of room for group work, shy attendees — hell, even the basic going-to-Sweden thing might fall through.

In any case, it’s lovely to be thinking about games again. Soon it’ll be back to writing about surrealist illustrations of Sade and Kafka as a precursor to cybersex. Oh, the shackles of academia…

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3 Responses to Bonnie goes to Sweden, talks about everything ever

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