The 2015 Queerness and Games Conference is brought to you by a diverse and enthusiastic group of academics, game developers, artists, and activists. This year’s organizers include:
Bonnie Ruberg (lead organizer and co-founder) is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Southern California in the Interactive Media and Games Division. In the summer of 2015, she received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in New Media, Gender & Women’s Studies, and Comparative Literature. Her research and teaching explore expressions of gender and sexuality in digital cultures. Along with Adrienne Shaw, she is the co-editor of Queer Game Studies: Gender, Sexuality, and a Queer Approach to Game Studies (forthcoming University of Minnesota Press). Bonnie began her work in games more than a decade ago as a journalist reporting on sex and gender in video games culture.
Chris Goetz (co-organizer and co-founder) is a PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley, where he works in the Film & Media and New Media departments. Chris’ dissertation looks at video games through the lens of fantasy. His article “Tether and Accretions: Fantasy as Form in Video Games,” appeared in the journal Games and Culture. When Chris Goetz was seven years old, he asked his parents for a keyboard. His parents promised him his gift had buttons and made noise, but he was surprised when he unwrapped a Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Little did they know they had ignited a lifelong passion that would lead Chris to the Berkeley Center for New Media to research videogames.
Chelsea Howe (co-organizer and co-founder) is an award-winning game designer currently working at EA Mobile as a creative director. Previously, she was a senior designer on TinyCo’s Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and concurrently ran a course on playful design at California College of the Arts. In 2015, she was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Games. In addition to co-organizing the Queerness and Games Conference, Chelsea also ran the San Francisco Global Game Jam for four years, talks about game design at places like GamesBeat, GDC, UCSC, and more, and in 2013 found her way onto the GDC Advisory Board.
Diana “D” Pozo (co-organizer) is a PhD candidate in Film and Media Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where they are writing a dissertation on media interfaces that directly touch the body, from moving theater seats, to video game controllers, to teledildonics. They have published on topics in feminist film theory, film analysis, video game studies, and cultural studies in New Review of Film and Television Studies, Mediascape, and Media Fields Journal, and have forthcoming pieces in Porn Studies and Rated M for Mature, an edited collection about sexuality in video games. They are currently serving as a graduate student representative for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Video Game Studies Scholarly Interest Group.
Zoya Street (associate organizer) is a historian and journalist of games and playful art who spends most of his time in Vancouver, Canada but originally comes from Britain. He founded Memory Insufficient as a monthly ezine to create community histories of games recentering marginalised perspectives. Now he is editor-in-chief of critical publishing at Silverstring Media. He is also the author of Delay, a book about energy mechanics in free-to-play games and the crowd-funded and self-published Dreamcast Worlds, a design history of Sega’s last console. Currently, he is studying for a PhD on a distance-learning basis in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lancaster.
Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer (associate organizer) is a writer, programmer, musician, and visual artist who creates videogame-like artifacts about gender identity, social awkwardness, and miscellaneous silliness. Recognized as part of Forbes’s “30 under 30 in Games,” they recently completed an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media at UC Santa Cruz.