The 4th annual Queerness and Games Conference (QGCon 2017), organized by Assistant Professor of Informatics Bonnie Ruberg, will be held April 1-2, 2017 at the University of Southern California’s main campus.
“It’s a unique kind of event in that it is not just an academic conference, but a hybrid of the games industry, bringing artists, activists and players together with scholars to figure out this intersection of queerness and games,” said Ruberg.
Ruberg is one of the founding organizers of QGCon and has worked to make the conference a success since 2013. This year, she is co-organizing the event with fellow co-founders Christopher Goetz of the University of Iowa and Chelsea Howe of Owlchemy Labs, a creative games studio in Austin, Texas. Also organizing this year are Diana Pozo, a PhD candidate in Film and Media Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara; Chuck Roslof, Legal Counsel at Wikimedia Foundation; Jasmine Aguilar, a game developer at Nix Hydra; Terran Pierola, a freelance writer, editor and community organizer; and Dietrich Squinkifer, a writer, programmer, musician, visual artist and PhD candidate at Concordia University.
QGCon is an annual community-oriented, nationally recognized event dedicated to exploring the intersection of LGBTQ issues and video games. Attendees can look forward to talks by well-known speakers in the academic, gaming and LGBTQ communities, such design keynote John Epler, cinematic and narrative presentation lead on the Dragon Age series. Panels will include topics such as “Queer Design” and “Representation and Character Development.” The QGCon Arcade, which celebrates queer games and the work of queer creators, will also return this year featuring 26 original digital games ready for playing.
QGCon was born at UC Berkeley while Ruberg completed her Ph.D. in comparative literature, new media, and gender and women’s studies. The conference was hosted in Berkeley from 2013-2015, but will be held in Los Angeles for the first time this year.
“This truly is a fun and vibrant community oriented event,” said Ruberg. “There is such a variety of things to do: academic talks, design talks, an arcade and workshops on game and zine development. We try to be more hands-on than a typical conference.”
The event is open to the public and offers a tiered ticketing system committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive space by providing financial accessibility to all participants. Tickets range from free to $200 at the sponsorship level. Registrants are free to choose whichever tier fits their budget. Registration is ending soon, but tickets are still available on EventBrite.