A prestigious video games conference has hosted a talk purporting to teach developers to “make games under fascism”.
The address to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, by gaming academic Bonnie Ruberg, was given Tuesday afternoon.
It claimed that games development is inherently political, and therefore all students must be instructed by their teachers to make “socially aware” products.
— Different Games @GDC (@DifferentGames) March 1, 2017
— Adrienne Shaw (@adrishaw) March 1, 2017
Ruberg, who edits a journal called Queer Game Studies and will soon take up a professorial post at the University of California, Irvine, claimed her message was especially relevant because politics today is a “garbage fire”.
It is not clear how – if at all – Ruberg backed up her assertion that the US either is – or will soon become – a fascist state, though it is pretty common among game critics.
Indeed, it appears she did not always intend to allude to fascism in her title, but made the decision at the last minute – presumably to attract a larger audience.
My GDC talk is Teaching Students to Make Socially-Aware Games but I'm thinking of retitling it Teaching Students to Make Games under Fascism
— Bonnie Ruberg @ GDC (@MyOwnVelouria) February 27, 2017
Ruberg’s speech is far from the only example of social justice-themed activity at the conference.
Yesterday Heat Street reported how attendees have all been urged to wear nametags displaying their preferred pronouns.
Attendees have also been excitedly tweeting photographs of gender-neutral bathrooms in the conference centre.
Part of another talk at the conference included demands that developers “end white cis gender able bodied man as the default”