merritt kopas: “Working the Fractures How Trans Women Artists are Changing Digital Play”

Please join the Digital Environments Workshop for a lecture by merritt kopas.

When: March 14, 1PM
Where: NQ 2435

What:
The last few years have seen a radical expansion of trans narratives and of the field of videogames and interactive fiction. Trans women activists have made a tremendous range of lives not only imaginable, but possible. At the same time, the availability of tools that require little or no programming and the growth of supportive communities has led to a broadening of authorship in games. This expansion has meant a wider range of people making games, people who are often pursuing the medium for its expressive qualities rather than with the goal of mass commercial success. Many of the people working in this newly opened space are trans women who are creating work that is exploring new possibilities both within literary traditions and established modes of videogames. With these developments in mind, this talk has two goals. First, I will tell a new history of recent shifts and expansions in digital games and interactive fiction that restores trans women’s work to the forefront. Second, I will claim digital games and hypertext as a critical site for the elaboration of new trans narratives in the face of the continued dismissal of digital games by more established arts and literature channels, arguing that anyone interested in new forms of trans discourse cannot afford to ignore the fruitful intersections of writing and digital play.

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