• PR: Press On or Play the Ostrich?

    Photo of sandy dune with person buried upside down to waist in sand
    Credit: Photo by blakeimeson under an Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license

    Image: Should I be the person hiding my head in the sand?

    In response to the Sussex TLDU RUSTLE article on my World of Warcraft research and teaching, I received an e-mail early Friday morning from someone in the University of Sussex’s press and communications team. In fact, that e-mail notified me the article had been published. (-:

    The author was inquiring if I were interested in any publicity or media work, because they thought my work might have external appeal. This was somewhat propitious. The day before, as part of Vitae South East’s female researcher’s Springboard workshop, the guest presenter discussed the importance of proactively promoting one’s work (apparently men do, but women often don’t). She stressed how one should take any and all opportunities offered to do so.

    Are we inclined to not view things we do as significant enough to tell others? She outlined how male colleagues regularly feed her department’s press coordinator a steady stream of pictures and stories, but the women didn’t. Are we reluctant to apply for awards and jobs? Or, when we do, do we more honestly assess ourselves but also under-assess? She also had stories about how men promoted themselves on their academic CVs, with one even including under “research activities” a list of journals he reviewed for. I know that wouldn’t have occurred to me to include!

    Like her, I’m not naturally inclined to boast about my work or accomplishments. While I’ve applied for and won awards in the past, it’s often been because someone has forced me to do so. Left to my own devices, I’d play the ostrich and hide—or the rabbit and run. However, this is obviously opportunity knocking at my door. Should I “press on” or hide?

  • Women in Games Special Issue

    If you’re interested in any combination of women and gaming, including some games-based learning, then look no further than the latest issue of The International Journal of Gender, Science and Technlology. It features a special issue on women and games, with articles and reviews. From the special issue’s introduction:

    In 2004 video games industry veteran Mark Eyles, then working at the University of Portsmouth, recognised the need for an initiative that would increase the representation of women within the gaming industry. The project Mark instigated – Women in Games (WiG) – began with a series of conferences involving an innovative mixture of people from academia and from industry. The aim of these conferences was to generate and promote initiatives and research that focused on narrowing the gap between men and women working in the games industry.

    WiG is now an internationally recognised organisation, still with this mixture of people from academia and from industry. In addition to the annual conferences, WiG members are now also involved in smaller events, online discussions and journals. Now, seven years on, WiG continues to grow and develop and we, in our role as members of the Steering Committee, would like to introduce readers to the special issue section of the GST journal.

    The articles included in this special issue reflect the multiple and overlapping aims of the Women in Games initiative. Each of these aims requires the interweaving of academic enquiry with industry engagement and dialogue, which has been an extraordinary strength of the WiG initiative.

    by Marian Carr and Helen Kennedy

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