Kostas Karpouzis, Assistant Professor, Panteion University of Social and Political SciencesHIGHER EDUCATION
Digital games can be very illuminating when it comes to cultural values and structure: their narrative represents the form and function of prominent stereotypical characters and what would constitute a valid aim or incentive for them, their mechanics talk about the necessary or allowed means to achieve one's goal, and the aesthetics offer insight to connotations between form and function. In this context, representation of social and cultural groups is important, since it both affects and reflects what transpires in the society where designers live or in that where the narrative takes place. In this session, we will discuss how gender and culture may be represented in digital games, how skewed representation is reflected in gamer culture and population and how we can systematically discuss representation using a standardised test, as an extension of the Bechdel test for movies.
The primary takeaway is the importance of representation in games when it comes to the societal and cultural values of designers and players ("Why it matters"). In addition, specific pitfalls which may hamper representation will be discussed and steps to design for representation will be presented ("How").
The slides of the presentation will be available for the audience. Also, the proposed form of the representation test will be available for discussion or use.