Jen Jenson

Jen Jenson

Professor, Pedagogy & Technology | York University

Jen Jenson is Professor of Digital Languages, Literacies, and Cultures in the Department of Languages and Literacy, Faculty of Education, The University of British Columbia. She is currently co-editor of Loading: The Journal of the Canadian Game Studies Association and past-President of the Canadian Game Studies Association.

Jen has been studying videogames from the standpoint of gender and learning for over two decades, and has led numerous funded research projects on the topic, including one that is examining the marginalization of women in videogame cultures and industries, “Re-Figuring Innovation in Games”. Dr. Jenson has written things, made quite a few games, supports lots of students, and still manages to read books and, whenever possible, play games.

“But videogames are for boys”: Equity in thinking, design and action

In March 2019 the American space agency (NASA) declared it could not go forward with an all women spacewalk because it did not have two space suits that would fit the two women. For me, and many others who identify as women, this really is not a new problem, and it is certainly not a problem that is confined to NASA. As well all know, women have been and continue to be a ‘problem’ for and in the videogame industry – we are harassed, excluded, and marginalized through thoughts, designs, and actions. So, how can we address this issue, and more importantly, why would we?

This talk will show how and why diversity and equity matter, as I reflect on year 5 of a 6-year international research project dedicated to studying how and under what conditions women and other minorities make and play games. Our research, I argue, reveals important new understandings of equity in thinking, design and action.