Sabine Harrer

Sabine Harrer

Games Researcher | University of Tampere

Sabine Harrer is a games researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, University of Tampere, Finland. Their research focuses on cultural videogames criticism, HCI and intersectionality, and creation-based knowledge making. Author of the book Games and Bereavement (transcript 2018) and a member of the Copenhagen Game Collective, Sabine blends experimental game making and writing as modes to inquire, challenge, and queer social norms. Sabine has co-designed game experiences, using materials like touch screens, computer mice, fabric, rocks and small free online editors like Twine and Adam LeDoux’s Bitsy.

Some of Sabine’s games can be played at

Roots of Dysfunction: What Botanical History Can Teach us About the Games Industry

Games and gardens have much in common.Both of them are landscapes grown for our enjoyment, both require tools to be maintained, and both are trimmed into shape by specialised landscapers using “best practice”. But where does this image of “game gardening” take us when we go back in time? At least in Europe, methods of gardening are deeply rooted in methods of colonialism, the mission to ‚Äúcivilise” the world and install white supremacy. This talk looks at these dark roots of colonial botany and how it might help us understand problems with the games industry today. Why, in 2019, are game gardens still firmly controlled by white male practitioners? How can we destroy their fences and resist their toxic labor conventions? How can we build methods to grow games beyond colonialism – games which care about the land, our visions, and each other?