In Progress: Gender Flops
Gender flops investigates the gendered accidents of ragdoll animation. In the current stage, I am compiling ragdoll death animations from Mass Effect 3 in order to understand how gender (procedurally rendered in terms of body size, shape, and movement quality) and ragdoll physics produce unexpected moments of objectification, sexualization, and queerness in the context of squad-based multiplayer combat.
Eventually, this project will incorporate the ragdoll systems of other games; however, Mass Effect 3 is an examplar because it displaces gender onto race/species in ways that resonate with the race-conscious methodology of mechropolitics.
Gamer Trouble Dissertation Companions
“Making a Face: Assessing Avatar Creation Tools” (2012) – Explores how gender and race are embedded within customizable facial creation systems in digital games using both in-game tools and digital image manipulation. See also: Making a Face Literature+ Project Page
Literature+ is an experimental workshop in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara led by Professor Alan Liu. The project brings grad students from various disciplines together to plan and prototype new digital tools and computational methods for analyzing cultural texts. I have had the pleasure of taking this seminar three times during my time at UCSB. Links to the projects are below.
“Zombies Ate My Networked Novel: The Flight Paths Experiment” (2010) – with Anne Cong-Huyen, an analysis of Flight Paths, a networked novel. Methods include digital text analysis and social network mapping.
“The Critical GeoWiki Experiment” (2008) – with Bola King, a collaborative scholarly mapping method utilizing the GeoWiki tool.
For academic and/or publicity purposes.
“Ain’t That a Witch” (2013)
“Second Annual Research Slam” (2009) – publicity/informational video about UCSB’s Research Slam event.