Discovering Sexual Identity Through Games: A Daughter’s Perspective

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I remember how important it was for me to be able to speak to my mom when I encountered something that frightened me or I didn’t know how to process. She would also do something that I plan to do when I have kids—she asked me to make an argument for why I thought the content in question would enrich me, even if the rating meant I should be a bit older. She was incredibly patient with 7-year-old me when I explained that Tomb Raider would help me learn about mythology, and she was patient when I asked for a game called Evil Zone because it was supposed to have such a good story. What was important for her was that I made a case for spending my money. Other people have different criteria. When I ran into content that confused or scared me: like the first time I accidentally read a romance novel at 11 or 12, she was more than willing to talk through the content with me. For that, I’m hugely grateful. Read More

The Sims gamification

Designing the Game of Life…for Real

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It was spring of 2015, and I was in the final stretch of writing my doctoral dissertation in 19th century literature. I had procrastinated until I could procrastinate no more, and I knew that if I did not finish writing my dissertation, bad things would happen to me. I was stressed and exhausted, and I wanted nothing more than to be done with my subject forever. I had been playing The Sims a lot during the procrastination period, and one day, as I was again pondering the complete impossibility of writing just one more page that day, I thought something that changed the rest of the process for me. “I wish I was a Sim—then I could just make myself do it.” Read More