Ruberg brings Queerness & Games Conference to LA

March 28, 2017

The 4th annual Queerness and Games Conference (QGCon 2017), organized by Assistant Professor of Informatics Bonnie Ruberg, will be held April 1-2, 2017 at the University of Southern California’s main campus.

“It’s a unique kind of event in that it is not just an academic conference, but a hybrid of the games industry, bringing artists, activists and players together with scholars to figure out this intersection of queerness and games,” said Ruberg.

Ruberg is one of the founding organizers of QGCon and has worked to make the conference a success since 2013. This year, she is co-organizing the event with fellow co-founders Christopher Goetz of the University of Iowa and Chelsea Howe of Owlchemy Labs, a creative games studio in Austin, Texas.
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Ruberg publishes ‘Queer Game Studies’ anthology

March 27, 2017

Assistant Professor of Informatics Bonnie Ruberg is releasing a new anthology titled Queer Game Studies on March 28 with co-editor Adrienne Shaw, assistant professor of media studies and production at Temple University, which offers readers an in-depth introduction to the vibrant realm of queer gaming culture. Queer Game Studies features 26 essays from a diverse range of perspectives, including game designer Naomi Clark, Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies Edmond Y. Chang, and Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies Derek A. Burrill, as well as chapters by Ruberg and Shaw.
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MHCID program launches online publication

March 24, 2017

UC Irvine’s Master of Human-Computer Interaction and Design (MHCID) program has launched an online publication on Medium. The new publication brings together content from current MHCID students and faculty, including the program’s director Gillian Hayes, Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor in Informatics. Its blog-style articles inform prospective MHCID students and industry scholars about the program and its students’ projects, while also creating an active dialogue about designing, creating and understanding the future of UX. UCI’s MHCID program launched last fall as the first single-year master’s program in the world to offer low-residency, on-campus learning combined with online learning for the working UX professional.

Quartz: “There’s a better way to treat your tech addiction than hiding your phone and laptop” (Mark quoted)

March 23, 2017

To explore the concept of how to live healthily with tech, I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews to try and understand the habits and brains of people who manage to live well with technology. And I’m not the only one: Many other academic researchers are starting to parse out how technology can support well-being, rather than rely on the absence of it to restore peace. As Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine notes, “You see a lot of reports in the media about the negative impact of technology use…but there have been expanded efforts in the past decade to study what’s become known as positive computing.”

Read the full story at Quartz.

DML Central: “Meet 10 Women Championing Connected Learning”

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, let’s turn our attention to 10 women scholars making their mark as champions of connected learning. (Connected learning calls for broadened access to learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven and oriented toward educational, economic or political opportunity. It is based on evidence that the most resilient, adaptive and effective learning involves individual interest as well as social support.) As connected learning advocates, these 10 scholars, among a number of others worldwide, argue that new media broadens access to opportunity and meaningful learning experiences that can happen anytime, anywhere.

Read the full story at DML Central.

Vice: “Five Things You Can Do to Be Happy RIGHT NOW” (Yu Chen quoted)

March 21, 2017

A study from the University of California, Irvine said selfies make you happy. “Our research showed that practicing exercises that can promote happiness via smartphone picture taking and sharing can lead to increased positive feelings for those who engage in it,” said lead study author Yu Chen.

Read the full story at Vice.

Bowker interviewed on CENHS ‘Cultures of Energy’ Podcast

March 20, 2017

Informatics Professor Geoffrey Bowker, director of UCI’s Vales in Design Laboratory, was a guest on the spring break edition (episode 61) of  the“Cultures of Energy” podcast from the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS). Part of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, CENHS is the only research center in the world specifically designed to foster and incubate research on the energy/environment nexus across the arts, humanities and social sciences. The podcast hosts — Rice University Anthology Professors Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe — spoke with Bowker about a number of topics, including infrastructure studies, data ethics, algorithms, AI, IoT, biodiversity and the impact of cybernetics on social theory. During the podcast, Bowker even discussed how he gained access to energy titan Schlumberger’s archives for his 1994 book, Science on the Run. He also spoke to Cymene about their graphic novel project, Unda, which they are working on with Laura Watts, and how media like comic books can offer scholars new opportunities to reach wider audiences.

Listen to the full “Cultures of Energy” podcast featuring Bowker’s interview online.

NewsWorks: “Creating the next generation of innovators by understanding how young people use media” (Ito mentioned)

March 16, 2017

Helping young people be makers and use tools to create is the best way to position them to be innovators.

This idea is central to the work of Dr. Mizuko “Mimi” Ito, a renowned anthropologist who has studied how young people use technology, media, and games and what communities can do both in and out of school to encourage creative approaches to learning.

Read the full story at NewsWorks.

Steinkuehler serves as eSports panelist at SXSW 2017

March 15, 2017

Informatics Professor Constance Steinkuehler was a featured speaker on an esports panel at the 2017 South By Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals in Austin, Texas. Taking place from March 10-19, SXSW has become the premier destination to celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Steinkuehler served on a panel titled “When Esports Win, Cities Win,” which focused on the new $500 million esports industry and how its evolution will advance American cities by driving tourism, economic development and innovation.
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Steinkuehler, Squire named HEVGA Fellows

March 9, 2017

Informatics Professors Constance Steinkuehler and Kurt Squire have been appointed Fellows of The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA). Steinkuehler, who was recognized as a Founding Fellow and serves as president for the organization’s executive committee, and Squire were among 30 scholars inducted into HEVGA’s inaugural cohort of higher education game leaders.
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