Ruberg co-editing special “Queerness and Video Games” issue of Game Studies journal

August 3, 2017

Assistant Professor of Informatics Bonnie Ruberg is co-editing a special issue of the journal Game Studies on the topic of “Queerness and Video Games: New Critical Perspectives on LGBTQ Issues, Sexuality, Games and Play” with Amanda Phllips, assistant professor in the Department of English at Georgetown University.

This special issue “seeks to explore new critical perspectives on queerness and video games, building from existing queer game studies work and broadening the current scope of the paradigm by inviting intersectional voices, highlighting underrepresented LGBTQ identities, and challenging those who study video games to make explicit the political implications of their work.”
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Ruberg has article featured in new Gaming Representation book

Assistant Professor of Informatics Bonnie Ruberg’s article, “Playing to Lose: The Queer Art of Failing at Video Games,” was included as a chapter in a new book titled Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games, which was published on July 3, 2017 by Indiana University Press. Gaming Representation examines the portrayals of race, gender and sexuality in a range of video games from casual to indie to mainstream. In their essays, the contributors to this volume argue that representation and identity function as systems in games that share a strong connection to code and platforms. The book was edited by Jennifer Malkowski, assistant professor of film and media studies at Smith College, and TreaAndrea M. Russworm, associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
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A shared passion for research on Capitol Hill

August 2, 2017

Ph.D. student Samantha McDonald continues her research on how technology affects political communication while interning for the Congressional Management Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Second-year informatics Ph.D. student Samantha McDonald is spending her summer as a research assistant at the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) in Washington, D.C., where she is conducting data analysis on satisfaction surveys that congressional representatives sent to their constituents in order to provide key findings and recommendations to improve future surveys. In addition to her research, she is also writing for the CMF blog about her findings and experiences.
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EdSurge: “Has the Game Really Changed? Notes From the 2017 Games for Change Festival” (Steinkuehler cited)

Hardly anyone present at the conference needed much convincing about the potential of games to delight, educate and heal. Yet that’s still not the case for the parents and policymakers who wield influence in how they’re funded or built, notes Constance Steinkuehler. The professor at the informatics department at the University of California, Irvine (and who formerly was a games advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) offered 10 studies that all skeptics—and anyone talking to them—should read and reference.

Read the full story at EdSurge.

Steinkuehler receives Games for Change Vanguard Award

Informatics Professor Constance Steinkuehler, best known for her pioneering social informatics research into video game culture and learning, received the Vanguard Award at this year’s 14th Annual Games for Change Festival and VR for Change Summit (G4C 2017), which was held July 31-Aug. 2, 2017 at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Vanguard Award recipients are recognized for their significant work as mentors, advocates and champions of the next generation of video game creators. Steinkuehler also delivered one of the event’s opening keynote addresses on “10 Important Findings from the Research on Games for Impact: A Look Back Over the Last Decade of Research with Constance Steinkuehler.”
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Olsons co-author article on writing simultaneously in August 2017 issue of CACM magazine

July 26, 2017

Gary and Judy Olson, professors emeriti of informatics and fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), co-authored an article for the August 2017 (Vol. 60, No. 8) issue of Communications of the ACM magazine titled “Now That We Can Write Simultaneously, How Do We Use That to Our Advantage?” The article, co-authored by technical writer Ricardo Olenewa and Google Senior Research Scientist Daniel Russell, uses a collection of stories to discuss how word processors now make it possible for multiple authors to work on the same document concurrently, while also examining how we can harness this capability to work more efficiently, what can be done with simultaneous writing and when simultaneously writing is not the best choice. Read the full article online.

Sydney Morning Herald: “Wordplay: A cryptic-shaped hole” (Mark cited)

July 24, 2017

Professor Gloria Mark knows all about distraction. In 2015, working with her team at the Department of Informatics, based in the Uni of California, Mark studied how often our focus is compromised. Subjects were observed over three dozen offices, their working days vulnerable to phones or colleagues, emails or rival chores.

The study was a sequel to Mark’s matching study in 2000, where the average attention span had been 12 seconds. This time round? Try eight seconds, roughly the duration of a goldfish, minus the benefit of a sunken castle.

Read the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Bowker named Chancellor’s Professor

July 21, 2017

Geoffrey Bowker, informatics professor and EVOKE Lab and Studio director, has been named a UCI Chancellor’s Professor. Granted for a five-year term, the distinguished title recognizes UCI professors who have demonstrated unusual academic merit and who continue notable achievement in scholarship.

A leading international scholar of informatics and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Bowker’s research focuses on web and digital resource uses and how these new classification systems transform our understanding of classic knowledge. He is noted for merging literary and social theory, art and history, and policy studies with computer science to create new technologies and digital experiences.

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KPBS: “Comic-Con For Educators” (GeekEd panel of Informatics faculty highlighted)

July 20, 2017

GeekEd #2: Shall We Play a Game?:
A panel of game scholars discuss how building better games, identifying the biases within them, and the act of “play” helps people empathize with others and provides them with a guideline for this work on college campuses. This panel of scholars will explore the intersection of games, learning and inclusivity in the context of curriculum development, activism, policy, history and game design. Panelists include Constance Steinkuehler (UC Irvine; Senior Policy Analyst, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy 2011-2012), Bonnie Ruberg (UC Irvine), Kurt Squire (UC Irvine), Amanda Cullen (UC Irvine) and Aaron Trammell (UC Irvine).

Read the article at KPBS.