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Tuesday
Feb202018

Positive Play: A Sex Ed Game Jam 

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Overview

Positive Play brings together aspiring game designers, public health students, sexual health experts, and gender-equity organizations to explore positive depictions of sex and sexuality through games. Participants in this two-day jam (March 24-25th) will work collaboratively to develop games with learning outcomes related to one of the following topics: sex positivity, LGBTQ2S+ inclusivity, consent, and destigmatizing sexually transmitted and bloodborne infections.

 

Register HERE. (30 places)
Download our info sheet HERE

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What is a game jam?

A game jam involves people coming together to explore novel game ideas and topics. Typically jammers work in teams to collaboratively design and prototype a game in a relatively short period of time. Here at WLU’s Game Design and Development program we practice sustainable jams, meaning fixed hours, regular breaks, and healthy food and drink options for all participants.

Why host a jam on sex ed?

Games have often struggled to depict sex and sexuality. In fact, sex is rarely present in games as designers tend to view the subject as taboo. When sex does appear in games it’s often cumbersome, crude, vulgar, and/or misogynistic, perpetuating negative stereotypes and practices. At the same time sexuality is often encoded in games as masculine and heteronormative—the view that heterosexuality is normal or preferred. Few games, for example, allow players to play gay or to pursue polyamorous relationships; rather they presume their players are straight men such that gameplay involves a form of what Adrienne Rich calls compulsory heterosexuality. This view of sex in games exacerbates our culture’s treatment of sex and sexual health as a taboo topic, which can lead to unsafe practices, discrimination, and a reluctance to seek care out of shame or embarrassment.

And yet how designers have approached sex and sexuality is at odds with the medium of games themselves. Play, for instance, is an inherently consensual act as being compelled to play would undermine the very concept of wilfully participating in an activity. Furthermore, flirtation, romance, and sex itself are at their healthiest when they’re viewed as consensual, fun, and playful. With this jam we’re looking to utilize this relationship between games, play, and consent to open up conversations on sex, sexuality, and sexual health. As a result the games designed during Positive Play will help mobilize public health and gender equity policies that advocate for safer, more equitable views on these topics.

Partners

We will be working with the Canadian Public Health Association and No More

The Canadian Public Health Association promotes health equity, social justice, and evidence-informed policies and practices.

No More is a community-based organization that speaks out against gendered violence and advocates for gender equity.

Speaker Slides 

 

Introduction by Steve Wilcox & Emily Flynn-Jones (BGNlab)

STBBI & Stigma by Rachel MacLean & Laura Bouchard (CPHA) 

LGBTQ+ Sex Positivity by Taylor Berzins & Karly Rath (ASCC) 

Consent by Jess Doroschenko (No More) 

 

Resources

 

LGBTQ2S+ Resources

Can I Play Gay?

LGBTQ Video Game Archive 

 

 Games 

Dream Daddy - a dad Dating simulator 

 The Tearoom - A historical public bathroom simulator 

Mainichi - A game about the average day in the life of a trans woman 

How Do You Do It? - A game about exploring the mechanics of sex

Freshman Year - A game about sexual assault and consent 

Katawa Shoujo - A game about disability and sexuality 

Analogue: A Hate Story - A lesbian romance 


 

Thank you to our partners the Canadian Public Health Association and No More

 

Friday
Feb022018

BGNlab Climate Change Games

Over last summer, we hosted 12 students over the summer who created climate change games.  

Laurier has put together an article on the process, which you can see here:  https://www.wlu.ca/news/spotlights/2017/july/students-at-lauriers-brantford-games-network-lab-create-games-to-mitigate-climate-change.html

You can try the games.  Part of the project was to create two games - one more of a learning game, and the other a recreational game.  You do the same activities in both, but we are studying if there is a difference between the games.

The learning game version is here: http://www.gamestochangetheworld.com/games/climate2017/6degrees/ 

 

Wednesday
Jan032018

GameTalk on January 4 - Syd Bolton

It’s time to come in out of the cold and Talk Games with GameTalk!
On Thursday, January 4th at 7pm  we will have Syd Bolton joining us.  Syd is the Curator of the PC Museum here in Brantford. 
You can learn more about Syd at http://www.sydbolton.com/
More information about visiting the BGNlab can be found at http://bgnlab.ca/visiting/

 

Tuesday
Oct102017

Brantford Mystery Hunt Registration

Welcome to the 2017 Brantford Mystery Hunt!

In Framed in the Past: The Tightrope Walker, teams of players will engage in a story based on events that took place 150 years in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

During this one-hour game, teams will work together to solve puzzles, visit student actors in downtown Brantford, and unravel the mystery of the disappearing tightrope walker through a narrative live-action puzzle-based adventure inspired by history.

There will be a Family and a Gamer track for the event.  Spaces are limited and players must register by Nov. 12.

The Family event is simpler, and is appropriate for ages 10 and up. Younger children can attend with their family, but may find the puzzles overwhelming. We do ask that all minors be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Gamer track is more intense, both in the story and in the challenges, and is not recommended for those under 16.

We will be starting 4 teams every half an hour between 1 and 3:00. There are 16 tickets available during each time slot. If you are with a group of about 4, you can stay as a team. If you are in a smaller group, then we may put you with other smaller groups. 

This game has been developed, staffed, and will be run by Laurier students from the Escape Room and Puzzle Design class taught by Dr. Scott Nicholson from the Game Design and Development program at Wilfrid Laurier University in Brantford, Ontario.

We are running this event as a fundraiser as part of the Laurier United Way fundraising efforts, so all proceeds will go to charity.  The event is generously supported by the City of Brantford.

We would like to thank the following people for their consultation during thie planning of this event:
Nathan Etherington and the Brant Historical Society
Errol Elumir and Manda Whitney from the Room Escape Divas
Stacey Hannem from the Criminology program at Laurier Brantford
Peter Farrugia from the Society Culture & Environment and History Programs at Laurier Brantford
Ken Lavender
Brantford Public Library

Ticket sales for this event ended on Nov. 12, but there is another event in Brantford you can attend: If you like Star Wars and Clue, then you can also engage with the Brantford Public Library's Star Wars Clue event on the same day!   You can learn more about that and sign up at https://brantford.library.on.ca/events/star-wars-clue-bpl-edition/

Thursday
Oct052017

GameTalk - Andrea Cartwright

Come and learn about Escape Rooms!

 

On Oct. 5, 2017, at 7PM, the public is invited to GameTalk at the BGNlab!   The speaker is Andrea Cartwright, the CEO of Breakout Escape, which is an escape room facility that will be opening up in Brantford soon!   Here's a chance to learn a little bit about the behind the scenes of what goes on with Escape Rooms

This talk has been organized by the WLU Libraries and Michelle Goodridge.  

The BGNlab is in Grand River Hall.  A map and directions can be found here: http://bgnlab.ca/visiting/