The Role of Women in Video Games

Oakland University’s Women and Gender Studies Film Festival is Saturday, March 12

For its 32nd annual film festival, Oakland University’s Women and Gender Studies program will spotlight a documentary examining the role of women in the video game world. This year’s festival is titled “Game Not Over: Gender and Digital Culture” and features a screening of the film, GTFO: The Movie.

The Role of Women in Video Games

The Role of Women in Video Games

The festival will take place from noon – 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, in room 1050 of the Human Health Building, on OU’s campus. The documentary contains some violent content and is suggested for mature audiences.

Directed by Shannon Sun-Higginson, GTFO chronicles sexism in video games through interviews with video game developers, journalists and academics. It was nominated for Best Documentary at last year’s Stockholm Film Festival and focuses on the history of women in gaming, the experiences of women in the industry itself and the discouragement of young girls from participating in gaming, among other topics.

Sun-Higginson was inspired to create the film in 2012 and funded it through a Kickstarter campaign. It premiered at the 2015 South By Southwest Film Festival and has drawn several favorable reviews from critics. Jason Bailey, film editor at Flavorwire, called the film “brutally effective – intelligent, thought-provoking, and thorough.”

Festival organizers say the film promises to evoke a healthy discussion of the culture and values of the video game industry, as it continues to grow in popularity and commercial success.

“We are excited to host this important conversation on campus, bringing together students, faculty, and members of the broader community to talk about issues women and other underrepresented groups regularly face in the gaming world,” said Ami Harbin, who serves on the Women and Gender Studies Executive Committee.

“With all the attention the ‘Gamergate’ controversy has received in the last few years, and all the work feminists have done to respond to and raise awareness about degrading representations of women in games, and violence against women in gaming communities, this is the time to be talking about online and public harassment, and what we can all do to change the culture.”

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with students and professors. Panelists include:

  • Sam Srauy, assistant professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, Oakland University
  • Casey O’ Donnell, associate professor, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University
  • Ashley Cox, graduate student in psychology and behavioral health
  • Sarah Babbie, president of the Oakland University Gaming Guild
  • Monica Ybarra, Oakland University Ethics Bowl member
  • Juliana Stewart, Oakland University alumna

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, call (248) 370-2154 or visit the Women and Gender Studies website at

About Rochester Media

Rochester Media publishes The Community Edge digital newsletter of recently posted articles from Rochester Media, a hyper-local news outlet covering all things in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Send us you press releases and news happenings to

Speak Your Mind