Two of Newton Gresham Library’s own represented the university among over eight countries attending “Video Game Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment” conference held at Oxford in July.
Tyler Manolovitz, Digital Resources Librarian, and Michelle Martinez, Reference Librarian, began their research about a year ago for their paper titled “Incest, Sexual Violence and Rape in video games.”
“We chose the topic partly because I am interested in the feminist perspective in video games,” Martinez said.
A book called “Sex in Video Games” sparked the topic.
“It was an author I had read before. She did not cover specifically sexual violence towards women in video games. It was just kind of a topic that hadn’t been touched and I just thought that would be a good place for us to begin researching,” Marinez said.
The idea was set in print and presented to scholars from all over the world at the conference.
“I think they said there were eight or ten different countries. There were speakers from places Spain, Korea, Australia, Canada, England of course, and a few from the United States,” Manolovitz said.
In the beginning the thought of the conference was intimidating to the two.
“Initially it was intimidating until we got there. It turned out that it was just a small cordial group of scholars and we all just sat around and talked. It was less intimidating that way then it would have been speaking to a huge group of hundreds of people and being on stage,” Martinez said.
Both Martinez and Manolovitz said they are excited to have had the chance to present their topic; considering that they almost weren’t able to attend.
“We weren’t sure if were going to have the ability to go to the event, so just the ability to do that was great,” Manolovitz said.
The reception of the unfamiliar topic was extremely positive.”We did a lot of discussion before and after the actual presentation about the topic,” Manolovitz said. “It got some really good reception and kind of like we were going with the idea that there isn’t a lot of research in this field that was their reception as well, that this is interesting because there is very little research right now,” he said.
Intrigued, the attending focused their attention on the topic for next year’s conference.
“People were interested. At the end of the conference we had a discussion about the topics they would like to see in future instances of the conference, and the first one brought up was related to our topic,” Martinez said.
Martinez shared that students should never let the thought of others hinder them from moving forward with their opinion.
“Don’t be afraid to approach a topic that might be daunting because you never know who is on the receiving end, reading this,” Martinez said. “If you have something really great to say don’t let your fear of ‘I don’t know enough about this, there is going to be some genius there, some expert on the field and they’re going to tell me that I am completely wrong’, stop you from going ahead with your own research and giving your own opinions,” she said.
Publication for “Incest, Sexual Violence and Rape in video games” is currently in the works.
“It is initially going to be in an Ejournal. We are in discussion with the possibility of expanding the paper into an entire book chapter that would be published into a print volume,” Martinez said, “But that isn’t for sure yet. We are still waiting to hear back, but as far as we know it is in the works to be published in an Ejournal sometime next year.”