GAMERella is a game jam and workshop series that caters to women and marginalized people who haven’t had a chance to make a game before.
Many people still feel intimidated by the gaming scene and find it difficult to participate in events like game jams. In 2013, GAMERella was conceived at the Montreal based TAG Lab to welcome people who are often marginalized in game-related spaces, and to prove that game jams can be a safe and exciting environment for creating small, innovative games in a short period of time. Everyone, including first-time game makers, is experimenting, learning, and sharing skills with others. We believe that GAMERella is a place to improve a skill, try risky and unconventional game design ideas, meet other developers, and above all, have fun.
This year, the keynote speaker is Dr. Kishonna L. Gray, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois – Chicago.
She is an interdisciplinary, intersectional, digital media scholar whose areas of research include identity, performance and online environments, embodied deviance, cultural production, video games, and Black Cyberfeminism. Dr. Gray is the author of Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming (LSU Press, 2020). She is also the author of Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live (Routledge, 2014), and the co-editor of two volumes on culture and gaming: Feminism in Play (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018) and Woke Gaming (University of Washington Press, 2018). Dr. Gray has published in a variety of outlets across disciplines and has also featured in public outlets such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The New York Times.
Every year, GAMERella creates opportunities to meet all types of people (including those who support minorities in the industry) who are interested in game development.
Dissatisfied with the game spaces and opportunities provided for women in Montreal’s game scene, Gina Hara and Charlotte Fisher created GAMERella in 2013. Led by Concordia University’s game research centre TAG, industry mentors, support staff and researchers, GAMERella welcomes participants in a low stress, learner-friendly environment, with the aim to change the way people jam, as well as the way people think about gaming.