It’s International Women’s Day again and time to do my annual thank you! Ada Lovelace Day is taking care of my greatfulness for women and technology – so this year I’m going to keep it on a very personal level.
In November 2006, Maren Agdestein organised a lunch where she gathered three women she had met that were writing or considering to write about computer games for their master’s thesis. Seen here on the right from the left: Marianne, Me, Maren and Hedvig. At that time we called ourselves The cHixOrs, not really thinking that we’d do anything more than just meet up every now and then for a chat about games and our academic interests. But I think all of us really enjoyed geekspeaking with other women. There was just something really uplifting, fun and liberating about it.
So let me introduce you to (pictures stolen from Facebook, by the way):
Maren Agdestein – who is just such a delightful writer. She’s written about games for years as a freelance journalist. She’s a game critic and game journalist. Her anecdotes always tickle me so. Her mind is so colourful, imaginitive, playful and she articulates it so well. She’s such an inspiration to read and listen to. Maren also has this amazing capacity to take things in her stride, which I’m completely in awe of. She’s nearing the end of her Master’s thesis which is an analysis of female gamers, and I can’t wait to read it!
Marianne Westerlund – is also a fabulous writer. She’s got so much enthusiasm and energy and such a colourful outlook on everything – it’s absolutely intoxicating. She too has a sharp mind – analytical and incredibly creative. A true gamer spirit. She’s also an excellent investigater. The information she manages to retrieve quickly is just dazzling. Marianne stepped into the horrific challenge of writing her thesis about Narrative and Games. You just have to admire her for diving into the sharky waters of that debate and handled it very nicely. She’s finished and is now working as a copywriter/journalist for the University of Bergen’s information department. She’s experimenting a lot with new media techniques and she does it without fear. The woman has the courage of a lion and I admire her strength to face challenges with vigor and optimism. She’s just pure delight.
Hedvig Myklebust – is also a pure delight. Filled up with enthusiasm and positive energy that just sets the room on fire. Hedvig is the ultimate girl geek, really. She’s worked at Outland for years and has worked up a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable girls on – well anything geeky, really (RPG, comics, board games, anime and of course, computer games). Hedvig’s quite the little information adventurer. She’s smart, daring and colourful. Hedvig is writing about roleplayers, and I’m suddenly quite unsure – but I think she’s specifically writing about role-players in World of Warcraft. Which is going to be a MUST READ for a lot of people, I imagine. Looking forward to seeing her brilliance on paper!
The cHixOrs evolve
Since that November day a lot has happened. Children have been born, thesis’ have been handed in and some of us have moved and back again. We met rather sporadically between 2006 and 2008 but we’re now trying to meed every couple of weeks.
Since fall of 2008 we’ve become more – what’s the word? – serious?
We’ve visited a game design company together, Turbo Tape Games. As you can imagine, we’ve discussed a lot about narrative, play and games – so it was really interesting speaking with the boys at Turbo Tape about creating storyboards a.s.o. (although I’m still not sure I understood everything that was told). We’re considering visiting MediaCircus later on because we’ve played Veum’s Fall together. Veum’s Fall is an ARG which we were very sceptical about. Firstly, I can’t stand the Varg Veum’s books, secondly, we’d heard a lot of bad stuff about it and thirdly, I guess we were all rather sceptical to ARGs in general. But we loved it! We had a few disappointments along the way, but we saw lots of places in the city we live in that we didn’t know about before, was impressed by the multimedia talent behind it and the storyline made us giggle.
We’re currently playing Dungeons and Dragons, with Hedvig as the fabulous Game Master. I wasn’t expecting it – but I love it!! I honestly had no idea D&D was so…well…playful. We’re also actively involved in attending differen games events, like the Game Seminar on the 16th.
Our “name” has been discussed a little. We’ve got a thread on Facebook that just makes me laugh each time I open it. In the attempt to give ourselves a cool acronym like AC/GC it’s called “The Almighty Coalition of the Genderbending Chixxors Who Also Call Themselves the Game Research Group”. From that, I guess you can imagine what fun we have.
I’m sure we’ll evolve even more. A large part of my work is about communicating very complicated information and lately I’ve been playing around with the idea that this information would be at it’s best if it was giftwrapped as a game. I’ve been talking to the girls about this and quite honestly – I feel there’s potential for some good creative gaming scripts coming out of us in the future. Time will tell…
So – to the point!
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my fellow chixxors for their inspiration, wisdom, humour, enthusiasm, creativity and pure joy of geekyness. You’re all such an amazing force that I’m so thankful to be a part of! Although I’m just ‘studying’ games as a…well…I guess a kind of hobby at the moment…I still get so much enjoyment from our discussions.
All of these women represent everything I feel that the modern woman is today. Smart, playful, feminine, independent yet also domestic, nurturing and generally very happy about who they are, what their interests are and hungry to experience more.
I feel so blessed to have such a great group of strong women to play with! Thanks!