The Women and Identity in Gaming Symposium is an event of discussion, panels, and lectures that allows participants an opportunity to explore various aspects of gender and identity in gaming. This symposium covers all forms of gaming, from console to card to tabletop gaming, as well as those of us in the gaming community. We bring in academics who study various facets of gaming, game developers, and those who work in the industry.

As for speakers, we have Ashly Burch from Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin? on YouTube who also has several wonderful side projects like How Games Saved My Life and her involvement in Borderlands 2. We also have Allison Salmon, lead software engineer at the Learning Games Network and Games + Learning + Society Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Last but certainly not least, we have Jenny Haniver, moderator of the GirlGamers subreddit and producer of Not In The Kitchen Anymore, a blog about sexist experiences in game.

Our symposium is not just about talking about the problems women, men, trans* people, and minorities experience in game. We are really aiming to look at the problems and possible solutions from all angles, including from the consumer, marketing, programming, play testing, etc. Those of us on the planning committee are very passionate about these issues and are really excited for this event to be happening.

If you'd like to know more, take a look at our website at This event will be taking place on May 3rd & 4th at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. If you are close by, I invite you to come! Not in the area? Speaker talks will be live-streamed (the links will be on our website) as well as recorded and later posted to our YouTube channel.

Our hope is that by fostering a thoughtful and respectful dialogue about the topics of gender and identity in gaming, we can begin to make positive changes within the gaming community, and possibly the gaming industry.

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