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The University of Southampton
Centre for Democratic Futures

Glitching: LGBTQ+ and gender diversity in contemporary gaming Event

13:00 - 14:30
16 February 2022

Event details

An event to celebrate LGBT History Month 2022

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February 2022 marks LGBT History Month and the theme this year is ‘Politics in Art’. This web-based roundtable event, organised by the Centre for Democratic Futures in conjunction with the Pulse LGBT+ Staff Network at the University of Southampton, celebrates this subject matter by considering the role and issues surrounding LGBT issues within gaming.


Drawing on four experts from industry and academia, the webinar will address the state of play, progress, and outstanding challenges around gaming design, representation, and inclusive involvement in everyday life. This topic represents a chance to reflect on developments specific to the field, such as Gamergate, and milestones within wider media and cultural domains, such as 2022 marking 50 years since the introduction of Britain’s first gay newspaper.


Intended to appeal to activists, policy makers, NGOs, academics and the wider public, this webinar aims to contribute to dialogue and research on gaming’s future direction. It will highlight connections between gaming’s art, player identity and politics, both online and offline. To facilitate discussion on the day, the webinar will provide time for a Q&A session following the contributions of the speakers.





Auxane Boch

Researcher and doctoral candidate at the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich where she explores AI ethics topics relating to social robotics, cultures, and governance. Holding a specialism in cyberpsychology, Auxane also investigates the importance of diversity in video games, motivated by the belief that they can have a significant and positive impact on society. She too is a Women in Games Ambassador.


Dominic Shaw

Dom serves as the first Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Coordinator for the UK video games and interactive entertainment trade association, Ukie. He manages their flagship diversity initiative #RaiseTheGame pledge and supports efforts towards the Video Games Ambassadors programme with Into Games. Dom is also an ambassador for the UK’s national autism research charity, Autistica. Dom proudly identifies as an autistic, dyslexic and LGBTQ+ individual.


Sally Sheppard

Founder and Director of London based indie game studio Wyrdren Games established in 2020. The studio is dedicated to making inclusive games for a diverse audience and strives to create a working environment where talent can thrive. Sally is also a Safe In Our World Champion helping foster worldwide mental health awareness within the video game industry and a Women in Games Ambassador.



Vanissa Wanick

Teaching Fellow in the BA Games Design & Art programme, member of the Centre for Democratic Futures Steering Group and Transforming Creativity Research Group, all at the University of Southampton. Vanissa is also a board member of the Serious Games Society and a Women in Games Ambassador, an initiative that looks to support educational efforts on widening and embedding game inclusivity.





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