Evolution of video games and journalist panel highlight JSB Symposium

Leigh Alexander


Leigh Alexander, video gaming journalist and editor-in-chief of Offworld.com, Boing Boing’s countercultural games site, is the featured speaker for the John Seely Brown Symposium on Technology and Society, Thursday, October 1 at 11 a.m. in the Mendelssohn Theater of the Michigan League, 911 N. University, Ann Arbor.

Alexander’s topic is “Game Changers: Video games transition from technology product to cultural form.” In her talk, she will discuss video games’ emergence as a pop cultural form and how they have evolved from simple diversions and commercial products. Her topics will include the democratization of tools, the rise of women creators, the conservative backlash and future trends.

As longtime editor-at-large for game industry news site Gamasutra, Leigh Alexander contributed game criticism, design analysis, industry trend editorial and interviews with developers. In addition to columns in games specialist press outlets like Edge, Kotaku and Polygon, her work has appeared in Slate, The Atlantic, The New Statesman, The Guardian and others. She is author of two ebooks on tech and identity, Breathing Machine and Clipping Through. She frequently speaks on games for social good, often with a feminist lens.

Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m., Alexander joins a panel discussion on “The Enemies of Information and Memory,” moderated by Christian Sandvig, associate professor in the School of Information and department of Communication Studies.

Other panelists will be Edouard Perrin, a reporter with Premières Lignes (France) and a Knight-Wallace Fellow, and Louisa Lim, former NPR and BBC correspondent, the author of The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited and a Howard R. Marsh Visiting Professor.

These experienced journalists and authors will discuss their experiences with attempts to limit the freedom of information, the prospects for journalism under adversity, and the tactics that might be employed to preserve the public's right to know.

The panel discussion will take place in the Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad, 105 S. State Street, Ann Arbor. The public is invited to attend both events.

The John Seely Brown Symposium on Technology and Society is sponsored by the School of Information. This annual event features thought leaders from the front lines of the digital world, sharing their perspectives on the societal implications of new technology. The symposium is made possible by the support of its founding donor, John Seely Brown, the former Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and director of the Palo Alto Research Center.

Posted September 28, 2015