Playing with Care, Laboring with Care (Fall 2021-Spring 2023)

Playing with Care, Laboring with Care is a project directed by The Studio for Mediating Play to examine care as an ethical, political, economic, aesthetic, and affective dimension of games and play. By engaging with lively and prescient discussions of care, this project explores what it means to care about and with games as well as to consider game design, gameplay, and game scholarship as acts of care. In particular, this project investigates the enduring socially constructed dichotomy between work and play that organizes contemporary life, such as the way that play elements and logics are used to encourage laborers to care about their work via gamification. Ultimately, this project fosters engagements with the work of scholars and artists at the intersection of feminist theory, political economy, and game studies to explore how care is mobilized and manifest as ideological construct, as social relation, and as embodied practice.

AY 2021-2022 Online Scholar/Designer Conversations

“Working Through and Around Games: Cultivating Indigenous Representation in Gaming”
Wendi Sierra, Texas Christian University (

“Toward Responsible Localization”
Stephen Mandiberg, University of North Texas (

“When Your Work Looks Like Play: Feminist Game Studies in Action”
Samantha Blackmon, Purdue University (

“Reparative Game Design”
Kara Stone, Alberta University of the Arts (

AY 2022-2023 Online Scholar/Designer Conversations

“Designing Safety Mechanics: Caring Practices from Queer and Trans of Color Histories to Tabletop Roleplaying Games”
Michael DeAnda, DePaul University (

Emerging Scholars Panel on “Playing with Care, Laboring with Care”
Christine Tran, University of Toronto (
Christopher J. Persaud, University of Southern California (
Cameron Irby, The University of Texas at Dallas (

“Social Change Work & The Auteur Complex”
mattie brice, New York University (

“Crafting Worlds through Scores: A Feminist Playful Praxis”
Catalina Hernandez, Virginia Commonwealth University (

“Touchy Feely Games: Embodiment, Emotion, and Trans* Play”
Teddy Pozo, Bennington College (