Patching Default Settings: Radical Feminist Gameplay

Patching Default Settings: Radical Feminist Gameplay is a project directed by The Studio for Mediating to research and intervene in mainstream gaming through creative and critical practice informed by intersectional feminist theory and politically engaged art. Drawing on feminist research that interrogates sexist, racist, classist, heteronormative, and ableist logics common in commercial game titles and gaming practices, this project aims to develop original experimental artworks about games, gameplay, and gaming cultures that render and envision alternative ways of playing. In addition to faculty participation, this project seeks to mentor students as critical researchers and creative practitioners engaged in these critical and creative domains.

Through Patching Default Settings, The Studio for Mediating Play financially and intellectually supports participating UT Dallas faculty and students in developing and showcasing feminist scholarship and experimental art about gaming. Additionally, as part of Patching Default Settings, The Studio for Mediating Play invites feminist game scholars and designers from other institutions across the US to visit UT Dallas for a series of workshops, presentations, critique sessions, author conversations, and other events in support of feminist research and praxis in games and gaming cultures.

Our confirmed guest events include:

AY 2019-2020 Game Design Workshops
“Another World is Possible: Building Community-Engaged Games and Activist Media”
Alexandrina Algoro, Arizona State University (

“Making Games with Games: Design Strategies for the Tools You Have at Hand”
Amanda Phillips, Georgetown University (

“Playing With the Truth: How to Create Games that Embed Fact in Fiction”
Carly A. Kocurek, Illinois Institute of Technology (

Fall 2020 Online Author/Designer Conversations
Gamer Trouble: Feminist Confrontations in Digital Culture
Amanda Phillips, Georgetown University (

Playing Nature: Ecology and Video Games
Alenda Y. Chang, University of California, Santa Barbara (

The Race Card: From Gaming Technologies to Model Minorities
Tara Fickle, University of Oregon (

Spring 2021 Online Author/Designer Conversations Scheduled
Christopher Patterson, University of British Columbia (
Whitney Pow, New York University (
Kishonna Gray, University of Illinois, Chicago (

Support for Patching Default Settings: Radical Feminist Gameplay is provided by a Humanities and Emerging Arts (HEArts) Grant from the Office of Research at The University of Texas at Dallas to cover Summer 2019 through Fall 2020 activities.