The 3G Summit
On August 12-15, 2010, the Department of Interactive Arts & Media and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media, at Columbia College Chicago, will join in presenting the 3G Summit: The Future of Girls, Gaming and Gender. This is a visionary 4-day initiative that will convene 50 urban teenage girls with five leading women game designers and scholars for intensive dialogue, inquiry, game-play, and mentorship. Through multi-faceted workshops and a public forum, this initiative will critically confront gender representation and participation in our society’s fastest growing cultural medium.
Mindy Faber is a George W. Foster Peabody winning video artist and the founder of Open Youth Networks, now housed at the Department of Interactive Arts and Media at Columbia College in Chicago. Open Youth Networks trains youth to use emergent technologies, games and social media for change.
Upon attaining her MFA in Time Arts from the School of the Art institute of Chicago, Mindy served as the Associate Director of the Video Data Bank for twelve years. After receiving a 1996 Rockefeller Foundation Intercultural Fellowship, Mindy shifted her creative focus towards youth, collaborating with teens to produce several award-winning works. She then served as Director of Distribution for Video Machete and taught media arts at Evanston High School. Through Open Youth Networks, Mindy has constructed new curricular model programs based on participatory media and learning, including the Fair Use Remix Institute (FURI) and YouthLAB (Listening Across Borders). YouthLAB took place on site at IAM in the summer of 2007 and brought together 20 youth from Chicago and Barbados in virtual space for two -weeks of creative collaboration and cross-cultural exchange. Mindy is also the co-curator of YouTube-sized: Youth Personas, Pleasures and Protests - a video series that premiered at 24/7: DIY Video Summit sponsored by the School of Cinematic Arts at USC and the co-author of Ten Radical Things about YouTube published in the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. As an activist, Google Certified Trainer and advocate for youth media, Mindy serves as the Coordinator of the Chicago Youth Voices Network, a city-wide coalition of youth media organizations.
Jane Saks, Executive Director, ESB Institute
Jane M. Saks (Executive Director, Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media) is a feminist activist, cultural advocate, writer and educator who challenges and champions issues of gender, sexuality, human rights, race and power within the worlds of arts and culture, politics and civil rights, academia and philanthropy. She serves on several boards including: Co-Chair, Chicago Foundation for Women’s Lesbian Leadership Council, Radio Diaries of National Public Radio, US Friends of the South Africa Constitutional Court Architecture and Art Programme Committee, and Chicago Committee of the African Women’s Development Fund. She is a published poet and lecturer, and recipient of numerous awards and honors including: a 2005 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellowship; 2008 Woman of Valor Award; 2009 Business and Professional People for the Public Interest “40 Who’ve Made A Difference Award;” a 2009 inductee to the City of Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame; and a 2010 Impact Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women. In 2010, the Institute received the Leppen Leadership Award, given by About Face Theatre and About Face Youth Theatre. Ms Saks and the Institute were also recipients of the 2010 Visionary Award given by Rape Victims Advocates.
Sara Slawnik, Program Director, ESB Institute
Ms. Slawnik joined the Institute staff in February 2007 as the first Program Director, bringing five years experience as a development officer for various arts organizations and museums, as well as a considerable interest in socially-minded arts projects and initiatives. In her past employment, Ms. Slawnik was a key member of development teams at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, The Drawing Center in New York City, and the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution. She also has a background as an Associate Editor at Bedford/St. Martin’s publishing house, working in the Communications and Media textbook division. Ms. Slawnik holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, and is an independent artist and writer.
Interactive Arts and Media Department, Annette Barbier, Chair
Social responsibility and service learning are hallmark principles of IAM, evidenced by its unique capstone courses in Game Project and IAM Team. IAM seniors work collaboratively, often with non-profit community organizations acting as clients. In terms of facilities, IAM is unmatched in the city, with more than a dozen labs and classrooms, over 300 computers, a $169,000 Motion Analysis Hawk motion capture studio, a professional industrial laser cutter, a production grade thermoplastic printer, two state-of-the-art gaze trackers and 3d simulation software infused across stations. Faculty specialize in artificial intelligence, open source software, emerging web technologies, Torque, Unreal Engine, C++ and XNA game development, Facebook and smartphone application development, and computer controlled installations utilizing motion sensors, lasers and conductive materials. The department houses its own massive server and CMS website.
Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in Arts and Media
The Institute is recognized as a national and international creator of original works, and presenter and collaborator of multidisciplinary programming and initiatives on the discourse of gender, culture, creativity and community. The Institute offers a dynamic and innovative approach that merges applied arts and cultural production with critical theory and academic research. Within this framework, the Institute addresses human rights, access, representation, equity, and participation, as well as race and class, using the arts and media as a central means of research, engagement, public education, and advocacy. The Institute offers a wide range of public programs, including exhibitions, performances and panel discussions, and supports new research and original creative work through its Fellowship program.
Here is the official press release:
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THE GAMES GIRLS PLAY
Columbia College Chicago Hosts High School Girls in
Mentorship Summit Focused on Gaming and Gender Equity
CHICAGO (June 17, 2010) – Leading North American female game designers and scholars will come together with young women gamers on Aug. 12-15 at Columbia College Chicago to look at the female voice in the digital gaming industry. The 3G Summit: The Future of Girls, Gaming, and Gender is an unprecedented four-day initiative that will engage 50 young women from Chicago-area high schools in a series of discussions and workshops designed to foster professional mentorship and ignite lively exchange about young women’s place in the gaming culture.
The 3G Summit (www.colum.edu/3gsummit <http://www.colum.edu/3gsummit> ) is a rare opportunity to learn what young women want from electronic and online games, and according to organizers, is specifically designed to help change the conversation in education and in the world of technology as it provides insight into gender equity and gaming. It also looks at how digital games delivered over mobile phones and social networking sites can be used for social awareness, civic engagement, and cultural expression.
Organizers are working to support the empowerment of young women to speak out for, and participate in, changing the gaming culture and raising awareness of female gamers and their perspectives.
“As it evolves and matures, the game industry is looking to new voices and new perspectives in order to imagine its own future,” says Los Angeles-based Tracy Fullerton, who will be among the professional mentors. “I can’t think of a better place to start developing those voices than a gathering like the 3G Summit, where young women can begin to imagine themselves as creative leaders of that future.”
With new insights and skills, the students will develop concepts for their own games over the course of the weekend under the mentorship of the five professional female game designers as the final deliverable for the summit. The girls will present their game concepts on the final day of the summit after which a team of senior Columbia College Interactive Arts and Media students will develop the concepts into games as a fall semester project.
“The summit engages girls as future game designers and powerful technology users, not just as an untapped consumer market,” says Mindy Faber, co-organizer and director of Open Youth Networks in Columbia College’s Interactive Arts and Media Department. “Ultimately, bringing more women to the table in the gaming field changes what gets made, how it is made and to what purpose.”
The 3G Summit is a multi-year initiative co-presented by Open Youth Networks and Columbia College’s Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media. Following this inaugural year of the summit, the presenters plan to extend the program through afterschool components and continued engagement between the girls and their mentors.
“These kinds of initiatives and collective long-term work can continue to create new models and roles for female gamers,” says Jane M. Saks, executive director of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute. “Gender equality and participation is not a new challenge in gaming. Often young women have been marginalized participants in the production and consumption of gaming culture. The goal of bringing together national women gaming leaders is to strengthen the next generations’ claim within the field.”
The first of the two public events at the 3G Summit is a panel discussion with the five leading female game designers to introduce the panelists’ ideas and perspectives that sparked the need to have a hands-on forum about girls and gaming. The final day of the summit gives the participants a chance to present the concepts behind their proposed game design in a public expo.
The program participants come from Calumet High School of Technology, Evanston Township High School, Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, and Chicago non-profits Erie Neighborhood House and Beyond Media Education.
The five leading female scholars and practitioners serving as mentors during the summit are Mary Flanagan, New York-based gaming scholar and the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College; Tracy Fullerton, Los Angeles-based writer, game designer and associate professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts; Jennifer Jenson, Ontario-based game designer and associate professor of pedagogy and technology at York University; Susana Ruiz, Los Angeles-based media artist and co-founder of the design collective Take Action Games; and Erin Robinson, Chicago-based independent game designer.
The 3G Summit: Girls, Gaming, and Gender is made possible in part by grants from the McCormick Foundation, Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Illinois General Assembly, and the Chicago Foundation for Women. It additionally is sponsored by Columbia College Chicago and its “Critical Encounters: Image + Implication” initiative, as well as Resolution Digital Studios, and Show Department Inc.
Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to more than 12,000 students in over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit www.colum.edu.