Many people still feel intimidated by the gaming scene and find it difficult to participate in events like game jams. In 2013, GAMERella was conceived at the Montreal based TAG Lab to welcome people who are often marginalized in game-related spaces, and to prove that game jams can be a safe and exciting environment for creating small, innovative games in a short period of time. Everyone, including first-time game makers, is experimenting, learning, and sharing skills with others. We believe that GAMERella is a place to improve a skill, try risky and unconventional game design ideas, meet other developers, and above all, have fun.
Dissatisfied with the game spaces and opportunities provided for women in Montreal’s game scene, Gina Hara and Charlotte Fisher created GAMERella in 2013. Led by Concordia University’s game research centre TAG, industry mentors, support staff and researchers, GAMERella welcomes participants in a low stress, learner-friendly environment, with the aim to change the way people jam, as well as the way people think about gaming.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, ANN LEMAY was raised on Star Trek and Star Wars. She has been reading, watching, breathing, and living all things science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. After joining Ubisoft Montreal as a community manager in 1997, Ann subsequently worked in the game industry as a UI designer, game designer, narrative designer, and writer on a wide range of projects. In 2011 she moved to BioWare Montreal, where she wrote for Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect 3: Omega, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and contributed to Dragon Age: Inquisition. After taking a short pause from games (mostly to sleep), she was lured back to Ubisoft to work on Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed®: Ancient Egypt, Assassin’s Creed Origins and an as yet announced title. Currently, Ann is working at WB Games MTL as Narrative Director, with a pretty cool team. A determined advocate for diversity in games, she works to mentor and support like-minded voices in the industry. The Game Narrative Toolbox, a book Ann co-authored with Jennifer Branders Hepler, Toiya Kristen Finley and Tobias Heussner was published by Focal Press in June, 2015. It is available on Amazon.
GINA HARA is a nerdy filmmaker and artist. She is the co-founder of GAMERella and Montreal ‘s Magical Geek Brunch. Check out some of her short films and her Minecraft webseries on Youtube.
Liane Décary-Chen is pursuing an undergraduate double-major in Computation Arts and Computer Science at Concordia. Throughout 2015, she was involved in a number of Concordia-based research efforts, investigating concepts in female leadership through game design for Decode Global’s Arcade Our Way project and assisting in wearable technology research for XS Labs. Her interests are focused within community initiatives and exploring feminism and other social issues through the lens of interactive media. Accordingly, she currently serves on the FASA executive board and as a research assistant at the Concordia Lab in Interactive Documentary.
The past couple years my primary focus for my learning and sharing has been on harm reduction and trauma repair coming from a person-centered approach. I’m finishing up my bachelors degree in Women studies at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute and have newly become a research assistant for the sociology department at Concordia doing research on gaming and gambling. I keep my feet in and around many community organizations in the city, both as a community member as well as doing projects like developing and facilitating workshops on intervention and popular education. Currently I am sitting on a board of governors for AGIR, a community organization that provides support for Queer and Trans migrants.
I am here
-If you have a concern or conflict you are unsure of how to navigate
-If you are feeling unwell in the space and would like to express this and or/try to resolve this for yourself and possibly others
-If you want to express yourself be it emotionally or not and are searching for someone to support you in what you want/need
-If you are looking for a quiet presence
-Feel free to approach me if there is something you are looking for that I haven’t yet mentioned
*I am fluent in French and English*