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.
We also have some modifiers for those who like a challenge. Feel free to pick from these as an inspiration for your project: honk, ferment, power dynamics, zones / territories, fluffy, union/ize, collective, alternative pets, climate science, sustainability, decolonization, warmth.
STEPHANIE “MISSHARVEY” HARVEY
A five-time world champion in competitive Counter-Strike, and longtime female pro-gaming icon, Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey currently plays video games professionally. Formerly a game designer for Ubisoft Montreal, Stephanie is now a brand ambassador for OMEN by HP Canada, a spokesperson for DreamHack Montreal and a host on RDS Jeux Vidéo. She is also currently working with the International Olympic Committee and dedicates much of her time raising awareness for healthy gaming habits, gender equality, and online toxicity. Her 16 years in esports and 7 years as a developer awarded her a Forbes 30 under 30 award, one of the BBC 100 women and the title of Canada’s Smartest Person Season 3 on CBC.
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. You can also watch her documentary, Geek Girls, exploring the hidden half of nerd culture on NFB.ca.
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*