ALT+F4: Rebooting Community after GamerGate

In August of 2014, the hashtag #Gamergate emerged online, used as a weapon deployed against women in the video game industry. Through online harassment tactics, including threats of physical violence, GamerGate constituted an instance of digital mass mobilization deliberately attacking what was perceived to be a turn away from gaming culture’s historical association with young male players. As commentators have since noted, GamerGate would become a precursor to subsequent social media mass mobilizations, including disinformation campaigns, conspiracy theories, and online grievance culture.

This conference seeks to revisit the social and cultural implications of GamerGate on its ten-year anniversary. To be held over four days in September 2024, this gathering of academics, designers, and community participants is designed to extend current conversations of game development and game studies beyond the existing heteronormative, hegemonic discourses through offering an integrated, multiperspectival, digital humanities retrospective focused on the social and technological sources and afterlives of GamerGate.

Scheduled keynote speakers for the conference include:

  • Kishonna L. Gray, PhD, associate professor in writing, rhetoric and digital studies and Africana studies at the University of Kentucky. She is an interdisciplinary, intersectional, digital media scholar whose areas of research include identity, performance and online environments, embodied deviance, cultural production, video games, and Black cyberfeminism.
  • Rachel Kowert, PhD, research psychologist, visiting professor at the University of York in the United Kingdom, and founder of Psychgeist, a multimedia content production studio for the science of games and pop culture. She is a world-renowned researcher on the uses and effects of digital games, including their impact on physical, social, and psychological well-being.
  • Anita Sarkeesian, creator of the award-winning “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,” a critically acclaimed video series exploring the history of women’s representation in gaming that has garnered nearly 14 million views on YouTube alone. Her work as a media critic, public speaker, and filmmaker who thrives at the intersection of digital culture, accessibility, and social justice sparked a paradigm-shifting conversation about improving the representations of marginalized people in video games.

Lawrence Tech offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in game design through its College of Architecture and Design, as well as a Bachelor of Science in computer science with a concentration in game software development. For more information on the BFA program, visit For more information on the game software development program, visit

Funding for this program was provided by Michigan Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Michigan Humanities or the aforementioned entities.

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