Not Your Mama’s Gamer, started by Samantha and Alex in 2011, was designed as a space that would bring scholarly endeavors in line with personal passion, a space that would combine feminist interrogation of games with the games community. Since its inception, NYMGamer has grown by leaps and bounds, expanding content as well as staff, adding features such as our Signal Boost that focuses on diverse voices, gaming livestreams, and multimodal content.
NYMGamer’s slate of writers past and present features professors and writers and professionals from a variety of industries, but the focus is always the same: unpacking games from a feminist perspective, and having a good time while we’re at it.
Please note: we reserve the right to moderate every comment posted to the site. Our writers make it a point to engage with people who take the time to read and respond (and we thank you!), and while we enjoy robust debate, we will not publish abusive, empty language.
Samantha Blackmon (aka dr. b.) has been gaming for more than 30 years. It all started with a series of dashes moving up and down the screen and it has yet to end. It took 20 years to turn a guilty pleasure into research, but she got it done. Now she does rhetoric and game studies at Purdue and lures unsuspecting students down the rabbit hole. Her interest lays in critique of identity and identity formation in game studies. She is currently playing too many handheld games and still thinks Grim Fandango is the greatest game of all time.
Alex is an Assistant Professor at Metropolitan State University working on the intersections between gender issues and the gaming industry and community. Alex’s dream day consists of a bacon breakfast, a video game marathon, some flaming cheetos, and a nice glass of scotch. Alex enjoys a multitude of indie games, Civilization, WoW, COD, Portal, Fable III, and flash games. She believes that games have a lot to teach us, and she is always searching for ways to expose how life is just one big game.
Alisha Karabinus received her MFA in Creative Writing from Purdue in May 2014 is now a PhD student there, studying Rhetoric and Composition. Her all-time favorite games include Dishonored, the Civilization series, Dead Rising (the first!), the Left 4 Dead series, Portal, and a handful of classic console titles she sometimes disappears with in fits of nostalgia. In the before-time, she has written about games and gaming culture for the Joystiq network, Tiny Cartridge, and other sites. She and her husband have two lovely children, a dog, a cat, and three angry hermit crabs.
Sarah graduated from Purdue University with a double major in Creative Writing and Professional Writing and currently works as a game master in the Bay area. She doesn’t like picking favorites but she has a strong attachment for Mirror’s Edge, the Mass Effect series, the Bioshock series, and Okami, just to name a few. When not gaming, she procrastinates on getting any fiction writing done and daydreams that she has super powers.
Charlotte is a graduate student in Purdue’s PhD program in Rhetoric and Composition, where she has focused her studies on professional writing and digital media. Charlotte has been gaming most of her life, and her first gaming experiences were with the Atari. She later fell in love with Super Mario Bros. Her other gaming favorites include Dead Rising, Limbo, and most recently Rayman Legends. When she is not gaming or studying, Charlotte is usually hanging out with her golden retriever Star, reading way too much fiction, and building with LEGO bricks.
Bianca is a graduate student at Purdue University, where she is currently working on her Ph.D. in 20th and 21st century American literature. While Bianca loves thinking about all things gaming, she especially loves playing and talking about survival horror games and the manner in which these games comment on the ways we think about gender. Her preference for being terrified by the games she plays seems to stem from her love of the horror genre in general, which especially includes a passion for zombie narratives (she often refers to the tropes established by George Romero as “canonical”). When not engaged in thinking about any of the above, Bianca can often be found rewatching (for the billionth time) either Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the show, not the movie) or The X-Files (fun fact: Bianca and Fox Mulder have the same birthday!).
Jenny, a graduate student at Purdue University, is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition. She obtained her first 100% game completion in the form of a high five from her older brother when she finished Tink! Tonk! Tonk in the land of Buddy Bots at the ripe age of four. After a brief hiatus where she traveled the U.S. doing humanitarian stuff (she’s got a congressional medal to prove it!) and studying propaganda tactics during the Cold War, she has returned to gaming and with a vengeance! If she’s not researching or gaming, you can usually find Jenny binge watching the entire series of Trailer Park Boys.
We have our newest guest writer and podcaster, Kishonna Gray! Kishonna is an Assistant Professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. She is also the Founder & Director of the Critical Gaming Lab housed in the School of Justice Studies. Kishonna completed her PhD in 2011 at Arizona State University with a concentration in Media, Technology, & Culture. She is an avid console gamer and is excited about any shooter, GTA, and Tomb Raider but wishes game developers kept Lara Croft’s South American identity intact. Kishonna has two children and enjoys doing live action role play with them.
Gone, but not forgotten:
Sarah White is a geek and owns it. While wearing her Star Wars pajama pants, she plays through the Lego games on her PS2, scores Turkeys in Wii Bowling, and shoots outlaws in Red Dead Redemption. Her relationship with gaming was love at first Pong. Sarah believes that many video games have rich narratives worthy of analysis. In fact, she’d hold up Silent Hill 2 to Shakespeare’s Hamlet any day. When not playing games, she teaches Composition and Creative Writing at Purdue University North Central.
Nicole Marie is a Purdue alumni who loves everything video games. She aims to work for the video game industry as a Producer or Project Manager and hopes to bring an awareness of feminist issues to the industry with her. Growing up she spent hours just watching her brother play games and eventually became an avid gamer herself. She enjoys mostly mainstream gaming, but is always up for new game recommendations! She is also very passionate about her dog, Zelda and hopes to add a Link to the “family” very soon.
Jen Justice (on hiatus) is a caffeine-fueled PhD student in Rhetoric & Composition at Purdue University. A former middle school teacher and current college freshman-wrangler, she’s obsessed with education, learning, and all the ways to make writing awesome (even if her students don’t agree). In her off time, she plays RPGs and sandbox/simulation games, reads sci-fi and fantasy novels, and thinks about how gender and race intersect with popular culture and media. She lives with her cat, Sam (not to be confused with dr. b) and dreams of one day living in California.
Wendi Sierra is an Assistant Professor of English at St. John Fisher College, where she teaches a variety of courses in various aspects of digital media, rhetoric, and game design. While most of her research is on digital games, she also has a great love of pen and paper RPGs, trading card games, and tabletop gaming. She is currently ashamed of the number of hours she’s played Borderlands 2, and blissfully unaware of how many hours she spent playing World of Warcraft.
It all began when Ashley (on hiatus) picked up a Game Boy at age three. The small buttons were perfect for her toddler fingers. Little did she know she’d end up here, writing and talking about games analytically. Currently working at a publishing house in Boston, Ashley is unable to resist a solid narrative in any medium. She finds that books and video games share many of the same components. Her favorite games include Shadow of the Colossus, Bioshock, Journey, and Mass Effect.
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