You Play Like a GURL: perspectives from female-identifying researchers

This panel will discuss gender-specific challenges in GUR, focusing on successful strategies that can be used by anyone to ensure effective research sessions. Topics will include extant literature, adapted playtesting methods, context-dependent methodologies, and a conversation on gender dynamics between researchers and participants in the GUR domain. Our panelists represent GUR professionals across academia, industry, and research and development laboratories. Opening discussions may focus heavily on a dichotomous perspective of gender; however, many of the techniques and experiences shared by panelists also apply to trans and non-binary researchers, whose perspectives would be a rich contribution to the discussion.

  • Category: Panel
Laura Levy

Laura Levy is a Research Scientist II at the Interactive Media Technology Center at Georgia Tech working as a human-factors psychologist and specializing in games user research. Levy applies a behavioral approach towards the design and evaluation of games meant to instill benefit in the player. She expects to receive her PhD from Georgia Tech in Psychology in 2020.

Bradlyn Walker

Bradlyn Walker holds a Masters degree in Human Computer Interaction from Georgia Institute of Technology. Her background is in Cognitive Psychology. Her research interests include immersion and flow as they pertain to entertainment technologies.

Nikki Crenshaw

Nikki Crenshaw is a UX Researcher with the Games User Research team at Blizzard Entertainment. Over the last 2 years at Blizzard, she has conducted research on player sociality, social affordances, and accessibility. Prior to working in the games industry, Nikki received her PhD from UC Irvine, where she did work exploring how game design and cultural ideologies influenced social experience in World of Warcraft and Nostalrius Begins.

Elizabeth Zelle

Elizabeth Zelle is a User Researcher at the Bethesda Softworks Research Lab located at id Software, outside of Dallas, TX. She’s been in the industry over 10 years, and in her 7th doing GUR. Prior to starting at Bethesda in 2017 she spent 5 years conducting user researcher at Volition, so she has a breadth of experience working with both developer and publisher stakeholders on a wide variety of genres. She’s also an undercover marine biologist.