merritt kopas on games and education

What I like about dys4ia over a film or textual narrative in this case is that it drives home the systematic nature of gender regulation. Too often, students come away from (often tragic) films or written accounts about gender and sexual minorities feeling upset about the particular circumstances of the unfortunate individuals’ lives – or worse, defensive and refusing to acknowledge their complicity in systems of power. What they miss is that these accounts are often not atypical – they’re examples of the results produced by oppressive systems, not reducible to the deeds of one or a few “bad people.” The point of these kinds of examples, for me, is not primarily to promote “awareness” or empathy – though I do want my students to become more empathetic people – but to get across the fact that people’s lives are structured by power.

– merritt kopas , “Gaming the System: Oppression and Play

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