In light of the recent discussions about promoting diversity within the ranks of NCA's Distinguished Scholars Award recipients, the elected officials of the NCA GSD feel it is prudent to address the ways in which our division can continue to support and improve to encourage diversity within our division, NCA, and the broader field of game studies.
Game studies as a discipline grapples with its own history of cis-het-, male-, Whiteness. In a world of talented queer, POC, and women scholars, we still see a citation bias towards White/European cis-het male scholars. While there are several prominent conferences dedicated to queer game studies, feminist game studies, etc., they exist as "niche" venues, attended almost entirely by scholars from the marginalized experiences being studied. Broader gaming culture is still characterized by assumptions about players' and developers' gender/ethinic/racial/sexual identities. Therefore, we as a Division are in a position to be strong allies to other NCA Interest Groups, such as the NCA Women's Caucus, and Feminist & Women's Studies Division.
Currently, there is a joint-statement penned by the Women's Caucus and Feminist & Women's Studies Division, as well as an Open Letter on Diversity in the Communication Discipline, being circulated on Facebook. You can find both documents in the GSD Facebook page, should you choose to share them and sign the open letter.
This Inside Higher Education article provides a decent summary of the matter of hand: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/06/13/communication-scholars-debate-how-fields-distinguished-scholars-should-be-picked.
More information on the DS Award can be found on NCA's website at: https://www.natcom.org/distinguished-scholars?fbclid=IwAR1hbYGLOuXwwpaGrN8EiipnNXsr7k-6LRLAxiTnxa_q8O2hEP88im6AKNU
GSD is already planning several actionable items to further promote diversity within the communication discipline. Our first course of action is to solicit our own nominations for NCA's Distinguished Scholars Award, as well as support candidates put forth by other divisions. We are also discussing creating a Nominating Committee for GSD, of which the role is to seek out and spotlight scholars whose work might be overlooked for awards and nominate them for NCA awards.
We are asking for your input on a few items. First, we are asking for any names of scholars you feel would be strong candidates for NCA's Distinguished Scholars Award. (At this point, do not concern yourself with eligibility criteria too much, as that is part of what is under contention). If you know of a candidate that another division is backing, feel free to include their name and the supporting division here as well.
Finally, we are also asking for your input on additional action items that GSD can take going forward to encourage and promote diversity within our own ranks. We are looking for tangible things that we can do - beyond words of support - that can invoke change within the larger NCA membership as our field as a whole.
Nick Bowman, ChairStephanie Orme, Vice-ChairEmory Daniel, Vice-Chair Elect Sky Anderson, SecretaryArienne Ferchaud, Publications/Web Editor Shay Xuejing Yao, Graduate Student Representative