English Major Wants to Change the Game


haasThe College of Charleston Magazine‘s Amanda Kerr recently profiled one of our own–Senior English major, gamer, feminist, activist, and researcher extraordinaire, Shannon Haas. Kerr’s piece introduces her reader to Haas’s unique research project that began in an Introduction to English Studies course, proceeded through a funded summer research project, and is now the topic of her year-long Bachelor’s essay. Haas will also take share her material with a broader national audience at an upcoming Pop Culture Association / American Culture Association conference in San Diego. Here’s a quick preview with a link to read on:

Growing up, she didn’t really play a lot of video games. Shannon Haas would occasionally log time with the odd Nintendo game here and there on the Game Cube, but that was about it.

Although she had always wanted to play video games, a childhood focused on academics and extracurricular activities left little time for what Haas considered a frivolous pursuit. It wasn’t until she started college that she found herself with the flexibility to finally explore the world of gaming.

“I didn’t really play video games or interact with video games at all during middle school and most of high school, which is rare for someone who would refer to themselves as a gamer,” she says, noting that these days she does in fact consider herself a gamer.

As she’s delved into the immersive world of avatars, fantastical graphics and outrageous plots, Haas has been struck by the hyper-sexualized portrayal of female characters, particularly in some of the industry’s most popular franchises. (Ever heard of Grand Theft Auto?) Read more