Dr. Shira Chess

Associate Professor, Entertainment & Media Studies

About: Shira Chess teaches courses in media studies and media writing. Her research focuses on digital media studies with an emphasis on gender and gaming.

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Education

Ph.D., Communication and Rhetoric, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.A. Media Arts, Emerson College
B.A. English, The University of South Florida

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Chess’ research interrogates the intersections between gender studies and video game studies. In particular, she has written extensively on games that target women audiences. Additionally, she has researched several other topics in digital media including research on “slenderman” memes and pervasive gaming such as the Google game Ingress. Her research has appeared in Journals such as Critical Studies in Media Communication, New Media & Society, Feminist Media Studies, and Information Communication & Society.

Bejeweled Shira Chess

Shira Chess. “Bejeweled.” In B. Perron, K. Boudreau, M.J.P. Wolf, D. Arsenault (eds.) Fifty Key Video Games. New York, Routledge, 2022. Abstract: Bejeweled is one of the most ubiquitous of […]

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The future of media studies is game studies Shira Chess

Shira Chess and M. Consalvo. “The future of media studies is game studies,” Critical Studies in Media Communication, 2022, 39:3, 159-164, DOI:10.1080/15295036.2022.2075025 Abstract: Game studies, as a subfield of media […]

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How to: Play Like a Feminist in 2020 Shira Chess

Chess, S. (2020).  “How to: Play Like a Feminist in 2020.” Plenary Keynote presentation for the Electronic Literature Organization. (Conference was moved online due to COVID-19.) July 17, 2020. Abstract: […]

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Play like a Feminist by Dr. Shira Chess Shira Chess

Description: “You play like a girl”: it’s meant to be an insult, accusing a player of subpar, un-fun playing. If you’re a girl, and you grow up, do you “play […]

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Effectiveness of a Branching Narrative to Positively Impact Messaging Around Sexual Assault Shira Chess

Abstract: Sexual assault affects one in four women in the United States. Recent studies show that college is the time when sexual assaults are most likely to occur. Prevention involves […]

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). Casual Bodies are Hybrid Bodies. In Hybrid Play: Crossing Boundaries in Game Design, Player Identities, and Place Spaces. Shira Chess

Abstract: “Casual game” is an industry term that is often used derisively or dismissively—it is a catch-all meant to indicate a style of play but is often deployed like a […]

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Book Chapter: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Feminism Shira Chess

Abstract: Kim Kardashian has received much attention for her media empire, including her game, published by Glu Mobile. The game’s premise plays a role in what I characterize as “Feminine […]

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The end of casual; long live casual. Shira Chess

Abstract: When we discuss games, as a culture, the games under discussion are often presumed almost always a “core” (or “hardcore”) games. However, video games are change rapidly. The market […]

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This is What a Feminist (Game) Looks Like. Shira Chess

As video games become an increasingly mass medium — not intended for niche audiences but deployed with different genres, styles, and platforms — it is an apt time to rethink […]

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Dark Play in Paradise: Stardew Valley and the Negotiation of Abuse. Shira Chess

Stardew Valley, on its surface, appears to be yet another invest-express farming game; players grow crops, tend to animals, mine, fish, and do other idyllic tasks that make it almost […]

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Book Chapter: Not So Straight Shooters: Queering the Cyborg Body in Masculinized Gaming Shira Chess

Abstract: This chapter offers a “diffractive” consideration (Barad 2003) of posthumanist and cyberfeminist theory, masculinity studies, and research on gender and gaming, that views digital play between straight white men […]

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Book Chapter: Neko Atsume: Affective Play and Mobile Casual Gaming Shira Chess

Abstract: In this article, I consider the role of affect in the popular app game Neko Atsume. Neko Atsume is a “cat collector” game where players leave food and toys […]

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The end of casual; long live casual Shira Chess

Abstract: When we discuss games, as a culture, the games under discussion are often presumed almost always a “core” (or “hardcore”) games. However, video games are change rapidly. The market […]

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KIm is my new BFF: The Looking Glass Celebrity Shira Chess

Abstract: Mobile-based celebrity games are a byproduct of a new, more feminized video game industry. Within celebrity games, the player engages with celebrity culture in a variety of ways, often […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Chess’ teaches courses that focus on both understanding and creating digital and traditional media. Prior to teaching in Grady College, she taught at Miami University of Ohio and worked as a game developer and web designer.

Chess, Shira
In the News

Podcast: The future of video game studies with Dr. Shira Chess

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Shira Chess authors “Play Like A Feminist” to spotlight more voices in video game community

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EMST faculty give recommendations for shows, movies, games

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Chess explores how video games are marketed to and portray women in new book

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Shira Chess: Focus on Faculty

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Growing demand leads Grady College to offer additional online courses for summer semester

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"Why Are Video Games so Sexist?" via the New Republic

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