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Meet Kiy

Head Princess in Charge. Researcher. Gamer.

Dismantling stereotypes one pink pixel at a time, Kiy is a PhD student exploring STEM identity, social belongingness and self-efficacy in STEM. Her studies emphasize the pivotal roles that representation and role models play in attracting and maintaining the presence of women in S(T)EM fields. She holds a keen interest in the gaming world, exploring not just its technological facets but also how women navigate the space both online and within the industry's corridors.


When not immersed in her research, Kiy is spending time cultivating a safe & vibrant online community of 50,000+ (known affectionately as the #PrettyCommittee), playing games created by, for, and spotlighting women, and modeling authenticity as an act of resistance by sharing her experiences as an ultra-feminine Black woman in STEM and academia. 

Get to Know the Gamer Tag Pt 1(#GGsTag1)

Here are some fun prompts for gamers to answer in order to share their love of gaming and allow their audience to get to know them better.

  1. What is your earliest gaming memory?

  2. What was your first console?

  3. What was the first game you played? OR What games did you play on that console?

  4. What was your first handheld console? OR What is another fond gaming memory you have?

  5. What is your favorite game?

  6. Do you prefer digital (soft) copies or physical (hard) copies?

  7. Share a fun fact about how gaming has become integrated into your life OR What does gaming mean to you?

  8. What genre of games do you play?//What kind of streamer are you?

  9. How do you balance the love of gaming as a hobby with streaming as a creator?

  10. BONUS: What is the name for your community of supporters?

Games Scholar Research 

Quest for Representation: The Game Industry's High Score Challenges with the Representation of Black Women (in progress)

Gaming While Glam: The Unexpected Challenges of Hyper-Femininity in Digital Arenas
(in progress)

Breaking the Code: Cultivating Girls’ Self-Efficacy and Belongingness for a Diverse Gaming Landscape through Representation and Mentorship
(dissertati0n- in progress)

In the contemporary digital age, online representations influence societal perceptions and understanding. Within this context, the representation of Black women in video games serves as a reflective lens, capturing the intricate interplay of broader cultural discourses, multifaceted representation, identity constructs, and historical contexts. This research delves into the historical evolution of their representation in this medium and examines the subsequent dialogues and contentions surrounding it. Utilizing an exhaustive analysis of archival documents, scholarly literature, and various records, this study elucidates the manner in which Black women have historically been depicted in games. Notably, several games have faced critique for their representation of Black characters, occasionally positioning them in inauthentic or unjust narratives. This investigation intends to meticulously explore these representations, with a focus not merely on visual portrayals but also on the roles assigned and narrative context. Moreover, the research will underscore pivotal moments where the portrayal of Black women in games was a focal point of academic and popular discourse. Additionally, it will probe whether such dialogues catalyzed any shifts in game development or marketing approaches. Ultimately, this study proposes a codified set of recommendations, grounded in historical insights, to guide industry practitioners in cultivating more authentic and equitable representations in the future.

Keywords: Black women; Video games; Visual portrayals; Inauthentic narratives; Multifaceted representation

Online gaming, a sphere brimming with diverse participants, persistently wrestles with multifaceted gender dynamics. A particularly intriguing facet of this domain is the experience of 'pink gamer girls'. These gamers, identifiable by their distinctively feminine gaming aesthetics and personal styles, often confront skepticism, questioning their gaming acumen solely based on their appearance. While female gamer participation has significantly increased, initial insights suggest that aesthetics markedly influence the reception and credibility attributed to these players. Drawing from qualitative methodologies, this study endeavors to elucidate the self-perceptions of pink gamer girls within their gaming communities, highlight the unique challenges and marginalization they face, rooted in aesthetic bias, and facilitate a comparative discourse with female gamers who do not necessarily adhere to the hyper-feminine aesthetic. Data sources span semi-structured interviews, diverse gamer focus groups, real-time gaming session observations, and open-ended online surveys

Keywords: Pink gamer girls; Aesthetic bias; Gender dynamics; Online gaming communities; Feminine representation

The pervasive underrepresentation of women in the gaming sector, a subset of the broader tech industry, warrants focused interventions to foster inclusivity. This study aims to elucidate the influence of role models and mentoring on young girls’ self-efficacy and belongingness towards pursuing STEM careers in the gaming realm. Participants, comprising girls transitioning to grades 6 through 10, will undergo a pre-assessment gauging their self-efficacy and interest in STEM gaming careers. Subsequently, they will partake in a summit featuring keynote speeches from female gaming professionals and engaging in gaming-related STEM activities. Notably, only half of the participants will attend the keynote sessions, serving as a mechanism to evaluate the effect of role model exposure. Post-conference, the same assessment will gauge any attitudinal shifts. Additionally, a digital mentorship platform will be launched, fostering sustained interaction between the participants and the industry professionals, while concurrently serving as a support network for the latter. Preliminary analysis will juxtapose pre and post-conference data to measure the intervention’s impact, alongside evaluating engagement on the digital platform. This study endeavors to yield actionable insights into bridging the gender disparity in the gaming industry, contributing to larger dialogues around gender inclusivity in STEM fields. Through innovative intervention strategies, it aspires to unveil pathways to nurture diversity and inclusion in gaming and beyond.

Keywords: Gender disparity; STEM education; Gaming industry; Role models; Digital mentorship; Self-efficacy; Belongingness

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