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SHOW & TELL SEMINAR, December '09 - 'The Street Smarts of a Cartoon Princess' with Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart

SMARTlab Research Institute

Thursday, December 10, 2009 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (GMT)

SHOW & TELL SEMINAR, December '09 - 'The Street Smarts...

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SMARTlab Show & Tell Seminar Series

- finale event for 2009 -


'The Street Smarts of a Cartoon Princess'

 with Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart


When: Thursday 10th December 2009; 6.00pm - 7.30pm (Last entry at 6pm)

Where: SMARTlab Digital Media Institute & MAGIC Multimedia and Games Innovation Centre, Knowledge Dock Building, Dockland Campus

Who: All with an interest in gaming

Booking: Places are limited and must be booked. Please reserve a place above

Presentation followed by networking. Refreshments will be served.


Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart is a Post-Doc Research Fellow at SMARTlab, joining the Microsoft Community Affairs funded project on IT for Development, as sub-editor and research associate for related publications in this domain. Her work beyond this project investigates digital narratives, in particular the relationship between history and popular cultural representations through games, online resources and interactive media.

The Street Smarts of a Cartoon Princess:

This seminar looks briefly at some of the changes in gaming over recent years. Specifically, it examines the ways that female players have been regarded. Women gamers have often been regarded as an eccentric minority, however this representation is not only inaccurate, but one which companies are actively trying to change.

Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart will look at the development of women in games, as well as some of the issues that surround this subject. She will discuss the ways female avatars have changed over time and also the attempts made to make games more gender neutral - that is, to encourage games players rather than 'girl gamers', and to accept the high levels of women who already exist within the gaming sphere.

Topics the seminar and ensuing lab/discussion will cover:

·         The normalisation of the female avatar.

·         The development of the female player and their relative purchasing demands.

·         The representation of the female player as stereotype and gamer.

·         Changes in female avatars design to reflect the growth of the female player.


 .… It's about the game, not each other!... Dumb humans.

The SMARTlab Show & Tell Seminar Series  is a programme of social events hosted by the SMARTlab Digital Media Institute at UEL. In a relaxed environment, each event aims to share the breadth of knowledge and expertise of SMARTlab’s world-class researchers, artists, scholars, technologists and policy makers.SMARTlab comprises live artists, performers, dance and movement specialists, visual artists, filmmakers, photographers, sculptors, textile experts, fashion designers, poets/writers, composers/musicians, sound artists, VR engineers, programmers, game designers and coders, and interface designers.

The international team shares a commitment to creative technology innovation for positive social change with a 'universal design' ethos, and works in collaboration with specialists in e-business and designing for sustainable development, social changes and community well being.

Forthcoming Show & Tell seminars 2009-10: Visit SMARTlab Show &Tell page>>

Have questions about SHOW & TELL SEMINAR, December '09 - 'The Street Smarts of a Cartoon Princess' with Dr Esther MacCallum-Stewart? Contact SMARTlab Research Institute

When & Where

MAGIC PLAYroom (1st Floor, Knowledge Dock Building)
University of East London
4-6 University Way
E162RD London
United Kingdom

Thursday, December 10, 2009 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (GMT)

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SMARTlab Research Institute

In existence for some fifteen years, SMARTlab has gained a reputation over the past six years as one of the world’s leading Practice-Based PhD Programmes, and is viewed as an incubator for the next generation of talent and high-level scholarship in the ‘ArtSci’ domain.

Operating from it's 'home' base at UEL, SMARTlab purpose-built studios include the MAGIC (Multimedia & Games Innovation Centre) PLAYroom, incubation and training spaces with linked fabrication, simulation, and product design facilities and a partner high def multistream film/video facility all on site, in the heart of the London Docklands.

The Ethos

SMARTlab begins it's research on each and every project by ‘landing’ in a community, culture or research environment, and then spending time getting to know the local people, issues, concerns and needs, before forming teams of artists, computer scientists, medical and social care experts, educators, and scholars. Each team then tackles a given issue and attempts to invent new technology tools with real social impact, whether for individuals, for groups, or for wider international aims. We aim to effect knowledge transfer in everything we do, not only within our team and between our teams and local communities, but also in broader academic and industry relations.

We tend to begin projects by considering the needs of those communities or social groups least represented or supported by ‘off the shelf’ technology tools for education, communication, skills training and/or artistic and social empowerment.

The Communities (or 'User Groups')

Our three primary user groups are women, children and young people, and people with disabilities. We work off-site in women’s shelters, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, and also in universities and industry think-tank settings and retreats. We also operate out of our PLAYroom at UEL, with sister sites in operation (and accessible via telematic stream) in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Montreal, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Aarhus, Fes, Marrakech, Alibag, Mumbai, et al.

The Symbol

The symbol of the SMARTlab is the butterfly: a creature of beauty (artistic aesthetic) and scientific wonder, and a metaphor for social change motivated by personal growth and empowerment. The ‘body’ of the hybrid creature known as SMARTlab is our academic core, and each of the two wings intersects with that body of key scholarship and applied research. One wing covers not-for-profit and community engagement projects (such as our TRUST project for children with disabilities, and our Safetynet global anti-domestic violence project), while the second wing covers the terrain of Creative Industries, and features our new MAGIC centre, where (in our new PLAYroom facility) we will host workshops, playshops, skillshops, networking events and research think-tanks for local and global partners in knowledge transfer.

Choose a wing, and fly. . .

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