Assistant Professor, Media & Communication
B.A., Oberlin College
M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Irene Chien writes about the politics of race and gender in digital media, with a focus on videogames. She is writing a book manuscript based on her dissertation titled Programmed Moves: Race and Embodiment in Fighting and Dancing Videogames. Programmed Moves examines the intertwined history and transnational circulation of two major videogame genres, martial arts fighting games and rhythm dancing games. Dr. Chien argues that fighting and dancing games point to a key dynamic in videogame play: the programming of the body into the algorithmic logic of the game, a logic that increasingly organizes the informatic structure of everyday work and leisure in a globally interconnected information economy. She explores how games make bodily habituation to new forms of digital technology both intelligible and pleasurable by investing players in familiar racial, sexual, and national identifications. Dr. Chien has published on gaming in Film Quarterly and has contributed essays to Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games and the forthcoming Identity Matters: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Game Studies.