ABSTRACT

In so many ways this is not just a highlight reel of the various points of trauma and exclusion I experienced in academia, but also my break up letter with the industry. This essay is the moment you hang your head and let out an exasperated sigh. Shoulders slumping up against your chin as you gaze into the abyss of potentiality before you. The essay tries to acknowledge the good with the bad so as to create a more holistic view of why I both chose to go to graduate school and why I so quickly left it. It is through breaking up with academia that I can finally feel free enough to embrace who I am as a game maker and a game scholar. If a well written essay demands a well written conclusion, then so does a a well worn relationship require a thorough breakup. It is my hope that in sharing my story I can join the chorus of other tired, feminist, artist academics and help build within the minds of others the reality of the pain and exclusion the current academic system impresses upon people, especially people of colour and queer individuals. It is my goal to help, no matter how minuscule of an impact I make, to highlight where the very foundation of academia needs some work.