Videogame Gardening: What Colonial Botany Can Teach Us about Games

Game Happens 2019 – Conference
Friday 8 November, Morning Sessions

Games and gardens have much in common; both are landscapes grown for recreation, require tools to be maintained, are trimmed to perfection using best practices. Where does this image of game gardening take us when we go back in time? At its root, gardening is rooted in colonialism, the mission to civilise the world and install an empire. By thinking about video games through botany, this talk addresses some of the industry’s pernicious dysfunctions and proposes tactics to decolonise games.

Sabine Harrer

Sabine Harrer is a games researcher and maker based in Tampere, Fi. Their research focuses on cultural videogames criticism, intersectionality, and creation-based research. Author of the book Games and Bereavement (transcript 2018) and a member of the Copenhagen Game Collective, Sabine blends experimental game design and writing as modes to investigate and challenge social norms. Sabine has co-designed games using touch screens, rocks, fabric, computer mice, and small game creation tools like Twine and Bitsy. Some of her games can be played at
Twitter: @enibolas