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Jen Whitson's Blog   Expert Blogs


Jen's a postdoctoral fellow at the Technoculture, Arts and Games Centre (just TAG for short) in Montreal, and an adjunct researcher with the Hypertext and Hypermedia Lab in Ottawa. Her work centers on the game industry and how things like digital distribution, free-to-play mechanics, crowdfunding, and incubators change developers’ work. Her Sociology PhD is from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Jen's been working with the game studio incubator, Execution Labs since fall 2012, documenting their darkest secrets. A lot of them revolve around deciphering what makes something indie, and figuring out if there's a way to earn a steady paycheque while still preserving creative autonomy. She's willing to share these secrets, especially over a pint of beer.

You can find some of her academic writing at  


Expert Blogs

Posted by Jen Whitson on Wed, 29 May 2013 08:15:00 EDT in
Does the game industry's love of beer inadvertently create a glass ceiling? In this post, I look at how Execution Lab's difficulty finding female playtesters relates to larger issues about how we in the game industry network, socialize, and do business.

Posted by Jen Whitson on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 05:07:00 EDT in
As the incubator teams prepare for GDC & elevator pitches, I wonder how people decide what to share about their game, and how much they decide to hold back. I talk about larger structures that promote censorship in both the game industry and research.

Posted by Jen Whitson on Fri, 01 Mar 2013 04:50:00 EST in Design
Post about life inside of a Canadian game studio incubator.

Jen Whitson's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 05/29/2013 - 08:15]

Thanks Dan r nI agree ...

Thanks Dan r nI agree that pizza beer is often a budget thing - sushi playtest sessions may become costly.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/01/2013 - 04:50]

@Paul. I 'm not saying ...

@Paul. I 'm not saying game developers should or shouldn 't have a canon. And I don 't care about literary and film criticism, or some idealized notion of how people should make games. I care about how people actually make games. So, half my week is spent working with ...