Shira Chess

Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia

Photo Credit: Dorothy Kozlowski



Shira Chess is an Assistant Professor of Entertainment and Media Studies in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She received her PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2009. Her research interrogates video games and digital culture, in particular examining how identity is designed and marketed within these spaces. She is author of Ready Player Two: Women Gamers and Designed Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) and co-author of Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology (Palgrave, 2014).

More information about her research and teaching is available in this profile. Chess can be contacted about research and consulting via email.



Ready Player Two: Women Gamers and Designed Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) explores the complicated space of women and video games.


Chess, S. (2017). Ready Player Two: Women Gamers and Designed Identity. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press.

Chess, S. & Newsom, E. (2014). Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology. New York, NY: Palgrave Pivot.

Journal Articles

Chess, S. (2016). A Time for Play: Interstitial Time, Invest/Express games, and feminine leisure style. New Media & Society. (Pre-published version)

Chess, S. & Shaw, A. (2016). We are all fishes now: DiGRA, feminism, and GamerGate. Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association (ToDiGRA) 2(2).

Chess, S. & Evans, N. (2016). What Does a Gamer Look Like?: Video games, Advertising, and Diversity. The Journal of Television & New Media (pre-published version).

Chess, S. (2016). The Queer Case of Video Games: Orgasms, heteronormativity, and video game narrative. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 33(1): 84-94.

Chess, S. & Shaw, A. (2015). A conspiracy of fishes, or, how we learned to stop worrying about GamerGate and embrace hegemonic masculinity. The Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. 59(1). 208-220. *Reprinted in Angelini, J. (Forthcoming). Sex and Violence in the Media (2nd Edition). San Diego, CA: Cognella.

Chess, S. (2015). Uncanny gaming: Video games, Ravenhearst, and gothic appropriation. Feminist Media Studies. 15(3), 382-396.

Chess, S. (2014). Augmented regionalism: Ingress as geomediated gaming narrative. Information, Communication, & Society, 17(9), 1105-1117.

Chess, S. (2014). Strange bedfellows: Subjectivity, romance, and video games. Games & Culture, 9(6), 417-428.

Chess, S. & Booth, P. (2014). Lessons down a rabbit hole: Alternate reality gaming in the classroom. New Media & Society, 16(6), 1002-1017.

Chess, S. (2012). Going with the Flo: Diner Dash and feminism. Feminist Media Studies, 12(1): 83-99.

Chess, S. (2012). Open sourcing horror: the Slender Man, Marble Hornets, and genre negotiations. Information, Communication, & Society, 15(3): 374-393.

Chess, S. (2011). A 36-24-36 cerebrum: gendering video game play through advertising. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 28(3): 230-252. * Reprinted in Michael Kimmel (Ed.) (2013) Gendered Society Reader (5th Edition). Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

Chess, S. (2017). I am What I Play and I Play What I Am: Constitutive Rhetoric and the Casual Games Market. In A. Hess & A. Davisson (eds.) Theorizing Digital Rhetoric. New York: Routledge.

Chess, S. (2017). Kim Kardashian: We Are All Celebutantes Now. In J. Banks, R. Mejia, & A. Adams (eds.) 100 Greatest Video Game Characters. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Chess, S.. (2016). Not Your Mother's Video Game: The Role of Motherhood in Video Game Advertising. In A. Davisson and P. Booth (eds.) Media ethics: changing ethics in a digital age. Bloomsbury Press.

Shaw, A & Chess, S. (2016). Reflections on the casual game market in a post GamerGate world. In T. Lever and M. Wilson (eds.) Social, Casual, Mobile: Changing Games. Bloomsbury Press.

Chess, S. (2015). "Don't worry, Mama will fix it!": playing with the mama myth in video games. In A. Demo, J. Borda, & C. Krolokke (Eds.) The Motherhood Business: Consumption, Communication, Privilege. University of Alabama Press.

Chess, S. (2015). Playing By Heart: A taxonomy of hearts in video games. In J. Envgold and E. Macallum-Stewart. Game Love: Essays on Play and Affection. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press.

Chess, S. Youthful white male industry seeks "fun"-loving middle-aged women for video games. No strings attached. (2013). In C. Carter, L. McLaughlin, and L. Steiner (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Media and Gender. (p. 168-178). New York, NY: Routledge. 

Chess, S. "You can't sexualize a shrub": girls, video games, and resistance. In M. Bae and O. Ivashkevich (Eds.) Girls, Cultural Production, and Resistance (p. 135-151). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Chess, S. The c-word: queering the cylons. In J. Steiff and T. D. Tamplin (Eds.) Battlestar Galactica and philosophy: Mission accomplished or mission frakked up? (p. 87-94.). Chicago, IL: Open Court Press.

Chess, S. Playing the bad guy: Grand Theft Auto in the panopticon. In N. Garrelts (Ed) Digital gameplay: essays on the nexus of game and gamer (p. 80-90.). Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press.