Angela Washko

World of Warcraft is a perfect petri dish for conversations about feminism with people who are uninhibited by IRL [in real life] accountability.”

 

 

WHO

Artist and writer Angela Washko (born 1986, United States) creates absurdist performances as well as new forums for discussing feminism in frequently hostile spaces. Washko’s online life has been a catalyst for artistic production since 2012.

 

WHAT

Washko investigated the social spaces of World of Warcraft (WoW), the highest-grossing multiplayer online role-playing video game over four years. Drawing from her own experience as a player, she began to think of WoW as less of a game and more as a massive, networked social space. Washko created and documented a series of performances in the game, during which she spoke with other players about issues of identity and gender, particularly focusing on how women are treated in the game space.

 

WHY

While playing WoW, Washko began noticing a proliferation of female avatars in the game space. She was disappointed to learn that most of the female avatars were in fact male players who preferred to look at female avatars on screen. This discovery led her to begin a series of performances in the game.

 

LISTEN

PlayTime curator Trevor Smith on the ways Angela Washko’s work reinvents the rules of the game. Read the transcript.

 

 

WATCH

Angela Washko describes her encounters in World of Warcraft. Read the transcript.

 

 

WORKS

 

Performing in Public: Ephemeral Actions in World of Warcraft2012–17
Three-channel video installation
Courtesy of the artist

 

Performing in Public: Four Years of Ephemeral Actions in World of Warcraft (A Tutorial), 2017
1 minute, 44 seconds

 

The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, 2012

Nature, 2012
7 minutes

Healer, 2012
4 minutes

Playing A Girl, 2013
21 minutes

Red Shirts and Blue Shirts (The Gay Agenda), 2014
24 minutes

We Actually Met in World of Warcraft, 2015
52 minutes

Safety (Sea Change), 2015
44 minutes, 19 seconds

 

/misplay
From The World of Warcraft Psychogeographical Association, 2015
1 hour, 15 minutes

 

(Image credits: Courtesy of the artist; courtesy of the artist; photo by Allison White/PEM.)

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