Sharon Sutherland is a mediator, conflict resolution trainer and former law professor. More relevantly, perhaps, Sharon is easily bored. It’s that personality trait that led Sharon to start hosting collaborative game jams to bring together conflict resolution professionals, gamers, artists, and anyone else who shares an interest in improving our understanding of collaborative problem solving.
Sharon comes from a very competitive background – sports, family competitions pitted against older cousins, law school, academia. She had a sudden recognition of the degree to which these various influences shaped her to value competition unreflectively while teaching a law school class on culture. During a supposedly collaborative exercise, she was called out by a student for privileging individual efforts over teamwork! Ouch! Since then, Sharon has tried to be much, much more aware of the values she absorbed and accepted as neutral. The consequence is that she has been excited to explore the world of collaborative games and to try to create games that truly reward teamwork and skilled collaboration as a way to ensure that her own children grow up with greater critical reflection on the values they are absorbing.
Hometown: Born in Kelowna, BC; lives in Tsawwassen, BC
Schools: South Delta Secondary School; University of British Columbia; University of London (Royal Holloway and Bedford New College); University of Toronto; York University
Memberships: Vancouver Fringe Festival (Board member); CoRe Conflict Resolution Society (Vice President); Whedon Studies Association; Mediate BC Civil and Child Protection mediator rosters; GISHWHES Team Brown(trench)coats.
Hobbies: Trampoline; pop culture; hosting Game Jams and house concerts.