Writer | Actor | Voice-Over Artist

Appearances

My first ever speaking engagement, 'Technology as a Force Multiplier,' at Techmanity 2014

I’m constantly traveling to do theatre performances, panel discussions and keynote talks. Check out my eSpeakers page if you’d like to hire me to speak at your event, and keep track of this page to see where I’m going to be next!

Speaking at UW in Seattle!

I’ll be speaking at the University of Washington in Seattle as a celebrity guest for their Asian Student Commission on Wednesday, May 4th, from 7-8pm in the Alder Commons Auditorium (1310 NE 40th Street Seattle, WA 98105). I’ll be talking about the historical roots of the Model Minority Myth and the pigeonhole Asian-Americans have been shoved into and how we can push back.

Hoping to see some of you there!

Come see me at MAGES at MAGFest!

So MAGFest is my “home gaming con” in the DC area and I’ve joined their MAGES (Music and Gaming Educational Symposium) initiative, which is the extra-geeky track of the con where we take a break from listening to music and playing video games to talking about music and video games and academic nerd debates.

This year I’m participating in several panels:

Friday, February 19, 2016 – 

  • Throwback Art Gaming  (10:00 am, MAGES 2) – Many of the tropes we associate with the “new” or “avant-garde” indie scene in games are actually very old, and have been part of the experimentation in games since the beginning. Literary text adventures like A Mind Forever Voyaging or Trinity, games with strong political messages like Balance of Power, games playing with interactive storytelling in virtual spaces like Portal (not the Valve one, the one from 1986).

    It’s on the one hand inspiring that art has never been “outside” of gaming but has always been within the core of the culture. It’s also sad that these efforts are periodically forgotten under the weight of corporate marketing and we keep reinventing the wheel, having the fight over what “real” games are over and over again. Let’s remember the past so we can build for the future.

  • Empathy and Games (1:00 pm, MAGES 2) – The most common kind of fantasy games provide is the power fantasy, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    But games are also an amazing tool for building empathy. There’s been many recent games that focus on *disempowerment* fantasy. It can be as minor as a single scene in a Call of Duty game as a civilian or a whole game built around that concept like This War of Mine.

    Let’s talk about games that go beyond a simple idea of “fun” to making you experience grief, loss, pain, frustration — as deeply or more deeply than any other form of art.

  • How to be a Good Ally (6:30 pm, Forum) – If you want to see more people in the industry and characters in games who aren’t like you, this is panel is for you. We will discuss things that we can all do to help move the ball down field on this important topic.

Saturday, February 20, 2016 – 

  • Advertising in Games (10:00 am, Forum) – We can explore advertisements appearing in games: trends, implications, prevalence, and integration with game environments.
  • Politics in Games 2: The Quickening (2:30 pm, MAGES 2) – While the topic may still be taboo in polite conversations or fan driven discussions, the increasing gamesmanship of politics in the United States has pretty much ordered me to see what we as video game fans can do the examine this issue in the context of our medium, especially with the ongoing marginalization of gamers in the media.

    I’m thinking the player as the major in Simcity (or countless other leadership roles in Sim games), the political philosophies espoused by Bioshock and Resident Evil, and perhaps even the often altruistic attitudes displayed by the RPG heroes that work together to save entire worlds, be it from tangible evil as a metaphor or even direct action against corporate malfeasance that may echo uncomfortably home for many a person (The Empire in FFII and FFVI, Shinra in Final Fantasy VII, Societal Monopolies in Vagrant Story, and perhaps even the effects of the Yevonite religion in Final Fantasy X )

  • Bar Stories: The Drinking Panel (11:00 pm, Forum) – 21 and over only (at least for panelists). Have you ever wondered what industry folks talk about while drinking at a bar? Here’s your chance to be a fly on the wall and hear the stories.

    This late night panel features an array of people in the gaming industry telling “Bar Stories” of their time in the trenches. Expect topics like “most embarrassing moment, worst business deal, best job interview trick, etc…” Alcohol will be served to the panel. Probably a lot.

Feel free to come stop by any of these panels to contribute, ask questions or just say hi! Check out the full MAGFest 2016 schedule here.

Gertsburg Law Anti-Cyberbullying Essay Contest

Very pleased and proud to be working with the Gertsburg Law Firm for their first ever “We Solve Problems” essay contest. If you’re a business or organization in the Cleveland area that wants to help in the fight against cyberbullying consider joining this anti-cyberbullying essay contest for local students as a sponsor or judge! Submissions run until next Monday.

Speaking as Lauren Dunne Astley lecturer at Elon University

Very flattered and humbled to be the first speaker in the Lauren Dunne Astley lecture series at Elon University in North Carolina, to be followed by Danielle Citron, a scholar I deeply respect.

Astley is a young woman who lost her life due to domestic violence, and her parents have started the fund in her name to advocate for victims of domestic violence and for efforts at awareness and prevention of the violence women routinely face.

If you’re in North Carolina, I’ll be speaking on January 11 at 5:00 pm at the Lakeside Meeting Rooms at Elon about cyberbullying and harassment and what we can do about it.

Looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend at GaymerX 3!

Super excited to see everyone at GaymerX 3: Everyone Games in San Jose this weekend!

I’m signed up to be on three panels this year! On Friday, Dec. 11 I’m on “We Need More Diverse Games” (along with, among others, Katherine Cross and Tanya DePass) at 2 pm.

Then on Sunday, Dec. 13 I’m on “How My Geeky Interests Got Me a Job” at 12:00 noon, talking about the wild ride that got me writing about geek culture for a living, and “All Your Culture Are Belong To Us” at 1:00 pm, talking about the fraught issue of cultural appropriation in RPGs.

It all happens this weekend at the San Jose Convention Center — check out the schedule here for details. Hope to see many of you there!