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!
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!
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 –
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.
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.
Saturday, February 20, 2016 –
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 )
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.
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.
Me in a rare appearance with my wife and comedian Cami Blanchard on Jerry C. Jaffe’s local Cleveland comedy podcast, Gold Star Classroom!
I did an interview with Inverse’s “Job Hacks” feature about the strange twists and turns my career has taken after my big Jeopardy! win. Check it out!
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.
Super excited to see everyone at GaymerX 3: Everyone Games in San Jose this weekend!
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.
Had a great time as the first-ever keynote speaker for Case Western Reserve University’s Taiwanese American Students Association at their annual Plum Blossom Banquet on November 7!