Being that I haven’t been blogging in a while, I figured I’d celebrate my return to full-time blogging by rounding up what I’ve been up to lately. While it’s true that I did do my fair share of wallowing and watching trash TV, I also managed to do a whole bunch of really exciting things that I totally wanted to share with you at the time and then totally forgot.
Judging the Montreal Indie Game Festival
This one was such a crazy honour, I almost still can’t believe it really happened. Despite a very vibrant indie game scene here in Montreal, there still weren’t any annual gaming events dedicated specifically to indie games. So, my friends Salim and Osama decided to organize one, The Montreal Indie Game Festival, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of 5 judges playing and ranking all of the games. Which was actually a pretty daunting task, with over 30 games in competition and a mere 4 hours to play and rate them all.
Due to the way things were organized, we also found ourselves competing with the public to play many of the games, meaning that most of use barely managed to play half the games on offer. Be that as it may, we still stand by our choices, awarding prizes for Gameplay Design, Sound Design, Narrative Design, Art Direction and Innovation. It was a total blast and I hope to participate in many editions in the future.
Taking About My Skates on Things Podcast
My good friend and fellow gamerwife, Cindy Yin, just launched a new podcast called Things where she talks to people and their stuff and why they’ve kept it. In episode 7, I got the chance to talk to Cindy about my figure skates, sports in Canada, and Asian representation on television. It was so, so much fun and I urge you all to give it a listen. Also, check out this bonus moment where I try to explain the term “doctor actor.”
Running Sessions at GameLoop Montreal
This was another totally unexpected, but totally amazing experience. GameLoop is a super-cool open concept type of game conference where the attendees are also the peoples pitching and running the sessions. The day started by going around the room and finding out what everyone was interested in, then people got to pitch sessions based on what people wanted to talk about. After that we all got to vote on what sessions we wanted to attend and a schedule was created.
It was such a wonderful, open, and inspiring experience. I ended up leading two sessions, one I pitched on Sex and Romance in Games (subtitle: Moving Away From The Sex As Reward Mechanic) and another on Diversity and Representation in games. It was so amazing to be surrounded by such open-minded, intelligent people who all share the same passion for video games and how they could be better. It was basically like an entire day of your favourite discussion group from college, but just about video games.
If you ever hear of a GameLoop event happening in your area (or you’re interested in running one) I totally recommend it. Best way to spend a Saturday I’ve experienced in a long time.
Launching Geek Girl Brunch Montreal
And finally, if you’ve been paying attention to my sidebar you might have noticed that I am an officer for Geek Girl Brunch, which just launch in Montreal. Our first event was an Avengers themed brunch with some amazing casual cosplay, followed by all going out to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron together. It was incredibly fun and provided lots of inspiration to make our next event even better! Stay tuned for details of our Ghibli Bento Picnic soon.