IAP class, limited enrollment: My first video game writing job was a year-long stint with an iOS company that wanted to start a game franchise. They had a concept: mercs with guns. They had a genre: sci-fi. They didn’t have a game title, a universe, bad guys, weaponry, spaceships, or a plot. So I gave them what they needed (SHADOWGUN) and they paid me for it, and thus began my somewhat-lucrative job as a video game writer. In this one-day, three-hour seminar, I’ll tell you what I’ve done right in my career, what I’ve done wrong, and I’ll offer suggestions on both world-building and character-building. Questions from the audience are both expected and needed.

IAP Class, limited enrollment: What messages and ideologies are embedded in the games we play, why does it matter, and how can we do better? In this two day workshop, we will look at contemporary board games with colonialist themes set in the Americas. We will discuss and play the games using a critical postcolonial lens in order to see how we can understand the function of these cultural artifacts in a greater political context. We will look at problematic issues which are prevalent in current commercial games, but we will also look at examples of counter-colonialist games.