For all intents and purposes, 2014 was the year in which I actually moved to Sweden. It was a monumental year for more reasons than that, however. I feel as though it’s the year I discovered Europe, and began to find my voice – as a speaker, podcaster and game designer. 2014 was also the year in which I charged headlong into making games a more approachable and friendly medium, creating platforms for other people to find their voice too.
Part 1 of my recap-cum-travelogue was published a short while ago; you can read it here!
There’s an unwritten rule of almost every game jam I’ve taken part in, which states that the first 5 or so hours will be devoted to anything but the final project. I’m pleased to say that with practice, this period has shifted from becoming something terrifying, to actually rather productive for me. When the jam starts, we (as a group) will tend to fixate upon an idea which seems feasible, expressive and daring within the bounds of the jam. We’ll sketch it out, start prototyping.. and then realise the idea has no traction or depth.
I panicked, the first time this happened in a jam – thinking I was a lousy designer, unqualified to play my part in a game jam team. I’ve soon learned, however, that quite often sleep will bring with it an epiphany. This is precisely what happened at the Lyst Summit game jam.
I’m certainly embarrassed by how long it’s taken me to get around to my Lyst write-up – things have been very busy in recent weeks – but in some many ways, it’s taken until now for me to actually process the glorious things which happened there. What follows is more of a travelogue than a simple game jam recap, split into two parts for your convenience.
Lyst Summit is a unique gathering on the subject of love, sexuality and romance in games, and its first event was held in early June aboard the MF William Jørgenson – a boat moored in København (Copenhagen), Danmark. I was honoured to be able to attend, so taking part in a fascinating series of talks, followed by a 48-hour game jam unlike any other. It was my first time visiting the Danish capital since a very brief change of trains last year, and I’m pleased to say it was as rich in friendship as it was in inspiration and creative output.
I’m honoured and excited to say I shall soon be speaking in public for the first time, at the Nine Worlds Geekfest in August! I have no idea how one is supposed to do a good job of announcing this sort of thing, so I’ll cut straight to the details.
Nine Worlds Geekfest is a new style of geek convention – I think of it as a combination of Redemption/Eastercon and MCM Expo types of events. It seems Nine Worlds will have a fairly large attendance compared to the sci-fi cons some may be used to, and its subject matter is much broader too. There are programmed events covering video games, but also Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and Torchwood, knitting and geek academia, to name but a few. Nine Worlds also has a keen focus upon diversity and inclusion, so many tracks (including the video games one) will feature discussion about feminism, LGBT content and the representation of disabilities, both in the media we enjoy and the studios making it all.
I’ll be involved in two panels, both running on the Saturday as part of the video games and ‘queer’ fandom tracks. I have the information as it stands, and will try to keep this up to date, but it should go without saying that you’re better off checking Nine Worlds’ own programme for details.