Below are some talks/workshops I have given previously.

Click here to see my speaking history.

Ditch Toxic Systems So We Can Finally Love Video Game Romance!

"Ditch Toxic Systems So We Can Finally Love Video Game Romance" is a critique of the presentations of romance in video games. While many of us seek romance in games, it is largely not intersectional, does not speak to most of our lived experiences, and, sets harmful and toxic expectations, ultimately harming players. This talk identifies and critiques specific systems and will dismantle, for example, the kindness tokens model, as well as argue for replacing them with mutual and rewarding depictions of romance that embody the habits of positive, fruitful relationships.

GAME MUSIC HACKS

Do you want to make music at game jams or support your team during rapid prototyping phases? There are easy formulas for pulling a catchy song out of nowhere and some ridiculously easy, cheap tricks for buffing up music into something better on the spot. This lecture/workshop is loaded with tips/tricks/suggestions for anyone who wants to be able to make music quickly. We'll do a deep dive into music-writing techniques and strategies, including tips for specific VSTs and plug-ins. Say yes to absolutely every team that asks for tunes and prepare for lots of fun. These are my game music hacks.

EVERYONE vs. THEMSELVES

Everyone has experienced Impostor Syndrome and yet somehow we are under the delusion that we are each exclusively unqualified and out of place. "Everyone vs. Themselves," titled after a comment a AAA game developer made to me about Impostor Syndrome in the game industry, is about the truth behind my fake-it-till-you-make-it entrance into the video game industry, climbing until I managed to stabilize myself as a freelancer, and how to combat the worst enemy to the development of our careers: ourselves.

DROP THE MIC & SHOUT

Discussing intimate topics can be hard. We have to lower our guards and render ourselves vulnerable yet still make sure we are all comfortable. How can we be positive we're maintaining continuous consent or choosing the appropriate tone and language for the exchange? If we are careful, humor can be an effective vehicle for discussing otherwise uncomfortable topics. Drop the Mic and Shout is intended to be an interactive comedy set where we analyze and discuss intimacy in our lives and in video games, share some laughs, and dare to make ourselves vulnerable. (While participation is already optional, a completely non-interactive version is possible.)

GET IN & GET OUT

Escape rooms have been trending in the past several years, but their roots are in escape-the-room genre games of the past few decades. Get In & Get Out is a workshop that discusses the nature of escape rooms, compares them to familiar video games, and describes how to design an escape. Participants are then challenged to take a scene from an existing game and turn it into an escape.