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It Begins

So!  This is my multi-project work log.

I started this because i’m doing so many crazy things at the same time, and I want to keep track of it all as best I can.  And i thought that might be interesting to other people, as well.  I’ll be trying to figure out how to balance all this, and stay sane and healthy.  That might mean…. not writing?  Sloppy writing?  We’ll see.

So to kick it off, here’s a list of the things i’m working on right now:

Gamma 3 – I’m planning and organizing Kokoromi‘s annual game challenge event party thing, which will be held this November in Montreal.  This is coming together nicely so far, and we’ll have our first announcement – the Call For Games – VERY soon.  For this project, I’m running around setting up and leading meetings, talking to our collaborators and sponsors, and drinking heavily.

Fabulous – I’m creating a gallery-based art game with a team of media artists, using a unique (literally there is only one of them in the world) physical interface called the Squisher.  This narrative art game (which to be fair, I’d say is more like an interactive art piece with game-like feedback behaviors) debuts in mid-September in a group show at the Oboro art center here in Montreal.  Our team is based out of the Hexagram Center for Research/Creation in Media Arts and Technologies and our project lead is artist and researcher Lynn Hughes, one of the founders of Hexagram.  The artists in the show were invited to create work on the theme “Amplified Intimacies”.  For this project, which is based on a gameplay idea I had about a year ago, I’ve been producing concepts, core gameplay design, and storyboards, writing and recording voiceover, having meetings and lots of discussions (some heated), and the usual stuff you’d do with a small game project… but if you add in a heapload of completely unique hardware, the flux of artistic vision, and working with sporadic part-time schedules.

UNFPA – My newest and most mind-blowing (to me) project is one I am just now able to start talking about.  Backstory: for two months I’ve fought hard to stay underemployed and hole away in my apartment so I could do all this other stuff mentioned above and work on other personal things too, but then something so great came along that it seduced me out of my basement lair and into a “real job.”

Tomorrow morning I start a new role, in a new city – in another country, in fact.  I’m going to be Creative Director of a “persuasive game” project being funded by the United Nations Population Fund in conjunction with their Ending Violence Against Women campaign.  It’s sponsored by the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont in partnership with the Population Media Center, a not-for-profit that conducts media campaigns around the world to educate on subjects related to population and human rights, using entertainment media such as radio drama and telenovellas.

The end goal of our three-year project is an (electronic) game that reaches young men (age 15 to 25, roughly) in the developing world to changes perceptions about violence against women, with our pilot project taking place in South Africa. Our group is planning our research trip to Cape Town at the end of this month, to meet with project development partners as well as members of the target audience.  The South African entourage is a group of about 20 people, including student members of the project team, as well as faculty, administration, and partner representatives.

I’ll leave it there for now.  I’m really just blown away and thankful to the universe for these amazing opportunities and the people I get to work with.  It’s overwhelming, the awesomeness of it all.  And because of that, I think it’s important to be able to talk about the hard parts too:  my struggles, confusions, doubts, and stresses.  So, I’m hoping I can make my writing candid enough to human-ify the work, even if that tarnishes the glamour.

I get to spend almost all my time this year creating work that’s meaningful to me.  And I hope it could mean something to you too.

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