A generous curation of (mostly) digital writing, projects, artifacts, ideas, practices, and courses.  Please contact me for more information.

Designing & Making

My freeform live-action role-playing game The Secret Lives of Junk(kin) Drawers, or, Why Marie Kondo Does(n’t) Spork Joy earned an Honorable Mention in the 2023 Golden Cobra Challenge. The Golden Cobra Challenge is a beloved and community-organized “friendly contest open to anyone interested in writing and playing freeform games.” According to the 2023 judges:

We simply had to recognize this cute, prosocial game that actually prompts you to clean out your junk drawers. Beautifully framed, written, and conceived, The Secret Lives of Junk(kin) Drawers, or Why Marie Kondo does(n’t) Spork Joy will help you sort your house – and your feelings – while fostering a reflection on what we keep and what we forget.

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What are the Digital Humanities So Straight?”
This essay-as-code-as-text-game is written and published as a BASIC program in Alternative Historiographies of the Digital Humanities published by Punctum in 2021 and edited by Dorothy Kim and Adeline Koh. The collection is the winner of the American Studies Association’s 2021 Garfinkel Prize in the Digital Humanities.

Building on Tara McPherson’s work on race, critical code studies, and feminist critiques of DH, which is provocatively condensed in her essay and question “Why Are the Digital Humanities So White?,” this non-traditional essay hopes to ask and address, “Why Are the Digital Humanities So Straight?”  My essay and project, written as a BASIC program, will use the mediums of code and digital games to challenge the technonormativity of DH…My essay/program explores how the binary, algorithmic, and protocological underpinnings of both game programming and design constrain and recuperate queerness. 

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In 2022, “Why Are the Digital Humanities So Straight?” was selected to be part of the Electronic Literature Organization’s Electronic Literature Collection Volume 4, which includes a playthrough video, code file, and directions for play. The editorial statement reads:

Why are the Digital Humanities So Straight? is an academic essay-as-parser game, setting the reader on a course to unlock secrets about Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace and Purna Jackson, a fictional character from Techland’s 2001 Dead Island games. As a mash-up of fiction/non-fiction that explores the “technonormativity of code”, this work offers a special blend of scholarly critical analysis by playing a text-based game in BASIC.

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Augmented Reality Game/Live-action Role-playing Game for the “Asian American Arcade” exhibit, Wing Luke Museum, February 2012. This gallery game allowed visitors to pick one of five character cards, which offered different paths through the exhibit and ways to interact with other gallery-goers. The welcome to Wingtopia begins:

Welcome!  On your journey through the land of Wingtopia, you will encounter mysterious creatures and unusual people.  You will investigate strange sights and sounds.  You will be called to solve riddles and perform great feats.  And you will discover that what you say, think, and do will determine your life’s path.  Ready to play?  Choose a character card to begin.

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Tellings is a point-based, skills-based tabletop RPG, featuring a robust character creation, 100+ skills, 75+ character strengths and weaknesses, a distinct magic and prayer system, and unique fluid-time combat mechanics. The rulebook is 431-pages and provides a robust system that can be adapted to a game runner’s desired world. I started working on Tellings in the late 1990s, and the current version is the 25th Anniversary edition, which is available via Amazon. A Tellings worldbook is currently in development.

Archaea Live-Action Role-Playing and Wargaming is an independent medieval, high fantasy live-action role-playing and padded-weapon wargaming (LARP/W) game system. Archaea debuted a couple of years after Tellings. I wanted to develop a story-driven, campaign-style, persistent-world LARP. The current edition also celebrates Archaea’s 25th Anniversary and is available via Amazon.

Currently in development is Archaea: Bane, what I describe as a semi-autopoetic, cooperative card game based in the world of Archaea, my live-action role-playing system. The players must work together to destroy a “manifestation” of the Bane (represented by a separate deck, from which it “draws” and self-runs) before it grows too powerful. Here is my initial thoughts and prototype of the game; here is an update on the cards design.

Writing, Editing, & Curating

Here are a few online and multimodal essays and projects I have written, curated, designed (a full list of my publications can be found here or via my CV):

I edited a special game studies themed issue of Configurations 36.2 (Spring 2024) with Ashlee Bird, which was the first of its kind for the journal. The issue featured eight essays and an introduction co-authored by Bird and myself:

We are honored to be the first themed issue on game studies in the long, storied history of Configurations. Our first goal is to insist that game studies is interdisciplinary, collaborative, intersectional, even convivial. To this end, essays are often co-authored and contribute to multiple fields, including genre studies, disability studies, philosophy, political economy, popular culture studies, cybernetics, simulation studies, environmental studies, and science and technology studies. And they are in conversations with issues of identity, embodiment, stereotypes, autotheory, rules, interfaces, modeling, metagaming, neurodivergence, nationality, wholesomeness, labor, and attention.

I am an Editor for Analog Game Studies (AGS), a journal dedicated to the academic and popular study of games containing a substantial analog component. As an editor, I help organize, maintain, and curate the AGS website. Moreover, about four times a year, I work with authors to help them bring their submissions to publication.

I am a Contributing Editor of Gamers with Glasses, website of scholars, developers, designers, and gamers:

Squid Game, or, The Squeamish Pleasure of Asian Death.” October 26, 2021.
7 Games to Play for the Start of School.” September 6, 2021.
10 Games to Play for Earth Day.” With Alenda Y. Chang. April 21, 2021.
Cruising Animal Crossing.” February 12, 2021.
Playing Games, Practicing Utopia: A Life in Tabletop Gaming.” September 26, 2020.

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I have written a number of short pieces for In Media Res, A Media Commons Project:  

Queer Dystopias, Queer Mechanics, and Queers in Love at the End of the World.” Queerness in Games week.  May 2020.
Pokemon Go, Queer Spaces, and Queer Contact,” Pokemon Go week, October 2016.
Better, Stronger, Faster? Bionic Woman and Posthuman Queerness,” Post-human, Super-intelligent, Dream Girls week, January 2015.
The Last Human: Doctor Who and Anxieties Over the Posthuman,” Doctor Who week,  December 2013.
‘Would You Kindly?’: Bioshock and Posthuman Choice,” Posthumanism and Media week,   March 2011.

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I wrote the keyword “Queer” for the Modern Language Association’s Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments edited by Rebecca Frost Davis, Matthew Gold, Katherine D. Harris, and Jentery Sayers. Published March 2021. Peer reviewed. https://digitalpedagogy.hcommons.org/keyword/Queer.

Cards Against Humanity is __________” started as a digital presentation for the Queerness and Games Conference, University of California, Berkeley, October 2014. The essay version was published at First Person Scholar, March 2015.

Gaming as Writing, Or, World of Warcraft as World of Wordcraft” is a multimodal essay published in August/September 2008 for Computers and Composition Online‘s special issue on “Reading Games: Composition, Literacy, and Video Gaming.”  Edited by Richard Colby and Rebekah Shultz Colby.

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Below are the other writing and projects (from early days and graduate school):

“Playing (with) Power: Video Games and the Fantasies of Control.”
Podcast for the Simpson Center for the Humanities, in conjunction On the Boards theatre’s presentation of Rimini Protokoll’s performance of Best Before.  May 2010.

THATCamp Epic Play 2013
Lead organizer for the Keywords group sponsored The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp) “unconference.”

Keywords for Video Game Studies Working Group
Graduate Student Interest Group, 2010-2011 & 2011-12 & 2012-13. Sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC)
HASTAC Scholar and Member, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13.

Critical Gaming Project @ University of Washington
Organizer, Contributor, Instructor, 2007-2012.

e.g., the UW’s Online Journal of 100-Level Writing
Editor, Contributor, Webmaster, Expository Writing Program, Autumn 2007-2012.

English Graduate Student Organization
Contributor and Webmaster, 2007-2012.

Technoqueer: Re/Con/Figuring Posthuman Narratives
Dissertation, University of Washington, November 2012.

The Birth of the Cyberqueer Manifesto
MA Thesis, University of Maryland, 2005.

Teaching & Presenting

Teaching Portfolio
Teaching Philosophy, Evaluations, and Sample Materials.
Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) Focus Group Courses on Video Game Studies
Two-credit discussion-based courses, including: “Bioshock: Cyborg Morality and Posthuman Choice,” “Why So Serious?: Video Games as Persuasion, Politics, and Propaganda,” “Keywords for Video Game Studies,” “Close Playing, or Bioshock as Practicum,” and “Video+Games+Other+Media.”
Avatars_by-Jenny-Luo-1Brown Skins, White Avatars: Racebending and Straightwashing in Digital Games.”  Invited talk.  Part of the UCSB Multicultural Center’s Race Matters Series, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, January 26, 2016.15umichiganTowards a (New) Video Game Pedagogy: Critical Players and Gameful Assignments.”  Invited workshop.  For the Digital Pedagogy Workshops and Digital Currents series, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, January 16, 2015.
 14fivecollegeDHQueer (Im)Possibility and Straightwashing in Digital Games.”  Invited talk.  Part of the Five College Digital Humanities Speaker Series, Smith College, Northampton, MA, November 21, 2014. 12thatcampboisestateThe Seductions of Gamification.”  Invited workshop and keynote address.  Boise State THATCamp, Boise State University, October 2012.
Close Playing, or, Bioshock as Practicum
UW Teaching and Learning Symposium, 2011.
Save Points: Teaching (with) Video Games
2010 UW Teaching and Learning Symposium.
Keywords for Video Game Studies Roundtable
Cultural Studies Association, March 2010.
Virtual Worlds & Video Games
ENGL 207: Introduction to Cultural Studies, Winter 2009, Fall 2009 & Spring 2010.
UW Excellence in Teaching Award
UW Teaching Academy, 2009.
 Becoming Technoliterate: Engaging Undergraduates in Technoculture Studies Research
Presenter, Research Exposed!, Undergraduate Research Program, Autumn 2007.
ENGL111: Composition with Literature Courses on New Media, including: “Imagining Cyberspace” and “Everyday Media: Reading, Writing, and Critiquing.”