I’m going to grad school!

This week seems to be full of grand announcements. For starters, I just released a game, which people seem to be enjoying, so that’s quite happy-making. Of course, some of you are probably wondering what’s going to come next after Dominique Pamplemousse, and it’s your lucky day, because now I can make the good news official: starting this September, I will be moving to Santa Cruz, California to get my MFA in Digital Arts & New Media!

I’m really excited about this direction my career is going to be taking. I’m going to get to work with/around people who made such neat interactive narrative games as Prom Week, Façade, and Blue Lacuna, and also with artists of other disciplines: filmmakers, musicians, makers, theatre people, you name it. I’m going to learn a lot of things, expand and refine my craft, and all around become a better artist. [1] It’ll be kind of amazing.

Plus, I’ve missed living in California ever since I interned at Telltale 7 years ago [2] so it’ll be wonderful to be back there again!

  1. Not that I necessarily think you have to go to school to be a better artist. But still!
  2. Holy crap, has it been that long?
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5 Responses to I’m going to grad school!

  1. Brinstar says:

    Wow, that’s really exciting! Congratulations on the launch of your new game and this next stage in your career!

  2. Whoa nice, congrats! Canada will miss you though!

  3. Quinn says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing where academia takes you!

  4. jenny says:

    you know, UCSC’s new Critical Race and Ethnic Studies program starts next year, which may just encourage some intersectional interdisciplinary between the methods, theory, and practices of CRES and DANM. Since you are already doing this in your work, and very well too, then the next years should be good for you as an artist, but also for the art. congratulations.

    Spoiler (and kudos) Alert

    You did a wonderful job of modeling a character who refuses to be interpellated by repeated calls to identify themselves as either this gender or that. pretty useful to play and also pretty relieving, in a gaming environment that very often makes you chose either or at the beginning, and then usually flattens the effects of gender identity by allowing the PC to negotiate the world as an unmarked subject. often, I think, the most fantastical aspect of IF or cybertexts is the way its PCs negotiate worlds without ever experiencing what it’s like to enter room after room after room as a subject marked by race, gender, age, class, nation, language . . .
    Dominique Pamplemousse stages and sustains a process of social gender identification that is a constant for everyone. everyone. People who conform to norms pass without comment, people who do not are constantly called to identify themselves as either / or. if they do not, then the decision is made for them. Once character emergence can be tied to location (room) as well as other characters, then intersectional game play will be possible and the dominant and dominating fantasy of unmarked experience will begin to fade.

    UCSC offers the combination of cutting-edge media studies and advanced, envelope-unfolding, critical studies programs. If these disciplines can intersect, as your work suggests they will, then gaming paradigms may change, substantially.

    The mall scene was my favorite. The mannequins and the toilet(s) sign as a background was a perfect way to indicate the way the architectures of public spaces call people to decide who and what they are ALL THE TIME. Not just people, but places require conformity to dominant identity forms. Excellent way to make that sort of architectural interpellation visible!!

    Also, the inability of people to pronounce Dominique Pamplemousse’s name correctly made visible the way murdering a name indicates a refusal to recognize differences of language, nation, accent, race, dialect, class, and ethnicity. really, this is a remarkable piece of work.

    Also, the way the economy drove most of the decision making processes was fabulous. It’s an aspect of almost every puzzle, motivating the decision, but floating outside the resolution of that particular puzzle. The economy and how it is understood by each character, motivates most decisions, but the choice of what to do next does not resolve the problem of the economy. What, exactly, are the benefits of producing a technology that modulates everyone’s voice to the same, perfect pitch, before choking them to death? Can’t play this game without considering THAT question.

    And, finally, it’s great to encounter a detective in the V. I. Warshawski – Kinsey Milhone tradition, rather than the current trends, which highlight forensic genuis or ordinary traits raised to suprahuman dimensions – perfect memory, telepathic empathy, etc.

    Crazy wonderful work, thank you for opening the world.

  5. Squinky says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments, jenny!

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