Monthly Archives: November 2023

Lorefest 2023



Conceived by Professor Matthew Campbell and William Connor of the Texas A&M School of Performing, Visualization, and Fine Arts, Lorefest 2023 was pitched as a Fall performance event that would:

“The first annual Lorefest will bring together students, faculty and visiting artists for a weekend of spooky storytelling. Featuring “B” movies, puppets, red carpet monsters, and an historical ghost walk, the festival will immerse visitors in creative presentations centering stories drawn from local folklore.”

-Lorefest Team

Professor joey of the Media & Gaming Lab would join their team to help with documentation and planning. Together the team would apply for multiple grants and funding, securing grants and funding from:

  • TAMU Performance Visualization and Fine Arts
  • TAMU Institute of Data Science
  • TAMU Race, Ethnicity Studies Institute

Lorefest Events


Story Telling Sessions – Frame Gallery

The Story Telling Sessions was held at the Frame Gallery in Downtown Bryan, a frame shop and gallery that also hosts art happenings. We cannot thank the Frame Gallery enough for all their help and accommodations. The story telling was performed by PERF 301 students in both Professor Connor and Campbells sections. Additional support with puppetry was by guest artist Victoria Snaith, who hosted puppetry workshops with students. The puppets were then integrated into the story telling pieces and also featured during the Saturday event. The stories themselves were developed by the students with the facilitation of Professor Campbell and Connor providing prompts for them to spring board from, as well as letting the students choose their own stories. The students then conducted ethnographic interviews for their stories in order to obtain further insight into them. The stories could be regional or from their own places they call home. The results were amazing and very entertaining, while informative about various cultures.


Film Festival – The Village Cafe Downtown

The Film Festival was slated to take place at the Queen Theater, but once it was discovered our crowd was much larger than their capacity, we were very lucky to have Kristy, the owner of the Village Cafe Downtown facilitate us in her space. The results were amazing with student’s films being exhibited along with live music accompaniment. The films featured included works from guest film maker Shun Lee Fong, Aggie SWAMP Club, and PERF301 students from both Professor Connor and Campbell sections. In addition to the films featured, live musical accompaniment was composed and performed by the PERF 318 electronic composition music class, taught by Professor Connor.


Ghost Walk, Gala & Puppetry

Held at the Village Cafe and Vino Boheme, Saturday’s festivities included a Gala with a student cultural food event, movie screenings, puppetry theatre, guided Ghost Walk and Puppetry Parade. The food event was integrated into the PERF301 courses where students pitched and brought various dishes with cultural contextualization for attendees to enjoy. The Ghost Walk was developed in the PERF301 courses by teams of students who would develop a ghost story based off prompts or their own ideas and then perform the story on locations throughout downtown Bryan. The attendees would then go on a docent led Ghost Walk hosted by Victoria Snaith. Film screens and puppetry were also included in the nights festivities, again developed by students in the PERF301 sections Professors Connor & Campbell teach. Lastly a Puppetry Parade was performed. guest puppetry maker Victoria Snaith and students who created puppets paraded their creations throughout the space.

Conclusion & Take Aways

Lorefest 2023 was a huge success and it wouldn’t have been possible with so many different points of support, Kristy of the Village Cafe, Missy of the Frame Gallery, Dr. Connor and Dr. Campbell for putting envisioning the event, the production crew of PVFA (Jeff Watson and Jam Martinez) and the Media & Gaming Lab crew, plus all the students who put their heart and soul into their projects and production.

Lorefest Website

Stay tuned for the full project documentation on the official Lorefest website that will document all the projects, their origins and much more through text, photo, video and mapping. This website is something we hope to reach the general academic and lore enthusiast communities alike.

LatinX Critical Creative Consortium


The LatinX Critical Creative Consortium was founded 2 years ago by University of Texas Professor Fredrick Luis Aldama at the University of Texas at Austin in 2021. Professor joey did a full write up about that event and the impact is had on the CMC and the MGL. Professor Regina Mills of the English Department at Texas A&M and Media & Gaming Lab hosted it at Texas A&M University in 2022 (write up here). This year (2023), the event was once again held at the University of Texas at Austin, specifically in the now fully remodeled and activated LatinX Pop Lab on the 4th floor in the Patton Hall building.

“Every Fall, the Latinx Creative Critical Consortium Symposium offers students from a variety of Texas university campuses the opportunity to share, workshop, and engage with the cutting edge Latinx creative and scholarly work being done today. The day’s program includes student panels, roundtables, workshops and breakout sessions led by faculty and featured professional creatives.”


The programing started on Friday night at Professor Latinx’s home with a poetry event that set a nice relaxed mood. Multiple attendees shared their works and fun was had by all. Here are some excerpts of various poets performances.


The Latinx CCC’s consortium took place Saturday at UT Austin in Patton Hall in the Latinx Pop Lab. There were two tracks, a presentation track and workshop track. The opening remarks by the Latinx Pop Lab and Aldama was inspiring and set a very positive tone. Attendees introduced themselves and quickly became aquatinted. And as always, some great morning treats and coffee were provided! You can’t have platicas without treats and coffee! Here is the schedule:

Presentation Highlights

Texas A&M faculty and students were very proud to host 3 panels. The Texas A&M Media & Gaming Lab was hosted an undergraduate panel moderated by joey featuring 2 students and their works and one community presenter from Bryan, TX, Victor of the Vortex. The Communication & Journalism graduate program hosted a panel moderated by Dr. Villanueva about Multimodal Scholarship. The third panel was moderated by Dr. Mills featuring graduate students presenting their multimodal works.

We were also very excited that Professor Elena Foulis from Texas A&M San Antonio brought undergraduate students to present their multimodal projects, it was very inspiring.

Overall the there were many great panels and a lot to reflect on. The energy and positivity shared by the presenters were uplifting and facilitative.

Workshop Highlights

The Latinx Creative Critical Consortium workshops were a big hit as well and ranged from academic publishing workshops all the way to comic book making and reuse art facilitation. Carlos Kelly presented about how to publish an academic work as he has just released “Ready Player Juan,” a book about latinx and gaming culture. Cristina Casas did a zine workshop where attendees created their own works. Mary Cantu of San Antonio led a unique reuse workshop where people create saints and super heros from old donated photos and reuse materials.


“This is my second year attending the Latinx CCC Symposium and it just keeps getting better. The dialogues that are shared and stories that are expanded on are always ones that are beyond inspiring. The symposium allows us to connect with our community and find ways to collaborate beyond the walls of our universities.”

-Sophie Villarreal

“This was a great consortium meeting that brought together creatives who are on the forefront of making inclusive space in media, universities, and Texas.”

-Professor George Villanueva

“Bringing students, faculty, creatives together Latinx/e/a/o for Open Mic Night followed by a Latinx Critical Creative Day of sharing, learning, exploring, making was exhilarating–rejuvenating!!!!”

-Professor Latinx

Media & Gaming Lab Launch Podcasts


The Media & Gaming Lab is proud to announce we have started producing student run podcasts. Under the guidance of Professor Jonathan Guajardo, Media & Gaming Lab students have launched two podcasts so far. Professors Joey Lopez and Jonathan Guajardo have garnered full support from the Department of Communication & Journalism and have secured a dedicated room for podcasting. The room is located on campus in the basement of Bolton Hall. The response to the podcasts have been very good and as we expand the topics of podcasts we are excited to see where the students take it.

The Pass-Back Podcast


Made by Texas A&M University students, The Pass-Back is a sports podcast for Aggies by Aggies. From Midnight Yell and tailgating, to breaking down stats & injuries. The Pass-Back Podcast dives into every topic that you, the 12th Man, want to hear about. It is a student-run podcast that attempts to engage fellow students with the current news and contentions. The hosts of the podcast are Juniors Cade Young and Jackson Moss. The podcast consists of a game preview for the week, SEC storylines, recap of last week’s game, players of the week, and it holds many other ambitions for the future. Diego Valle and Tori Hillis help edit the video and sound, as well as run the cameras and lighting. The podcast may be small, but it’s very enticing to be a part of. The entire premise is for students to have another Aggie sports outlet, and hopefully it continues far past graduation for everyone who is part of the podcast currently.

Podcast Links:

People Involved:

  • Cade Young – Host
  • Jackson Moss – Host
  • Tori Hillis – Producer
  • Diego Valle – Editor/Technical Director

12th Woman Sports Podcast


Our names are Jordan and Sophie, and we are both students at Texas A&M University. Whoop! We are running a women’s perspective sports podcast called the “12th Woman” where we discuss multiple topics every week with each other as well as our special guests. Check us out on YouTube and Instagram!

People Involved:

  • Sophie Sheets – Host/Producer
  • Jordan Harsh – Host/Producer/Editor
  • Diego Valle – Technical Director

Podcast Links:

JOUR 359 Reporting Sports

Jonathan Guajardo and joey had the pleasure of hosting Angelique Gammon’s JOUR 359 Reporting Sports class at the Media & Gaming Lab Podcast Studio in Bolton 010. Before coming to the Lab the students were given a hands on overview of general video production equipment. Then in the lab the video and audio boards were explained and within minutes the students were doing podcasting and really getting into it. Having this turn key space has been great and within just two months we have built a community that is expanding at a rapid rate.

The future of the Media & Gaming Lab Podcasts

It is our hope to facilitate more programming and expand our reach so that more students can engage with the lab as they look to enter the world of podcasting. Currently we plan on adding the following podcasts:

  • Popular Culture
  • Skateboarding
  • eSports Gaming
  • Cozy and Casual Gaming
  • Media & Gaming Lab

If you are interested in being a part of a podcast or have an idea for one not listed, feel free to reach out to us and we can talk more about making your dream a reality! We look forward to building new collaborations and growing this endeavor within the lab.