This is joey lopez reporting about the Latinx Pop Lab – BIPOC 2023. As previously posted, UT Austin’s LatinX Pop Lab hosted a BIPOC Conference in 2022, it was a huge success.
This year was no different. Conceived by Dr. Fredrick Luis Aldama and facilitated by the stellar LatinX Pop Lab staff and volunteers, the event grew in size and content. Instead of two days, it was a three day affair this year with panels, lectures, workshops and an animation expo.
My role this year was to garner interviews of as many participants as possible. Artists, presenters, volunteers, organizers and anyone that Anthony Ramirez and I could track down was asked for an interview. Which reminds me, THANK YOU Anthony, aka Dr. Ramirez, for all your help! For those who do not know, Anthony is no longer a student a Texas A&M University. Dr. Ramirez is now an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Houston-Downtown in the Arts and Communication Department.
A/V Nerd Time (Skip if you are not interested in nerdy A/V stuff)
For the nerds out there, I decided not to use a big camera setup for the interviews, instead I used my iphone 14pro, a tripod and Rode Wireless ToGo lavalier microphone.
For the super nerds, I used Filmic v7, shooting in 10bit HLG. The app give full manual control over your audio and video settings which is super nice and shooting in 10bit color depth gives you the ability to color grade at a prosumer/professional level that has traditionally been reserved for mirrorless and dslr style cameras and of course cinema cameras.
I hope to host a workshop on this topic soon. For now, check out this short video:
Back to our regular programing.
The scope of BIPOC 2023 really opened up avenues of discussions LatinX Comics and Gaming. The schedule shows more depth into more topics than last years. Panels critically explored comics, video games and popular culture through representation, semiotics, semantics, rhetoric, race, gender and many other lenses. I was able to record two great panels:
BiPOC POP 2023 – “I as We Comics” – Panel
BIPOC POP 2023 – “Queering BIPOC POP” – Panel
In addition to panels there were multiple workshops, here are just a few titles:
“Cosmic Memory Making For Visual Storytelling”
“Creating Your First Comic”
“Making BIPOC Boardgames”
“Learning the Manga Way”
It was amazing to see artists, students, academics and community attendees taking part in the workshops and literally find new ways to express themselves.
The vendor space was twice as big as last years, giving more floor space to multiple artists to show their works. I was able to meet and talk with so almost all the artists at length and of course I walked away with some great art! Here is a short video I took after the first day of attending and what I picked up from the creators and artists.
What’s up, everyone? Anthony here! Thank you for the shoutout earlier, joey. I really appreciate it.
As joey previously mentioned, I had the opportunity of helping him conduct interviews and help Dr. Aldama and Samantha Ceballos-Sosa (Latinx Pop Lab assistant, graduate student extraordinaire, and co-founder of the Capirotada Collective) with their social media posts. Much like joey, besides being a professor of media and popular culture, I also like to dabble with new media.
This year’s BiPOC Pop was my first as a professor, which felt very weird for me. I constantly felt like I was in a weird state of in-betweenness or for those who study Gloria Anzaldúa or Latinx related work, I was in a state of nepantla (the Nahuatl word which means “in the middle of it” or “in-between”). To be completely transparent, I was very anxious due to this in-betweenness and other personal factors, but what helped calm these nerves of mine down was the amazing sense of community that was around me.
Similar to BiPOC Pop 2022, this year featured an amazing cast of creatives and scholars whose work centers around popular culture in some capacity. For each of these two BiPOC POP conferences, the highlights for me is always centered around the community building aspect of things. I got to network with so many artists, creatives, and scholars whose work is incredible. On top of that, I was able to reunite with la familia Lopez and the Capirotada Collective. Being able to spend time with these amazing group of people helped center me in ways that I needed.
I also got to see Dr. Aldama again and I am always in a constant awe of his presence and sheer community building attributes. This is something that inspires me as a young professor to help build community for individuals like the attendees and presenters of BiPOC Pop. Being able to intersect critical and creative work together into an amazing event is something that blows my mind in the best possible way, and it drives me to want to be a better presence for this community and for my own community.
I was also able to participate in a panel discussion centered around Latinx representation and identity in video games. Within this panel, I was with some of the best and up-coming scholars within Latinx video game scholarship including: Dr. Regina Mills and her student, Caroline Shee, Dr. Carlos Gabriel Gonzalez Kelly, and moderated by the legend himself, joey lopez, phd. While I have not done a lot of research on video games, I was able to share my experience of playing video games and the influence of having video games in my life. I also had the opportunity to share with the community that joey, Dr. Arthur Soto-Vasquez of Texas A&M-International, and I will be contributing a chapter to an upcoming collected volume curated by Dr. Mills and Dr. Kelly. Stay tuned for that!
Again, I just want to thank Dr. Aldama, Samantha, and everyone from the Latinx Pop Lab for such a wonderful event. I look forward to next year’s BiPOC POP 2024!
This semester proved to be a busy one with a lot of projects, collaborations, media & gaming lab participant personal accomplishments and we even hosted a conference! This was our first semester going full steam, with full in person and online meet ups plus hosting events.
As many know, our goal at the Media & Gaming Lab and the Convergent Media Collective is to facilitate others’ ideas and help bring them into reality. Rather than being a directive lab the Media & Gaming Lab focuses on maintaining a space and group of creatives that can help each other build out innovative ideas, concepts, prototyping and artistic endeavors.
This semester we had an array group and personal achievements and in this post we will be sharing and celebrating those as well as giving you a preview of what is in store for the Spring of 2023.
Fall 2023 Latinx Critical Creative Consortium
On October 15th the Texas A&M Communication and Journalism Department’s Media & Gaming hosted the Latinx Critical Creative Consortium. Texas A&M Professor Regina Mills Ph.D. of English also helped plan and implement the conference. The results were amazing and are fully documented in its separate write up here on the site. The consortium inspired the students so much that we have a spring 2023 Consortium on the books (see below).
Fall 2023 Guest Speakers
The semester proved very active in terms of guest speakers. We had people from all over Texas giving lectures to our students in our courses, both joey and Professor Jonathan Guajardo hosted many guest lectures. The aim of our in-class guest speakers is to provide students with highly engaging workshops and lectures where students feel enabled to speak up and dialog with the guest. Another intention is for the students to have direct connections with the professional industries we study and creatively develop work for, as well as academia.
Kaye Cruz is an international freelance media producer based out of Central Texas. He has regularly given guest lectures at A&M since 2018. His experiences shared have had a huge impact on the students. This semester he spoke about his work in Uvalde covering Robb Elementary, coverage of the Queens passing in London as well as his work locally with storm coverage for national agencies.
Rebecca Macias & Luis Vazquez from the Express News & MySA.com, a Hurst news agency based out of San Antonio, Texas. Rebecca is the social media editor and Luis Vazquez is a multimedia producer for the Express news. They presented on current trends and issues in social media and news reporting.
Andrew Valdez is the Director of Creative Communications for the Alamo Colleges District in San Antonio, TX. Andrew presented to COMM 476, Advanced Social Media about higher education and social media from both an institutional perspective and also sharing his own trajectory in the field.
Rick Pulos visited Joey’s Popular Culture class and delivered a lecture on Fan Studies. He focused on fan culture and community across music and sports. He also introduced students to the psychology of fanaticism. Ever wonder why you love your favorite sports team even when they lose? Rick was able to slip in a few references to the object of his fanaticism: Madonna!
Anthony Ramirez Ph.D. is a professor of Communication at the University of Houston Downtown and alumni of the Media & Gaming Lab here at Texas A&M. He gave a guest a lecture about Fandom and Comics to joey’s COMM 340 Popular Culture. His talk always spurs students interest in the topics to the point of creating mid term and final projects based around his lecture.
Elena Foulis is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M San Antonio, she gave a guest lecture to joey’s COMM 250 New Media and Narrative Voice. Her lecture was about performing oral histories and the work that goes into it. The students loved the lecture and the next class we did mini oral history projects.
Kali Johnson a Communication senior and longtime member of the Media & Gaming Lab gave 4 class lectures to Jonathan Guajardo discussing Narrative approaches and other media making topics.
In Person Meet Ups
Durning the fall of 2022 we were able to host multiple workshops durning our in person meet ups. Some were professor led and some student lead. It was amazing to see so many talented people lend their time to train and teach others.
Interview Skills and Lighting Tutorial
Many of us who create content often find ourselves conducting interviews. This tutorial was a collaborative effort with multiple Media & Gaming Lab members. We used Lab equipment to successfully light and capture audio of members talking about their lives and passions. Joey expertly demonstrated the Q&A process while Rick and Leo collaborated on the technical aspects.
Screen Printing Workshop
In a fun switch from digital to analog, the Lab supported a workshop on Screen Printing. We learned a lot about how to work with the tools of this artistic medium and what sorts of tricks were important to successfully producing a beautiful image on various items including shirts and canvas tote bags. Later, we offered Screen Printing at the Latinx Critical Creative Consortium as a family friendly activity for our younger attendees.
Audio Production Workshop
Maxwell Burgess, lead singer of the band Small Talk, a former Aggie, visited the Lab and offered a tutorial session on audio production. Several students got the chance to sit with him and learn more about creating music. One of the highlights was when Joey asked him to grab one of our guitars and sing us a song which he did with amazing skill and talent!
Small Talk Concert
A team of Media & Gaming Lab members (Zayno, Nate, Rick, and Joey) got together to capture video and photos of Small Talk’s live concert at the Grand Stafford Theater in downtown Bryan. Zayno expertly operated our gimbal to capture smooth footage and Nate took amazing photos using one of our Sony cameras with a new telephoto lens. The venue gave us a backstage tour of their recording studio which was amazing to see. Small Talk played an impressive set to a crowded theater.
Media & Gaming Lab Personal Project Highlights
Rhett Brady, an undergraduate Communication & Journalism Major in the New Media and Gaming Lab wrote and published an academic paper entitled Ang Lee’s Hulk: Unique and Overlooked Colorful Cinema Amongst Superhero Homogeny for an independent study course with Professor Jonathan Guajardo. In this paper, he analyzed the movie from three perspectives: color theory, video-editing techniques, and 35mm filmmaking. Rhett argued that, even though the film received mixed reviews upon its release, it deserves revisiting in the age of commercially sucessful superhero movies due to its unique stylistic nature and its dedication to storytelling. Rhett published his paper in the Bryan-College Station Chronicle and will be presenting it at the 2023 Pop Culture Association Conference in April in San Antonio, Texas. He also graduated in December 2022 and has his sights set upon continuing his education in a Master’s program as well as working in the media industry.
Grace Barr is multimodal artist and for her COMM 250 New Media course created an animation called “Permanence” which explores existential themes.
Kali Johnson Legally Blonde Paper
Nathan Carr “Racial Stereotype Perpetuation in Grand Theft Auto V”
Professor joey lopez developed a short youtube series about Tavo Coffee, a local coffee shop in Bryan Texas who’s coffee is sourced through the owners family in Guatemala.
Rick Pulos began to develop a documentary on volunteer community theatre. He plans to buy some equipment and also utilize Media & Gaming equipment to capture the story of the Theatre Company of Brian College Station. He will go into production in January.
Media & Gaming Lab Personal Announcements
Alazar Asrat was one of the first Media & Gaming Lab members, his participation with the lab has played a large role in terms of recruiting new members and participation. He graduated this past Fall 2022 with a degree from Texas A&M’s Department of Communication & Journalism. He has taken on a full time job working for KAMU the local public television station in Brazos county.
Anthony Ramirez Ph.D. graduated from the Texas A&M department Communication & Journalism this fall. He also started his job at the University of Houston Downtown this past fall as an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies in their Department of Arts & Communication.
Jonathan Guajardo, a lecturer in the Communication & Journalism department and faculty of the Media & Gaming Lab began his Ph.D. journey with Texas Tech University working towards a degree in Leadership and Higher Education.
Rhett Brady graduated this Fall 2022 from Texas A&M’s Department of Communication & Journalism and is now applying to graduate programs for the Fall. He has seen great success throughout his application process and is already fielding multiple offers.
The first Critical Creative Consortium was hosted last Fall at the University of Texas at Austin by the Latinx Pop Lab. This year, Texas A&M’s Media & Gaming Lab students, along with A&M Professors Regina Mills, joey lopez and Jonathan Guajardo, hosted the Critical Creative Consortium. Our official sponsors were:
University of Texas at Austin – Latinx Pop Lab
Texas A&M Data Science Institute
Texas A&M Race, Ethnicity Studies Institute
Texas A&M Department of English
Texas A&M Department of Communication & Journalism
Rice University Humanities Research Center
With this support, we were able to host over 70 in-person attendees & over 105 participants overall, including online attendees. We had six tracks of panels and workshops, so we could appeal to the participants’ varied interests. We also had an open break area where lunch and various activities were held throughout the day.
I, joey lopez phd, have to say, this day was beyond amazing! Friendships were made, bonds were created, and people from all over Texas and the nation were able to share their enthusiasm for Latinx representations in popular culture. We are including a podcast with this blog post so you can hear some perspectives directly from some of the organizers and attendees.
Media & Gaming Lab Reflection Podcast
Below are write ups by the organizers of the tracks. The tracks were:
LGBTQ+ & Arts
Anthony Ramirez’s Reflection
This year, the Latinx Critical Creative Consortium was held at Texas A&M University, my alma mater. This is my first conference as a professor, and since I’ve left Texas A&M. This was a great and amazing experience, and an experience that I have never felt at the university itself. I was able to co-lead the comic books track with my friend and colleague, Samantha Ceballos. Through this track, we had a presentation, panel, discussion, and two workshops. During each of our comic centered presentations, we encouraged creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Additionally, we described how passion leads to various opportunities. On top of all of that, we describe how there is power in storytelling. Not just in reading and analyzing stories, but telling stories. These were some conversations that were had during our presentations and workshops. Through our presentations, it was great to hear how others study and examine comics, and how people now want to use comic books within their research.
While I am proud of the work and the effort made by the organizers and I, one thing I personally wished that was different was less presentation and that way other organizers can venture out and support other presentations. I wish I could have supported others and viewed some presentations that fall into my interests. That was something I hope that can be learned from this conference.
I hope this conference continues to grow and expand as it did this year. With conferences like this, it brings members of Latinx communities from different disciplines and walks of life. It is not your typical academic conference. I have been able to network and meet some wonderful people who have become some of my closest friends. I’m grateful for this conference and the opportunity to help contribute to build this community further.
Samantha Ceballos Reflections
As a graduate student, it was amazing to be a part of this conference. I was lucky enough to help host the first LCCC in 2021 at The University of Texas at Austin with Dr. Aldama. Dr. Lopez and Dr. Mills really took the conference to a new level! It is always refreshing to be in a room full of people who create and do such amazing things. I left the weekend feeling inspired and filled with hope. Working with my colleague, mentor, and friend, Dr. Ramirez is always a fun time. His expertise and professionalism are wonderful, and I always learn so much. The panels and workshops we ran were helpful, informative, and a great way to network with different students from different universities. I loved hearing about other people’s works and their process of creation. The workshops reminded me of the importance of amplifying voices and narratives and the importance of creating spaces where people can create and share without judgment. We should be building people up, not tearing them down, and this conference really helped build. We need to continue fostering spaces like these, especially in academia. Echoing Dr. Ramirez, I also hope that the LCCC continues to grow and change as time goes on. Latinx CCC 2023 needs to hurry up!
The Video Games track had a mix of sessions focused on teaching games (taught by Carlos Kelly [co-lead] and me), creating games for those reticent to try (a Twine workshop led by me), and panels that brought in a variety of people in different areas of the gaming industry and game studies. I want to take the opportunity to elaborate a bit on these panels because while I have published elsewhere on teaching games in the classroom, I felt like these two panels provided me lots of aha! moments.
The day’s second session, on Black and POC streamers, was anchored by Sam Blackmon (Not Your Mama’s Gamer and prof at Purdue) and Kishonna L. Gray (prof at U of Kentucky). I honestly felt like I learned sooo much from these two! Sam talked about how she’d been streaming before streaming was a thing (1999!). Both reflected how platforms like Twitch and their algorithms prioritize stereotypes of blackness and non-Black streamers in ways that undercut the common idea that streamers who work hard enough and build their base can succeed. Blackmon and Gray were incredibly engaging speakers and considering how little I know about streaming, it made me very interested in learning more! (Blackmon also let us know that there is a special issue of Not Your Mama’s Gamer (NYMG) on MMOs). I am not a huge podcast listener but I definitely also suggest listening to the NYMG podcast.
Our last session was a Q&A session with people in the game industry. What I found from both our first panel with Sam and Kishonna but also this last panel was that what it means to “be in” gaming or “study” games is so wide-ranging! We started with a pre-recorded video from the Director of Global Localization at Riot Games, Denisse Kreeger, who talked about how much things have changed but also how much still needs to be done, and mentioned her own struggles being a Latina lesbian in the games industry. Then, Cj Peters of Konsole Kingz talked about his pathway to working in games, both in creating games, creating the icons that people use for this avatars in XBox Live, and creating connections between games and the hip-hop industry. Hadeel Ramadan (a prof here at TAMU) blew my mind with the work she was doing in educational games. She even talked about how they made a game for birds to help them destress in captivity! (really!). Lastly, we had Jakejame Lugo, who talked about his current work of content creation and experience as a gaming journalist. He and Cj gave helpful answers about what draws them to new creators (that the creator emanates a genuine-ness rather than a fake persona and makes the kind of content they enjoy rather than trying to stick to trends). I really appreciated that they all had really different takes based on their respective backgrounds and all had thoughtful conceptions of what they hope the future of the game industry will hold.
Regina Mills Reflections – My Takeaways:
Doing this track made me realize that I have some incredible colleagues here at TAMU. I was so glad to see several of my students attend (and though the extra credit brought them, I think the content made some of them stay longer than anticipated). I also think offering this free of charge was so important because our knowledge and experience, especially based at a public institution, should be shared. I loved the opportunity to meet new faces and also lift up the voices and work of old ones.
I do wish I could have been part of the other tracks, but I couldn’t leave my sessions for more than a few minutes at a time (especially since I was the presenter for two of them). I also wish that I hadn’t been so slammed with grading and other things pulling me in multiple directions that I didn’t advertise as well as I could have. I especially wish that I could have gotten more attendance from English and LMAS faculty and students, though I know many of us are very busy juggling a lot of balls, especially as we continue to live in pandemic conditions. Lastly, I was incredibly exhausted after this work (the last half of the day I struggled with an intense migraine). So for next year, maybe we should consider a less is more approach. Having perhaps only two sessions for each track, with time provided so that track leaders can attend other sessions, would go a long way towards having more robust attendance across the board for each session and allow us all to see and celebrate the work being done.
Even with these reflections on how to improve for the 3rd Annual LCCC, I’m so proud of what was accomplished and thankful for the work that Joey Lopez, Frederick Luis Aldama, Hector Garza, Sam Ceballos, and many others did to make this year’s LCCC. Also, thanks to ENGL graduate students Alondra Ceballos, Joseline Gonzalez-Ajanel, and Anneke Snyder for doing the thankless work of opening the doors for attendees (since on Saturday, the LAAH doors can’t be opened without a key card). Thank you also for my UPREP assistant on my Gaming Latinidad project, Caroline Shee for attending sessions, asking great questions, and also helping keep the doors open for folks.
LGBTQ+ & Arts
The LGBTQ+ & Arts track was amazing. Hosted by Hector Garza the track featured workshops that engaged the attendees with thinking about the agency of art in academia and popular culture. How our lived realities when seen through popular culture has an artistic intermodal art impact. The results of the workshops was inspiring and great. Attendees shared their lived realities in a platica setting where not only discussion took place, but art making. Here are some pictures from sessions:
The popular culture track was hosted by Fredrick Luis Aldama and Christopher González. The track consisted of presentations on Expressive Hip Hop Sampling in Into the Spider-Verse & Our Mxnhoods to professional development and publishing to Approaches to Comics of the Hemispheric Americas. The results was a reciprocal engaging environment where discussions went deep. Practical knowledge also ran deep durning the professional devleopment and publishing session by Fredrick Luis Aldama and Christopher gonzáles. Here are some pictures:
The Journalism track was hosted by Jonathan Guajardo and included some great sessions. Dr. Elena Foulis and her class from Texas A&M San Antonio worked with joey lopez early on to develop an engaged zoom sessions where her shared their works and the attendees at the conference and on zoom engaged with their presentations and dialoged about their process and work. Luis Vasquez from the San Antonio Express News and Rebbeca Macias gave a session on what it is like to be in charge of new media in a traditional media setting and the successes and challenges of integrating platforms like TikTok, not just as a medium, but in terms of metrics and financial opportunities. International freelance producer Kaye Cruz presented on “Journalism in the 21st Century, Latin X a past and current time of media presenting a moment in time to a micro audience.” His talk was well received and very engaging. Here are some pics:
The new media track included a slew of presentations that went deep into the current trends in new media, from media production to artificial intelligence art. Students from the Texas A&M Media & Gaming Lab held a panel about media making in the 21st century and students showed off their projects. Mark Solis, John Frazee and Issac Jimenez gave a presentation about Marketing in central Texas, specifically discussing the lead generation to customer follow up process. After the presentation an undergraduate from A&M told professor joey it was an amazing presentation which was great to hear.
In the afternoon the Texas A&M Media & Gaming Lab students held a workshop on media making in the 21st century where they guided attendees through interviewing and media production. It was great seeing their ability to put production skills directly into the hands of attendees. Lastly Mark Solis, John Frazee and Issac Jimenez gave a workshop on Artificial Intelligence Art making, giving a full overview of the AI tools currently being used to generate both graphics and video.
Media & Gaming Lab
The Communication & Journalism department’s Media & Gaming Lab participated in two panel sessions. The first session was moderated by Rick Pulos, a second-year doctoral student and included attendees from the faculty at A&M as well as students. Active members of the Media & Gaming lab introduced themselves and talked about what the lab has meant to them as a student at A&M. Most of them have been heavily influenced and inspired by Dr. Joey Lopez and faculty member Johnny Guajardo. They also discussed the importance of the lab as a place where they feel a strong sense of community and where they have the ability to explore their creative passions and express themselves outside of the pressures of coursework. They also discussed their various creative passions. Graduate student Nathaniel Carr talked about graphic design and shared some of his work. Rhett Brady, a senior Journalism major, talked about news articles he has researched and written during his time at A&M. Senior Telecommunication media studies major Kali Johnson talked about her passion for filmmaking and her hope to work in entertainment law. Sophie Villarreal, a sophomore in COMM, talked about how Dr. Lopez and Professor Guajardo led her to become a prolific media content creator. Zayno Rayne, a student in the Texas A&M School of Public Health, talked about his passion for music production and his recent experience as a videographer for the band Small Talk, an opportunity that came about from the lab’s extensive network to creative artists all over Texas and the United States. Listening to students talk was a reminder of the importance and impact of the Media & Gaming Lab.
The Media & Gaming Lab also conducted a workshop session. Rick Pulos and student Sophie Villarreal represented the lab. Rick briefly discussed the transformation from analog to digital that occurred between the late 1990s and the 2000s. He showed attendees 16mm film and super 8 film and the various media types that popped up in that time frame like Hi-8 video and MiniDV. After this, Sophie took over the workshop and conducted a highly engaging experience for us all. She led a lively session on Citizen Journalism with A&M students from the department’s Popular Culture course. Sophie started off by sharing the work that she does. She used her website from her company Revolve Media (https://www.sophievillarreal.com) to introduce students to her media works. Sophie is a media content creator who does photography, podcasting, videography, and journalism that is in conversation with all sorts of folks. For example, she often goes to local spots like coffee shops and asks people if they would be willing to talk to her for her podcast. She then pivoted to an open dialogue with students about what they think citizen journalism is. This led to a discussion that produced three questions for interviews. For example, one question was, “Do you prefer new Taylor Swift or old Taylor Swift and why?” Sophie then got everyone on their feet and introduced lapel microphones to the group and demonstrated how to conduct a short interview with the technology using her cell phone. From there, the group headed out into the building and asked several people if they would be willing to be interviewed. Sophie had the workshop attendees take turns conducting the interviews. When we returned to the workshop classroom, Sophie taught the group how to best edit interviews including what software to use and how to build a strong structure based on the captured raw footage. The workshop was a massive hit and Sophie’s ability to teach her peers was, without question, powerful.
Open Area Recaps
Screen Printing & Art Area
The Screen printing area was a hit! Grace, an undergraduate student, managed the space and was responsible for making the Latinx screen and other screens that we used for printing throughout the day. So many people got to make screen prints on card stock, shirts, and canvas bags. People also did some collaging and pop art work. Overall the area maintained a nice laid back feel. Lots of good conversation and laughs came from it.
Dungeons & Dragons
Nate Carr, a Masters’ graduate student offered to manage the Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and it was a huge success. While there was only time for one campaign, the range of participants was impressive and the laughter, voices, and characters generated were fun and inspiring.
Probably should have been named the Guitar Corner, the Music Corner was probably the most random space at the conference where attendees could pick up guitars and proceed to wail on them until their heart was content. It was a very fun experience as you can see! A must for future conferences!
We had a podcasting space managed by Valentina Aduen, it definitely attracted the younger attendees which gave them hands on experience recording podcasts and getting familiar with the equipment. We also learned we should probably get some dynamic microphones for the setup as the condenser microphones pick up a lot of background noise.
Feel free to share you own experiences and perspectives (Media & Gaming Lab members, presenters, attendees, etc. You can also submit photos or a video testimony rather than text, just let me know (joey firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keep tracks, but possibly alternate sessions so groups are bigger, ie. have comics in the morning and then video gaming in the afternoon, etc.
Work on having more local food options.
The open session worked out well, but can be expanded in the future.
How to get involved
If you are interested in getting involved, feel free to contact joey phd at email@example.com.