FALL 2022 Write Up
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.