Web Sites/Class Blogs
I am also a contributor to the Critical Gaming Project at the University of Washington, the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), and the Ecomedia Studies blog.
“Confessions of a Woman Gamer” (2007, 9m 52s)
I’m afraid I only have my most recent film posted here because I’m a bit of a dinosaur and all of my older work exists on 16mm or SVHS and I haven’t had the time or money to digitize it. Suffice it to say, though, I have been handling audiovisual equipment since primary school–and over the years, I’ve had training in all aspects of media production ranging from stage direction and camerawork to technical direction and editing. I can still remember my first experiences using an analog video editor: the massive and boxy consoles with big square buttons and the heartbeat-like “ba-BUM” rhythm we had to imitate to make a final, largely irreversible edit (record-PLAY). Looking back now, from the airy vantage of nonlinear digital video editing (Avid, Final Cut Pro, even iMovie), it’s almost hard to remember the old terrors of video snow, derailed audio tracks, and stretched or snarled videotape, not to mention the hours spent taping frames of celluloid to each other in a subterranean room in Cornell’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. For my students that have grown up immersed in digital photography and film, it’s hard to explain the appeal of an old, hand-wound Bolex camera or the challenge of loading an unexposed film cartridge in the pitch-black recesses of a closet or car trunk.
My first major film project was part of my senior thesis as a Cornell College Scholar. Approximately twenty-minutes long, the film (“Bitter Harvest”) explored cultural and political tensions between Taiwanese- and Chinese-Americans through the lens of former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-Hui’s controversial visit to Cornell in 1995.
I made my first game at some point in the ’80s using BASIC, no doubt imitating the games I was familiar with from active participation on bulletin board systems (BBSs). I don’t even remember its name, but I recall that I spent an inordinate amount of time on the start screen, a thirty-line PRINT rendition of a pegasus using repeated caret symbols (^) for the wing feathers. As if that was not embarrassing enough, I also implemented a casino featuring Russian Roulette (I had a macabre streak, apparently), a.k.a. fun with random number generation!
Since then, after making a passable attempt at Turbo Pascal and computer science in high school, I’ve had fewer opportunities for game design while remaining an avid player of games of all kinds. In the past year, I’ve started picking up Processing and using GameMaker Pro, and I recently joined a multi-campus design team working on an online role-playing game designed to educate California Central Valley communities about the risk factors and triggers for asthma, currently called Pwning Asthma. Pwning Asthma brings together faculty, students, and staff from the Social Apps Lab at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM), the Berkeley Institute for the Environment (BIE), and UC Merced. The game will incorporate real-time air-quality data from the Fresno area, and our team brings together scientists, engineers, artists, scholars, and activists with a broad range of experience (PIs: Greg Niemeyer, UC Berkeley Art Practice; James Holston, UC Berkeley Anthropology; Inez Fung, UC Berkeley Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and Earth & Planetary Science; and Qinghua Guo, UC Merced School of Engineering).
Back in Spring 2008, I helped design the following chemical collectible card game (CCG) during a “Game Rhetoric” graduate seminar taught by Professor Greg Niemeyer (Practice of Art). Greg asked us to pitch and playtest a variety of games before we agreed to pursue only one for our final class project. In the end, we opted for “Comfound” (a play on “compound” and “confound”), targeting the game at high-school juniors and seniors enrolled in intermediate to advanced chemistry. We spent about a month and a half coming up with the game rules, designing and printing the cards and their connector “bonds” (the red, circular clips shown), and finally brought the game to Berkeley High School in May of 2008 to be playtested by two classes of AP Chemistry students.
“Comfound” : The game of soup-heating and chemical cheating
Our design team was an eclectic mix of six graduate students from computer science, the School of Information, Rhetoric, Film, and East Asian Studies.
Trained in piano, I have also been singing for over two decades, performing a wide range of sacred and secular music. I have been a member of almost a dozen different ensembles (Peabody Conservatory Chorus, Cornell University Chorus, Stanford Symphonic Chorus, UC Berkeley University Chorus, etc.), and I have toured in Taiwan, Mexico, California, Florida, and New England. As a musical director of The Class Notes, I oversaw the production of the CD, Break the Silence (1998), having earlier assisted on Destinations (1996). I am an experienced vocal arranger, having used both Cakewalk and Finale.
Currently, I am a member of The Loose Interpretations, a women’s a cappella group based in San Francisco, CA.