Anna Anthropy of the Internet on the Design of REDDER

Time

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 -

7:15pm to 9:15pm

Location

Guadalupe Room, Student Union
San José State University

The Plan

Anna Anthropy will be presenting at our next meeting on Tuesday, March 16! You should come, even if you're not a part of the club. (Even if you're not a student here! (Even if you're from the Internet.)) I don't know what she'll be talking about, so I'll tell you a few miscellaneous things about her. Or you could just skip this post and play her games.

As a general introduction, Anna is a game designer and critic who excels at telling stories through the medium of games. Rather than relying on the embedded media of text or movies, like most story-based games out there today, she embeds her stories in the gameplay interactions. Literally, she has told a video game love story where the only action you can take, as the player, is to shoot. More abstractly, she's told countless smaller stories in her various games' level designs. She has written extensively about game design and storytelling on her blog, where she has, among other things, dissected the level designs in Super Mario Bros. and Star Guard to find out some of the reasons they're so good.

Since it's right after transgendered awareness week, I feel it's worth mentioning that she's transgendered. Historically, this has been a problem for people in the game industry; the story of Dani Bunten, lead designer of MULE (you should play the online multiplayer version) is a tragic one. Anna's story is more inspiring—it's a testament to the meritocratic nature of the Internet that she became known and respected first, and when people finally figured out that she was biologically male, few really seemed to care. Ultimately, people are more grateful than anything, because she has created some of the few games with non-immature lesbian stories.

She's a judge in the Independent Games Festival, and she's been influential in making the judging process suck less for those whose games were are getting judged.

What Actually Happened

Thanks to Anna Anthropy for presenting about the design of one room (and then of other things) in REDDER! There were like 50 attendees and we were all at the edgeof our seats.

Event added by Kelsey Higham

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