PAX et Scriptio: Writing panel at PAX

You’re SO mature! Is Storytelling in Games Coming of Age? is the title of my panel coming up at PAX Prime next week!  While you may think you already know the answer, join me and my other esteemed writing colleagues as we discuss what’s working and what isn’t in the world of narrative and games.  Of course, there’s still time to bone up on the latest games that are examples and counterexamples of great game storytelling.  Got a favorite… that’s not LAST OF US?  Got a least favorite… that’s not LAST OF US?  Drop a comment and share your opinion, or join us for the panel:

You’re SO mature! Is Storytelling in Games Coming of Age?
When: Saturday, August 30, 2014, 7pm
Where: Sphinx Theater, Penny Arcade Expo (PAX)

It feels like video games have been around for ages, but in truth they’re still a relatively young medium. In the last few years we’ve witnessed them beginning to take on more serious subjects and mature themes in their narrative. Is this the start of the adulthood of storytelling in games? Join our all-star panel of game writers and narrative experts as we discuss this exciting new direction in game narrative and speculate on a bold new future of interactive storytelling.

PANELISTS:

Chris Tihor [Game Writer/Designer, Ironic Iconic Studios], Toiya Kristen Finley [Narrative Designer/Game Writer & Game Designer, Schnoodle Media, LLC], Richard Dansky [Central Clancy Writer, Ubisoft/Red Storm], Qais Fulton [Narrative Designer, Freelance], Anne Toole [Writer and Narrative Designer, The Write Toole], Raphael van Lierop [Creative Director, Hinterland Games]

See you at PAX, or in the comment section!

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First look! Crystal Cadets at Comic-con

CrystalCadetsIf you’ll be at SDCC, you’ll be the first to get the inside scoop on the launch of Roar Comics, a new comics imprint brought to you by Lion Forge.  Conveniently, they’ll be publishing an original title, Crystal Cadets, written by me and drawn by the inimitable Katie.  The series follows the adventures of seven girls who inherit amazing powers, kick butt, and take names.

Join us for a panel to learn about Crystal Cadets and all the other shenanigans going on at Roar!

Roar – Friday (July 25th) 5:30 – 6:30 PM Room 8

Roar Comics: Saved By The Bell, Punky Brewster, and more!

Saved By The Bell! Punky Brewster! Magical Girls! Teen Mermaids! As Jessie Spano would say, “I’m So Excited!” Roar Comics is making it’s debut at SDCC! Come check out Lion Forge’s new all-ages and YA comics imprint as we bring together genre-busting talent with fan-favorite characters. Join Senior Editor Adam Staffaroni to hear what’s next for Punky, the gang at Bayside High, plus Roar’s new digital-first original titles – Roboy, Crystal Cadets, and MER. Featuring Roar’s incredible roster of creators including: Chynna Clugston Flores (Blue Monday), Joelle Sellner (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), Anne Toole (Emmy Winning “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”), Lesley Vamos, and Eisner Nominee Brandon Easton. Fun all for all ages, plus some big new announcements! #RoarComics

See you in San Diego!

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Lizzie Bennet is seeing Starz!

Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Just in time for Vidcon, the LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES has gotten another boost with the announcement that Starz Digital Media will be repackaging that puppy on various platforms, including my personal favorite, XBox Video. This just goes to show you that everything I write ends up on XBox, one way or another.

The novelization has hit bookstores this week, as well.  If you’re not into actually venturing into bookstores, you can order THE SECRET DIARY OF LIZZIE BENNET online on Amazon, or wherever your heart takes you.

If you’re curious about which episodes I wrote, here’s a round-up I did mid-season.

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Science! Attending Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop

LaunchpadWriting science fiction is part of my job description, which also includes, apparently, coming up with 100 ways to say, “Good job!”  Unlike the latter, I will actually get help with the former from the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop.  The week-long workshop educates writers in various media education so we can rush off and make our science fiction more science and less fiction.  I’ll be joining the best and brightest in the fields of novels and TV for the experience in Wyoming, which I can safely say is my favorite state I’ve never been to.

For a complete list of this year’s attendees, click here.  If you want to see any of the glorious alum from years past, including Ellen Datlow and Marc Laidlaw, check them out here.

Anyone else been to Wyoming?  Any recommendations?

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IGDA Board Election win and time to get judgy

It’s nearly been a month since I joined the IGDA Board of Directors, but I’m please to say they haven’t kicked me off yet.  I’d like to thank everyone who voted and for the quorum that was established.  Below are the election results:

Total Ballots Submitted: 787
Anne Toole – Total Votes: 592
Jon Grande – Total Votes: 259
Justin Berenbaum – Total Votes: 212

Congrats also to Jon and Justin for joining the board, and to Tom Buscaglia for being elected chair.

I’ll also be repping the IGDA this weekend at the Burbank Game+Hack as a judge.  Not too late to get tickets and enjoy the talks on Friday with some JPL speakers.

If that’s not enough, I’ll also be speaking on the “How I Got Into Gaming” panel on Saturday, which is part of the event.  Feel free to sign up for reminders here.

When: Saturday, May 3rd, 5-6pm
Where: Nickelodeon Animation Studios
What: How I Got Into Gaming panel
“Meet gamer YouTubers and other game experts during the YMCA Game+Hack game hackthon at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank.

At our Digital LA panel that is part of the Saturday events, game industry speakers will discuss how they got started in gaming, and their first ‘break’ or experience that helped their career. They will share tips on getting into gaming, things to do to keep up on the game industry from news sites to conferences and more.”

See you then?

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At GDC, Covering Women in Games Roundtable

Looking for new sources? Pitching women clients? I’ll be heading up to GDC this week to cavort and make merry, but more importantly, I will be moderating this roundtable for the IGDA Women in Games SIG:

Covering Women in Games Roundtable

Where: GDC, Moscone North Hall, Room 112
When: Thursday, March 20th, 11:30am-12:30pm, 2014
What:
The IGDA WIG SIG invites journalists, PR professionals and community managers to come together to identify what’s working and what isn’t in games journalism as it relates to women developers. For journalists who want to improve their coverage of women in the industry, this roundtable will identify current problems and provide solutions for how women developers are included in the media.

Takeaway

Attendees will leave this session understanding the concerns of women developers covered in games media along with best practices for covering women in games.

Intended Audience

Games journalists looking to improve diversity in the industry and improve their coverage of women will benefit the most from this session. PR professionals and community managers will likewise benefit and add a great deal to the discussion.

ALL GDC BADGE HOLDERS may attend.  RSVP is not required, but requested so we can send you reminders: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/covering-women-in-games-roundtable-wig-sig-at-gdc-tickets-10863798915 .  Or, you can add this session to your GDC schedule: http://schedule.gdconf.com/session-id/827907

Check out all the WIG SIG events here: http://women.igda.org/wig-sig-at-gdc-2014-cheat-sheet/ See you at GDC!

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Vote for member benefits in the IGDA Elections

1911635_10152342692806754_1894970302_nHave you voted yet? If you’re an IGDA member, now’s your chance, until March 10th, to vote in the board elections.  As you may have gathered, I am running for the board with the goal of increasing member benefits and chapter support worldwide.  So check your e-mail for your special election password and get your voting on!

Of course, if you have any questions, concerns, vitriol, or zombie factoids you’d like to share, feel free to drop a comment below!

Candidate Statement

As IGDA members, we’re invested in making the IGDA the best it can be.  But how do we get there?  The IGDA lives and breathes by its members, but we will only grow if people see a benefit to membership.  Many primarily experience the IGDA through local chapters, but the chapters themselves are often left to go it on their own. For those not involved in a SIG who live too far from a current chapter, whether that’s in Minnesota or Milan, the IGDA practically doesn’t exist. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Over the past several years, I’ve become increasingly involved with the IGDA.  A lifetime member, I currently serve as an elected board member of the IGDA Los Angeles chapter and as co-chair of the Women in Games SIG, where I started the monthly Women in Games profiles. I previously served as the Mentorship Chair for the WIG SIG and have contributed to IGDA Perspectives on the topics of diversity and chapter engagement.  On top of that, I have visited IGDA chapters all over the world, from Singapore to Chicago.  Most tellingly, I have visited countries where few have heard of the IGDA.  I’m running for board to help the IGDA live up to its promise as an international organization dedicated to connecting professionals with their peers and promoting professional development.

If elected, I will work to:

  • increase member benefits that can be seen and felt regardless of location;
  • implement online opportunities to connect and offer services to all members;
  • increase support for chapters;
  • promote local chapter events and educational events to the entire IGDA so that all can benefit;
  • advocate on the Board for greater international presence, support, and programs;
  • increase the cachet and profile of the IGDA worldwide

After speaking to chapter leaders throughout the world, I’ve discovered that what chapters need varies by location.  A one-size-fits-all approach just won’t work, even if the IGDA were only a US organization.  One chapter might need money, while another might need speakers.  Therefore, membership benefits should go where members see it, where they are. At a chapter level, members will see their benefits in terms of better-funded and supported events. For those beyond the reach of chapters, members will be able to see benefits through online programs that increase connection and professional development. The more these programs benefit the members, the more will join, and the entire organization will benefit from it. As a board member, I can work to make all this a reality.

An EU and US citizen, I have worked on-site in the US, Canada, and the EU, and I’ve seen first-hand how mobile we are as an industry. We can’t afford to focus on one country or one continent anymore. I will work to increase the role of the IGDA both in North America and internationally.  If my experience is any indication, we will need it.

Brief Biography

Anne Toole is a writer of games, television, webseries, and short fiction. Her credits include the Emmy-winning webseries THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES and the WGA-nominated dark fantasy game THE WITCHER.  Due to her transmedia experience, Anne has spoken at the inaugural Nokia OpenLab 2008 as well as about game design at GDC Europe, GDC Online, South by Southwest, the Login Game Conference, and Comic-con International.  In addition to her work with the IGDA, she was appointed by the West Hollywood City Council to serve on the city’s Women’s Advisory Board.  Anne graduated from Harvard with an ever-so-useful degree in Archaeology and suffers a minor zombie obsession.

IGDA Contributions:

Co-Chair, IGDA Women in Games SIG

  • Board Member, IGDA Los Angeles
  • Mentorship Chair, IGDA Women in Games SIG (2009-2010)
  • Speaker. IGDA Summit SF 2013
  • Member, IGDA Writers SIG
  • Contributor, IGDA Perspectives

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