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Fellow Youths: Giant Daze

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 4:18pm

We read John Allison's continuing slice-of-life comic series, Giant Days! We talk about college life, how we choose our friends, and how weird it is that a series can be 12 volumes long and have no actual story. Listen along as we discuss two-dimensional female characters and how they make us want to die, then find out what else we're watching and playing right now! 

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The Art of Voice Over & Performance Capture with Debra Wilson

Mon, 12/16/2019 - 9:19am

Actress and comedian Debra Wilson is perhaps best known as the longest-serving original cast member on the sketch comedy series MADtvappearing for the show's first eight seasons.  With numerous guest star appearances in both network comedy and drama series’ and a score of independent films, she has more recently found success in the realm of voice over and motion capture for television, film, and video games.

Join Debra as she returns to AADL to discuss the art of voice over, performance capture, and the proactive inner faith that has sustained her in her career.

Her first project in the area of motion capture was as the prototype model for ‘Ney’tiri,’ played by Zoe Saldana, in James Cameron’s Avatar. Her voice over work began much earlier: as a narrator for E! Entertainment celebrity specials, and then into animation for television and film, ADR & looping, network announcing, radio commercials, books on tape, theme park attractions, and a wide range of video games.  She has worked on well over fifty video games to date including five different World of Warcraft games, God of WarFinal Fantasy XVMafia IIIGears of War 4Telltale: The Walking Dead- The Final Season, several Call of Duty games, Telltale: Batman, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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Fellow Youths: Somebody's Watching YOU

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 2:50pm

We talk about our latest obsession: YOU (the Lifetime-turned-Netflix show). Ashley and Nicole admit their long-standing love of doomed couple dramas on the Lifetime channel, and Audrey talks about serial killers. We also cover red flags, dumb heroines, the MANY downsides of dating your stalker, and why it's important to own curtains. Plus, we're watching K-dramas and Fyre Fest documentaries, and sinking hours of our lives into Stardew Valley. Follow along (from a safe distance) as we discuss the creepiest love story ever told!

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Nerd Nite 1/17 Why We Play Video Games

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 12:53pm

NNA2 #61 dives into MRIs and what we can and cannot learn about the brain with neuroscience researcher Sam Carpenter, exploring how protons are structured, inside and out, with physics grad student Nicole Lewis, and talking about why we play - or don’t play - video games with Mark Kazmierski.

Mark Kazmierski –  Game On! Why you do (or don’t) Play Video Games

What makes games so addictive? In a world of over-stimulation and short attention spans, what makes games the thing that we are drawn to? We will attempt to break down what keeps people playing, as well as what prevents people from getting started.

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Fellow Youths: You've Got Male

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 2:30pm

We talk (mostly over each other) about two Netflix original films: To All the Boys I've Loved Before and The Package.  We discuss the ancient art of snail mail and Ashley announces our own Oscar nomination for Best Prosthetic Genitalia.

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An Afternoon with Ninja Brian

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 12:39am

Join musician, comedian, and theoretical physicist Brian Wecht for an informal interview followed by a meet & greet / signing.

After spending many years as an academic working on string theory and particle physics, including a year as a postdoc at U-M, Brian left a faculty job at Queen Mary University of London to become a full-time musician and YouTuber. Brian’s comedy bands Ninja Sex Party (song topics: unicorns, dinosaurs, sex), and Starbomb (song topics: video games, nerd culture, farting), and the associated gaming channel Game Grumps (song topics: none), have garnered an audience of millions, toured around the world, and been counted among the Top Ten Sex Artists in Australia by Spotify.

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How To Break Into The Games Industry

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 3:17pm

Ever wonder how to get started in game development? Drew Davidson shares behind-the-scenes stories from the gaming industry, the educational path required for developers, and how entrepreneurial mindset changes the way one engages with the work.

Drew Davidson is a professor, producer, and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories and transformational experiences across texts, comics, games and other media. He is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University and the Founding Editor of ETC Press and its Well Played series and journal. 

This event was produced in partnership with the University of Michigan Art and Gaming Symposium.

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Games, Avatars, and Gender: A Discussion of How and Why Videogames are not Fulfilling their Potential to Reduce Social Disparity – Rabindra Ratan

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 11:40am

In contemporary computer-mediated environments (e.g., digital games and virtual worlds), users leave their bodies behind and presumably engage on a level playing field where identity characteristics—such as gender, race, and age—bear little relevance to performance. However, such mediated spaces are still fraught with stereotypical associations that hinder equal participation. This is problematic, given that the benefits of playing video games have the potential to reduce disparities in other important realms of society (e.g., STEM fields).

In this talk, Robby Ratan explains this phenomenon, drawing from his recent studies. He explores stereotypes that are prevalent in gaming contexts (just in case you are not convinced already) as well as the negative consequences of such stereotypes. And explores ideas on how to improve equality in games and, through the positive impact of games, improve equality in society.

This talk was presented as part of the University of Michigan Gender and Gaming Symposium 2015.

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Nerd Nite #22 - Why We Watch: How Everything From Football to Mario Entrances Us

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:14am

Why We Watch: How Everything From Football to Mario Entrances Us
Games are a form of storytelling as old, if not older, than language itself, but we rarely stop to think why some games succeed and some fail. What do college athletics–which, despite being non-professional games, earn nearly $1 billion per year–have in common with a fifteen-year-old Pakistani boy playing video games in China for the first time, with 770,000 live viewers and $3 million in prizes on the line?

About Ryan “Gorgon” Jurado:
With professional experience in publishing, music performance, gaming, podcasting, and three majors split across two undergraduate degrees, Ryan “Gorgon” Jurado is what you might call a renaissance nerd. These days, he spends his time studying the burgeoning realm of online spectator games, often called eSports, in which he is a data analyst and live commentator for audiences of tens of thousands. You can find him on Twitter: @gotcowdota

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Concert With Video And Discussion Featuring The OneUps

Sat, 10/01/2005 - 2:29pm

Can't get enough video game music? Come see the OneUps show the original games and music, and then perform their own versions. Find out about the world of game music and remixes with masters of the craft. The OneUps will perform with MC Frontalot at Videogame Night @Top of the Park on June 29 as part of The Ann Arbor Summer Festival.