Wordplay Games Mentorship Program 2022

Participants in this year’s WordPlay Game Writing Mentorship Program have been selected, with a number of writers from various disciplines making up the 2022 cohort.

These eight entrants were selected from an incredibly diverse and competitive input pool of talented writers from across Victoria.

The Wordplay 2022 cohort will gain insights from a number of gaming media industry veterans – including journalists, academics, developers and curators – as they work to develop gaming-inspired writing , the people and events that make up Melbourne International Games Week.

Mentors for Wordplay 2022 include Alice Clarke, A/Prof. Dan Golding, Rae Johnston, Brendan Keogh, Jini Maxwell, James O’Connor, Edmond Tran and Leah Williams.

Play on words is provided by GamesHub, Melbourne International Games Week and Creative Victoria.

Melbourne International Games Week returns to Melbourne from October 1 to 9, 2022.


Participants of Wordplay 2022

James Beta

James Beta is an emerging queer writer who aspires to work in Australia’s burgeoning games industry. He grew up alongside the video game industry, on the long road to King’s Quest and Wolfenstein 3D at Skyrim and Fate.

He is passionate about the potential of games to tell meaningful stories and deliver transformative experiences around the world. James also writes memoirs and speculative fiction.

It was published in The Victorian Writer, The memoirist and The Writing Cooperative, and got third place in the 2019 competition Exceptional national LGBTIQA+ news contest for its story Not to be.


Emily Collings

Emily Collings is an aspiring writer who is currently in her first year of studying professional writing and editing. Emily is passionate about telling stories through a variety of different mediums, such as writing, games, and even tabletop RPGs.

They are interested and excited about the growth of diversity and inclusion in gaming spaces and are excited to see where the industry is growing. She was also involved in game development in high school, having studied IDMT in grades 11 and 12.


Percy Harris

Percy Harris is a game developer who makes short 2D games that often deal with connection. Before the games, his main creative activity was digital art.

Hey began to develop a love of writing through his artistic practice, and now that he’s spent more time there, he’s learned to enjoy both writing for and about games. Percy can’t wait to see where he can take her next.

Outside of writing and art, Percy spends a lot of time working on his Picross skills.


Wordplay Mentorship Program 2022

Samuel Harris

Samuel Harris is a film and television critic. He is also a PhD candidate in media at RMIT University, where he studies intermediality in film, video games and digital media. He wrote for The big problem and Moviesand is co-founder of the youth film publication, Coarse cut.

Movie buff by day and gaming enthusiast by night – Samuel balances his healthy affection for Letterboxd with his unhealthy affliction for PlayStation trophy hunting.


Liam Hopwood

Liam Hopwood is an aspiring game writer, currently studying for a creative writing major at the University of Melbourne. They started playing video games at a young age and enjoy a wide range of genres from grand strategy to role-playing games.

Liam has a deep interest in game development and gaming culture, as well as broader pop culture including movies, shows, comics and books, with a particular love for Star Wars.

They hope to use their writing skills to create the kind of experiences of games and worlds that have captivated them since childhood.


Wordplay Mentorship Program 2022

Josefina Huq

Josefina Huq is a creative writer and PhD student based in Naarm/Melbourne. She is interested in crafting short stories about place, home, memory and nostalgia – and anything that might upset you. His research attempts to substantiate this as a good thing.

She is currently a Fellow of the non/fictionLab research center at RMIT University and her work has been published by various small Australian publishers.


Wordplay Mentorship Program 2022

David Parker

David Parkin is the Managing Director of Luggarrah and the first game development intern at VicScreen, holding roles at League of Geeks, Samurai Punk and VicScreen. He has worked in the video game industry for four years. David has developed his own business which connects young people from various parts of the region with game developers, visual effects artists and other technology practitioners.

David has extensive panel experience and was a judge at the New Zealand Games Festival, as well as a member of the IGEA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and International Games Week Steering Committee. Creative Victoria in Melbourne.

David and his daughter Beverly have lectured at ACMI X and Sledgehammer Games.


Dasha Tan

Dasha (they) is an artist and farmer, with a background in theatre, fashion design and languages. On a practical level, they are interested in narrative comedy writing, dance theatre, journalism, heavy metal vocalization/poetry and spaces to develop ecological thinking, as well as seductive humor weird folk horror memes/apps and fashion//90s queer-woman sportswear.

In 2022, they were nominated for a Green Room Dance Award for Best Ensemble (Odd Hours) and performed in a seven-story parking lot with the Pony Cam Company. They are drawn to the world-building and design features of video games, and the opportunity to address issues of land sovereignty, ecological relationships, and political resistance.


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