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IndieCade and Games For Our Future thank all of the wonderful mentors who gave their time to make these videos and provide inspiration to our jammers for the 2020 Climate Jam.


KEYNOTE: Dr. Elizabeth LaPensée

Resonation of Reciprocity in the Post-Apocalypse: An Indigenous Lens for Climate Games

For those who have experienced colonial devastation, the apocalypse has already happened. How, then, can we look to those who came before us to help inform our actions right now with hope for the future? Indigenous ways of knowing, such as teachings of balance, traditional ecological knowledge, and food sovereignty, offer insights into how to address climate change.  Collectively, they provide design inspiration for climate games that face the current crisis with solutions.



Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. is an award-winning designer, writer, artist, and researcher who creates and studies Indigenous-led media such as games and comics. She is Anishinaabe with family from Bay Mills, Métis, and Irish. She is an Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. Most recently, she designed When Rivers Were Trails (2019), a 2D adventure game following a displaced Anishinaabe during allotment in the 1890’s, which won the Adaptation Award at IndieCade 2019. She also designed and created art for Thunderbird Strike (2017), a lightning-searing side-scroller game which won Best Digital Media at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival 2017.

Graham Zimmerman

Alpinist, filmmaker, and climate activist Graham Zimmerman talks about how to tell stories and become an advocate.


Graham Is An Award-Winning Professional Climber, A Well-Recognized Creative And A Vocal Climate Activist.

He works as a producer and the director of development with Bedrock Film Works through which he his able to utilize his extensive logistics, rigging, marketing and media expertise while maintaining his role as an athlete in the outdoor industry.

As an activist and advocate for climate he works as the lead of the Protect Out Winters CLIMB team

Dr. Elif Sürer

In this talk, the aims and the use cases of serious / transformational game research are briefly introduced. Also, a set of serious games and a scenario-based game generator in training, design, virtual reality and mixed reality environments are exemplified.



Elif Sürer received her Ph.D in Bioengineering in 2011 from the University of Bologna. She received her M.S. and B.S. degrees in Computer Engineering from Boğaziçi University in 2007 and 2005, respectively. From 2013 to 2015 she worked as a post-doctoral researcher in University of Milan in the EU Project REWIRE where she developed video games for the rehabilitation of stroke and Neglect patients. She joined METU Graduate School of Informatics’s Modelling and Simulation Department in 2015 and worked on the training of children having Down Syndrome using video games, which was fully supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). She is currently working as an Assistant Professor at the METU Graduate School of Informatics’ Multimedia Informatics program. She is funded by the H2020 project eNOTICE as METU local coordinator as of September 2017 and also collaborates as a researcher in several interdisciplinary national and EU-funded projects. She is also a mentor at METU Design Factory and bang. Art Innovation Prix. Her research interests are serious games, virtual/mixed reality, human and canine movement analysis and reinforcement learning.


Dr. Alenda Chang

At first glance, games may seem especially out-of-sync with the pressing environmental issues of our time. However, games offer exciting opportunities to represent and respond to these complex ecological problems, for instance, by fostering better understanding of human impacts on natural processes and systems and building emotional connections to the nonhuman world.



Alenda Y. Chang is an Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), whose research and teaching encompass environmental media, game studies, science and technology studies, and sound studies. Her first book, Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games, develops environmentally informed frameworks for understanding and designing digital games (University of Minnesota Press, December 2019). Chang co-directs Wireframe, a UCSB studio that promotes collaborative theoretical and creative media practice with investments in global social and environmental justice. She is also the founding co-editor of a new UC Press open-access journal, Media+Environment (


Crispin Freeman

Voice Actor Crispin Freeman shares his love for trees.


“My professional voice acting career started in 1997 when I was working as a theatrical actor in New York City.

I now live in Los Angeles where I voice act in animation, video games, Japanese animation, commercials and trailers.

You can view my IMDB resume to see a list of my credits.

I also have a blog and podcast called Voice Acting Mastery where I share my experience and expertise with those who would like to pursue voice acting themselves.

If you’re interested in taking voice acting classes with me, please visit the Voice Acting Mastery Classes Page.

I also have a website called Mythology and Meaning where I use my scholarship of mythology to explore the storytelling blueprint behind Film, Animation and Games.

If you’re curious about my Mythology and Meaning presentations, please sign up for my Mythology and Meaning Mailing List.”

Dr. Edmond Chang

This presentation thinks about the intersection of queergaming, game design, and the environment. In this case, queergaming is about more than just identities and representation; it is about the ways games can challenge norms, assumptions, and stereotypes about “nature,” how nature is gendered, raced, and desired, and about environmental spaces and who gets to use and be in them.



Dr. Edmond Y. Chang is an Assistant Professor of English at Ohio University. His areas of research include technoculture, race/gender/sexuality, video games, RPGs, and LARP, feminist media studies, cultural studies, popular culture, and 20/21C American literature. He earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of Washington.  He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on queer American literature, speculative literature of color, virtual worlds, games, and writing. Recent publications include “Drawing the Oankali: Imagining Race, Gender, and the Posthuman in Octavia Butler’s Dawn” in Approaches to Teaching the Works of Octavia E. Butler, “Playing as Making” in Disrupting Digital Humanities, and “Queergaming” in Queer Game Studies.  He is completing his first book on algorithmic queerness and digital games tentatively entitled Queerness Cannot Be Designed.


Dr. Jennifer Atkinson

This talk by Dr. Jennifer Atkinson, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington, explores the emotional and mental health toll of our climate crisis and shares strategies for building the resilience to stay engaged. With “eco-anxiety” and “climate trauma” on the rise, Atkinson explores how grief may actually be an ally in leading us toward meaningful climate solutions and lasting environmental justice in the years to come.

This lecture was co-sponsored by the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture and the environmental magazine Grist.


In the pilot episode of Facing It, Dr. Jennifer Atkinson explores the rise of eco-grief and anxiety in our age of climate crisis. This unspoken emotional burden has left many unable to fully process – let alone respond to – our growing climate emergency. Overcoming that paralysis is the first step in moving us to action. While this isn’t the kind of prescription we hear in political discussions or scientific recommendations, those conventional approaches have failed for decades, because they don’t address our crisis at the most basic human level.


Dr. Jennifer Atkinson is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington, Bothell, where she teaches environmental humanities, ethics, and literature. Her seminar on “Climate Grief and Eco Anxietywas one of the first college courses of its kind in the U.S., and has been featured in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, NBC News, The Seattle Times, Grist, and dozens of other outlets. She is currently developing a podcast titled Facing It, which helps listeners confront climate despair and stay engaged in solutions without becoming overwhelmed.


Dr. Dargan Frierson

Climate scientist Dargan Frierson shares a song about Albedo that “reflects” on its importance for the climate. Contact Dargan over on the IndieCade Discord for questions about climate science, impacts and solutions! 


Dargan Frierson is an atmospheric scientist who studies how climate change can alter big, climatic features, like storm tracks, tropical rain bands, or deserts. He uses different types of models to investigate these features’ fundamental dynamics. His investigations are not all theoretical, though: he has also shown that condensation on a soda or beer can is not necessarily the sign of cool refreshment that you might think it is. At the University of Washington, Frierson has been recognized multiple times for his teaching excellence, and he has also received a National Science Foundation CAREER Faculty Early Career Development Award, one of NSF’s most prestigious awards for young faculty.

Sara Jo Breslow

Sara will be on the IndieCade Discord as a resource during the jam!


Sara Jo Breslow is an environmental anthropologist broadly interested in the interdependencies of sustainability and social justice. She serves as the Social Science Lead at EarthLab at the University of Washington where she catalyzes collaborative environmental problem-solving using transdisciplinary, participatory, and arts-based approaches. In her own research, Sara uses ethnographic and mixed methods to study senses of place, environmental conflict, and human well-being with a focus on the Salish Sea region. As a leader and member of various working groups and advisory committees, she translates social science insights into tools for decision-making at local to global scales, including at the Puget Sound Partnership, the Western Governors’ Association, NOAA Fisheries, and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Sara holds a BA in biology from Swarthmore College and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Washington.

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