Apple II & feminism at PAX East 2014

March 17th, 2014 1:00 PM
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Two years ago today, I was at GameFest, the opening weekend of The Art of Video Games, an art exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It was the performance of chiptune artists 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer that drew me there, but I went home with connections to the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers.

A year later, that connection landed me on stage at Boston's PAX East gaming convention, moderating a panel on the best video games of the year. Having developed my moderation skills at KansasFest, I found PAX an exciting and encouraging venue in which to continue hosting discussions on some of my favorite hobbies.

Emboldened, I sought to return the PAX stage in 2014 with a panel of more critical social value. Inspired by the work of Anita Sarkeesian, whose work I discovered upon backing her Kickstarter, I started brainstorming with Juiced.GS associate editor Andy Molloy as far back as June 27 and finally submitted my proposal last month. With the official schedule for PAX East having been announced last week, I'm pleased to announce that my proposal has been accepted, and I will be moderating the panel "Sex, Sexy & Sexism: Fixing Gender Inequality in Gaming".

The Apple II connection? Not only would this panel never have developed without chiptune artists, Juiced.GS editors, and KansasFest sessions — I was also able to feature the Apple II itself at ten seconds into the above trailer.

The Apple II — it makes all things possible!

8 Bit Weapon at the Smithsonian

March 15th, 2012 9:04 AM
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Tomorrow marks the commencement of GameFest, a three-day festival celebrating the opening of a new Smithsonian exhibition: The Art of Video Games. A year ago at this time, the public was invited to vote on what games should be featured in this exhibit. Now, in 2012, we will enjoy these games receiving the recognition they deserve.

What most excites me about GameFest is the prominent role it grants one of the Apple II community's best friends: chiptune music group 8 Bit Weapon. This group, whose work has been featured in Juiced.GS and who has collaborated with the immensely talented Michael J Mahon, will be performing live this weekend. Many of their tunes will come from the new album Bits with Byte, for which the tune "The Art of Video Games Anthem" was composed.

The album includes the song "Apple Core II", performed entirely with Apple II computers.

If you're in the Washington, DC, area, come down to the Smithsonian to check out these awesome exhibits and performers. And if you're not, purchase an 8 Bit Weapon album — and support those who support the Apple II!