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Interdisciplinary Practice

Transdisciplinary Practice is a collection of video conversations with stakeholders and experts in the areas of non-fiction storytelling, social justice activism, and game creation. This is the work of Susana Ruiz, Ph.D. Play Design, Digital Storytelling, Art Practice, Media Activism & Pedagogy.

Are you a game creator, documentarian, community organizer or social practice artist? Are you interested in participating in this ongoing, transdisciplinary, and pedagogical archive of video discussions?

“Game playing gives you that abundant spiritual permission to fail and to be a human being.”
— Brent Blair

Brent Blair on how learning to cope with difficulty, take risks, and fail without beating yourself up are essential tools in the struggle for freedom. Blair is associate professor of theatre practice at the USC School of Dramatic Arts and founding director of the Center for Theatre of the Oppressed in Los Angeles, based on Augusto Boal’s teachings.

Jenova Chen on the "activist mindset" and making games. Chen is a video game creator, game media evangelist, founder of thatgamecompany, and co-founder of Annapurna Interactive.

This collection of videos consists of an ongoing series of conversations with stakeholders and experts in the three areas of non-fiction storytelling, social justice activism, and game design. The series argues for an intersectional practice and illuminates productive overlaps and tensions between the three areas from a theoretical as well as a practice-based perspective.

Liz Ryan Murray on breaking the "be nice" rule and direct action games. Murray is an advocate of fair and equal access to housing, Project Director for CarsonWatch, and former Policy Director at the community organizing networks of People’s Action and National People’s Action.

Michael Renov on the “ethical dimension” and what documentary can contribute to games. Renov is professor of Critical Studies and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Southern California and the author and editor of several books, including Hollywood's Wartime Woman: Representation and Ideology , The Subject of Documentary, and Theorizing Documentary.

During the course of these conversations, each stakeholder talks broadly and deeply about their own one area of expertise. They are also asked to consider potential interconnections with the other two disciplines. For example, a documentary filmmaker may be asked to speculate about how their work becomes a game played in the streets, or a grassroots organizer to imagine how the tactics they typically employ might translate into an online game. This, in the hopes of forging a broader, more creative and more sustainable base of transformative multidiciplinary expertise and more direct and early participation by stakeholders in a particular social issue.

Peter Brinson on labeling a game "documentary." Brinson is a game developer, filmmaker, and educator who explores the narrative possibilities found in documentary play.