These are the PAX Dev and PAX West panels I’m doing. Schedule and participants subject to change. 

PAXDev 2017

Fans and Devs: Where’s the Middle Ground?

August 29, Grand 1 2:30 pm

Whether we’re talking about a nostalgic favorite game, or a beloved game series, online spaces have become hostile territory where devs have to tread lightly rather than being spaces for discussion & enjoyment of games. Devs are backed into corners, asked to justify their choices. Is that necessary? Where does the line exist between listening to one’s audience & “caving” to their demands? How does one participate in productive conversations with fans so both can learn & grow?


Tanya DePass 
Link Hughes
Shana Bryant 
F. Wesley Schneider
Katherine Cross

Diversity Tools and Takeaways

August 29, Grand 1 3:45 pm

Instead of another “diversity is good” type of talk, let us give you tools to make your games and workplace more inclusive. This panel focuses on giving people who are beyond a 101 level of understanding of inclusion concrete things to take back with them to their teams, projects, and studios. We will provide a checklist to work through character design, advice on using diversity consultants for the greater good of the project, and ways to respond to criticism if you have a diversity fail.


Tanya DePass 
Chris Barney 
Shana Bryant 
Link Hughes
Mel Fox 


Yes, this is a Diversity 101 panel & yes, you still need it

Friday, 9/1 2:00 pm Hippogryph Theatre

You might know diversity and inclusion is pretty cool, but chances are someone you know doesn’t. So, we’re going to give you the 101, an easy to digest and pack up discussion on why diversity is awesome that you can take back to your friends and family who still need that extra push to get it. This will be an intro level panel, but we will be giving tips and tricks to start a conversation on this topic should you find yourself trapped in a well, actually situation.

Panelists include:


So, Does the Author’s Intent Matter in Video Games?

Friday, 9/1 4:00 pm Sphinx Theatre

The discussion continues! One hour and a room full of smart questions at PAX East weren’t enough to get to the bottom of the question: does the author’s intent matter? What happens to authorship once developers release their project into the public space? Do creators bear the responsibility of unforeseen consequences caused by their games? How have recent events changed our perspective? Join our updated panel as we discuss these questions from the respective viewpoints of critics and creators.


  • Alex Zandra Van Chestein [Gamedev Everything Person, Independent]
  • Katherine Cross [Gaming Critic, Gamasutra]
  • Samantha Kalman [Designer, System Era]
  • Vincent Caravella [Head of Video Production, Giant Bomb]
  • Tanya DePass [Director, I Need Diverse Games]

Gaming While “Other”

Friday, 9/1 6:00 pm  Sandworm Theatre

The casts of our favorite video games are getting more diverse with every release, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. While games like Overwatch, Assassin’s Creed, and Skyrim are pushing the envelope, you’re more likely to find the option to play an alien race than a slider bar that goes darker than light beige in many others. There’s also still the problem of entire franchises using the Brown=Bad trope, leaving entire demographics of gamers feeling lost. How can we fix that?

Panelists include:

  • Hadeel al-Massari 
  • Alex Abou Karam 
  • Tanya DePass 
  • Sean Finnegan 
  • JC Lau
  • Andrien Bingnie

Intellectual Engagement and Games as a Cultural Medium

Saturday, 9/2 11:00 am Sasquatch Theatre

Games have a huge impact on our culture, inspiring a generation of artists, academics, and devs to try to understand the medium’s inner workings. This exploration takes a variety of forms, from livestreamed off-the-cuff analysis to dissertations on emergent narrative. Our panel of devs, academics, and streamers will talk about all the interesting things they’ve discovered, from AI innovations to detailed breakdowns of why PUBG is so much fun.

How to Broadcast Safely as a Marginalized streamer

Saturday 9/2, 6:30 pm Hippogryph Theatre

Broadcasting games, creative work, cosplay, tabletop games, and other hobbies can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass @cypheroftyr
  • Adam Koebel @SkinnyGhost
  • Nikki-Colette Manzie @VictoryOfThePpl
  • SimplyUndrea @SimplyUndrea
  • Brandon Stennis @UGRGaming
  • Khalief Adams @Kahjahkins

Hustle and Flow: Real talk on Making it

Sunday 9/3 6:30 PM 

It’s easy to see people where you want to be, but we don’t talk about how they had to hustle, grind and work to get “there”, Lots of people are marked as ‘overnight successes’ when there is no such thing. Let’s have some real talk on what you don’t see beyond the name and fame; especially about what some people think success looks like versus what it is

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass @cypheroftyr
  • Shana Byrant  @mushrooqueendom
  • Kaitlyn Tremblay  @kait_zilla
  • Zoe Quinn @Unburntwitch
  • Brandon Stennis  @UGRGaming
  • Kahlief Adams @Kahjahkins