merritt k

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merritt k
Born Ontario, Canada [1]
Other names Merritt Kopas
Occupation Game designer, Author

merritt k,[2] formerly Merritt Kopas, is a Canadian video game designer and developer, as well as an author and a zine creator.

k is best known for her games LIM, HUGPUNX as well as Consensual Torture Simulator. She said that the theme of her games is "the capacity of digital games to convey care relationships; either to provide a sense of care to the player or to invest her in the project of caring for another."[3] She is also the author of Internet fiction and zines such as Dear Pauline and These Were Free On My Blog.[4][5][5]

k is the editor of the Twine game print anthology Videogames for Humans and co-author of the poetry collection Total Mood Killer and the comics-poetry hybrid text Internet Murder Revenge Fantasy.

Career[edit]

k was raised on games and the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. In 2012, she was inspired by games made with the interactive fiction tool Twine, and has made several games with the software since.[6][7] LIM was released for free on the internet and is about trying to meet society's expectations.[8] Her book, Videogames for Humans, was described by VICE Motherboard as "a 'historical document' that not only features games, but also the experiences of play that specific people have had with a game itself."[9][10][11]

k greatly credits Anna Anthropy and her publication of Rise of the Videogame Zinesters in 2012 as having a great influence on the indie gaming scene.[6] Her game (ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You has been described as "an example of games as caregiving".[12]

On her personal website, k has published such games as Minkomora, Obeissance, and Take Care – the last one described as a game in which the player reaches through the ether to offer comfort to a distressed person.[4] Some of her smaller pieces, such a Texture Piece-style game called Super Consent, deal with the complexities of issues like consent and why and how they should be dealt with in culture.

In September 2016, the NYU Game Center announced k as their first-ever artist in residence[13].

Games[edit]

  • TERF War – July 2012[14]
  • LIM – August 2012[15][16]
  • Princess Queen – September 2012[17]
  • Brace – October 2012[18]
  • A Synchronous Ritual – October 2012[19]
  • Queer Pirate Plane – December 2012[20]
  • Bubblegum Slaughter – January 2013[21]
  • Octopy – March 2013[22]
  • Hugpunx – June 2013[23]
  • Consensual Torture Simulator – October 2013[24][25]
  • Take Care – October 2014[26]

(ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You[edit]

(ASMR) Vin Diesel DMing a Game of D&D Just For You was designed by k in 2015. The Twine game features American actor Vin Diesel providing a "quick game" of the fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons to help the player feel better about themself. Diesel is also a big fan of D&D.[27] The game involves pictures of the actor as well as text introducing the game to the player.[27] The autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) aspect of the game is in the gameplay rather than as audio. In 2016, Polygon's Nick Robinson on the podcast CoolGames Inc later called it "a game that actually makes her far more qualified to host this podcast than we are."[28]

Podcasts[edit]

k hosts her own podcast called Woodland Secrets, where she interviews primarily women, people of color, and queer people.[29] On June 19, 2016 she began hosting Dadfeelings, a podcast about fictional dads and the feelings associated with them. k also guest starred on the Polygon podcast CoolGames Inc. for an episode.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://woodlandsecrets.co/episode/73
  2. ^ k, merritt (April 17, 2017). "merritt k on Twitter: "my full name is merritt k. all other renditions are deprecated"". Twitter. twitter.com. Retrieved April 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ "merritt kopas". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "merritt kopas". itch.io. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "These Were Free On My Blog". itch.io. Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Lambda Literary". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "'If You Stop and Look, You Will Literally Die': An Interview with Merritt Kopas – Hazlitt". Hazlitt. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  8. ^ Zagalo, Nelson; Branco, Pedro, eds. (2015). Creativity in the Digital Age Springer Series on Cultural Computing. Springer. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-447-16681-8. 
  9. ^ Joseph, Daniel (4 May 2015). "What's a Twine Game? Let Videogames for Humans Show You". VICE Motherboard. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  10. ^ Gwaltney, Javy (29 May 2015). "Videogames For Humans edited by Merritt Kopas". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Oakley, Kate; O'Connor, Justin, eds. (2015). The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries. Routledge. p. 159. ISBN 978-1-317-53398-6. 
  12. ^ "Are any of your favorites in this awesome game curation?". boingboing.net. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Announcing Artist in Residence merritt k". Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  14. ^ "TERF War". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  15. ^ Leszkiewicz, Anna (2013-02-19). "The McDonalds sim and September 12: what does it mean for a videogame to be political?". Newstatesman.com. Retrieved 2016-08-22. 
  16. ^ "Lim". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Princess Queen". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Sugarcane". mkopas.net. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Sugarcane". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Jonah". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Jonah". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  22. ^ "OCTOPY". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  23. ^ "HUGPUNX". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Consensual Torture Simulator: Is game violence meaningful enough?". Gamasutra.com. 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2016-08-22. 
  25. ^ "Consensual Torture Simulator". Gumroad. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "TAKE CARE". mkopas.net. Retrieved 26 October 2015. [dead link]
  27. ^ a b Kuchera, Ben (May 27, 2015). "Let Vin Diesel be your Dungeon Master in this relaxing, comforting game". Polygon (website). Vox Media. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  28. ^ Robinson, Nick (March 25, 2016). "CoolGames Inc: Building an Austin Powers MMO". Polygon (website). Vox Media. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Woodland Secrets". Woodlandsecrets.co. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  30. ^ "CoolGames Inc. Episode 8: Austin Powers (feat. Merritt Kopas)". soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.