Talks and Public Speaking

Talking in Front of People


GDC - 2016 Everyone's Silent Enemy - Shame and Vulnerability

The games industry continues to make strides towards speaking openly and outwardly about diversity and discrimination. However true that might be, battling with the inner dialogue and introspection is rarely, if ever, talked about. Depending on how that very dialogue concludes, it can be very difficult to create and tell your stories; It can even result in complete silence. How do we take our tendency towards silence and turn it into a story that can reach and touch others feeling alone? Renee Nejo talks about bridging the severed gap of human connection that our shame creates, specifcially centered around a Native American Narrative and the game Blood Quantum.


The feeling of being alone in your cause or struggle is a fallacy. Human connection is achieved through vulnerability and empathy, which results in safer places to discuss identity, more diversity in stories and creativity, and the healing of severed connection caused by perpetuating an "us/them" dichotomy.

Intended Audience

There are no prerequisites as this topic is part of the human condition. Anyone interested in games' impact on society or games as creative expressions may find that this addresses the struggle to overcome shame through creation.

IGDA Leadership Summit

In a deeply personal talk, artist and game developer Renee Nejo questioned why telling stories has become something that takes place in safe spaces rather than being used to attempt to bridge gaps in knowledge and experiences.
— Flip the Media, Samantha Hautea
Renee Nejo, spoke to the specific empathy they hope to tap into via video games. Nejo’s producing credits include the story-driven Ever, Jane and the space-puzzler Gravity Ghost. Her new game, Blood Quantum, is based on the issues surrounding United States’ blood quantum laws.
— Sam Machkovech, Ars Tecnicha