Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Adanna Nedd, who is a Narrative Designer, Games Writer and Games Researcher. Read more about Adanna in this interview:
Hi Adanna, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! You’re an IGDA scholar, Narrative Designer and Games Writer, as well as a (games) researcher – that’s quite an array of different perspectives and experiences in regards to games. Could you tell us a bit more about your career journey(s) so far, as well as what your research focuses on?

Hello! I always loved writing and video games when I was younger, but my first formal step into games was through my games research in college. As a National Research Fellow, my research focused on how the purchasing practices of Players of Color are influenced by in-game cosmetics, also known as “skins.”
I surveyed over one hundred players of different online multiplayer games to learn why they purchased the “skins” that they do, specifically to determine whether they wanted their in-game selves to look more like their “real-life” selves. The results showed that although a majority of players selected their skins for aesthetic purposes, they also agreed that the games needed more diversity.

Even though I had played and researched video games, it wasn’t until the summer of my senior year in college that I started creating them. Thanks to POCinPlay, I was able to reach out to multiple game developers and games writers to receive mentorship, which led to me working with SweetBabyInc on the Playdate Console title “Recommendation Dog”. Currently, I am a part of the Narrative Team of “Spirit Swap” in addition to working on some personal projects, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Wishlist “Spirit Swap” on Steam!

When it comes to writing for games, which aspects are the most important to you to convey with your stories and characters?

The most important aspect to me in my games writing has been representation within games. For a long time, I knew that someone who looked like me would never be the default, but I never wondered why. As I continued my research and shifted into game development, I realized that I could create the characters and stories that I wanted to see. I want my characters and stories to be diverse, and I want to make things that my younger self—and people like me— would love to play.

Balancing between professional work and working on personal projects can be a difficult task. Any advice on finding the time for both while still taking care of yourself, too?

My best advice is to break down all of your tasks —work and personal project-related— and organize them based on priority before putting them into a calendar while leaving time for breaks. It’s very easy to get exhausted, and to avoid that I like to find activities that are unrelated to my work and personal projects (like painting and baking!) so I can avoid burnout.

Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts with us, Adanna!

Adanna’s Links: TwitterPortfolioProjects

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Jessica Hackenbroch