Pax East 2019

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In March, I will be traveling to Boston for PAX East 2019. I am lucky enough to be on six panels this year ranging from moral panic to the nostaliga of video games. If you are going to be traveling East for PAX this year, here is where you will be able to find me:

Thursday, March 28th at 5:00 PM, The Psychology of the Final Fantasy Series (Albatross Theatre)

Anyone that has played final fantasy understands that the plots are full of twists and turns. The complex characters, gut-wrenching narrative, and the personal struggle of the characters make it a game to relate to. This panel will focus on unpacking these concepts and why this series continues to draw so many people to playing it ‘s immersive experiences. Topics include mental health representation, theoretical concepts, and why we love this game so much.

Panelists include: Dr. Anthony Bean [Executive Director/Clinical Psychologist, The Telos Project], Dr. Rachel Kowert [Research Psychologist, KITSUNE ANALYTICS], Dr. Shane Tilton [Assistant Professor, Ohio Northern University], Dr. Stephen Daniel [Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University], Dr. Steph Orme [Adjunct Professor , Emerson College]

Friday, March 29th at 10:30 AM, Moral Panic Begone: Real Talk About Raising Gamer Kids (Arachnid Theatre)

Video games have gotten a bad reputation over the years, especially among parents. But as our kids get older and the tech becomes more sophisticated, a lot of parents are afraid of losing their children to games altogether. But just as our parents didn’t lose us to video games (or television or the Em-Tee-Vee), we’re not losing our kids, either. Join us for a discussion about kids, video games, moral panics, and why Fortnite won’t melt your kid’s brain.

Panelists include: Amanda Farough [Editor-in-Chief, SuperParent], Michael Futter [Contributing Editor, SuperParent], Stephen Duetzmann [Founder, Engaged Family Gaming], Dr. Rachel Kowert [Chief Science Officer, Kitsuni Analytics], Stephanie Tinsley [Founder, Tinsley PR], Karlyn Meyer [President, Chicago Nerd Social Club]

Friday, March 29th at 6:00PM, Games for Good: How Games Make us Better (Arachnid Theatre)

Over the last decade, using games as a form of therapeutic intervention has been growing in popularity. This panel will explore the ways in which (digital and non-digital) games are being used as tools for education, skill building, negative symptom reduction, and other facets of personal growth and psychological and emotional development.

Panelists include: @DrKowert [Chief Scientific Officer, Kitsune Analytics], @SparksforSharks [Co-founder, Games to Grow], @DrRKelly [Co-founder, G33KS Like Us], @TheeDoctorB [Clinical Director, Take This], @StackUpDotOrg ‏ [Director of Suicide Prevention, Stack UP], @VideoGameDoc [Founder, TELOS Project]

Saturday, March, 30th at 1:30 PM, Remaking or Reinventing Games? The Science behind Nostalgia (Condor Theatre)

We hear the term “nostalgia” and “remakes” quite a bit in gaming and the entertainment industry. However, why are we so attached to the psychology of past positive emotions? And why do remakes tend to violate our expectations of those previous memories. Our panel and panelists will discuss the importance of nostalgia, how it can be used negatively and positively, and how we can use nostalgia and push games forward.

Panelists include: @FusRoDoc [Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University], @VideoGameDoc [Executive Director, The Telos Project], @XsarahdactylX [Co-Owner/Lead Clinician, Save Point Behavioral Health], @silnan [Assistant Professor, Ohio Northern University], @DrRKelly [Clinical Psychologist, Southeastern Psych], @drkowert [Chief Scientific Officer, Kitsune Analytics]

Saturday, March, 30th at 5:30 PM, So You Want To Use Gaming in Your Career (Somehow) (Bumblebee Theatre)

This panel focuses on the audience members and how they want to succeed in life using Video Games! All of the panelists use video games in some form to help make their lives better and are certified geeks! From Clinical Psychologists, to board game experts, to Authors in the area, this panel is for anyone who wants to use gaming in their lives to further their careers. Don’t take no for an answer when people say it can’t be done! We can prove it can and await your questions!

Panelists include: Dr. Anthony Bean [Executive Director/Clinical Psychologist, The Telos Project], Dr. Sarah Hays [Director of Human Factors, Recovree], Dr. Ryan Kelly [Clinical Psychologist, G33ks Like Us], Adam Davis [Executive Director, Game to Grow], Dr. Rachel Kowert [Research Psychologist, KITSUNE ANALYTICS], Dr. Kelli Dunlap [Director of Mental Health Research and Design, IThrive Games]

Sunday, March 31st at 12:30PM, Why Parasocial Relationships in Gaming Feel so Real (Bobcat Theatre)

Why do we feel so much joy when a protagonist succeeds in accomplishing their goal? Why are we so upset when an NPC dies in the narrative of a game? While these characters aren’t real people, we cannot help but be emotionally attached to them. These feelings and conversations with our on-screen counterparts are called parasocial relationships. This panel and the panelists will discuss what “parasocial” means and how incredibly important they are to gamers and game developers alike.

Panelists include: @ferchauda [Assistant Professor, Florida State University], @FusRoDoc [Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University], @stephanieorme [Lecturer, Suffolk University], @GregPerreault [Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University], @drkowert [Chief Scientific Officer, Kitsune Analytics]