Today’s increasingly digital landscape offers us many freedoms: We can immerse ourselves in previously inaccessible worlds through VR and video games and find love, friendship and community, across the globe. But this brave new world also presents challenges that we are only just beginning to grapple with. Join Mxiety (Streamer & Mental Health Advocate), D_Gurl (Streamer, Break the Game protagonist) and a representative from Take This who will offer an intersectional look at some of the most pressing issues at the heart of the modern digital ecosystem, including navigating the imbalanced power dynamics of parasocial relationships, dealing with online harassment and cyberbullying, and finding accessible mental health support specifically tailored to denizens of the virtual world. With guest moderator Liz Ryerson (Writer, Pocaster & Game Designer).
Liz Ryerson is a writer, composer, podcaster, and designer currently based in Brooklyn. Her artistic and curation work often explores the strange and ephemeral. As a critic, she is an outspoken advocate for niche games and culture on the margins. Her writing about games has appeared in publications like Vice, The New Inquiry, and Jacobin. She also currently co-hosts the Experimental Game Workshop at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and occasionally teaches game design at NYU.
Marie Shanley is a public speaker, advocate, and consultant on mental health in content creation. As a Twitch partner, Marie (Mxiety) hosts a live talk show where she interviews other creators on mental health topics, while sharing her personal experience living with depression, anxiety, and ADHD to encourage self-acceptance. Her writing and research have been published by To Write Love On Her Arms, The Mighty, and Take This. She’s also a regular panelist and moderator at PAX and other live events. As an ambassador for mental health non-profits and a Logitech change maker, she’s raised over $10K. In 2019 she published her book, a collection of essays titled Well That Explains It.