TIFF Nexus Difference Engine

Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure received a mention off the top of this Torontoist article about the Difference Engine, which is a component of TIFF Nexus. Nexus is the umbrella name for all the stuff the Toronto International Film Festival does that’s not pure film. The Difference Engine is an initiative headed up by Jim Munroe (of Everybody Dies fame) and Mare Sheppard (part of the Metanet team behind the ninja game N+). The idea was this:

  1. Ain’t no ladies in the games industry.
  2. If there were, i wonder what kinds of games they’d make?
  3. Let’s find out.

Mare is a lady, so her involvement is understandable. Jim Munroe, however, is definitely NOT a lady, as evidenced by the following diagram:

Jim M

Nothing escapes the probing journalistic eye of Untold Entertainment.

Jim is involved because of his work on the Artsy Games Incubator, a somewhat similar concept, where he led a group of non-programmers on an odyssey of game creation. One of the interesting things i learned when talking to Jim and crew about the Difference Engine: Ladies Edition is that it’s important to have only ladies in the room, because men – even only one man (see above) – can skew the dynamic in the room and tilt the power balance. Weird, huh?

EVEN WEIRDER is this photo from the article, where we can clearly see Jim, who is a man, in the room with the ladies. What i love about this photo is that the unshaven man-legs on the right likely belong to Jim, it actually looks he’s poking his head through that little cubby hole at the other end of the room, spying on the proceedings (perhaps because someone put a “GIRLZ ONLY” sign on the door?).

Jim M

i’m in ur Nexus, creepin’ ur ladygames

The other TIFF Nexus events this year include the Peripherals Intiative, which pairs game developers up with hardware hackers, and another mash-up involving “sequential artists”, as comic book folks sometimes call themselves just to make me giggle. Nexus kicked off last night at a swanky TIFF Bell Lightbox rooftop party in the midst of the film festival. Untold Entertainment was there. The tiny yorkshire pudding appetizers were to die for.

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