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Presenting Matthew Weise and “Where Stories Come From: How Pop-Culture Fuels Our Imaginations”

Matthew Weise will speak on “Where Stories Come From: How Pop-Culture Fuels Our Imaginations”

Why do we love the stories we love? Why are some stories more popular than others? Does Game of Thrones exist because Lord of the Rings was a hit film series, or are there deeper cultural reasons as to why we want to see dragons, magic, and fantasy races killing each other on-screen? Is it just a coincidence that zombies surged back into popularity after 9/11, after having been a “dead” genre for almost 30 years? Why does World War II in video games like Call of Duty feel so different from World War II films made in the 1950s and 60s? Is this all caused by differences in technology, quality of craft, random market forces? Or is there some other alchemy at work, some deep mysterious magic? Is this a magic we can understand? Learn to master? And if so, what do we learn about ourselves as artists, and the society that shapes us, that shapes our ideas, our stories?  Can we become better storytellers when we realize that we do not create these stories-they create us?

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Matthew Weise is a game designer and writer whose work spans industry and academia. He has been a Narrative Designer at Harmonix Music Systems on Fantasia: Music Evolved, the Game Design Director of the GAMBIT Game Lab at MIT, and a consultant for Microsoft, PBS, and others on transmedia storytelling and game design. His work, both creatively and critically, focuses on transmedia adaptation with an emphasis on the challenges of adapting cinema into video games. Matt has given lectures and workshops on film-to-game adaptation all over the world, and his published work on Aliens, James Bond, and zombie and horror cinema can be found along with the rest of his writing on his blog at His development work, including IGF finalist The Snowfield, is available at Thesis: Understanding Meaningfulness in Video Games.

133/ 141 W 21st St – Room 101c, New York, NY 10011 – View Map

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