Posted November 19, 2020

Digital Media students Terra Gasque and Kevin Tang, alongside Dr. Janet Murray and Dr. Brad Rittenhouse, won the Best Paper award at the 2020 International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) on their paper “Gated Story Structure and Dramatic Agency in Sam Barlow’s Telling Lies”. The paper was awarded on November 6th.

Like most 2020 conferences, ICIDS was held virtually this year. Even though they were not able to attend in person, Gasque and Tang’s enthusiasm for their work and achievement pervades both their presentation and reflection on the award.

“I’m still absolutely thrilled to have won an award for the paper,” Kevin said. “It basically started as one of those: ‘Hey this game is really cool. Want to look at it deeper?’ moments and to have it blossom into a full paper was really fun. Terra, Brad and Janet are all amazing at their work and I’m honored to have been able to work and learn with them.” Gasque shared similar sentiments, adding that the research presented has become increasingly significant in her academic research, pulling together seemingly disparate ideas.

For Gasque, the award rides on a wave of significant firsts. “[This is] my first conference and first publication both as a Ph.D. and coming out as a trans woman,” she notes. “I remember writing it as I was dealing with gender questioning and the bag of worms that brings about. So there are a lot of emotions wrapped in the paper that felt great to culminate in an (highly unexpected) award.”

You can watch their ICIDS presentation here.