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Humans of Gaming 127 | Toiya Kristen Finley on Narrative Design and Gaming’s #metoo Moment


About This Episode

Toiya Kristen Finley guests this week to talk about her passion for fiction writing and good narrative design. The demise of Telltale games and the warning signs both to the gamer and the industry insider started to show several years before its sudden closure. Both aspects are discussed along with how developer Dontnod (Life is Strange, Remember Me, Vampyr) took the formula and evolved it to be present in all aspects of the production including UI design, environment, and character interactions. Drew and Toiya also have a Nashville, TN bonding moment as they discuss the explosive growth of the city which leads to the part of the show were we talk about Dr. Finley’s formative years.

Toiya grew up as a “United Catholic-ist” with a mother who was Methodist and a Catholic father. Once her father left for Florida, bother Toiya and her mother gravitated toward the more charismatic side of the faith and went through the messy situation of a church that split twice. Currently in a small house church of about 13 people of different ages and races, the experience has taught her the importance of having conversations that are civil and productive even when they don’t agree with each other.

Other topics touched on are the propensity of minorities to expect certain behaviors amongst their own demographic and the cultural tension that she experienced by not conforming to a certain writing style thought befitting of a black woman. Wrapping up, the discussion touches on the #metoo movement and how situations like Riot Games (League of Legends) and other studios have toxic cultures toward women that have been exposed and how their reaction will shape the culture of the development side of the industry in the years to come.

Humans of Gaming 127 Resources & Links

Toiya Kristen Finley / Twitter

Schnoodle Media, LLC – Official Site

Narrative Tactics for Mobile and Social Games: Pocket-Sized Storytelling 

The Game Narrative Toolbox

Theme music by Jay Tholen

Other Podcasts in the LTN Network

Free Play
The Pull List



Episode Hosts

Chris Gwaltney
Chris is the Chief Executive Nerd of LTN and co-host of Humans of Gaming. He loves his wife and games. He lives in Ventura, California with his wife and his games.
Drew Dixon
Drew is the Chief Content Nerd for Love Thy Nerd and the co-host of Humans of Gaming. He is also the editor of Explore the Bible: Students and co-hosts the weekly CaPC Digest podcast for Christ and Pop Culture. Drew has written for Paste Magazine, Relevant Magazine, Christianity Today, WORLD Magazine, and Think Christian. He lives in the Nashville, TN area with his wife and their three children.

Episode Producer

Jonathan Clauson
Chief Audio Nerd
Starting with Clear Channel Radio in the 90's, Jonathan has worked in audio and marketing for 20 years. Credits include stints at EA Tiburon, Christianity Today, Christ and Pop Culture, and freelancing as voice talent for audio books and podcast production services.

Episode Discussion

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