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Emperatriz Ung

Emperatriz Ung is a Chinese-Colombian game designer & writer from the American Southwest. She is particularly interested in narrative design for games. In May 2019 she will graduate with her MFA in game design from New York University. Her creative work predominantly explores personal struggles with mental health, teen motherhood, and generational trauma. She earned her BA in English from the University of New Mexico, and her MA in English Literature from Georgetown University, where she was a fellow at the Lannan Center for Poetics & Social Justice and won a University & College Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Projects By Emperatriz Ung

Yumi’s Home

Operation Kanshi

Why are you studying games?
I believe games offer people the opportunity to see another’s perspective, and engage with diverse cultures and identities.
Describe your most embarrassing playtesting moment.
For Game Design 1 my group had a public intervention assignment where we had players bouncing a large yoga ball off of the alligator sculpture at MetroTech Commons. A police officer came by and stopped our playtest... twice. Apparently there is no ball throwing allowed in the courtyard!
How has the Game Center changed your thinking about games?
My MFA cohort has been incredible. They encourage me to be myself. Being at the Game Center has shown me the challenges and rewards of teamwork. I appreciate the hard work that goes into making games (digital, tabletop, anything in between).
What do you hope to accomplish after school?
I hope to work in narrative design, keep writing poetry, and maybe get to work on a novel!
What's the last great game you played and what's great about it?
For digital: A tie between Night in the Woods and Kentucky Route Zero! Both are beautiful. I really enjoy the narrative and character development in those games. For non-digital: The narrative card game Gloom. You and your friends inflict horrible tragedies on the characters. The storytelling aspect of the game is good fun.
What's your favorite New York City spot?
Brooklyn Heights Promenade.