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Gaming Misconceptions and Musings with Glass Artist Momoko Schafer
Episode 824th November 2020 • Pixel Therapy Pod • Pixel Therapy Pod
00:00:00 01:25:37

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This week, we're joined by molten glass sculptor and artist Momoko Schafer (she/her)! Momo starred in season 1 of Netflix's glassblowing competition show Blown Away, and also founded Self Love Social Club, a QTBIPOC-led platform for your healing journey!

This is definitely Momo's first video game podcast, and we're stoked to have her. We talk about gaming culture through the lens (lol, glass, get it?) of an artist, the growing popularity of Twitch and possibilities in the medium of streaming, mobile gaming, gaming as pop culture, and so much more!

Meanwhile, your co-hosts can't wait to tell you about our sparkling new PATREON! We're psyched to build community with you and hope you'll join us. We also read our first LISTENER EMAIL!?!? Also, BUGSNAX. Omg, this is a can't-miss episode.

Find Momo Schafer on IG: https://www.instagram.com/glassymomo/

Donate to the Fundraiser for Black Mental Health: https://ioby.org/project/easy-activism-fundraising-black-mental-health

About Pixel Therapy

New episodes drop every other Tuesday. Learn more at pixeltherapypod.com or follow us on social media @pixeltherapypod. If you like what you hear, please take a moment to rate us, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts (or your listening app of choice) & subscribe! Want more? Join our little community over on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/pixeltherapypod

Transcripts

Momo:

This is a really unique place that I'm in right now on a

Momo:

video game podcast. Even telling my friends and family, they're

Momo:

like "You? Why you?? But video games, it's huge. It's

Momo:

everywhere. Games are important because that's just part of

Momo:

human life. We grow-even when we go to school and play recess,

Momo:

like we're playing, playing and interacting and playing out

Momo:

different roles, different boundaries, different rules,

Momo:

different goals, like all of that's super important. [music

Momo:

break]

Jamie:

Welcome to Pixel Therapy, the video game podcast where we

Jamie:

look at the games we play through the lens of the player,

Jamie:

where what you play is just as important as how you play it,

Jamie:

and where emotional intelligence is a critical stat. Every other

Jamie:

week, we bring on a guest who may or may not consider

Jamie:

themselves a gamer to discuss one of the games that made them

Jamie:

and changed them, and all the feelings they have about our

Jamie:

favorite pastime. I'm your co-host, Jamie, pronouns

Jamie:

she/her,

Spencer:

And I'm your co-host, Spencer, pronouns they/them.

Jamie:

And this is Pixel Therapy. So pull up an armchair,

Jamie:

feel free to lie down on the couch, and let's talk about our

Jamie:

feelings. Spencer, today, we need to start with some

Jamie:

housekeeping.

Spencer:

First, okay-when you say housekeeping? The first

Spencer:

thing I think of is Dusa, from Hades with her feather duster?

Jamie:

Yes, yeah. So just imagine I'm Dusa. And the

Jamie:

feather duster is all of the shit we need to say to our

Jamie:

audience. So first, we want to start with a big thank you to

Jamie:

everyone who came through on our request to share a pic of you

Jamie:

listening to the podcast and tagging us on social media. Oh

Jamie:

my gosh, it was so nice to see everyone doing that. And just

Jamie:

really great to like, actually get to see some of the people

Jamie:

who are listening to us, you know. We just talk into these

Jamie:

microphones, and it goes out into the interwebs.

Spencer:

So lonely.

Jamie:

And it was [laughs] it is a little lonely. So it was

Jamie:

really nice to see people responding to that and actually

Jamie:

get to see some of our audience. Thank you so much for doing it

Jamie:

to those of you who did, and we'd love to continue to see it.

Jamie:

So yeah, if you're listening to the podcast, you want to send us

Jamie:

a screenshot and say hi, we would love to say hi back and it

Jamie:

just helps us see our community and continue to build community,

Jamie:

which is one of the main reasons we started this podcast. Second,

Jamie:

we've been saying y'all could email us since day one. And

Jamie:

we're so excited to share that someone took us up on that

Jamie:

offer, and sent us this awesome email that Spencer is going to

Jamie:

read to you right now. Spencer, do you want to read this email?

Spencer:

I would love to read it. From our only fan. [both

Spencer:

laugh] Just kidding. But like, it's so yeah, it was really

Spencer:

exciting to receive an email. Um, okay, so the subject line is

Spencer:

"Assigned gamer at birth", and this is from Nate G. It says

Spencer:

"Hello," exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation

Spencer:

point. "I am so excited to be writing into you. First of all,

Spencer:

y'all are going to be big and you don't even know it." Oh my

Spencer:

god. That's so sweet.

Jamie:

But maybe I know it. You know, I know it.

Spencer:

Yeah. I mean, you got to manifest. "Finding your

Spencer:

podcast has been so interesting fter falling out of the habit

Spencer:

f gaming for several years. The aming landscape has exploded in

Spencer:

he years I was gone. I played ideo games regularly as a kid

Jamie:

I think that's a good "ugh", right?

Jamie:

lash teenager. And this podcast s such an accessible way back

Jamie:

n now that I'm interested in ekindling the hobby again." Oh,

Jamie:

my gosh. Oh, what? I want to know what he's playing. Okay.

Jamie:

"Also, that it's discussin gender and mental health an

Jamie:

just disects these brilliant y intersectional topics the

Jamie:

e games are addressing, like, ug

Spencer:

Good "ugh". "Games are works of art that can have

Spencer:

hundreds of people involved in their creation." True. "And I

Spencer:

feel like your show gives them the full analysis and critique

Spencer:

that they deserve." Aww. "I wanted to write in with a small

Spencer:

story about something I experienced at work the other

Spencer:

day." Oh my god, so that was just a gassing us up paragraph.

Spencer:

Like thank you.

Jamie:

I'm blushing.

Spencer:

Oh my gosh, okay, there's more. "I wanted to write

Spencer:

in with a small story about something I experienced at work

Spencer:

the other day. I mentioned in passing that I learned the NATO

Spencer:

alphabet from playing Call of Duty. One of my co-workers

Spencer:

responded with something along the lines of and I quote, 'Oh, I

Spencer:

would have never known that you were a gamer.'" Ah! Okay. "I

Spencer:

just found the comment interesting. I'm a trans guy,

Spencer:

and they're all aware of that." Parentheses. "I'm the only one

Spencer:

at work with my pronouns on zoom lol" Oh my god, that's such a

Spencer:

trans mood. It's like "oh my god, we're inclusive. Like

Spencer:

everyone put your pronouns in your bios," and it's like just

Spencer:

the trans people who do, and like "oh great, we just outed

Spencer:

ourselves for you. Amazing." Okay, anyway. "I just found the

Spencer:

comment interesting. I'm a trans guy, and they're all aware of

Spencer:

that. But I wonder if the assumption comes from a deeper

Spencer:

place or not. My biased assumption is that everyone

Spencer:

probably grew up playing video games. So I wonder whether or

Spencer:

not others either don't have the same assumption or assume

Spencer:

differently because of my identity, or because I don't

Spencer:

seem quote unquote, butch. Or rather assume that there are

Spencer:

certain types of games I would and wouldn't play COD not being

Spencer:

one of them. Though, if I'm being honest, I'm dying to play

Spencer:

Dream Daddy. Ahahahaha. Love you and thanks for being here. Nate.

Spencer:

pronouns he/they." Oh my god. Okay, yeah. Thank you. Um, wow.

Spencer:

Yeah. So I think it's interesting. Like, oh, first-Did

Spencer:

you have any thoughts?

Jamie:

That's okay. You can speak first.

Spencer:

No, I just, like this idea of how you look somehow

Spencer:

translates to like, the type of music you like, and the types of

Spencer:

games you play.

Jamie:

Yeah.

Spencer:

I'm like, I just think that that's, that's interesting.

Spencer:

Like, he's saying that he's someone who doesn't seem butch

Spencer:

on. So maybe people look at him and think-what he's too

Spencer:

something to not be into COD? And also I feel like, with COD

Spencer:

specifically, there's almost this-kind of like, with bands or

Spencer:

like things that men can be like, protective over-like, it's

Spencer:

almost like you have to prove like, "Oh, you play Call of

Spencer:

Duty? Okay. Like, what year did each one come out? And who was

Spencer:

the director of each game? And like, what was the studio

Spencer:

responsible?"

Jamie:

Yeah. It's so silly. Yeah, just the fact that I mean,

Jamie:

we've talked a lot about how even the concept of like being a

Jamie:

gamer is so gendered. And then like, yeah, Call of Duty being

Jamie:

this quote, unquote, hyper masculine game. It's just-it's

Jamie:

all ridiculous. Like anybody can find something in Call of Duty

Jamie:

that they enjoy. It's, it's, it's competition. It's team

Jamie:

building if you're playing multiplayer. They have really

Jamie:

fun, action packed campaigns, like anybody can get into that.

Jamie:

And yet, it's like, ohhhh. I really like what Nate said about

Jamie:

how they assume that, like, everyone grew up playing video

Jamie:

games, because I feel like pretty much everyone did.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

Like everyone gets their hands on a video game at some

Jamie:

point in their life. And we just-Yeah, I don't know why we

Jamie:

want to pretend like it's something that only some people

Jamie:

do as a hobby. Or like, only some people have a right to it.

Jamie:

Why? Why isn't it just as mainstream is like, saying you

Jamie:

watched a Disney movie as a kid? Like, anybody can be into this

Jamie:

shit. You don't have to fall into some specific category. And

Jamie:

there shouldn't be shock when someone says that they are into

Jamie:

it.

Spencer:

Yeah. Like, even if you've played a game, like a

Spencer:

mobile game, like a Jackbox game or like an online, one of those

Spencer:

like quiz games, or, like, you could argue that any thing

Spencer:

interactive, like what's like, what's a video game? Like, if

Spencer:

you play Candy Crush on your phone, like, is that a game?

Spencer:

Like, I feel like it is.

Jamie:

Yeah. Yeah. I don't know why we need to put it in a

Jamie:

hierarchy.

Spencer:

Yeah. I also really like the way um, I'm glad that

Spencer:

he said that, like, he feels like it's an accessible way to

Spencer:

get back in now that he's kind of rekindling his connection to

Spencer:

games.

Jamie:

Yeah. Welcome back.

Spencer:

Yeah. Like, welcome back. I feel like it ties in

Spencer:

with, uh, we'll get, we'll get to this. But the guest we had on

Spencer:

this episode, we kind of talk about entering, re-entering the

Spencer:

video game industry. And I think, it can be really

Spencer:

overwhelming if you haven't been in it for a while, like, and

Spencer:

that's part of what makes it so hard to, to figure out where to

Spencer:

start. But I just-I'm just-I love that he said that, because

Spencer:

I think that that's, like you said, part of why we're doing

Spencer:

it. So thank you, Nate.

Jamie:

Yeah, thank you, Nate. Yeah, between Nate's email and

Jamie:

the people saying hi to us on, on social media. It's, yeah,

Jamie:

we-One of the main reasons that Spencer and I started this

Jamie:

podcast is that we knew that there were more people out there

Jamie:

playing video games, who weren't straight white cis men, that,

Jamie:

you know, they dominate the media, the gaming media

Jamie:

landscape, and we knew there were people out there playing

Jamie:

games who didn't fit into that category. And we wanted to have

Jamie:

conversations with them and get to know them. So community-like

Jamie:

getting to know other people in that, who are doing that who

Jamie:

don't meet that definition, has been a goal from the beginning

Jamie:

and having a community with them has been a goal from the

Jamie:

beginning and so kind of to that end, our third big housekeeping

Jamie:

item that we wanted to bring to y'all today is that we are

Jamie:

officially launching a Patreon.

Spencer:

Ooooo Patreon.

Jamie:

Yeah, Pixel Therapy is officially launching a Patreon.

Jamie:

It's patreon.com/pixeltherapypod. The

Jamie:

entry level tier is just $2 a month. And that gets you a

Jamie:

monthly bonus episode featuring Spencer and I deep diving on

Jamie:

various video game topics. So if you do really like hearing us

Jamie:

babble about video games, this is the place to go.

Spencer:

For those Co-Op Mode episodes. We-Yes, we did a

Spencer:

Co-Op, we did what was called a Co-Op Mode episode. And it was

Spencer:

just the two of us kind of like going in and getting to know

Spencer:

each other in some ways and sharing with you like just sort

Spencer:

of, outside of the interview space, just kind of like really

Spencer:

having some, some therapy on how we think about and interact with

Spencer:

games and the industry around it.

Jamie:

Yeah, 100%. And we wanted to keep doing them. And this

Jamie:

feels like a great way to do it, because they are meant to be

Jamie:

really a conversation between us and our community. And so that's

Jamie:

what we're going to use the Patreon space for. All the money

Jamie:

that we make through the Patreon is going to go back into

Jamie:

sustaining the long term viability of the show by helping

Jamie:

to cover our software, equipment and marketing costs. And most

Jamie:

importantly our guest fees because we do compensate all of

Jamie:

the guests that we bring onto the show for their time. And

Jamie:

that's something that's really important to us. So by

Jamie:

supporting us on Patreon, you're just ensuring we can continue to

Jamie:

produce the podcast long term.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

Of course, you're absolutely welcome in the Pixel

Jamie:

Therapy community, regardless of whether you support us on

Jamie:

Patreon. But this just is another way for us to see you

Jamie:

and connect with you. And as an extra little bonus, the first 20

Jamie:

Patreon subscribers will get a nice little sticker featuring

Jamie:

our Pixel Therapy album artwork. So if you're interested and you

Jamie:

have the means, get over there, patreon.com/pixeltherapypod and

Jamie:

subscribe. We can't wait to connect with you all on there.

Spencer:

That is right. And we also can't wait to see those

Spencer:

stickers out in the wild.

Jamie:

Yeah

Spencer:

Put it on your PS5

Jamie:

Put it on your PS5. Put it on your laptop. Put it on

Jamie:

your forehead and just walk around. Or on your mask, on your

Jamie:

facial covering as you go out there into the COVID-world of

Jamie:

COVID.

Spencer:

Yeah, On your water bottle. Put it on your friend's

Spencer:

water bottle. Put it on your car.

Jamie:

Really, really anywhere you might place a sticker, I

Jamie:

think you'll be able to place these stickers. It's a pretty

Jamie:

standard sticker arrangement. And it looks good. It matches

Jamie:

with everything really. That Pixel Therapy album artwork.

Spencer:

Yeah. Courtesy of our amazing artist Zar. Just by the

Spencer:

way they can be found @jellodemon on Instagram. They

Spencer:

are amazing.

Jamie:

Yeah. Yeah Zar does excellent work. Thank you so

Jamie:

much, Zar. Whew-That was a lot of updates. It's almost like

Jamie:

we're a real podcast now or something.

Spencer:

I know. Wow. We have news.

Jamie:

Oh my gosh, oh, my gosh, I just have so much to say. But

Jamie:

Spencer, let's give the people what they really want. Which is

Jamie:

to continue to hear us talking. What do you-What are you

Jamie:

playing, Spencer?

Spencer:

Yeah, so-Okay, I'm playing a lot of things. Um,

Spencer:

there's one thing, actually, that is, I feel like this kind

Spencer:

of counts as a game. But basically, you know, I, I am

Spencer:

both blessed and cursed to have a job right now, just because

Spencer:

there's a lot of like Zoom. And it can be very taxing. It's just

Spencer:

like the lack of, of being in a space physically with others.

Spencer:

There's something that gets lost in translation, I feel like,

Spencer:

with the lack of body language, and just communication in

Spencer:

general feel slower and harder, especially for new people who

Spencer:

have joined the team during the pandemic over the past eight

Spencer:

months. Like it's just been harder for them to feel

Spencer:

connected to the group and to kind of, you know, have those

Spencer:

little interactions that sort of build up into a relationship

Spencer:

that you develop with someone you're just meeting for the

Spencer:

first time. And anyway, long story short, the company

Spencer:

decided, Okay, we're gonna come up with a way to help everyone

Spencer:

socialize. And the software-they found this software and it's

Spencer:

called Gather.Town. You can check it out on your browser.

Spencer:

But essentially, it is this 8-bit, 2D world that you log

Spencer:

into. And you create your little avatars, basically with the

Spencer:

same, like unity based building blocks that Stardew Valley was

Spencer:

built with, so the styling of the pixel art is-it looks like

Spencer:

you're in Stardew Valley.

Jamie:

Oh, my God, dream come true.

Spencer:

Yeah. And it's-essentially it's like for,

Spencer:

it's for organizations, companies, etc. to kind of

Spencer:

recreate in a digital space, the feeling of being at a conference

Spencer:

or in a social setting and the way it works is like your camera

Spencer:

and microphone are on. But as you're walking around, it'll

Spencer:

turn on and off depending on your proximity to other people.

Spencer:

So if you walk up to a group of people, you'll just like, enter

Spencer:

their conversation. Um, and so-Okay, so here's the thing.

Spencer:

Like, at first it was, it was cute, like, I was like walking

Spencer:

around and there was like, these kind of pixelated versions of

Spencer:

the, like there's a canal that goes by our office. And so there

Spencer:

was like, this walkway and the grassy area and then the water.

Spencer:

And like these kind of, like pixelated versions of, of our

Spencer:

beer garden that we had and like a tea-These robots that would

Spencer:

make us tea. I'm sorry, I work for like a tech company. I'm

Spencer:

sorry. It's terrible. I know. [both laughing]

Jamie:

Robots that make you tea? Yeah, I think my brain just shut

Jamie:

off.

Spencer:

But, um, [coughs] excuse me. It's a nasal drip, I

Spencer:

swear. Um, it was cool. And cute. But it was almost like, I

Spencer:

feel like, I'm pretty introverted. And so when there

Spencer:

were big social, kind of company gatherings like that, it would

Spencer:

kind of be my MO to sort of make the rounds, mostly do people

Spencer:

watching, mostly talk to people that I know. But trying to just

Spencer:

do like, quick, like, "Oh, hey, great to see you" like, just

Spencer:

kind of catch up a little bit, and then keep moving. Um, but

Spencer:

you could kind of-I think, again, like in, in meet space,

Spencer:

like, you can kind of feel the tone of a conversation before

Spencer:

you walk up. And you can decide if you want to engage or not

Spencer:

without necessarily disrupting the flow of it. And in this

Spencer:

world, it was like, you would just be dropped, like no

Spencer:

context, like a, like a video starting like, like, there's no,

Spencer:

like walking up and trying to see what they're talking about

Spencer:

and then coming in. It's like, all of a sudden, you're just

Spencer:

dropped into a room with people essentially.

Jamie:

And is it like, Can you see the individuals talking?

Jamie:

Like, you can see their, their video?

Spencer:

You don't see their video until you get close enough

Spencer:

to the group of people. So like, you would see these like groups

Spencer:

of like huddles of pixelated people. And you would be like,

Spencer:

oh, like, it's that a closed group? You could see their names

Spencer:

and stuff, but you couldn't see the videos until you got close

Spencer:

enough.

Jamie:

So you can't-it's not like you can walk up and like as

Jamie:

you're walking up sort of eavesdrop a little bit on the

Jamie:

conversation

Spencer:

Right, exactly

Jamie:

And then decide if it's something you can pop into or

Jamie:

not.

Spencer:

Right, you just awkwardly appear. So I felt like

Spencer:

I just-

Jamie:

I'm sweating.

Spencer:

Yeah, I just started like, running like, I was just

Jamie:

Just like racing laps around the map.

Spencer:

Yeah. Like, I just didn't want to, because I would

Spencer:

pop in and everyone would either like, stop talking and be like,

Spencer:

[pauses for a beat] [laughs]

Jamie:

Oh, no. Oh, no.

Spencer:

Or they just keep going. And you're like, you feel

Spencer:

like, you feel like you're intruding because it's like,

Jamie:

Oh my god, yeah. And then you just leave.

Spencer:

Yeah, you just leave.

Jamie:

The video just comes up and then just goes away. Oh no.

Spencer:

So what I would do is I would make rounds. And then I

Spencer:

would periodically change the appearance of my character so

Spencer:

that people wouldn't be like, Oh, it's the same person who

Spencer:

just keeps like, coming by our group. So like, Okay, I guess

Spencer:

what I want to say is I really respect the technology. And I, I

Spencer:

love this idea of sort of gamifying like a- like I love t

Spencer:

e spirit of it. There were l ke little mini games in it. U

Jamie:

Yeah

Jamie:

, but I think it just, it kind o magnified what makes for aw

Spencer:

But having to meet strangers in that space was

Spencer:

ward situations at company ga herings in general. Um, I th

Spencer:

nk if it was just my team. It would be more fun because we

Spencer:

already know each other. And there's that sort of casual

Spencer:

ess between us all.

Spencer:

horrifying.

Jamie:

Oh my gosh. Yeah. So if-How large is your-like how

Jamie:

many people were at this thing?

Spencer:

Um, so it was optional. So there were like, I want to

Spencer:

say 200 people in there.

Jamie:

Oh, my gosh. Okay. Yeah. So when you were originally

Jamie:

describing this to me-cuz we were chatting about this, just

Jamie:

socially, you know, we do have conversations that aren't

Jamie:

recorded. I swear. When we were chatting about this, like a week

Jamie:

ago. I was like, Oh, that sounds like a really interesting idea.

Jamie:

Because well, for some context, my organization is only about 50

Jamie:

people. And so we've been trying to have Zoom socials that are

Jamie:

just like, pull my fucking teeth out of my head.

Spencer:

Yeah

Jamie:

Literally just like 30-40 people getting into a Zoom Room

Jamie:

and like two people are talking and everyone else is just

Jamie:

smiling uncomfortably at the camera. And then that happens

Jamie:

for an hour and then people log off.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

And what I've always appreciated about socials is

Jamie:

like, you know, since it's a fairly small organization,

Jamie:

everyone knows each other to some extent, right, but you

Jamie:

still have, I don't know if cliques is the right word, but

Jamie:

you still have groups of people who work more closely together

Jamie:

who have a deeper relationship. And so when you go to a

Jamie:

gathering, like those groups are kind of broken off. And then

Jamie:

people will kind of like, say hi to each other across the groups,

Jamie:

but like, you still have like your core group that you're,

Jamie:

you're kind of rolling in with and you're chatting with, and

Jamie:

you're rolling out with that, you know, pretty well. And so

Jamie:

what appealed to me when you were describing the software was

Jamie:

like, Oh, that sounds like it would actually allow the people

Jamie:

who know each other better, to kind of like, get in their own

Jamie:

group, but you could still kind of-you could still mingle and

Jamie:

say hi to other people, and still have like a base to come

Jamie:

back to you and talk to. So it's not this weird thing where like,

Jamie:

only the people who feel comfortable talking to everyone

Jamie:

in the Zoom Room, which is what we end up with at these Zoom

Jamie:

socials that we've had, you know, there's a handful of

Jamie:

people that feel comfortable just talking to 30 people, and

Jamie:

the other folks who don't are sitting there quietly. It would

Jamie:

like allow people to have smaller group conversations.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

And it sounded like-that sounded appealing to me in that

Jamie:

context, but what you're describing of like walking up on

Jamie:

like strangers and trying to poke your head into their

Jamie:

conversations. That sounds like a fucking nightmare. That sounds

Jamie:

absolutely so stressful and horrifying.

Spencer:

Yeah. Like, I think it is, like it's in theory good for

Spencer:

that situation you described, but I think because, like, it's

Spencer:

almost like, I wish you could adjust the sensitivity of

Spencer:

when-or at least, prompt you? Like, do you want to join this

Spencer:

conversation? Yes or no. But the idea that like-because it got to

Spencer:

the point where the space just got so saturated, that just

Spencer:

walking through the path you would end up accidentally

Spencer:

triggering conversations with people because you just moved

Spencer:

too close to them.

Jamie:

Yeah.

Spencer:

But like-They did have this thing called "ghost mode"

Spencer:

where you could turn it on and like, basically be like an Among

Spencer:

Us ghost where no one can see you, but you can see them.

Jamie:

Oh, my gosh, like Clay Aiken. The fly-If I was

Jamie:

invisible.

Spencer:

Yeah. [sings] "If I was invisible." Yeah. So there's

Spencer:

that. Um, I did utilize that a little bit, but then I felt

Spencer:

weird. Like I was, eavesdropping. So I kind of just

Spencer:

was like, I think I'm good.

Jamie:

I think I'm gonna go home now, aka log out of the meeting.

Spencer:

Yeah. I met-I saw a couple folks in there that I

Spencer:

usually don't run into. But it was also kind of like, "'Hey."

Spencer:

"Hey." "Like we're in this world. Isn't that funny?" "Yeah.

Spencer:

Okay, um," There's not like any-there's nothing to do. You

Spencer:

know, it's not like, we could be like, "oh, let's get a drink and

Spencer:

talk" or "Let's go play ping pong or something." Like, it's

Spencer:

like-

Jamie:

Well you said there is-there were games in there.

Jamie:

How did the games work?

Spencer:

Okay, so that's the thing it's like, there were

Spencer:

games technically, but it was basically like, they would have

Spencer:

an external, like, you know, there's this game called

Spencer:

dribble.io. And it's like a group game, browser based game.

Spencer:

And so essentially, you would go to this little pixelated game

Spencer:

table, and you would press like to play, and then it would just

Spencer:

load an embedded window of the other website. So you still have

Spencer:

like, it's not like it was seamlessly connected, you would

Spencer:

still have to build a room on that website, coordinate with

Spencer:

whoever you wanted to play with. And then set it up. It was just

Spencer:

like-it was just like a window to another browser. It was

Spencer:

essentially just like opening a new tab. So it wasn't really

Spencer:

like-it wasn't really integrated.

Jamie:

The games weren't like built into the platform.

Spencer:

Right, yeah.

Jamie:

Yeah, I guess what I was envisioning was-when you were

Jamie:

originally describing it to me and I was looking at the

Jamie:

pictures-I was just envisioning something different. Like, I

Jamie:

feel like if you could-and this technology exists, right? Like,

Jamie:

I've seen it used in multiplayer games and stuff, right? But like

Jamie:

spatial, like the ability to hear things based on your

Jamie:

location in the game world. So like, I feel like that would be

Jamie:

something they could very-well, I don't want to say very easily.

Jamie:

These things are complicated, I am sure. But the technology

Jamie:

exists where theoretically, they could set it up where as you're

Jamie:

actually, your character on the screen, is walking through the

Jamie:

party, as you approach conversations, you can actually

Jamie:

hear what those individuals are saying. Something where like as

Jamie:

you get closer-same as you would at a party and then that would

Jamie:

help you know, like, Is it okay for me to kind of bounce in?

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

Or even if they let you talk to people in that way,

Jamie:

like, let, all of the audio happen that way and then if

Jamie:

you're investing in a conversation you actually join,

Jamie:

and you can all see each other's faces.

Spencer:

Ooh, I like that.

Jamie:

That feels like it would be more seamless.

Spencer:

Yeah, like, I'd love that. I mean, honestly, it-like

Spencer:

it very much felt like this was in beta. Again, it's

Spencer:

Gather.Town. Like definitely check it out. I think it's a

Spencer:

cool idea. Like these-it's these fully customizable spaces. I

Spencer:

love the sort of integration of like this video game space being

Spencer:

a place to translate, like what used to be like real life

Spencer:

experiences. I love-I hope that it continues to grow and like

Spencer:

you said, like, kind of become more sophisticated in sort of

Spencer:

emulating what it's like to be in a real life space. Like,

Spencer:

instead of trying to-like I feel like we're always about

Spencer:

efficiency, efficiency, like, let's, like, totally transform

Spencer:

how we connect. And it's like, I feel like people just want just,

Spencer:

like there's something to this kind of organic connection. And,

Spencer:

we don't necessarily need to reinvent the wheel like, I

Spencer:

think, I think if anything, people are nostalgic for how

Spencer:

things used to be and want it to feel more like it used to be.

Jamie:

Yeah, yeah, I think that's totally right.

Spencer:

Anyway, um, speaking of nostalgia, maybe? And just like,

Spencer:

fun. What are you playing?

Jamie:

Wow, that was such a smooth transition.

Spencer:

Thank you.

Jamie:

When we're talking about seamless,

Spencer:

Yeah

Jamie:

Hitting the nail on the head. No, uh, myself, like

Jamie:

yourself, got PS5s. We're one of-We're the lucky-we're some of

Jamie:

the lucky ones. The blessed ones.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

We pre-ordered the PS5s as soon as they went up, and we

Jamie:

were able to actually get them.

Spencer:

It was all thanks to Jamie I did nothing.

Jamie:

Well, and I credit my PS5 to @wario64 on Twitter. It's a

Jamie:

deals account on Twitter. He tweets out links to deals and

Jamie:

stuff when they go up. And he is the only reason that I was able

Jamie:

to get a PS5.

Spencer:

He's the only reason anyone listening was been able

Spencer:

to get a PS5.

Jamie:

Pretty much. I feel like, I feel like a lot of people can

Jamie:

trace their PS5 purchase back to Wario. So thank you, @wario64

Jamie:

and all the good that you do in the world.

Jamie:

Yeah, for sure. But, uh, but yeah, that came that came

Spencer:

You're a real one.

Spencer:

last week in the mail. And I don't know, you know, it's,

Spencer:

there's lots to be upset with in the world right now for sure.

Spencer:

But last week was kind of like video game Christmas for me a

Spencer:

little bit. And I feel like I'm still in kind of the afterglow

Spencer:

of that.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

Like, this is the second time I've been able to get a

Jamie:

console at launch, which I do consider myself very lucky to be

Jamie:

able to do that. And the PS4 was the first one. And it's just,

Jamie:

it's just exciting. I don't know, maybe I'm just like a

Jamie:

consumer sucker. Suckling at the teat of corporate Sony. I don't

Jamie:

know, but, but it's just fun. It's fun to like, have the new

Jamie:

thing and to set it up and to get the new games and to play

Jamie:

them and it feels exciting, it feels new and fresh. I will say

Jamie:

like, one thing that's just so cool about the PS5 is like I was

Jamie:

able to plug it in and just unplug my PS4 and just put my

Jamie:

PS4 away. Like all of the-all of those games in my backlog on the

Jamie:

PS4, I'm gonna be able to play those on my PS5.

Spencer:

Did you sync? So you synced them before you unplugged

Spencer:

the PS4?

Jamie:

I didn't because the-one of the downsides to the PS5 is

Jamie:

that it does not have a ton of storage space. It only has about

Jamie:

650 gigs of storage space. So what I did is I'm keeping my PS4

Jamie:

games on an external hard drive. But I can just plug that into

Jamie:

the PS5 and play them right off of that hard drive when I want

Jamie:

to.

Spencer:

Is that like a special hard drive for the PS4? Or is it

Spencer:

just any old hard drive?

Jamie:

No, it's a two terabyte Seagate external USB hard drive.

Spencer:

Cool.

Jamie:

They're like $50. Yeah. So it's pretty easy to do.

Jamie:

It-actually, it was the hard drive that I had installed in my

Jamie:

PS4. So on the PS4, you could actually swap out the hard drive

Jamie:

to expand your storage capacity. So it was a hard drive that I

Jamie:

actually had in the PS4.

Spencer:

I know this is riveting podcasting.

Jamie:

Sorry, is this boring? I don't know. I'm a big fucking

Jamie:

nerd. And I like all this stuff, so yeah, I like being able to

Jamie:

have all my PS4 games on that. And I like that I've just been

Jamie:

able to play on the PS5. And the controller feels really good in

Jamie:

my hands like I've been nerding out about the controller. Like

Jamie:

it just like feels like it fits in a way that-

Spencer:

So heavy

Jamie:

Yeah it's, it's got a little bit of weight to it. But

Jamie:

yeah, some of the games I've been playing-I played Astro's

Jamie:

Playroom, which is like this cute little platforming game.

Jamie:

It's only a couple hours long. And it's really like a tech demo

Jamie:

for the controller. But it's also kind of a love letter to

Jamie:

PlayStation. There's like, all these little-they're these cute

Jamie:

little, little white and blue and black robots that are kind

Jamie:

of bopping around and they make weird little robot noises. And

Jamie:

as you're like moving through the world, you can find all of

Jamie:

the robots like acting out different scenes from different

Jamie:

PlayStation video games over the years. And it was like, so cool

Jamie:

to like, find them and then be like, oh, what game is that?

Jamie:

Because it doesn't quite, you know, they're still the robots

Jamie:

so you're like, "That looks familiar. What is that? Oh,

Jamie:

that's The Last of Us. Oh my gosh."

Spencer:

Woah.

Jamie:

So that was that was really cute and cool. And, and

Jamie:

while it's doing all that, it's like showing you all the cool

Jamie:

things that the controller can do. The haptic feedback in the

Jamie:

triggers is really impressive. There's-you can get this little

Jamie:

turret gun that shoots little balls out and you're like

Jamie:

holding down the trigger. And it's like, the trigger is like

Jamie:

shaking your finger and you can actually feel the little balls

Jamie:

coming out of the gun and stuff like that. It's just really fun.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

It was a fun cute little game. So I played that. I've

Jamie:

been playing Miles Morales, the new Spider Man game. I've been

Jamie:

playing it in performance mode, which I've never done before. So

Jamie:

it's 60 frames per second. 4k resolution and holy shit. Like

Jamie:

my eyeballs. I can't go back. I can't go back.

Spencer:

What is it like?

Jamie:

Fucking smooth. It just looks smooth as hell like is the

Jamie:

best way I can describe it. And it's really impressive. I'm

Jamie:

really liking that game so far. Not really ready to talk about

Jamie:

it yet. I'm only a couple hours in but really liking it so far.

Jamie:

But the game that grabbed my heart and my mind and my soul

Jamie:

and my body. And my stomach, is Bugsnax.

Spencer:

Yes.

Jamie:

Thinking, talking about Bugsnax.

Spencer:

What's your favorite bugsnack?

Jamie:

Favorite bugsnack is probably, hmm. I really like the

Jamie:

bunger.

Spencer & Jamie Together:

bunger bunger bunger bunger

Jamie:

And I really like scoopy banoopy.

Spencer:

Okay, I have not met that one yet, but wait, oh,

Spencer:

describe bunger for the people.

Jamie:

Okay, so bunger is uh-Okay, so first, let's rewind

Jamie:

for two seconds. If you don't know what Bugsnax is, go look up

Jamie:

the trailer for Bugsnax and just watch it. It's like a three

Jamie:

minute trailer. It's so funny and weird and cute. But

Jamie:

basically the pitch for Bugsanx is that you are a thing called a

Jamie:

grumpus, which is kind of like a little otter bear creature.

Spencer:

Little fuzzy guy.

Jamie:

A little fuzzy guy. I love that-the game is first

Jamie:

person and when you look down, you can see your little belly.

Jamie:

You can see a little furry belly. It's so fucking cute.

Spencer:

I love it.

Jamie:

So you're this thing called a grumpus and you're a

Jamie:

reporter. And you've been sent to this place called Snack Tooth

Jamie:

Island, where the explorer Lizbert Megafig has discovered

Jamie:

these things called bugsnax. And bugsnax are

Spencer:

[singing] "Kind of bug and kind of snack"

Jamie:

Exactly that. Exactly that. What Spencer is alluding

Jamie:

to is there's this wonderful song that plays in the trailer

Jamie:

that basically just describes the entire premise of the game,

Jamie:

which is why I'm saying go look up the Bugsnax trailer. That's

Jamie:

B-u-g-s-n-a-x. Look it up. Watch it. If you don't know what we're

Jamie:

talking about, you need to know what we're talking about. So

Jamie:

please go look this up and watch this trailer. But bugsnax are

Jamie:

food that is like an insect essentially. And so the bunger

Jamie:

looks like a little cheeseburger. And he's wrapped

Jamie:

up in little paper. And he's got, he's got curly fries for

Jamie:

legs.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

And he's got regular fries for little tusks. And he's

Jamie:

got big googly eyes.

Spencer:

They all have big googly eyes.

Jamie:

They all have big googly eyes and kind of like Pokemon

Jamie:

they all say their name. And so-and all of their names are

Jamie:

like kind of plays on-sometimes it's like hinting towards the

Jamie:

insect that they're like, like there's a "pineantula" that

Jamie:

crawls around like a tarantula but it's a pineapple. And yeah,

Jamie:

the bunger is a burger. And yeah, he wanders around he goes

Jamie:

"bunger, bunger, bunger, bunger", and it's just fucking

Jamie:

cute but the like slightly-but this game is so fucking weird

Jamie:

because it's also slightly horrifying because when people

Jamie:

eat the bugsnax, first of all, they have to eat them alive. You

Jamie:

can't cook the bugs snacks because it's just food.

Spencer:

And the way they describe it is like there's a

Spencer:

whole bugsnax mythology and they're like it's weird because

Spencer:

they're like, oh you know, it's like there's a scientist you

Spencer:

meet, and she's like, "the bugsnax have no organs or seeds

Spencer:

or insides like they're just, they're just good." And I'm

Spencer:

like, I don't-how-I-[laughs]

Jamie:

It's weird. It's weird. It's weird and kind of scary,

Jamie:

but when you eat the-

Spencer:

There's something unhinged about it, yeah,

Jamie:

Yeah, it's well, it's-it like, it's so cute and like nice

Jamie:

and pleasant. And like the world it's all like really bright

Jamie:

colors and cartoonish. But there's like this weird like-

Spencer:

Undercurrent of dread.

Jamie:

Exactly. Like there's something constantly needling at

Jamie:

your brain about like something about this isn't quite right,

Jamie:

because when they eat the bugsnax, it turns parts of their

Jamie:

body into the snack.

Spencer:

Yeah.

Jamie:

So for example, if you eat a bunger, your hand might

Jamie:

turn into a curly fry.

Spencer:

Mm hmm.

Jamie:

And like that can, you can-so you meet different

Jamie:

grumpuses on the island. You catch the bugsnax. You feed the

Jamie:

bugsnax to the different grumpuses, and you can fully

Jamie:

transform them into these kind of horrifying food creations.

Spencer:

And they like crave it.

Jamie:

They crave it. Yeah, the bugsnax are like addicting. And

Jamie:

there's this whole thing. So I actually finished the game. I'm

Jamie:

not gonna say anything more about that. Because, yeah, the

Jamie:

meta narrative does go there. But there's also like-you get

Jamie:

you get to the town, where you're you're expecting to find

Jamie:

Lizbert, and instead you just find the self proclaimed mayor

Jamie:

of the town, Filbo. And Filbo is sad because when Lizbert left,

Jamie:

all of the grumpuses living in the town moved away and went off

Jamie:

to do their own things. And he would like to bring them all

Jamie:

back. And so the the main story of the game, the main drive of

Jamie:

your character, is that you're ultimately trying to find

Jamie:

Lizbert. But in doing that, you're bringing all of the the

Jamie:

grumpuses, and there's like 12 or so of them, you're bringing

Jamie:

them all back to the community, you're getting to know them,

Jamie:

you're getting to understand why they left. And they all have

Jamie:

really complicated like interpersonal relationships with

Jamie:

each other. And it's just really, I don't know, there's

Jamie:

like, there's like something really heartwarming in the story

Jamie:

too about like, community and how people learn to get along

Jamie:

and like use their strengths together to survive. And to

Jamie:

build friendship with each other. And like you can-there

Jamie:

are things that you can disagree about, but you can still find

Jamie:

common ground and I don't know, there's like a really

Jamie:

heartwarming, like narrative there kind of underneath all of

Jamie:

this other weird silly shit. And it's just really connected with

Jamie:

me.

Spencer:

Yeah, I've definitely been surprised. I'm also playing

Spencer:

it, but I'm not done, like Jamie is, but, um, by the sort of

Spencer:

complexity of the characters and the darkness that some of them

Spencer:

have. And-

Jamie:

Exactly, yeah.

Spencer:

-the ways that they, like humans, can betray each

Spencer:

other, lie to each other, um, sort of have what might be

Spencer:

considered toxic relationships. It's just-I think it's a game

Spencer:

that truly appeals to people of a very many, like a whole range

Spencer:

of ages and, and backgrounds. Like, it doesn't seem like it's

Spencer:

for kids? But I don't know.

Jamie:

I think-I'm pretty sure it's rated like E for everyone.

Jamie:

And I think it's, it's like one of those things where it's, I

Jamie:

don't think it's quite striking a Pixar tone. I don't think is

Jamie:

quite what I would say. But it is-it does have a similarity to

Jamie:

Pixar in that, like, I feel like kids would enjoy playing Bugsnax

Jamie:

because of all the goofy bugs and the snacks and the grumpuses

Jamie:

are being silly. And then I think there's like a deeper

Jamie:

narrative there for adults to pull out, as well. But yeah,

Jamie:

I've been similarly really surprised by the depth. And all

Jamie:

of the characters-I just really liked them so much. They feel

Jamie:

like complete people. And I wasn't expecting that, you know,

Jamie:

based on the trailer, I was really excited for this game

Jamie:

because I was like, Oh my gosh, it just looks so cute and silly.

Jamie:

And I'm gonna catch these bugs. I'm gonna feed them and it looks

Jamie:

weird. And I love that. And then like, it's all of those things.

Jamie:

And it has like, this deep-these deep characters-that I'm really

Jamie:

connected to. So it really took me by surprise. It's a really,

Jamie:

really good game. Really fun.

Spencer:

And it's queer.

Jamie:

Yes. Yeah. There's-

Spencer:

Canonically.

Jamie:

Yes, exactly. There's a couple different gay couples in

Jamie:

the game. And a non-binary character. And I just-I like

Jamie:

that a lot. It's a really cute game.

Spencer:

Cute.

Jamie:

Well, I guess we should probably get to our interview.

Jamie:

And I'm pretending to be down about that. Really excited for

Jamie:

this interview that we have.

Spencer:

We could talk about Bugsnax for hours.

Jamie:

Yeah, that's really the issue. That's really the issue.

Jamie:

So today, the interview that we have for you is with Momoko

Jamie:

Schafer. She goes by Momo. She's from Boston. She is an artist,

Jamie:

primarily a glass artist, known for sculpting molten glass as

Jamie:

her main tool of expression.

Spencer:

NBD.

Jamie:

Yeah, yes, it's no big deal.

Spencer:

It's an ancient art form and no big deal.

Jamie:

You're literally pulling fire out of an oven and

Jamie:

sculpting it but-

Spencer:

It's fine.

Jamie:

No problem. And Momo was featured on Netflix's original

Jamie:

series Blown Away, which is about a glass blowing

Jamie:

competition. But the main reason that we had her on the podcast

Jamie:

is we think she's an interesting person. We think she does

Jamie:

awesome artwork. And she's-as an artist, she describes herself as

Jamie:

someone who's incredibly curious about art and other forms of

Jamie:

expression. She doesn't consider herself a gamer actually, though

Jamie:

she is really interested in the world of games. She does play

Jamie:

mobile games, which we talked with her about, but she just has

Jamie:

a deep fascination with gaming and the gaming community. And as

Jamie:

someone who's trying to do art, in this time of pandemic, she's

Jamie:

also been really branching out more into streaming and looking

Jamie:

for new ways to showcase her art online. And so the gaming space

Jamie:

and the twitch community space is something that's really

Jamie:

gotten on her radar recently. And she, she's just like a

Jamie:

really smart, interesting person who's really curious. And we had

Jamie:

a really-the conversation kind of goes places and goes all over

Jamie:

the place. And we talk about all these aspects of the gaming

Jamie:

community kind of through the eyes of a non-gamer.

Spencer:

Yeah, yeah, I think that she's a great example of

Spencer:

someone for whom gaming and gamers-like she's played games,

Spencer:

they've interacted with her life and been around in different

Spencer:

ways that she talks about in the interview. Like, I liked her

Spencer:

story about playing GTA as a way to connect with a cousin of hers

Spencer:

living in Japan and trying to learn about American culture.

Spencer:

And it's very, like, totally out of, what's the word like,

Spencer:

exaggerated and ridiculous. Yeah, as GTA is an example of

Spencer:

that. Yeah. And so you know, having her perspective, as an

Spencer:

artist, as someone working with a medium that is so ancient and

Spencer:

so kind of tactile and based in very physical-in a physical

Spencer:

manner. I think having her for a discussion on video games, and

Spencer:

this whole digital space that's being cultivated in this

Spencer:

pandemic era is really, really cool. But yeah, if you want to

Spencer:

see more of Momo, you can check her out on blown away. It's like

Spencer:

the glassblowing version of Chopped. It's pretty intense.

Spencer:

And she has some really distinctive and cool art style.

Spencer:

And yeah, without further ado, we're just really excited to

Spencer:

bring you this conversation with Momo Schafer. [music break]

Spencer:

Momo, hi, thank you so much for joining us. It's so great to see

Spencer:

you.

Momo:

Happy to be here. Pretty good start to a Saturday.

Spencer:

Oh my gosh, yes. I couldn't agree more. Um, to

Spencer:

start, you know, for folks who may not be familiar with you,

Spencer:

with your work? Would you care to say a little bit about who

Spencer:

you are and what you're up to?

Momo:

Yeah, I guess primarily I'm an artist. My name is Momoko

Momo:

Schafer, most people call me Momo. I'm also an educator so I

Momo:

teach classes. Prior to COVID, I was doing a lot of like selling

Momo:

glass and stuff like that. But now, if you check me out now,

Momo:

I'm kind of doing a lot of other things, digital drawings,

Momo:

producing videos for my Patreon, writing, all kinds of stuff so.

Spencer:

From your website, you talk about how your work

Spencer:

specifically is focused on helping communities create a

Spencer:

really tangible relationship with glass art, I think

Spencer:

something that people might not know is that, you know, getting

Spencer:

into glass isn't exactly easy. For one thing, it's not the most

Spencer:

accessible mainstream art form. And for another thing, it's

Spencer:

pretty expensive to have access to the materials to the

Spencer:

equipment. So can you talk about-talk more about how your

Spencer:

lass work and your community ork kind of intersect and what

Spencer:

t is about, like how you're reaking down these barriers?

Momo:

Yeah, I mean, this is something that's a continual

Momo:

process, especially being someone who's a budding artist

Momo:

and very much in the entry point of this industry. Very recently,

Momo:

I've kind of gained some prominence and with that

Momo:

prominence, I'm trying to make sure that I take advantage of

Momo:

that platform and speak up on that because frankly, the glass

Momo:

industry is pretty archaic. And there's a lot of things that

Momo:

like, haven't changed for a very long time that really need to

Momo:

change. And even in past movements, like #metoo, and

Momo:

stuff, like, I didn't see any change. It just breezed right

Momo:

over and with the Black Lives Matter movement happening right

Momo:

now, it has to change. It really has to change.

Spencer:

Yeah what you said about how movements like, you

Spencer:

know, the recent, refocusing in on police brutality against

Spencer:

Black Americans and how you said that kind of just goes over the

Spencer:

glass community and isn't really something that these artists

Spencer:

might think is relevant to them because they're not, you know,

Spencer:

they're not political. They're just artists. I mean, we don't

Spencer:

have the option to separate ourselves from our art. I think

Spencer:

as, you know, as people of color, as a I mean, I was gonna

Spencer:

say as women but I forgot I'm not a woman anymore. So, all

Spencer:

right, do you identify? How do you identify, Momo? I don't want

Spencer:

to speak for you. But, you know, I was wondering if you had more

Spencer:

to say about that kind of relationship between, you know,

Spencer:

artists and this contemporary moment we're in and how, like,

Spencer:

you're, I think, part of like a really great, just sort of this

Spencer:

waking up to the fact that we are all connected.

Momo:

Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. I'm seeing a lot of people

Momo:

having more conversations. I'm, I'm obviously somebody, as

Momo:

somebody who's biracial, as somebody who's queer, this has

Momo:

always been on my mind. I do identify as a woman, and I'm,

Momo:

you know, I'm very, like, in a heteronormative world, I blend

Momo:

in very well. So that doesn't really come up as much. But me

Momo:

being very Asian passing is a very consistent thing. So

Momo:

anytime anything racial even came up, like people would look

Momo:

to me as if I would be the spokesperson for all People of

Momo:

Color. All of them. Because truly, like it's me, and maybe,

Momo:

like, very recently, somebody reached out to me saying that

Momo:

they wanted to hire a Black glassblower in like the Boston

Momo:

area. And it was so painful to like, have to try to do that

Momo:

search, knowing that the options would be extremely limited,

Momo:

because glass has not made itself accessible to a ton of

Momo:

communities, especially like Black, POC people.

Spencer:

Mm hmm. So you were on a Netflix show called Blown

Spencer:

Away. It was a reality show. And essentially, for folks who may

Spencer:

not know, it brought a bunch of glass workers from all over the

Spencer:

world, right? together to compete in a big hot shop. And

Spencer:

Momo, your work was, at the time, you were focused on

Spencer:

creating work that had to do with dreams. And folks should

Spencer:

definitely look up Momo's glass art. It's, it's beautiful, it's

Spencer:

evocative, I think that it-there's a certain playfulness

Spencer:

to it. It really sort of takes glass into an unexpected place,

Spencer:

into a fun place, into an accessible place. And before I

Spencer:

even met you, I remember watching Blown Away and feeling

Spencer:

this immediate, like this sharp feeling in my chest, because I

Spencer:

honestly felt like a lot of the judging that you received was

Spencer:

racist. You were, I think you may have been the only non-White

Spencer:

person in that room of competitors. And it was very

Spencer:

clear from the way the judging was done that the types of

Spencer:

things that they were looking for, and, and trying to pass

Spencer:

across as like universal truths of what is good glass art, all

Spencer:

had to do with very archaic and some might say, old fashioned,

Spencer:

but like in a shitty way of thinking-like it was very

Spencer:

Eurocentric, I would say, in its judging, and I was wondering,

Spencer:

like, you compose yourself with such dignity. And I felt like

Spencer:

your personality came through. You-like you were in there as a

Spencer:

young person. Just like killing it. And I had such a ton of

Spencer:

respect for you. But I just was wondering, like, Did it feel

Spencer:

weird? Like, did you-did you feel like shit was weird?

Momo:

I mean, just from the very beginning, right? Like, this was

Momo:

a reality TV show. And obviously, they want to make it

Momo:

as interesting as possible. And so having a diverse cast of

Momo:

characters, if I can all of us artists characters for the show,

Momo:

like that's definitely a priority. So I could, you know,

Momo:

obviously, I kind of was-that was in the back of my mind, when

Momo:

I'm thinking of like, why it is that I'm being picked. Obviously

Momo:

they want a range of age and experience. Um, Edgar was the

Momo:

only other Person of Color on the show. And so it's

Momo:

interesting to see that, like, us being one of the youngest

Momo:

people in the room to also be the only People of Color in the

Momo:

room is very telling of like, where glass was, but also where

Momo:

glass might be moving. I don't think the show's representative

Momo:

of what every hot shop looks like, but the fact that like, we

Momo:

exist, and that opportunity was given to us, that we're getting

Momo:

this publicity and people are seeing the potential that we

Momo:

hold in the types of conversations, the original

Momo:

designs, concepts, the cultural fusion that we bring to the

Momo:

table. I think the audience really was captivated by that

Momo:

and then yeah, some people were struggling with like, what is

Momo:

with this like, Eurocentric conversation? Because

Momo:

glassblowing-a lot of its history is Eurocentric, and so

Momo:

we'll continue to put that on a pedestal and, yeah, that does

Momo:

hinder, having a wider vision of what the potential really is.

Spencer:

It felt like the pieces where you were most trying to

Spencer:

bring in aspects of your culture, or things that were new

Spencer:

to folks in the glass world, like that was immediately cast

Spencer:

off as, "Oh, this is childish. This is amateur. This is not

Spencer:

art." And I was like, sitting there, like burning up, and I

Spencer:

wasn't even in the room. And so I just want to say like, I

Spencer:

totally see you. And, yeah, that was, um, I'm glad that you were

Spencer:

able to have that experience and like, have the world see more of

Spencer:

your art. And I'm excited to see more and more of what you said

Spencer:

of this sort of rising movement within the glass world that is

Spencer:

more dynamic, younger, kind of pushing the boundary of

Spencer:

contemporary glass art.

Momo:

Yeah, thank you for saying that. And sharing that because

Momo:

it is kind of hard to pick up on those nuances when you're

Momo:

watching a reality TV show, and so much of our conversation

Momo:

never made it to Netflix, right? And so, yeah, it's interesting

Momo:

to hear that you were able to pick up on that, because, again,

Momo:

a lot of what was actually exchanged during those

Momo:

critiques, were not publicized. And I think there's reason for

Momo:

that, right? Like, there definitely was more that I had

Momo:

to say. But they also have to think about the optics of the

Momo:

show. And if there's too much serious criticism on the judges

Momo:

and the validity of the judges opinions and thoughts on things,

Momo:

then that kind of starts to chip away at the integrity of the

Momo:

whole competition and the whole show. So, you know, those are

Momo:

the things that I kind of had to weigh out in, you know, things

Momo:

that I still, you know, I wonder I'm, like 10 years from now,

Momo:

like, when can I really spill the tea on this?

Spencer:

Yeah, when's that NDA run out? Anyways, so this is a

Spencer:

podcast about video games. [laughing] [music break]

Spencer:

Tell us like, what is your history with video games? What

Spencer:

role have video games played in your life?

Momo:

That's a good one. Um, people don't really ask me this

Momo:

question. You know, like, people are just like, "You're a

Momo:

glassblower. You're an artist." So this is a really unique place

Momo:

that I'm in right now on a video game podcast. Even telling my

Momo:

friends and family they were like, "You? Why you?" But video

Momo:

games, it's huge. It's everywhere. Games are important,

Momo:

because that's just part of human life. We-even when we go

Momo:

to school and play recess, like we're playing, playing and

Momo:

interacting and playing out different roles, different

Momo:

boundaries, different rules, different goals, like all of

Momo:

that's super important. Um, I, I will say like, one of my

Momo:

earliest memories of like a video game experience that I

Momo:

really enjoyed that was, like, consistent, was probably Late

Momo:

Middle School. While I was in Japan for the summer, like, I

Momo:

spent many of my summers in Japan. And I was hanging out

Momo:

with my cousin and he was playing Grand Theft Auto. And

Momo:

like, it was just such a stark clash of like, Japanese culture

Momo:

and like American culture, and like, me being the person to

Momo:

explain to him like, why the motive of the game is to kill

Momo:

somebody and then to like, get this prostitute and then collect

Momo:

this and like, you know, like

Spencer:

Oh, God, welcome to America.

Momo:

Yeah, like, why are we bashing cars? What are these

Momo:

weapons like guns are not even legal in Japan so like, the

Momo:

concept of gun is-

Spencer:

Oh geeze.

Momo:

Right? So, so that was like an interesting moment. And

Momo:

that was also like the summer where I was like, super into

Momo:

like getting into hip hop and r&b. And I'm trying to like

Momo:

translate all these like, Jay Z, Eminem, like Kanye lyrics to

Momo:

him. So there was