Meet the cohort of the Wordplay 2023 Games Writing Mentorship Program

The 2023 program sees a fresh new cohort join returning alumni to provide a range of perspectives on the Victorian event.
Wordplay GamesHub Melbourne International Games Week Creative Victoria

The participants for the 2023 WordPlay Games Writing Mentorship Program have been chosen, with three participants selected from a diverse and competitive pool of talented writers from across Victoria.

The Wordplay 2023 cohort will gain knowledge from a number of games media industry veterans – including journalists, academics and developers – as they work to develop pieces of writing inspired by the games, people, and events that make up Melbourne International Games Week (MIGW).

The mentors for Wordplay 2022 include Alice Clarke, A/Prof. Dan Golding, James O’Connor, and Edmond Tran.

In addition, Wordplay 2023 will welcome back three alumni of the programme to once again provide unique perspectives on MIGW.

WordPlay is delivered by GamesHub, Melbourne International Games Week and Creative Victoria.

Melbourne International Games Week returns to Melbourne from 30 September to 8 October 2023

The 2023 Wordplay Cohort

Isabella Verduci

Isabella Verduci

Isabella (she/her) is currently in her final semester of Game Design and Development at RMIT. Ever since her first playthrough of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, she has been inspired to create memorable games with dynamic storylines to showcase the narrative power games hold.

She also has a specific interest in audio design within games and how it is often overlooked as one of the biggest contributing factors to atmosphere and worldbuilding. Isabella’s favourite games are ones that test the boundaries between reality and imagination to create captivating virtual worlds.

Savannah Hollis

Savannah Hollis

Savannah Hollis (she/her) is a writer and editor living in Naarm. She edits everything from literary fiction to picture books, and was shortlisted for the Australian Book Review’s Calibre Essay Prize in 2022. She has read at Midsumma Festival, written for Overland and Melbourne Fashion Festival, and in 2021 she was awarded a Varuna Residential Fellowship to work on her first novel.

Read: How Gendered Design Shapes Our Perspective on Video Games

Theo Tunks

Theo Tunks

Theo (he/him) is a recent university Journalism graduate who has always loved both writing and video games. He has written plays, short stories, and reported on the games industry for publications like The Burne and Kotaku AU. His favourite types of games are ones that immerse players into the story and make them question the types of decisions that they make.

He also loves video game music, with a particular fondness for orchestral music.

Returning Wordplay Alumni

Josefina Huq

Josefina Huq (she/her) is a creative writer who crafts stories and articles about home, memory, nostalgia, and anything else that deals in extreme sentimentality. Her research at RMIT University attempts to justify this as a good thing.

Read: Choosing the best worst path – A ‘Night in the Woods’ retrospective

Percy Ranson

Percy Ranson (they/them) is a non-binary writer based in Melbourne. They have no choice but to critically analyse their favourite media, due to years of gaming, theatre, and Creative Art studies.

Read: How I learned to stop worrying, and be an optimistic nihilist

Jam Walker

Jam Walker (they/them) is a games and entertainment journalist from Melbourne, Australia. They hold a bachelor’s degree in game design from RMIT but probably should have gotten a journalism one instead.

Read: How Samurai Punk’s lo-fi shooter KILLBUG buzzed into being

Look forward to reading the Wordplay 2023 body of work in the weeks following Melbourne International Games Week 2023.