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Poems Like Video Games: Nina Freeman, Poet and Video Game Creator, in the Spotlight

By Harriet Staff

Wow! How cool is this?? Nina Freeman is a poet, video game-maker, and co-founder of the Code Liberation Foundation! Read this conversation between her and Asher Penn at Sex Magazine and get psyched for the future!

Despite her young age, Nina Freeman is already an exemplary voice in independent video games, both as an advocate for female programmers and experimentation within the field. With a background in poetry, Freeman’s tiny, personal games range from the text based Mangia to the memory inspired My House My Rules, bringing the player to experience the intensity of the everyday. With a desire to educate and inspire, Freeman is also a co-founder of the Code Liberation Foundation, an educational outreach for anyone who identifies as a women to learn programming from women- an experiment that has already yielded exciting results.

How did you get into poetry?
I came to New York to study theater for my undergrad but wasn’t totally jazzed on the crowd. Then I came into the company of a poet in residence at Pace University named Charles North, who’s a second generation New York school poet. I ended up taking a bunch of poetry classes with him as well as getting involved with the St Marks Poetry Project.

Oh, that’s the spot.
Yeah, there was a big history there which really interested me.

What kind of poetry were you into?
I love tiny poems about little things. Like writing about ordinary stuff like a trip to the grocery store or socks or something. Vignettes, really, which is funnily enough what I’m interested in doing in games.

Were you into video games when you were a kid?
I played tons of games. I was super addicted to this online game Final Fantasy for five years. I ended up playing that through high school and then into college. It’s funny because when I first moved to New York most of my friends were people I met in the game. Even before I got into Final Fantasy online, I was tons of games. Lots of JRPGs and old Sega games.

Why didn’t you study programming?
I had considered going to school for computer science. I had been making my own websites since I was really little. I’d also considered game design, because two of my best friends went to school for game design. My mom was a model though, and she really encouraged me to go in the performance direction, because I’d really done a lot of theatre in high school. But, I think web design was really my first hobby, and I made my first website when I was like 13 on Homestead.

What was your first site?
It was a fan site for a series of books by Brian Jacques called Redwall. I was obsessed with the books when I was a kid, so I made like little fan sites for stuff like that and Pokemon and like all these different anime shows. I was always doing tech stuff when I was growing up on my own, in my room, not really telling anyone.

Read on and power up at Sex Mag.

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Posted in Poetry News on Friday, June 27th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.