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Nerd Nite # 53

8 November 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Welcome to Nerd Nite Melbourne’s 53rd show! This show features 3 captivating talks that take us all on a journey through queerness in video games, parasitoid wasps in agriculture, and intimacy coordination on stage and screen.

Xavier Ho

How deep is the hole? Not the rabbit. Queer indie games!

There’s an open secret that I want you to know: the games industry is pretty gay. It shouldn’t come off as a surprise that one of the most creative professions and hobbies attracts a diverse and passionate collective of artistic individuals. But first, what are queer games? Are queer games for queer people only? Why aren’t there more queer representations in games, and is it about quantity or quality? My dear, hold my beer (and wine, I’m double parked) as we blitz through a brief history of queer games and journey through fan culture, gay romance, the essence of transness and at the end you will see that the answers may not be binary after all.

Bio: Xavier realised he was definitely not straight at university. After further testing to be really sure (can’t be too careful with these tests) and consulting folks who are 24/7 full-time super wholesome and queer, he found his furry community online, and moved far away from home (but not for the reasons you might think). He is now the queer games researcher at Monash University with a focus on Oceania and the Asia Pacific, and he is also working on an unannounced tabletop game that he can’t talk about in public. Oh, and he’s been filming Nerd Nite the last few years with his boyfriend Luis, so now the boyfriend has to drive two cameras.

Find out more about Xavier at https://jtg.design/.

Lilia Jenkins

From Alien to Agriculture: The World of Parasitoid Wasps

Having served as both the inspiration for blockbuster horror and a source of existential crisis for those pondering the existence of a divine creator, parasitoid wasps have earned a pretty remarkable reputation. But perhaps one of their most important jobs is keeping food on your table. Being one of the most diverse organisms in the world, there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to these pint-sized insects. Get ready for a presentation that’s all the buzz as we explore the fascinating, complex, and gruesome world of parasitoid wasps, uncovering the incredible way they are reshaping our approaches to crop protection and sustainability.

Bio: Lilia once released 10k parasitoid wasps in an orchard as part of a bio-control project, so she likes to think she knows a thing or two about them. She graduated from the University of Tasmania with Honours in Agricultural Science last year, where she studied biological control options in the apple industry. Now, she’s living the dream– talking about insects all day long as an extension scientist at Cesar Australia, an independent research company focused on integrated pest management and conservation. She’s proudly neurodivergent, a bit of a nerd, and crazy-passionate about increasing the resilience of our agricultural systems and increasing awareness of sustainable pest management.

Socials: @LiliaAJenkins

Cessalee Stovall

Staging sex

Staging sex – Spiderman kissing Mary Jane. Romeo and Juliet in the pool. Your favorite couple pashing on a soap opera. Ever wondered how intimate scenes are staged and shot? Are you curious about how consent and boundaries form what we see in the final product? Join Cessalee Stovall, Intimacy Director and Choreographer as she talks about the dos, maybe nots, and definitely don’t on staging intimate moments on stage and screen.

Bio: Cessalee Stovall (she/her) is a certified Intimacy Director for film, theatre and tv, a Cultural Consultant and an Equity, Access and Inclusion Specialist, with a focus on the performing arts sector. She’s the Founder of Stage A Change, an actor, director, movement coach and an unapologetic champion for the physical, psychological, and cultural safety of all humans in our industry. Cessalee has trained with Intimacy Directors of Color, Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, and Theatrical Intimacy Education and studied under Intimacy Coordinators Australia. She holds a theatre degree from Florida State University, graduate certificates in Diversity and Inclusion from Purdue University and Cornell University, and an Arts Leadership Certificate from University of Massachusetts, Amhurst. Recent and current intimacy direction credits include Neighbours (current season), Better Man (feature film), Nosferatu, Anna K and Stay Woke (Malthouse), Choir Boy (National Theatre of Parramatta) Hairspray (Natl. Tour), The Wedding Singer (Natl. Tour), and Passing Strange (Antipodes Theatre Company).


8 November 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Howler, 7-11 Dawson Street, Brunswick