Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art


May 18, 2021

Guest Talk by GAMERella Award Winner: Team Bardz

Nedward Rehanek, Maya Harry and Joshua Shaw team-members developed Masks during the two days of the GAMERella Game Jam in November 2020. Their game went on to win the first ever GAMERella Game Award sponsored by Kishonna L. Gray and TAG. After a few month in further development, we have them back to talk about their process, show the game and answer your questions. 

In Masks you play as an autistic woman, Harriet, trying to navigate life. You have to make sure she’s productive while also managing how the world around her sees her.

“We built this game based on the experiences of some of our developers and we were thrilled to watch people immediately identify with the game, and connect it to their own experiences. It was one of the most rewarding and wonderful feelings that we have experienced, and we are set on bringing it to more people.”
– Team Bardz

In the last few months, the team continued to develop the game: ironing out bugs and implementing improvements on the controls, all based on player feedback. Beyond making the game more accessible, the team also continues to work on adding more levels and situations to the game.

Screenshot of the game MASKS

The game in its current form available here for free:

WHAT? presentation and Q&A
WHEN? 18th May, Tuesday – 7:30pm (EST)
WHERE? TAG @ (open only shortly before the event)
WHO? everyone is welcomed


Nedward Rehanek

“Hello! I’m Nedward Rehanek! I am a mixed Native Canadian – Caucasian
Transgender male. I am a third-year Game Design and Development student at Wilfrid Laurier University. This was my second game jam ever, and I had so much fun with it. I want to tell stories using games; that is my main goal. I love expression through games, and I think it is an important aspect of games, which is why when we came up with the idea for this game, I was thrilled.
I like to try and get people to try things from a different perspective. It is fascinating to me how we can all look at the same thing and have different ideas. As I continue working on games, I hope I can at least get one person to smile, laugh, cry or just for a second feel something because of something I helped create.”

Maya Harry

“I’m Maya Harry. I’m a half Jamaican-black and half caucasian woman. I’m
a third-year Game Design and Development student at Wilfrid Laurier University. This was my third game jam, and I’ve always wanted to make games that tell the
experiences of people who don’t always have their voices heard. I’m also an autistic woman who was told by the person set to diagnose me that the diagnosis would hold me back from living a life that I would want to live (adoption, living normally, etcetera.). Autism is an issue that many people don’t know the full scale of.”

Joshua Shaw

“I’m Joshua Shaw. I’m a half Vietnamese and half caucasian student! Storytelling, interactivity, imagination, and role-playing have been exciting concepts to me since I can remember, and nowhere are these types of fun embodied more than in games. I’ve spent my whole life playing and learning about games just by engaging with them. The gatekeeping, misogyny, and entitlement that permeates the community made me disillusioned with it. It has culminated in me not being comfortable saying I’m a gamer anymore. That brings me to GAMERella, my first game jam! What GAMERella embodies is the potential games and developers have to shift the community to one that is more loving, it is so crucial at this juncture, and it seems like fate that it would be my first game jam.”