We are IJKL Studio, a group of classmates and friends from the Master of Digital Media (MDM) program at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver, BC.
Our team currently consists of Irene, Jaclynn, Kun, and Lam (IJKL). You can read more about what we each do here.
Regarding our studio name – I don’t know about you guys, but when I was young, I always wanted to create a kick-ass band name from the band members’ initials. But the letter ‘J’ is not easy to work with, sadly enough. So our team was super excited the day we realized that our initials fit an alphabetical sequence, and that they are all clustered together in a cute little Tetris shape on QWERTY keyboards. We felt that this really spoke to our close-knit connection as a team, as each one of us has worked with every other member in previous projects in our MDM program, but never altogether until the birth of IJKL Studio.
Our team formed in February 2020 to pitch an idea for a game about loneliness. Back then, we had no idea just how timely and relevant our project would become. In 2019, Forbes magazine identified a loneliness epidemic in millennials. But now, in a time where most of the world has had to practice self-quarantining and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I expect that the issue of loneliness will only become even more severe. We’ll detail the health consequences of loneliness in a later post, but for now, I’ll just say that it is imperative that we keep mental health resources and social support available while we face this pandemic.
As for IJKL Studio’s experiences with the pandemic, we too have had to adopt all-remote work practices. It’s been vastly different from our pre-pandemic late-night pizza and Netflix parties, but our team was built on shared values about togetherness, which endure even while working remotely. After all, it would be deeply ironic for any of our team members to fall prey to loneliness while working on a project to address loneliness.
What about you, dear readers? Have you experienced loneliness during the pandemic? If so, what coping strategies have worked? Let us know in the comments below.