JJ Otto (pronouns they/he) is a writer, researcher, and gamer most recently from Minneapolis, MN. In writing, JJ explores unique ways to present stories, and spends a lot of time world-building for TTRPGs. As a researcher, JJ’s interests center on games and storytelling in general as versatile mediums to incite social change and promote personal growth. Particularly, JJ is interested in tabletop games as platforms to teach creative writing and social skills, and assist in the safe exploration of one’s identity. Through novel narrative structures, cooperative play, and thoughtful representation, JJ aims to help bring new players and experiences to game culture and make it more accessible to diverse groups.
JJ graduated from the University of Rochester with a BA in Psychology and a BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. While in college, they worked as a research assistant for various psychology labs and conducted an independent study on the game This War of Mine to learn more about how games influence our empathy and social consciousness. In Denmark, JJ studied the development of the asexual community in Copenhagen, and learned a lot about identity development, exposure to diverse identities, and the importance of representation for those in marginalized communities. The winter before graduating JJ worked with an indie game team at GLITCH to create a puzzle game in just 24 hours, and they took the game to a couple conventions for playtesting. After graduating, JJ continued to attend game events at GLITCH, and worked for Pearson Clinical Assessment as a field research coordinator.