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A gamedev, writer, and side project enthusiast. Sharing my life learnings and my perspective on the pursuit of the good life.

When I think about my mother, I often want to cry.
One day, I hope she feels truly happy and not alone.

My name is Alisa Khieu, and I am the only daughter of two Vietnamese immigrants. As refugees, my parents had nothing, but they sacrificed a lot of themselves for the hopes of their children. It’s the immigrant story so many have heard of — all that parents do for their children, all their dreams for their kids to live a better life than they had.

And that’s really important to talk about. And while I could glorify their…


Last year, I was the only one who couldn’t drink at the company party. But today, I toast to my biggest milestone yet: making my first $120,000 net worth at age 21. But I don’t have a college degree, I’m not a genius, and I don’t work for a FAANG company.

This is how I did it. 😎

Time, Knowledge, and Money — your 3 most important resources.

Sounds a little sus. Who are you? 👩‍💻

Firstly, the disclaimer! This is not counsel from a licensed financial advisor. My name is Alisa Khieu, and I’m just a sleepless dreamer. Meaning, I’m just a kid with lots of hopes and aspirations that I’m working really hard toward. …


I’m a 21-year-old with no college degree, and I made $14K USD in 8 months after teaching myself personal finance and investing. But that’s just an article hook, and there’s a lot of depth in learning how to save money and build an investment portfolio.

What did a millennial with no experience learn after 8 months on the stock market?

Firstly, a disclaimer. 👩‍💻

This is not counsel from a licensed financial advisor. I’m just a woman with several personal finance takeaways after trial-and-error, tons of research, and a lot of YouTube. I also acknowledge that I’m lucky to have a stable job during a pandemic and disposable income I can afford to invest. …


the hypotheticals of self-actualization through the lens of game design

Image from the original Super Marios Bros. (1985)

Fundamentally, game design is about creating interesting rulesets for fun experiences. Players vicariously adventure through crafted worlds as their personas traverse danger, solve puzzles, and slay epic monsters. As people overcome these ‘manufactured challenges’, their characters level up with fanfare for all their accomplishments and achievements. It may take time and practice for someone to figure out how to beat a boss, but players go at it tenaciously because people can feel themselves improving and progressing each time. The goals in a game seem attainable, and if they aren’t, that’s…


Working in the gaming/gamedev industry, I’ve learned a lot from analyzing the science behind fun and player behavior. Personally, I really enjoy games because it’s exciting to face new challenges, level up one’s character, and get rewarded. There’s a lot of beauty to games that make people feel empowered.

If you’re on a quest for progression in real life, here are the 3 most important life lessons imparted to me from my mentors and experiences, told through the lens of game design!

🧙🏼‍♂ ️ “You should always be Learning and Earning!”

If you’re questing in-game, you’ll realize on any mission that your character is either learning new skills or…


Your 10 Minute Guide to Blockchain Games without the Jargon

If you’ve never understood blockchain games, this is the 8-minute TL;DR about blockchain games and their success— with zero blockchain jargon.

It’s Marketing 101 that you should speak in the language your audience can understand, and too often do I see blockchain games turn people off with verbose terminology. While understanding the complexities of the latest tech is cool, your product’s dead if you can’t communicate with a succinct value proposition.

So let’s just get to the most important part: what you can learn from blockchain game design, and why they’re so successful.

🕵️ To do this, let’s analyze what…


Source: Screencap from the popular game Among Us

If you want to be smart, you have to surround yourself with smart people. My dad taught me this early, and it got me far in life. But when you surround yourself with so much genius and talent, you’re going to look into the mirror one day and think to yourself, “Oh shit, it’s me. I’m the imposter.”

😱 Begin the Existential Crisis

If you think you’re a fraud, newsbreak is that 70% of people also do, according to a study in the International Journal of Behavioral Science.

In today’s online world, there’s so many ‘takes’ from strangers now more accessible than ever before. You…

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