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Matt Boch and Christina Xu

Christina Xu and Matt Boch, self-proclaimed Kendall Square techies at Community Rowing, Inc. in Brighton.

Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff, photo assistant: Cecille Avila

Christina Xu and Matt Boch, self-proclaimed Kendall Square techies at Community Rowing, Inc. in Brighton.

Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff, assistant: Cecille Avila

Christina Xu and Matt Boch at Community Rowing.


Age 29

Occupation Director of research and development, Harmonix

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Residence Somerville


Age 24

Occupation Chancellor of the Institute on Higher Awesome Studies and cofounder of ROFLcon

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Residence Somerville

How do gamers and other people in technology signal their work in their clothing?

CHRISTINA It’s unfortunate — so much “Internet fashion” seems to be relegated to joke T-shirts, which is too bad because a) everyone already has enough T-shirts and b) they’re so unsubtle.

MATT Wearing your phone on your belt is gauche, and carrying around a game consul is itself a little odd, but wearing your technology on your sleeve is kind of what everyone’s trying to do.

CHRISTINA I prefer items where if someone sees it and understands the joke, great, but if they don’t get it, they’re not alienated. I wear a lot of pieces that look pixilated. I like things that are geeky but that don’t scream “I’m a nerd!”

Matt, in helping to develop Harmonix’s Dance Central franchise, did you have much say in how the avatars looked?

Yeah, I made a lookbook for the art team to interpret in terms of both the individual characters and how they fit within the world. It’s often commented that many of the characters have the same accessories as me, but I take style cues from them, too. It goes back and forth.

Do you two stand out in tech crowds?

MATT Yeah, especially at conventions. People ask whether I’m showing for a particular product or something. They find me cartoonish.

CHRISTINA At conferences I need to strike a balance: I have to be somewhat formal, but the reason that I’m ever even invited is that they want my youthful perspective, so I need to wear something more fun. — Alice Gregory

Interview has been condensed and edited. E-mail comments to
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