Chris Bell is an experimental Game Designer in San Francisco, California. His previous games, "Journey" (developed with thatgamecompany) and "Way", encourage strangers around the world to communicate and empathize with each other through wordless play. His games have received awards and nominations at festivals including IndieCade, the IGF, and Games for Change, and in January of 2012, earned him a spot in Forbes Magazine's list of top 30 innovators in Entertainment under the age of 30. A passionate advocate of diversity in games, Chris helps organize the annual Experimental Gameplay Sessions at GDC. You can follow Chris on twitter via @chrisbelldesign
Andrea Benavides is a second-year Interactive Media MFA student at the University of Southern California. Her background includes a variety of roles on many student game projects, and she has been a Flash Developer and Production intern at EA for the last two summers. Currently she is a Research Assistant at the Game Innovation Lab at USC and the Producer for Loan Verneau's thesis project, Paralect. Andrea's most recent interests include experimental and artful games, especially ones that encourage intimate cooperative play, learning how to keep domestic plants alive, and coffee.
Mattie Brice is a game critic, social justice activist, and Creative Writing MA at San Francisco State University. She focuses her writing on diversity initiatives in the video game community, often bringing in the perspective of marginalized voices like transgender and multi-racial women to publications like Paste, Kotaku, The Border House, and Pop Matters. Her studies have led her to explore narrative design of games and gastronomy, and hopes to write for and design games in the future.
Heather Chaplin is an assistant professor of journalism at The New School and author of the acclaimed book, Smartbomb: The Quest for Art Entertainment and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution. She recently participated in a Ford Foundation grant looking at issues of the public interest in the next generation of the Internet focusing on digital literacy and journalism.
Rob is a game designer and rules writer. Rob has worked at Hasbro since 1998, and has worked on many games and franchises during his tenure there.
Bernie DeKoven is an American game designer, author, lecturer and fun theorist. He is most notable for his book The Well Played Game, for his contributions to the New Games Foundation, his pioneering work in computer game design, and for his long-running web site, deepFUN.com.
James Ernest is a game designer and professional juggler who has been designing and publishing games since 1993. He began his game design career writing and designing for Wizards of the Coast. In 1996, he founded Cheapass Games which has published over 100 original games. In 2003, he joined with Mike Selinker to create Lone Shark Games.
Alex Fleetwood founded Hide&Seek in 2007 and has had a hand in all its projects since then. As well as Hide&Seek, Alex has produced projects including The Eternity Man, a film opera for Channel 4 / ABC Australia. The film reached a global audience of half a million people and recently won the Rose d'Or, one of the most prestigious awards in television. Alex sits on the London advisory panel for Artists Taking the Lead, the main commissioning programme for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and recently won the British Council UK Young Performing Arts Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Nick Fortugno is a game designer of digital and real-world games based in New York City, and a founder of Playmatics. Games by Playmatics include the CableFAX award-winning Breaking Bad: The Interrogation as well as games for clients like Disney Interactive and LEGO. Before Playmatics, Fortugno was the Director of Game Design at gameLab, where he was a designer, writer and project manager on dozens of commercial and serious games, and served as lead designer on the downloadable blockbuster Diner Dash and the award-winning serious game Ayiti: The Cost of Life. Nick teaches game design and interactive narrative design at Parsons The New School of Design, and has participated in the construction of the school's game design curriculum. Nick is also a co-founder of the annual Come Out and Play street games festival hosted in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam since 2006, and co-creator of the Big Urban Game for Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2003. Nick's most recent writing about games can be found in the anthology Well-Played 1.0: Video Game, Value, and Meaning, published by ETC-Press.
Jeremy is an Assistant Professor of Cinema Practice at the University of Southern California who moonlights as an independent game designer and developer. Since 2009, he has taught classes in game design and digital prototyping for the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In that time, he has refined how design and digital prototyping are taught at USC, has taken an active role in both graduate and undergraduate education, and has created new classes, including Level Design Workshop with adjunct professor Scott Rogers, where students develop their individual artistic voice as level designers, and Immersive Game Design, in which students work in interdisciplinary teams to rapidly develop innovative experiences using cutting-edge technologies like the Microsoft Kinect.
Jeremy Gibson received a Masters of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of Texas. While at Carnegie Mellon, his team of students created the multiplayer game Skyrates, which won the Silver Gleemax Award for Strategic Gaming at the 2008 Independent Games Festival and the audience and editor's awards for Best Simulation Game of 2008 from JayIsGames.com. He has worked as a lead programmer and prototyper for companies such as frog design and Human Code and, while in graduate school, worked as an intern for both Walt Disney Imagineering and the Spore team at Maxis. Prior to joining the USC faculty, Jeremy taught at the Masters of Digital Media Program at Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver, BC and was an Associate Producer and Designer at Electronic Arts/Pogo.com, where he designed and produced the game Crazy Cakes. He served as President of Digital Mercenaries, Inc. from 2001-2003 and is currently the Vice President of Airship Studios Corp.
In addition to his recent teaching, Jeremy has also created and taught game design and new media courses for Texas State University in San Marcos,
Austin Community College, and the University of Texas.
Michael John (“MJ”) is responsible for the day-to-day operations of GLASSLab and leading a diverse, highly distributed team of game designers and developers, technologists, researchers and learning and assessment experts to produce superlative outcomes. As an employee of Electronic Arts and an industry veteran who has designed commercial video games for close to twenty years, MJ brings to the Lab extensive leadership experience and a wide range of design credits, including the original Spyro the Dragon games on Playstation 1 and the PSP classic Daxter. He has consulted for Sony, 2K Games and others and is a regular speaker at conference and academic venues like GDC, DICE, USC, Carnegie Mellon, UC Santa Cruz and the University of Washington. He has a special fondness for mentoring young designers.
Stone Librande is Creative Director at Electronic Arts. He has worked in a wide variety of technical and creative fields. He has been employed as an art director, video producer, software engineer, free-lance illustrator and, for one long summer, a tractor driver on a farm in Oregon. On weekends he is either teaching a game design course at Cogswell College in Sunnyvale, CA. or creating his own custom card and board games.
Laird M. Malamed holds the position of adjunct faculty in the Interactive Media Division in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. He is also president and co-founder of Creative Learning Technologies Corp, an education and medical consulting company working with foundations on K-12 education. Prior to focusing on teaching and consulting, Malamed was Sr. Vice President and Head of Development at Activision Blizzard overseeing software, hardware and manufacturing for products like Guitar Hero, Call of Duty and Skylanders. Malamed held a variety of roles at Activision during his 16+ year tenure including key positions in Activision’s internal studios, marketing, and European Studios. Before joining Activision, Malamed worked as a sound editor at Sony Pictures and at LucasFilm. Malamed earned a joint BS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering and Film & Media Studies. He attended the Graduate School of Cinematic Arts at USC.
Brad Muir has been making games for over 10 years. He began as a programmer at Outrage Games, had a brief stint at Raven as a gameplay programmer, and then landed at Double Fine as a gameplay programmer on Psychonauts, a designer on Brutal Legend, and most recently as the project lead and lead designer of Trenched/Iron Brigade. Brad's current mission is to continue creating accessible, original multi-player experiences that bring people together through core game play.
Myles Nye has contributed challenges to CBS reality hit Survivor, is the creator of "Astronauts vs. Lumberjacks Smackdown" in Los Feliz Village and, for the past 7 years, has been creating, conducting, and hosting innovative and hilarious team building events all over Southern California and around the world. Myles and his partner Greg worked together for 3 years before founding Wise Guys Events to help bring games with their own brand of intelligent fun to businesses and communities interested in the spirit of purposeful play.
Celia Pearce, PhD is a game designer, artist, researcher, curator, teacher, and author of The Interactive Book: A Guide to the Interactive Revolution (Macmillan, 1997), and other writings on game design and culture. She has been developing interactive theme parks, attractions, and museum exhibitions since 1983. She served as creative director on the multiple-award-winning virtual reality attraction, Virtual Adventures for Iwerks Entertainment and Evans & Sutherland. Her clients have also included Walt Disney Imagineering, the Jerde Partnership, and Purple Moon Software. From 1998-2001, she held research and teaching appointments at the University of Southern California where she was instrumental in launching the interactive media program in its film school and producing a landmark conference on game design and culture. Since 2001, she has held research and teaching appointments at University of California, Irvine, where she co-curated two exhibitions, including “ALT+CTRL: Festival of Independent and Alternative Games,” for the Beall Center for Art & Technology. She is currently an associate professor at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Michael Sweet leads the development of game scoring curriculum at Berklee College of Music. Over the past two decades in music, Michael is an accomplished video game composer and has been the audio director for more than 100 award winning video games. His work can be heard on the X-Box 360 logo and on award winning games from Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, PlayFirst, iWin, Gamelab, Shockwave, RealArcade, Pogo, Microsoft, Lego, AOL, and MTV, among others. He has won the Best Audio Award at the Independent Games Festival, the BDA Promax Gold Award for Best Sound Design, and has been nominated four Game Audio Network Guild (GANG) awards.
Sara Thacher designs and produces interactive experiences that bleed between physical and digital platforms. Recently she produced ‘The Jejune Institute’ created as part of the hybrid arts studio Nonchalance. This narrative game of real world exploration encouraged participants to explore their neighborhood and in doing so, unravel the threads of a mystery right under their noses. Her work has been covered by publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bomb Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle.
Tracy is a seasoned marketer with a background in consumer product/service management and advertising. She’s held leadership roles at Motorola, Intuit, THQ, Activision and Warner Bros. At THQ she profitably oversaw the company’s largest cross platform video game properties, WWE & UFC. At Activision, she launched "Prototype", one of the firm’s remaining console franchises. With WBIE, she managed the indie hit Bastion, Midway Arcade Collection and The Lord of the Rings releases. Currently, Tracy consults for gaming companies, creative agencies and financial institutions, while also serving on the Board of Directors for Women in Games International (WIGI). Tracy has a BS from Rutgers University Business School of Management, where she studied marketing and international business.