//2012 Conference Speakers

Please join us in welcoming those that will be speaking at the IndieCade Conference for 2012!

Kaho Abe
Kaho Abe is currently the Artist in Residence at the Game Innovation Lab at NYU-Poly where she researches and builds digital games that are played in the physical world, face to face. Kaho's work is largely focused on improving social and personal experiences through the use of technology, fashion and games. Kaho teaches classes and workshops on designing and building alternative physical game controllers, and co-hosts a monthly play testing event with Come Out and Play at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center. She holds a MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons the New School for Design and was formerly a Fellow at Eyebeam.

anna anthropy
anna anthropy is a game creatrix living and working in the East Bay Area. She makes a lot of games, and her first published book, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, will show you how you can, too.

Cindy Au
Cindy is Director of Community at Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. She enjoys working closely with users, and spends much of her time building relationships within the Games and Comics communities. Previously, she has worked as a writer covering topics in games, comics, and geek culture. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught literature and media studies. She currently resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and loves hosting game night.

Oscar Barda
Oscar Barda is a media artist, and games and interaction theorist. He was an editor for Amusement Magazine, an art director with PlusqueduWeb, a Game Designer with Ubisoft and worked on many game projects including a serious game for the French ministry of education, AAA titles and indie game projects. He accompanies students and gives lectures at Parisian video game school ICAN and Versaille's Architecture School and co-founded indie games studio Them Games. His current position is Art Counselor for Video games and New interactive art at the Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, France.

Jenova Chen
Jenova Chen is Founder and Creative Director of thatgamecompany, and designer of the award-winning games Cloud, Flow, Flower, and most recently Journey. thatgamecompany’s titles have garnered a multitude of honors over the years. Jenova was named one of Variety’s 10 Innovators to Watch in 2008, was selected as one of the Most Creative Entrepreneurs in Business in both 2009 and 2010 by Fast Company and was given the prestigious honor of being named to the MIT Technology Review Magazine’s TR35 list, naming the World’s Top Innovators under the Age of 35 in 2008.

Naomi Clark
Naomi Clark is a freelance game designer who's worked with Gamelab, LEGO, and Fresh Planet among many other companies. She's produced and designed everything from browser-based MMOs to casual downloadable games and Facebook games, and is currently consulting and teaching game design in New York City while working on an experimental project with the Brooklyn Game Ensemble.

Alessandro Cortini
Alessandro Cortini is an Italian musician best known for touring and recording with the American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from 2004 to 2008. Currently, Cortini is also the frontman for the Los Angeles based electronic-alternative band SONOIO. In addition, he was a touring member of The Mayfield Four from 2000 to 2002. Cortini was also a founding member of Modwheelmood, an Electronic-Alternative band from Los Angeles, California along with former Abandoned Pools guitarist Pelle Hillström. He recently completed a small Canadian tour under the guise of his solo project, blindoldfreak.

Ian Dallas
Ian Dallas is the Creative Director at Giant Sparrow. He spent the last 4 years working on The Unfinished Swan, a first-person painting game that's being released for PlayStation3 in late October. He's interested in creating experiences people have never had before and in making the world a stranger place.

Bernie DeKoven
Bernie DeKoven - a game designer, theorist, and author - is well-noted and highly respected for his contributions to the New Games Foundation (publisher of The New Games Book). Additionally, he is author of The Well-Played Game, a major proponent of "fun", and has lectured major industry events across the globe. Beyond his captivating keynotes and widespread written theory, DeKoven has had a hand in game development that spans scross publishers such as LEGO, Mattel Media, and CBS Software, to name a few.

Mark Essen
Mark Essen is a game designer, he lives in Los Angeles and holds a MFA from UCLA's Design and Media Arts program. He created many independent games under the label Messhof such as "Flywrench" and the IGF award winning "Nidhogg". His work has been exhibited at FILE in Sao Paulo, the New Museum in New York, MoCCA in Toronto, FACT, [DAM] Berlin, and Vice/Intel's international Creators Project.

Phil Fish
Phil Fish is everything that's wrong with videogames.

Mary Flanagan
Author, professor, designer, scholar, and artist, Mary Flanagan is a distinguished member of the indie community and is well-respected for her role in bridging the space between digital interaction and humanities. As founder and director of Tiltfactor Lab, Mary engages with a broad spectrum of media and continually creates works that alter one’s perception of society and the people within it.

Bennett Foddy
Dr. Bennett Foddy is deputy director and senior research fellow at the Institute for Science & Ethics at Oxford University, and an editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics. He has been writing since 2006 on the ethics, philosophy and neuroscience of drug addiction and obesity, as well as various related issues in neuroethics and the ethics of medicine. By night, he writes videogames for iOS and the web, most notably the physics-based action games QWOP and GIRP, which have been accessed over 80 million times, featured in Wired magazine, and shown at MoMA and at the Pulse Art Fair in New York City.

Zach Gage
Zach Gage is a game designer, programmer, educator, and conceptual artist from New York City. His work often explores the power of systems, both those created by social interaction in digital spaces, and those that can be created for others, through the framing of games. An Eyebeam Alumni, he has exhibited internationally at venues like the Venice Biennale, the New York MoMA, FutureEverything in Manchester, and the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. His work has been featured in several online and printed publications, including The New York Times Magazine, EDGE Magazine, Rhizome.org, Neural Magazine, New York Magazine, and Das Spiel und seine Grenzen (Springer Press).

Megan Gaiser
As Chief Creative Strategy Officer and former CEO of Her Interactive, Megan Gaiser sets creative direction, brand and portfolio expansion and cultivates strategic partnerships. Under her stewardship, Her Interactive (HI) has grown from a boutique company to an emerging competitor with the globally-loved Nancy Drew franchise games sales topping 9 million units world-wide. The Nancy Drew PC franchise is the #1 in the U.S. six years running. Her Interactive has garnered 24 consecutive Parents' Choice Awards. Megan has been named one of the "Game Industry's 100 Most Influential Women" by Next Generation and "Top 10 Most Influential Women of the Decade" by Gaming Angels. She also received the 2010 Microsoft Women in Games award and the 2011 IndieCade Honorary Trailblazer Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Prior to Her Interactive in 1997, Ms. Gaiser spent 11 years producing award-winning film documentaries, winning many awards, including 15 Cine Golden Eagle awards, three New York festival awards, and the International Documentary Milano Award. She also spent time on the Microsoft team as a Producer.

John Graham
John Graham is the Co-Founder and COO of Humble Bundle which conducts pay-what-you-want plus charity promotions with video games and other digital media. He is also a founding member of Wolfire Games and has served as Wolfire's PR dude, community manager and business developer. On occasion, he has been known to play the bagpipes, grow beards and wear kilts.

Johannes Grenzfurthner
Johannes Grenzfurthner is an artist, writer, curator, and director. He is the founder and artistic director of monochrom, an internationally acting art and theory group. He holds a professorship for art theory and art practice at the University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria. He is head of the ""Arse Elektronika"" festival in San Francisco, host of ""Roboexotica"" (Festival for Cocktail-Robotics, Vienna and San Francisco), and working on his first feature film ""Sierra Zulu"". He gave talks at SXSWi, O'Reilly ETech, FooCamp, Maker Faire, HOPE, Chaos Communication Congress, Google (Tech Talks), ROFLCon, Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Influencers, Mozilla Drumbeat Barcelona or the Neoteny Camp Singapore.

He and his projects have been featured in New York Times, Liberation, Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, Reuters, Slashdot, Boing Boing, New Scientist, The Edge, LA Times, NPR, ZDF, Gizmodo, Wired, Süddeutsche Zeitung, CNet or the Toronto Star.

Recurring topics in Johannes' artistic and textual work are contemporary art, activism, performance, humor, philosophy, postmodernism, media theory, cultural studies, sex tech, popular culture studies, science fiction, and the debate about copyright.

Amy Hennig
Amy Hennig is the creative director and writer of Sony Computer Entertainment’s acclaimed Uncharted series. Before joining Naughty Dog in 2003, she was the writer and director of the Soul Reaver / Legacy of Kain franchise at Crystal Dynamics. 2012 marks Amy’s twenty-third year in the game industry, after her first venture into the field in 1989 to work on a sidescrolling version of Electrocop for the Atari 7800. Previously, she earned a B.A. in English Literature and a partial M.A. in Film Production before realizing that all she really wanted to do was make games.

Lynn Hughes
Lynn Hughes is a digital media researcher, artist and teacher who holds the Chair of Interaction Design and Games Innovation at Concordia University in Montreal. She was instrumental in the founding and financing of Hexagram, the Montreal based Institute for Media Art and Technology and the largest new media hub in Canada. More recently she co-founded (with Bart Simon) the Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) Research Centre - a radically interdisciplinary centre that fosters game research and design. Lynn’s own design interests currently focus on the space between games and interactive art and on the design of full body, sensor based games. Propinquity, her current production with Bart Simon and the Modern Nomads, was featured on the opening night of the Joue le jeu / Play Along.


Aaron Isaksen
Aaron Isaksen is excited to launch Chip Chain on iOS and Android later this year. He has been making mobile games since 2003 as a co-founder of AppAbove Games, specializing in games sold in Latin America. He is also a partner of Indie Fund, a game funding group with the goal to help indie developers get and stay financially independent.

Heather Kelley
Heather Kelley (@PerfectPlum) is an award-winning media artist, curator, and game designer. She was named by Fast Company magazine as one of 2011’s thirty most influential women in technology. In 2012, she co-curated Joue le jeu, a 5000 m2 exhibition of ground-breaking video games and large-scale commissioned games in Paris, France. Ms. Kelley heads her experience design studio Perfect Plum, and is creator of the OhMiBod Remote, an intuitive and beautiful iPhone interface to control a connected vibrator. She is co-founder of the experimental game collective Kokoromi, with whom she has produced and curated the renowned GAMMA event promoting experimental games as creative expression in a social context. Ms. Kelley’s extensive career in game development has included design and production of AAA next-gen console games, interactive smart toys, mobile and handheld games, research games, installation games, and web communities for girls. She holds an MA in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin. http://perfectplum.com

Colleen Macklin
Colleen Macklin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City and Director of PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab), a lab focused on developing games for experimental learning and social engagement. PETLab projects include a curriculum in game design for the Boys and Girls Club, a set of statistical games for the Red Cross Climate Centre, and big games such as Re:Activism and the “fiscal” sport Budgetball. She is a member of the game design collectives Local No. 12, known for their card game the Metagame and The Leisure Collective. Her work has been shown at Come Out and Play, SoundLab, The Whitney Museum for American Art and Creative Time.

Matthew Meschery
Matthew Meschery is the Director of Digital Initiatives at the Independent Television Service (ITVS) where he oversees the development of new media content. He specializes in developing scalable and replicable cross-media strategies and technological solutions for filmmakers and arts organizations. Matthew is one of the prime architects of an internal initiative at ITVS to support independent filmmakers creating original online content as well as new media extensions of their documentary films. This initiative has funded media makers across the country creating a spectrum of innovative projects including original web video series, mobile applications, digital games and social media campaigns.

Andy Nealen
Andy is a faculty member in the department of computer science at NYI Poly, where he teaches and researches game design and engineering. Some time ago he studied architecture and structural engineering and worked in those fields before turning his attention to the study and design of games and computer graphics. He has since obtained a PhD in computer science, helped out with the award-winning game Osmos, published work and SIGGRAPH, and spoken at international game and graphics conferences. Some of his current obsessions include minimalist game design, tabletop game design, the semiology of graphics, perceptual science, and simple graphical user interfaces. When not thinking about design and/or traveling, he indulges in training sessions of star craft, street fighter, chess, go, and too many other digital and tabletop games.

Greg Pak
Greg Pak is a filmmaker and comic book writer best known for directing the award-winning feature film "Robot Stories," writing the epic "Planet Hulk" and "World War Hulk" comic book storylines, and co-writing (with Fred Van Lente) the fan favorite "Incredible Hercules" series for Marvel Comics. Current projects include the acclaimed sci-fi graphic novel and iPad app "Vision Machine" as well as "X-Treme X-Men," "Doctor Strange Season One," and "Dead Man's Run." Pak was named one of 25 Filmmakers to Watch by Filmmaker Magazine, described as "a talent with a future" by the New York Times, and named ""Breakout Talent"" of the year by Wizard Magazine.

Celia Pearce
Celia Pearce is a game designer, author, researcher, teacher, curator and artist, specializing in multiplayer gaming and virtual worlds, independent, art, and alternative game genres, as well as games and gender. She began designing interactive attractions and exhibitions in 1983, and has held academic appointments since 1998. Her game designs include the award-winning virtual reality attraction Virtual Adventures (for Iwerks and Evans & Sutherland) and the Purple Moon Friendship Adventure Cards for Girls. She received her Ph.D. in 2006 from SMARTLab Centre, then at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. She is currently an Associate Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Experimental Game Lab and the Emergent Game Group. She is the author or co-author of numerous papers and book chapters, including Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds (MIT 2009) and Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method, with Tom Boellstorff, Bonnie Nardi and T.L. Taylor (Princeton 2012). She has also curated new media, virtual reality, and game exhibitions is a co-founder and Festival Chair of IndieCade, an international independent games festival and showcase series. She also co-founded Ludica, a women’s game collective.

Paolo Pedercini
Paolo Pedercini is an Italian game developer, artist and educator. He teaches digital media production and experimental game design at the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. Since 2003 he works under the project name “Molleindustria” producing provocative games addressing issues of social and environmental justice (McDonald's videogame, Oiligarchy, Phone Story), religion (Faith Fighter), and labor and alienation (Every Day the Same Dream, Unmanned).

Dan Pinchbeck
Dan Pinchbeck is Creative Director of thechineseroom. He designs, writes and produces their games which include the cult hit Dear Esther, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. He’s recently finished a book called DOOM: Scarydarkfast, which will be published by the University of Michigan Press in December this year, and he’d like you all to buy it please.

Sean "Day[9]" Plott
Sean “Day[9]” Plott is an established eSports caster and personality in the gaming community. Day[9] spent 12 years as a competitive StarCraft player – earning 7 invitations to the World Cyber Games USA Grand Finals. In late 2009, Sean created a StarCraft strategy webshow called the Day[9] Daily. Each month, the Daily receives millions of views and Day[9]TV now has a library of more than 1000 videos including 500 episodes of the Day[9] Daily. Sean was also named in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Entertainment. Sean's interests include competitive gaming strategy, web broadcast and production, and growing the eSports marketplace.

Cindy Poremba
Cindy Poremba is a digital media researcher, artist and curator, exploring the intersection of videogames, documentary and interactive art. She is currently a Postdoctoral fellow, researching infrastructure for documentary videogames, in the School of Literature, Media and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Cindy holds a PhD in interdisciplinary Humanities from Concordia University in Montreal where she worked in association with the Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) . She is a former faculty member in Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT), who has presented internationally at both conferences and invited lectures, and has published work in journals such as Eludamos and Games & Culture. Over the past decade she has organized non-traditional exhibitions as an independent curator; and “new arcade” events as a member of the Kokoromi game art collective.

Nathalie Pozzi
Nathalie Pozzi is an architect whose projects cross the boundaries of art installation and architecture. Trained in Venice, Stockholm and Helsinki, Pozzi explores the classical design of space and light and the elegant use of materials, while also incorporating social and ethnographic elements into her work. Her projects expand the possibilities of architecture from building beautiful structures into a global and cultural act. Projects range from the short film "Home", presented at the 4th International Festival for Architecture in Video in Florence, to design and production consulting for internationally renowned artists. Recent work with game designer Eric Zimmerman involves the creation of large-scale physical games, including Starry Heavens, exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 2011.

Greg Rice
Greg Rice is the Senior Publishing Manager of Double Fine Productions as well as the Producer of Broken Age, the studio's record-breaking Kickstarter project. Prior to Double Fine, he worked as an assistant to Seamus Blackley at Creative Artists Agency.

Jason Rohrer
Since 2004, Jason Rohrer has designed, programmed, and released 16 games: Transcend, Cultivation, Passage, Gravitation, Perfectionism, Idealism, Police Brutality, Immortality, Regret, i45hg, Crude Oil, Between, Primrose, Sleep Is Death, Inside a Star-filled Sky, and Diamond Trust of London.

John Romero
John Romero, co-founder of id Software, is a designer and programmer known well for his creation of major titles such as Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein 3D. In the past two years, Romero has been working with his recently founded mobile and social development studio Loot Drop alongside veteran developer Brenda Brathwaite. His influence on the games industry extends far beyond the success of his titles, marking him as an intrinsic figure in modern gaming.

Steve Russell
Steve Russell is a computer scientist most noted for his creation of the famous Spacewar!, released in 1962. Developed on the PDP-1,Spacewar! was one of the earliest digital computer games, setting the foundation for nearly everything that was to come. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary for the legendary Spacewar!. Russell's ingenuity within his field led to this technical and creative success that is the root of the interactive software that spans the globe today.

Kellee Santiago
As President and Co-Founder of thatgamecompany over the last six years, Kellee Santiago developed one of the most prominent brands in independent and innovative game development, pushing the communicative possibilities of video games as a medium. She is currently a partner in IndieFund, which aims to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get, and stay, financially independent.

Kellee speaks around the world at video game, business, and entertainment conferences on innovation in games, entrepreneurship, and better methods for video game development. In 2010 she became a TED Fellow, and was recognized as one of The Ten Most Influential Women in Games of the Decade.

Randy Smith
Randy Smith is the co-owner and creative lead of Tiger Style, the indie studio behind iOS hits Waking Mars and Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, 2009's IGF Best Mobile Game. Previously he worked for over ten years in the industry as a designer and lead on the Thief series at Looking Glass Studios and ION Storm, on a Spielberg collaboration at Electronic Arts, and as a consultant with Ubisoft, Arkane Studios, and others. He writes a monthly column in Edge magazine about video games as an art form.

Paul Sottosanti
Paul Sottosanti cut his teeth as a designer at Wizards of the Coast and Maxis, working on a variety of games including Magic: the Gathering and Darkspore. After a brief stint attempting to create indie games (and realizing it's way harder than one might think), he joined Riot Games to design features related to spectating and competitive play. He truly believes that eSports can and will be a huge force in his lifetime and is thrilled to be a part of making that happen.

Eddo Stern
Eddo Stern is an artist, game designer and the director of the UCLA Game Lab. He works on the disputed borderlands between fantasy and reality, exploring the uneasy and otherwise unconscious connections between physical existence and electronic simulation. His work explores new modes for narrative and documentary, experimental and multidisciplinary computer game design, and cross-cultural representation in new media. He works with various media including software, hardware and game design, live performance, video, and kinetic sculpture. His works include the short machinima films Sheik Attack, Vietnam Romance, Landlord Vigilante and the games Wizard Takes All, Darkgame and Goldstation . He was the founder of the now retired art and technology cooperative C-level where he designed and co-produced the experimental computer gaming projects Waco Resurrection, Tekken Torture Tournament, Cockfight Arena. His work has been widely exhibited at international venues including The Tate Gallery Liverpool, Reina Sofia, E3, GDC, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, The ICA, The Hammer Museum, The New Museum in NYC, The Rotterdam Film Festival, ICC Tokyo, The Sundance Film Festival, and The Art Gallery of Ontario. He is an Associate Professor in the Design Media Arts Department at UCLA, where he teaches courses on game development, design and culture in a art context. Online at http://www.eddostern.com

Renee Tajima-Peña
Renee Tajima-Peña is documentary filmmaker whose credits include the Academy Award-nominated "Who Killed Vincent Chin?" "Calavera Highway," "My America…or Honk if You Love Buddha," and her current film, "No Mas Hijos Por Vida / No More Babies for Life." Her films have premiered at film festivals and venues around the world including Cannes, New Directors/New Films, Sundance, Toronto and the Whitney Bienialle. She was awarded an Alpert Award in the Arts, USA Broad Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She was founding faculty of the social documentation program at UC Santa Cruz where she is a professor of Film & Digital Media. She is also a visiting professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA.

Akira Thompson
Akira Thompson is co-founder of the independent game development studio, hummingway, and head of Game Maker Relations for IndieCade. Most recently he was Designer and Production Coordinator of the Connected Experiences team at Walt Disney Imagineering R&D. He has also curated interactive art shows, his most recent SUPER Tetricide saught to bridge the LA art community with the game community. In 2011 he was named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Entertainment.

Nathan Vella
Nathan Vella is co-founder & president of Toronto, Canada-based developer Capy (or Capybara Games). Best known for collaborating on Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Capy is also responsible for the upcoming Time-bending action extravaganza SUPER TIME FORCE. Nathan is a partner in Indie Fund and spends way too much time being terrible at fighting games.

Davey Wreden
In 2011, Davey Wreden released The Stanley Parable, which became an unprecedented international phenomenon. Overnight he became a multi-billionaire, then squandered nearly all of it betting against himself in underground amateur cage-fighting matches. Humbled by the turn of fortune and realising the errors in his previous lifestyle, he renounced his earthly possessions in order to walk the world on a quest for the true passion and deeper vibrational nature of the human spirit. Then once he did that he grabbed some In 'n Out and now he's here to give a talk about whatever.

Eric Zimmerman
Eric is a game designer and a co-author of Rules of Play. He is currently a professor at NYU’s Game Center, a collaborator on museum installation games with architect Nathalie Pozzi and a member of the game design collective Local No. 12.