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Horizons 2021

Horizons is an online, international event to showcase game students, universities, and colleges and connect them with one another, tool creators, recruiters, and the broader public. The inaugural Horizons took place June 12 & 13th, 2021 presented by IndieCade in collaboration with HEVGA.

2021 Horizons Recap

The inaugural Horizons took place June 12 & 13th, 2021 presented by IndieCade in collaboration with HEVGA.


IndieCade Horizons is uniquely designed to introduce new work coming out of academic game programs – to industry, to one-another, to aspiring students, and to the broader public. Through a series of panels, demos and gameplay, students and their teachers showcase their work and schools. IndieCade Horizons directly connects Industry representatives, platforms, recruiters and tool developers to a worldwide community of emerging talent and future industry leaders.

We have organized a playful collection of games, panels, competitions and streamed content featuring students, faculty and their schools.


A day of streaming, gameplay, demos and play testing . What’s not to love?   


Students and faculty compete, eSports style, to be the best at former IndieCade student games.


Critique from globally recognized designers, conversations with recruiters, a head-to-head dating game featuring game top game design programs, students and faculty, and an AMA environment.

Meet the organizers

For more than a decade, IndieCade has been dedicated to pushing the cutting edge of game and experience design.  At the core of our mission is supporting and elevating new, diverse voices and emerging talent.  Through our interactive events and exhibitions, we have long celebrated student work and the institutions responsible for teaching the next generation of game developers.  We’ve had the joy of witnessing many of those students go on to great commercial success, and we are devoted to fortifying the connection and expanding the opportunities between new creators and established industry players.

The Higher Education Video Game Alliance is the leading academic association advocating for the critical role video game programs play in higher education, industry, and government. Our mission is to create a platform for higher education leaders which will underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities.

Lindsay Grace – Horizons Chair

Lindsay is Knight Chair in Interactive Media and an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Communication. He is Vice President for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance and the 2019 recipient of the Games for Change Vanguard award. Lindsay’s book, Doing Things with Games, Social Impact through Design, is a well-received guide to game design. In 2020, he edited and authored Love and Electronic Affection: a Design Primer on designing love and affection in games.  

 His work has received awards and recognition from the Games for Change Festival, the Digital Diversity Network, the Association of Computing Machinery’s digital arts community , Black Enterprise and others. He’s designed scores of indie games, curated a variety of exhibits and organized several indie events. He authored or co-authored more than 50 papers, articles and book chapters on games since 2009. His creative work has been selected for showcase internationally including New York, Paris, Sao Paolo, Singapore, Chicago, Vancouver, Istanbul, and others. Lindsay curated or co-curated Blank Arcade, Smithsonian American Art Museum’s SAAM Arcade, the Games for Change Civic and Social Impact and others.

Jonathan Elmergreen

Jonathan Elmergreen is the Executive Director for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, the international professional association for faculty, students, and institutions that work in video games, interactive media, and digital media. In his work with The Alliance, he serves members of the games and higher education community through field building, academic services, public advocacy, and policymaker engagement. Under Jonathan, membership has grown to represent over 310 universities worldwide, and HEVGA has become a global leader and voice in games through strategic global partnerships with governing bodies, agencies, foundations, associations, and organizations and a strong network of esteemed fellows, scholars, and members.

Andy Phelps

Andrew “Andy” Phelps is a professor at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory NZ (HITLabNZ) within the College of Engineering at the University of Canterbury. His work there is focused on virtual and augmented reality, games and education, and art and interactive media experiences of several varieties. In addition to his individual research and creative practice, supervision of students, and teaching activities, he is heavily engaged in building a new effort within the university, the Applied Immersive Gaming Initiative (AIGI), in collaboration with other faculty and staff at the HITLab, UC, and ChristchurchNZ, the city’s promotion and economic development agency.

Phelps also serves as a Professor in the Film & Media Arts division of the School of Communication at American University, and as Director of the AU Game Lab. 

In addition to his roles at American and Canterbury in research, administration and education, he currently serves as president of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA).

Celia Pearce

Celia Pearce is an award-winning game designer, artist, curator, author, teacher, and serial instigator. She co-founder and of IndieCade and the Playable Theatre Project, and currently holds a position as Associate Professor of Game Design at Northeastern University, where she has created games with student teams under the mantle of Paidia Studios and Pins&Needles. Her games have been featured at Come Out & Play, Different Games, Incubate, Smithsonian Indie Arcade, and BostonFIG Fest, where her game eBee (designed with Gillian Smith, Jeanie Choi and Isabella Carlsson) received the 2016 award for most Innovative Tabletop Game. Her books include Communities of Play (The MIT Press 2009) and IndieCade: A History — The Interdependence of Independence (ETC/CMU Press 2020), and she has authored/co-authored/edited numerous papers and book chapters as well as two other books. Her current research and creative practice builds on her pre-academia career as an experience designer for theme parks and is focused on the intersection between game design, live action roleplaying and theatre. Her performative and live action works have appeared at Living Games A Week in Boston, and The Night Cafe, a collection of live pieces around the heme of insomnia co-created by Kellian Pletcher-Adams and Lizzie Stark. She is a Higher Education Video Game Association (HEVGA) Fellow and was included in Game Advocacy’s “50 Over 50 Most Influential people in the Game Industry” in 2018.


Some Past Students…

Watch this interview with Pillow Castle’s Albert Shih and Robert Manuel from 2015

Superliminal, which Pillow Castle showed at IndieCade 2015 as student game Museum of Simulation Technology as an Official Selection of the Festival

Outer Wilds, a featured IndieCade Selected and Nominated game in 2013-   See the original OuterWilds team as students, along with their Classmates at the award ceremony.

IndieCade Opening in 2007 thatgamecompany – showing their student game Cloud and original rendition of Flow. Jenova Chen of (Flow, Flower, Journey, and currently Children of the Sky) and Kellee Santiago (Flow, Flower, Journey and currently at Niantic) 

Yuting Su, who showed student project Octobo with her Thinker-Tinker team at IndieCade 2016, has been awarded a patent for their Interactive Plush Character System and one of their recent products with this system a partnership with Dreamworks and Trolls! 

Special thanks to
Jamie Parreno, Horizons design & graphics
Meagan Couture, Graphic Design
Rachel Lowe, Web Design

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