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José P. Zagal — UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

Dr. José P. Zagal is a game designer and scholar. He is also a Professor with the University of Utah’s nationally ranked Entertainment Arts & Engineering program where, among other things, he teaches courses on game design, ethics in videogames, and experimental games. He taught his first university-level class in 2000 and has since supervised multiple award-winning student projects, and many of his former students work at leading game studios worldwide.

José’s research explores the development of frameworks for describing, analyzing, and understanding games from a critical perspective. He is also interested in supporting games literacy and game education. His book on this topic, “Ludoliteracy: Defining, Understanding, and Supporting Games Education” was published in 2010. In 2012 he edited “The Videogame Ethics Reader”, a collection of writings that provide an entry point for thinking, deliberating, and discussing ethical topics surrounding videogames. “Role-Playing Game Studies”, edited in collaboration with Dr. Sebastian Deterding, was published in 2018 and provides an in-depth examination of role-playing games across different media and disciplinary contexts. His most recent book, “Game Design Snacks” (ETC Press, 2019) is an edited collection of nuggets of game design wisdom covering various areas in game design with examples from commercially released videogames.

José received his PhD in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008, his M.Sc. in engineering sciences and a B.S. in industrial engineering from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in 1999 and 1997.

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Jane Pinckard — UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Jane Pinckard is Associate Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts in the Interactive Media & Games division of the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. She is a writer, critic, and educator who has studied the culture of video games for twenty years. She has written about games for publications such as Gamepro, EGM, 1UP and Salon, as well as on her games culture blog, GameGirlAdvance. She led the East Coast business development operations for Foundation 9 Entertainment, and served as Vice Chair of the International Game Developers Organization. She is on the editorial board of the Well-Played Journal from ETC Press, Carnegie Mellon University. From 2011 to 2014, she was Associate Director of the Center for Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. A graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy writing workshop, she writes fiction about robots and palaces under the sea. Her favorite game is Final Fantasy

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Tanya Krzywinska — FALMOUTH UNIVERSITY


Tanya Krzywinska is chair for Digital Economy at Falmouth University. She taught film and games at Brunel University, Uxbridge for 25 years before moving to Cornwall to set up the Games Academy and games research at Falmouth University. Tanya is the author of many books and papers on games and related media, as well as the Editor of the academic peer-reviewed journal Games and Culture (Sage). She is also an exhibiting artist, working mainly in Oil paint. Over the past four years, she has led a team of researchers to provide immersive experiences for museums in the region, using Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality and has recently become a Trustee at Royal Cornwall Museum.

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D. Fox Harrell — MIT

D. Fox Harrell, Ph.D., is Professor of Digital Media & Artificial Intelligence in the Comparative Media Studies Program and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. He is the director of the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality. His research explores the relationship between imagination and computation. His research involves developing new forms of computational narrative, videogaming, extended reality (VR, AR, etc.), and related digital media forms based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. He has worked as an interactive television producer and as a game designer. His book Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression was published by the MIT Press (2013).

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Naomi Clark — NYU

Naomi Clark has been designing, producing and writing games for all sorts of platforms and audiences for over two decades. The roughly three dozen games she’s contributed to include early text-based virtual worlds, downloadable and mobile games for mass audiences, online games for LEGO, educational games on subjects ranging from upcycling to electrical circuits, game development tools for kids, and digital brick-building software. She’s been a game reviewer and pop culture critic for the pioneering feminist site Feministe and has contributed to several critical collections on games (Videogames for Humans, Queer Game Studies) in addition to co-authoring a textbook, A Game Design Vocabulary. Her recent games includes card games like Consentacle, a two-player game of trust, communication and intimacy, and Lacerunner, a unauthorized narrative re-invention of Android: Netrunner.

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Georgios N. Yannakakis

Georgios N. Yannakakis (yannakakis.net) is a Professor and Director of the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta. He is a leading expert of the game artificial intelligence research field with core theoretical contributions in machine learning, evolutionary computation, affective computing and player modelling, computational creativity and procedural content generation. He has published more than 220 papers and his work has been cited broadly. He has attracted funding from several EU and national research agencies and received multiple awards for published work in top-tier journals and conferences. His work has been featured in New Scientist, Science Magazine, The Guardian, Le Monde and other venues. He is regularly invited to give keynote talks at the most recognised conferences in his areas of research activity and has organised a few of the most respected conferences in the areas of game AI and game research. He has been an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games and the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing journals; he is currently an Associate editor of the IEEE Transactions in Games. He is the co-author of the Artificial Intelligence and Games Textbook (http://gameaibook.org/).

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Jaakko Stenros — University of Tampere

Jaakko Stenros (PhD) is a University Lecturer in Game Studies working at the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (at the Game Research Lab, University of Tampere). He has published eight books and over 50 articles and reports and has taught game studies for a decade. Stenros studies play and games, and currently he is working on understanding game rules, the making of larps, and uncovering the aesthetics of social play, but his research interests include norm-defying play, game jams, queer play, role-playing games, pervasive games, and playfulness. Stenros has also collaborated with artists and designers to create ludic experiences, and has curated many exhibitions at the Finnish Museum of Games.

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Torill Elvira Mortensen

Torill Elvira Mortensen is associate professor at the IT University of Copenhagen. She has a Cand. philol in Mass Communication and Culture, and a Dr. art. on the use of text-based computer games, both from the University of Bergen. She was a co-founder of the journal Game Studies, on the board of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) 2006-2010, and on the board of Norsk Tipping, the Norwegian lottery authority, 2011-2015. In 2019 she was awarded DiGRA distinguished scholar. Her most recent book is the co-authored work The Paradox of Transgression in Games (2020), and her research is on the use of digital games, the practice of play, and the integration of digital media practices in the everyday life.

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Adam Mayes

Adam Mayes a lecturer in game design at Uppsala University Campus Gotland. Prior to Uppsala, Mayes spent 20 years in the industry and three years mentoring. He has been an organizer of the Gotland Game Conference and the Game Educators Summit at GGC.

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Hartmut Koenitz

Before coming to HKU University of the Arts utrecht, Hartmut Koenitz was an Assistant Professor in Mass Media Arts at the University of Georgia, researching Interactive Digital Narrative and Video Games. He is also an artist (his work was exhibited in Atlanta, Paris, Seoul, Istanbul and Copenhagen) and sometimes a car mechanic. His areas of interest center around new expressive forms using digital technology. This includes narrative in video games as well as interactive art pieces and installations. He is the creator of the authoring tool ASAPS. He has taught many classes connected to digital media, including interactive narrative, game programming, video production, and web design. From 2017 Koeniz has joined the Advisory Board of the Euregio-project “RheijnLand.Xperiences”, in which four musea in the Niederrhein-region (Germany) en four musea in de region Arnhem-Nijmegen will develop narratives on the basis of their collections.