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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.

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William Huber

William Huber is a researcher, lecturer and writer focusing on the aesthetics of games, media, and software. He has published several articles and book chapters analyzing and interpreting games and game culture. Currently head of the Centre for Excellence in Game Education at Abertay University, Huber promotes efforts to advance game education at Abertay and create a vibrant international centre for the intellectual and artistic exploration of digital games and interactive media. Before coming to Scotland, he spent five years teaching courses on videogame theory, design and history in the Interactive Media and Games Division of the School for Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

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Jussi Holopainen

Dr. Jussi Holopainen is a senior lecturer in games computing at the University of Lincoln, UK, teaching game design and game studies. His current research interests include experimental game design, empirical studies of game design practices, and aesthetics of gameplay. He has authored or co-authored several pieces on game design, most notably “Patterns in Game Design” (Charles River Media, 2004), and he has been an active member of Digital Games Research Association since 2003.

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Susanna Pollack

Susanna Pollack is the President of Games for Change, the leading global advocate for the power of games as drivers of social impact. In her role there, she produces the annual Games for Change Festival, the largest gaming event in New York, dubbed by national media as “the Sundance of video games.” In 2017, Susanna launched XR for Change Summit as a part of the Festival to explore how VR/AR/MR technologies are offering radical new ways to create social impact. Susanna works closely with organizations that are actively pursuing digital games to further their public or CSR mission. On behalf of clients including American Express Foundation, United Nations, Women’s Sports Foundation, Autodesk, Carnegie Foundation, Ad Council, Smithsonian Museum and McKinsey Social, she has initiated dozens of programs to advance the games for good sector. Susanna’s passion and commitment to Learning and Education led her to develop the G4C Student Challenge with the NYC Department of Education in 2015. The NYC pilot attracted world class partners including the New York Times, NYC Mayors Office, ACLU, X Prize, and Unity Technologies to bring a games design challenge to middle and high school students across the city. Under Susanna’s leadership, the program expanded nationally and currently runs in NYC, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Atlanta. Also in her role at G4C, Susanna launched the Games for Learning Summit with collaboration from the US Department of Education and the Entertainment Software Association. Now an annual event, the gathering attracts educators, policy makers, game studios and publishers to explore how games can be more effectively used in the classroom. Prior to joining Games for Change, Susanna worked across both the commercial and public sector. Over a 12 year period, Susanna held various senior level positions at BBC Worldwide Americas, most recently as SVP of the TV distribution division for the US where she led a team of 20 to raise $50m annually from co-production and sales of BBC’s award winning documentaries and scripted content.