Kirk Battle (L.B. Jeffries)

Kirk Battle is a law student from South Carolina who uses the pseudonym L.B. Jeffries on the internet. After majoring in English, he wandered around the resort scene in California, taught a little creative writing in Vermont, and ended up dead broke on the lower east side of Manhattan. A year of working for the government convinced him that there are some things worse than death so he took the LSAT. He continues to maintain his sanity and artistic sensibilities by posting a weekly on the PopMatters blog, 'Moving Pixels', providing game reviews, and whatever else captures his fancy.

Mia Consalvo

Mia Consalvo is the Associate Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the School of Media Arts & Studies at Ohio University. She is the author of Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames (MIT Press, 2007), and is currently co-editor of The Blackwell Handbook of Internet Studies with Charles Ess and Robert Burnett, to be published in 2009. Her research focuses on the hybrid character of the global games industry, as well as gender and sexuality as related to digital gameplay. She has published related work in The Video Game Theory Reader 2, as well as the journals Game Studies, Games & Culture, Television & New Media, and The International Review of Information Ethics.

Greg Costikyan

Greg Costikyan runs Manifesto Games, a start-up devoted to creating a viable path to market for independently developed games, and Play This Thing!, which runs daily reviews of non-mainstream games. Previously, he was a games researcher for Nokia; and prior to that co-founder of Unplugged Games, one of the first mobile game start-ups in North America. He has designed more than 30 commercially published board, roleplaying, computer, online, social, and mobile games, including five Origins Awards winners (ludography at; is an inductee into the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame; and the recipient of the Maverick Award for his tireless promotion of independent games. His essay, "I Have No Words and I Must Design" is used across the globe in game studies classes, and he has written on games, game design, and game industry business issues for publications including Wall Street Journal Interactive, the New York Times, and The Escapist, as well as chapters to books including SECOND PERSON and BUSINESS AND LEGAL PRIMER FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT. He is also the author of four published science fiction novels.
URLS: - personal website - a review each day of an indie game - corporate site

Patrick Curry

Patrick Curry is a game designer, writer and instructor living and working Chicago, IL. Currently serving as the Creative Director at Wideload Games, Patrick has over fifteen years experience creating games and multimedia, having held senior development positions at Midway Games, Skylab Entertainment, and Team SmartyPants! Patrick’s recent game design credits include Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse and John Woo Presents: Stranglehold. Patrick teaches game design and level design at DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media.

Drew Davidson

Drew Davidson is a professor, producer and player of interactive media. His background spans academic, industry and professional worlds and he is interested in stories across texts, comics, games and other media. He is the Director of the Entertainment Technology Center – Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University and the Editor of ETC Press.

Corvus Elrod

Corvus Elrod is an improvisational storyteller with over twenty years of professional experience. Whether plying his trade on a theater stage or a city street corner, he has searched for ways to craft stories that are ever more meaningful to his audience. While working to use the process of storytelling itself to help people learn to tell their own stories, he began incorporating game mechanics into his performances.

This led Corvus to begin exploring video games as a narrative medium, and he found considerable evidence that game mechanics themselves are powerful storytelling tools. He is now developing the Participatory Storytelling Model, a critical framework for examining the capacity of any media to share the storytelling experience with its audience.

Noah Falstein

Noah Falstein is the President of The Inspiracy (, a consulting firm specializing in game design and production. He has been designing and producing award-winning games since 1980 (Sinistar, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Hungry Red Planet), and was one of the first ten employees at LucasArts Entertainment, The 3DO Company, and Dreamworks Interactive. The Inspiracy does original design and design review projects worldwide, ranging from corporate training (Cisco, Microsoft) to medical education (Hopelab, Health Media Lab, Medical Cyberworlds) to entertainment (LucasArts, Disney, DreamCatcher, DTP).

Clara Fernández-Vara

Clara Fernández-Vara is a Research Associate at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Her research concentrates on the potential of storytelling in videogames, focusing on adventure games and the design of players' experience with the aid of storytelling. She is also interested in cross-media artifacts from the standpoint of textual analysis and performance. She started her academic career in English Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and holds a MSc in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. At the moment, she is a PhD candidate in Digital Media at Georgia Tech.

Mary D. Flanagan

When she isn't geocaching unusual treasures in the privacy of her own home, Mary Flanagan is in the studio in New York or developing games in her laboratory, Tiltfactor, at Dartmouth College. The author/editor of four books on digital culture and a researcher on over 6 NSF funded software projects, Flanagan's approach to design includes a strong theoretical foundation, a sensitivity to culture, a lot of playing around, and a goodly dose of sci-fi.

Nick Fortugno

Nick Fortugno is a co-founder and President of Rebel Monkey, a NYC-based casual game studio. Before Rebel Monkey, 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 Come Out and Play street games festival hosted in New York City and Amsterdam since 2006. His most recent writings can be found in Second Person: Role Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media, published by MIT Press.

James Paul Gee

James Paul Gee is the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education. His book Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Third Edition 2007) was one of the founding documents in the formation of the “New Literacy Studies”, an interdisciplinary field devoted to studying language, learning, and literacy in an integrated way in the full range of their cognitive, social, and cultural contexts. His book An Introduction to Discourse Analysis (1999, Second Edition 2005) brings together his work on a methodology for studying communication in its cultural settings, an approach that has been widely influential over the last two decades. His most recent books both deal with video games, language, and learning. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (2003, Second Edition 2007) argues that good video games are designed to enhance learning through effective learning principles supported by research in the Learning Sciences. Situated Language and Learning (2004) places video games within an overall theory of learning and literacy and shows how they can help us in thinking about the reform of schools. His most recent book is Good Video Games and Good Learning: Collected Essays (2007). Prof. Gee has published widely in journals in linguistics, psychology, the social sciences, and education.

Charles Herold

Charles Herold runs the Wii game-oriented website and writes about gaming for USA Weekend. He wrote the video game review column for The New York Times from 2000 to 2008. Previous to that he covered video games and technology for and briefly managed his own game review site, The Deskchair Adventurer. He is fascinated by the video game's ability to tell narrative stories interactively, something he hopes to write a book about some day. He is also one hell of a swing dancer.

Clint Hocking

For almost eight years Clint has been at Ubisoft where he has worked as a level designer, game designer, scriptwriter and creative director on the original SPLINTER CELL, on SPLINTER CELL: CHAOS THEORY, and on FAR CRY 2. His current project is unannounced. Before games Clint worked in the web industry and experimented with independent filmmaking while earning an M.F.A in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He lives happily in Montreal with his wife and their dog.

Katherine Isbister

Katherine Isbister is director of the Social Game Lab at NYU-Poly, an investigator in the NYU Games for Learning Institute, and an Advisory Committee member of the NYU Game Center. She has written two books: Better Game Characters by Design and Game Usability. Better Game Characters was nominated for a Game Developer Magazine Frontline Award. Isbister serves on the advisory board of the IGDA Games Education Special Interest Group, and on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Human Computer Studies. In 1999 she was selected as one of MIT Technology Review's TR100 Young Innovators most likely to shape the future of technology.

Nick Montfort

Nick Montfort is assistant professor of digital media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Montfort has collaborated on the blog Grand Text Auto, Implementation, and 2002: A Palindrome Story. He writes poems, text generators, and interactive fiction such as Book and Volume and Ad Verbum. Most recently, he is co-author with Ian Bogost of Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (MIT Press, 2009). Montfort wrote Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction (MIT Press, 2003) and co-edited The Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1 (ELO, 2006) and The New Media Reader (MIT Press, 2003).

Doris C. Rusch

Doris C. Rusch holds a postdoctoral position with the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab in the Programme at Comparative Media Studies at MIT. Before that she did postdoctoral work at the Institute for Design and Assessment of Technology at Vienna University of Technology. Her current research investigates the metaphorical potential of games and how it can be used to produce a wide range of emotionally satisfying, thought provoking and insightful experiences. Although her work is theory-driven, Rusch aims at applicability of her research to actual game design with the goal of pushing the boundaries of games as media. Rusch has an eclectic background, having completed studies in German Literature, Philosophy, English and Comparative Media at the University of Vienna, where she also received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics.

Jesse Schell

Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh's largest videogame studio, Schell Games, the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses, and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association. In 2004, he was named one of the world's Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT's magazine of innovation. Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online.

Brett E. Shelton

Brett E. Shelton serves as the Director of the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning (COSL) at Utah State University, and is a professor in the Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences. The mission of COSL involves extending educational opportunity to everyone, including the building of hybrid coursework to maximize accessibility of educational resources. He has research interests in effective teaching and learning strategies--grounded in cognitive studies--using advanced visualization technologies and virtual environments. Brett teaches graduate courses in educational games and instructional simulations, and in 2007 served as the editor to the volume The Design and Use of Simulation Computer Games in Education.

Mark Sivak

Mark was born in Groton, Massachusetts in 1983. During his childhood he cultivated a love for games, play and competition with his two brothers, Seth and Scott. Mark received his undergraduate and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University. His love for games was not sated in the engineering field so he has been clawing his way into the video games industry with graduate research in games for rehabilitation of stroke patients and games for education of undergraduate engineering students. He has taught game design to High School students and hopes to someday become a professor teaching the next generation of game industry talent about the player experience. He currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Seth Sivak

Seth Sivak is currently a gameplay engineer in Cambridge, MA. He received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University in mechanical engineering and then traveled to Pittsburgh to attend the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center and study game programming. While there he worked on a new genre of game called an Active-Adventure ( and also spent a summer working at Walt Disney Imagineering. He hopes to become a professor someday and look deeper into the journey the player takes through a game. More information can be found at his website:

Kurt Squire

Kurt Squire is an associate professor of Educational Communications and Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Director of the Games, Learning, and Society Initiative. Squire is the author of over 50 scholarly articles and publications and the co-founder of

Jason Vandenberghe

Jason VandenBerghe is a designer, technologist, writer, speaker, and director. He has been making AAA action/adventure games for going on thirteen years now. His first game gig was in 1996 (as a programmer on The X-Files Game), and he's never looked back. Of the games he's made, his favorite is still 007: Everything or Nothing, but he hopes that this next one will be even better than that.
He is currently a creative director at Ubisoft Paris.