As in the past, the judges consist of experts and thought leaders in the world of video games as well as experts on the issue of abusive dating relationships - especially as it affects adolescents.
Leigh Alexander is a journalist working at the intersection of technology and popular culture. She hosts the Guardian’s tech podcast, writes a technomancy column at Motherboard called "Oracles of the Web", and occasionally does narrative design for independent video games. She recently published Monitor, a cyberpunk novella, and launched an ASMR video series devoted to vintage computing. More projects can be found at leighalexander.net/about
Dr. Ian Bogost is an author and an award-winning game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is also Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic.
Maria Burns Ortiz is co-founder and CEO of 7 Generation Games, which makes educational immersive video games and interactive apps. As a startup leader, she works on everything from business development to game design to fundraising. A NY Times bestselling author, Maria also leads the company's creative and narrative teams. She is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship and women in tech, co-host of the More Than Ordinary podcast and believer in the power of games to have a transformative societal impact.
Dan Butchko oversees all operations for Playcrafting globally and carries out planning and execution of all New York activities. Through Playcrafting, Dan and his team work to empower and grow game development communities through events and education that cater to veteran and aspiring developers alike. He aims to help gamers and enthusiasts become developers and active developers become successful businesses.
Simon Carless is an EVP at UBM Tech, overseeing the Game Developers Conferences in San Francisco and Germany. He also oversees the double Webby award-winning Gamasutra website, and the Black Hat information security conferences. He has previously worked as a lead game designer at Kuju Entertainment, Eidos Interactive and Atari.
Drew Crecente is founder and executive director of Jennifer Ann's Group. He is also a member of the Council of Europe's Game Over Hate initiative and the [re]gamed Campaign. Drew speaks about IPV, teen dating violence, and the use of video games for social change. His speaking engagements include GDC, the National Youth at Risk Conference, SIEGE, Games for Health, and Games for Health Europe conferences. Drew has also presented at the CDC and written for the Games for Health Journal. He is Jennifer Ann Crecente's father.
Sabrina Culyba is a Principal Game Designer at Schell Games, an independent game studio in Pittsburgh that specializes in creating transformational and innovative, interactive experiences. She has worked on a wide range of entertainment & technology experiences, including mobile games, theme park rides, MMOs, animatronics, & toys. In her role as a Principal Designer at Schell Games, she leads projects as well as helps to establish and refine design best practices for the studio, particularly for transformational experiences such as educational games.
Andrew Greenberg, executive director of the Georgia Game Developers Association, has been making his living as a game developer since 1990. Andrew is lead developer on the upcoming Fading Suns: Noble Armada mobile game, co-created the “Fading Suns” games, and was the original developer of White Wolf’s “Vampire: The Masquerade,” and has also worked on “Star Trek Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine.” A fellow with the Mythic Imagination Institute, Andrew is also organizer of the Southeast Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo (SIEGE). He serves on the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Commission.
Jennifer is a fully qualified medical doctor who has practised in both the UK and Australia. She spent several years working in the Emergency Department before specialising in Psychiatry. Jennifer is a passionate advocate for the use of game technology in the therapeutic setting. To this end, she founded CheckPoint, a nonprofit organisation to connect mental health care with video game technology, where she contributes to clinical research and works with both games industry and clinical professionals to provide education, consultation and resources. She is also known as Prescription Pixel, which started off as a YouTube channel focusing on indies and has now grown to work together with CheckPoint.
Boreum is a law school graduate from Suffolk University and is the Assistant Program Director at Jennifer Ann's Group. In addition to her work to prevent teen dating violence, Boreum is the founder of a TNR organization for feral cats and talks about her love for cats at the Foul Mouthed Cat Lady blog.
Ruud Jacobs is a PhD candidate at Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His work focuses on the impacts of persuasive games and psychological mechanisms for their effects. He is a member of the Persuasive Gaming in Context project, evaluating persuasive games through three focal points: theories of persuasiveness, design principles, and validation. Ruud lectures in ethics and quantitative methods and manages the research centre's digital research lab.
David Langendoen is president of Electric Funstuff (EFS), a NY-based design and development company founded in 1998 specializing in applying motivational principles from the computer game world to the realm of educational software. EFS has designed and developed games across a range of subjects including reading comprehension, math, history, and financial literacy. Its signature program is the Mission US series of American history games, currently used by over 50,000 middle school teachers and classes.
Dr. Brooke Morrill is Director of Education at Schell Games, a full-service, independent game development company specializing in transformational games. While earning her MA, she managed teacher training, child curriculum, and administration in a university-based preschool program. While pursuing her PhD in Psychology she developed and evaluated a school-wide game to improve children’s dietary decisions. Brooke has extensive experience presenting her work at professional conferences and publishing manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Jon Preston is the Interim Dean of the College of Computing and Software Engineering and the Co-Director for the Center of Applied Gaming and Media Arts at Kennesaw State University. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Georgia Tech and his PhD in Computer Science from Georgia State University. He is particularly interested in collaborative editing systems, game simulation, and the use of these technologies to improve learning. He has participated in NSF-funded games-for-learning and community building grants to enhance STEM education and spoken at National Science Foundation workshops on gaming in engineering and computer science education.
Dr. Elizabeth L. Richeson is a Psychologist in El Paso, Texas, the head of the Advisory Board for Jennifer Ann's Group, and former president of the Texas Psychological Foundation. She is an expert on teen dating violence, appears regularly on news and talk shows, and lectures nationwide on a variety of issues related to teenagers, young adults, and relationships. She is Jennifer Ann Crecente's grandmother.
Jo Sharpen is the policy manager of the Children and Young People's Project at AVA (Against Violence and Abuse) in the U.K. and wrote the national U.K. toolkit on children, young people and domestic violence for practitioners, Improving Safety, Reducing Harm, published by the Department of Health in 2009. She has also written numerous policy briefings, guidance and training packages on violence against women and girls; currently she is writing a book on domestic violence in teenage relationships.
Peter Willington is a Producer at Bristol-based games studio Auroch Digital, located at the Bristol Games Hub. He is currently working on a number of digital and physical games at Auroch, all the while continuing to champion the medium as the co-owner of the Staying In podcast. He brings with him seven years of industry experience from across multiple disciplines.