Limited choices exist when kids seek to author, not just play, their own video games. If video games are on track to topple film as the last big media mammoth, how can we build a video game workforce that we need? Instead of reinforcing the divide between artists and programmers, can we get more kids interested in learning the complex work that game development involves, and foster a really great game development community? What kids like to use for game development may surprise you. Come hear what they like, why the like it, and how new tools need to be built to meet the demands of future game developers. Join a conversation about authorship, identity, creativity, and the tools kids really use for developing serious and social games. Gain insight on elements of game tools that kids would use--if they existed!
Executive Producer, Zynga Inc
Virginia McArthur is an Executive Producer with Zynga Inc. based in Austin and San Francisco. After being at EA/Maxis for 9 years, working on the Sims and Spore, she joined the Zynga game teams to help define new ways to create and play games, socially connecting people from around the world. Virginia also helped to define Zynga's Social Change mission by partnering with Laura Hartman to build Zynga.org, raising millions of dollars for different partners across the globe: The World Food Program, Fatem, and Water.org, along with many others, and opened a school in Haiti that created a learning environment and opportunities for kids that would otherwise not have them. Virginia recently passed the .org torch on to a new director and is now helping to build an exciting, unique platform team that recently launched Zynga.com, a new destination for Play!
Computer Science Professor, University of Colorado
Alexander Repenning is a computer science professor at the University of Colorado, a member of the Center for Lifelong Learning and Design at the University of Colorado and the founder of AgentSheets Inc. Repenning’s research interests include education, end-user programmable agents, and artificial intelligence. He has worked in research and development at Asea Brown Boveri, Xerox PARC, Apple Computer, and Hewlett Packard. Repenning is the creator of the AgentSheets simulation and game-authoring tool. He has offered game design workshops nationally at Stanford, the MIT Media Lab, and University of Colorado as well as internationally in Europe and Japan. His work has received numerous awards including the Gold Medal from the mayor of Paris for “most innovative application in education of the World Wide Web”, and “best of the best innovators” by ACM. Repenning has been a Telluride Tech Festival honoree for contributions to computer science. Repenning is an advisor to the National Academy of Sciences, the European Commission, the National Science Foundation, The Japanese Ministry of Education and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Exec Dir, Girlstart
Dir, Global Community Affairs, Advanced Micro Devices
Ward Tisdale is director of Global Community Affairs at Advanced Micro Devicies (AMD). His team is responsible for ensuring active company involvement in the communities where AMD operates around the world through corporate charitable contributions, employee volunteerism, issues management, stakeholder communications and AMD Changing the Game, the company's signature education program on youth game development. Since its launch in June 2008, AMD Changing the Game has funded more than 25 programs by 19 organizations in the United States, China and Malaysia that enable youth game development in areas such as the environment, energy, health and a variety of other social issues. Prior to his current role, Ward was an AMD Product PR launch manager, deputy press secretary for the Texas Attorney General’s Office and a newspaper reporter in McAllen, Texas. He serves on a number of nonprofit boards in Austin and has a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin.
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