Kyle Bailey is a lead programmer at Phosphor Games who has been working as a game developer in Chicago for over 9 years. He also worked on teams at Midway Games, Day 1 Studios, and NetherRealm Studios. He helped create Bit Bash (a fest showcasing indie games and developers) and organizes a monthly social meetup for game developers. He enjoys frigidly cold winters, mild summers, short walks on the beach, and brewing beer.
S. Gregory Boyd is a partner and the chairman of the Interactive Entertainment Group at Frankfurt Kurnit where he represents a wide variety of interactive entertainment, new media, privacy, and data security clients. Mr. Boyd has extensive experience negotiating and drafting game development agreements for consoles, PC’s, mobile games, social games, online games, and MMO's. He negotiates agreements for multiple game and high technology media publishers and developers. He also advises on the ongoing operations of online games, social networks, branded entertainment, and high technology media outlets. Mr. Boyd is co-author and editor of Business and Legal Primer for Game Development (Charles River Media) and serves as an Adjunct Professor at New York Law School.
Dr. Florence Chee is Assistant Professor of Digital Communication and Co-Founder of the Social & Interactive Media Lab (SIMLab) at Loyola University Chicago. Her research examines the social and ethical dimensions of our emergent digital lifestyles with a particular focus on games, social media, mobile platforms, and their effects on global labor dynamics across industrial, governmental, and academic sectors. She has designed and taught graduate/undergraduate courses in Digital Media including Game Studies, where students engage with debates surrounding gaming and their production through social justice frameworks.
With a background in computer science, Ross Dannenberg handles a wide-range of intellectual property issues, and has extensive experience protecting all sorts of software on behalf of a wide variety of clients. Ross handles patent, copyright, and trademark procurement, licensing, and enforcement, and has considerable experience with intellectual property protection of video games (e.g., including Flight Simulator, Halo, Runescape, and World of Tanks, among others). Ross is a founding member of the Video Game Bar Association, and was the founding Chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) IP Section Committee on Computer Games and Virtual Worlds. Ross is also the Editor-in-Chief of the PatentArcade.com website, is the editor and principal author of The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Video Game Development, and is an executive editor of Computer Games and Virtual Worlds: A New Frontier in Intellectual Property Law, also published by the ABA.
Julian Dibbell is an associate in Mayer Brown’s Chicago office and a member of the Business & Technology Sourcing practice. Before joining Mayer Brown in 2014, Julian worked as a journalist and author covering the Internet, online games, and other digital technologies. Julian received his JD degree in 2014 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a staff member of the University of Chicago Law Review and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society.
Lauren Faits is the voice behind Geek Girl Chicago, the Midwest's premiere geek culture blog. Her work covers all aspects of fandom- cosplay, celebrity interviews, product reviews, and more. She is a frequent panelist at conventions, speaking on topics ranging from gender in Doctor Who, to who will win the Game of Thrones. Faits is a lifelong gamer. She remembers saving every dollar of her childhood allowance for video games, including her favorite, EarthBound/Mother 2. Faits got engaged to her now-husband while dressed as a character from BioShock Infinite. She now lives on the North side of Chicago.
William K. Ford is an Associate Professor at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He teaches courses in contract law and intellectual property, including a course on video game law. He has published law journal articles or book chapters on copyright issues in the early video game industry, the right of publicity and games, trademark issues and video games, and the litigation over state restrictions on minors’ access to violent video games. A forthcoming book chapter focuses on the use of scientific evidence in the state legislatures prior to enacting those restrictions on violent video games. Professor Ford received his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 2003.
Sam has spent his career at the intersection of games and film. He is currently the CEO of Funtactix – a world-leading publisher of mobile and social games for major Hollywood film and television properties. Sam has led Funtactix to create a new market for movie-based games, and has elevated emerging game platforms like Facebook into mature storytelling mediums that expand major film and book franchises like Mission:Impossible and The Hunger Games. He has led the company through the opening of multiple offices around the world and driven innovative business partnerships with leading Hollywood studios including Paramount, Lionsgate, Fox, and MGM, in addition to several music labels and TV networks. Before joining Funtactix, Sam managed an industry-leading game platform team at Microsoft. He began his career at LucasArts (a division of LucasFilm) – creating the first video games to incorporate movie-based assets.
A writer and programmer in the video game industry, Goldberg has had a lifelong fascination with all things electronic entertainment since first playing PONG and Tank as a child at his local arcades in the 70s. As the former site director of IGN/GameSpy’s ‘ClassicGaming.Com’ and a current freelancer for Retro Gamer magazine and RETRO magazine, Goldberg has been writing about video games for 13 years. Along with Dan Loosen and Gary Heil, Goldberg is also a co-founder of the Midwest Gaming Classic, one of the largest electronic entertainment expos in the United States open to the general public. In 2004, Goldberg also founded the Electronic Entertainment Museum (E2M), a non-profit archive whose mission is to help preserve the history and artifacts of the video game and home computer industries. In line with this goal, he’s also a member of the International Game Development Association’s (IGDA) Game Preservation SIG, a hub and community for those interested in digital game preservation and history which includes professional museums and archives from around the world.
David graduated from DePaul University with a B.S. in Game Programming. While at DePaul he cofounded The Amiable and started working on their first commercial title, Tetrapulse. He has experience working with multiple studios such as Flippfly and Robomodo on titles for mobile, desktop, and console platforms. David is also heavily involved in the Chicago developer community where he helps organize various local events.
Doc Mack is the owner and production lead of Galloping Ghost Productions, which is currently in development of the arcade game Dark Presence. He is also owns and operates the Galloping Ghost Arcade which has grown into the largest arcade in the world. He teaches wiring and other gaming classes at the arcade as well as helped several others open new arcades. Galloping Ghosts Arcade has brought in many classic developers that have shared their history in the gaming industry with Doc. Operating both the productions company and arcade has given him a unique perspective on the video gaming industry.
Cindy is an Independent Game Developer currently working on a social change game called "We Are Chicago". We Are Chicago is a narrative driven experience with a focus on telling real life stories about growing up on the South Side of Chicago through a video game. She has worked in game development for the last 6 years, 4 of which was at Disney Interactive Studios. She has worked on games for PC/OSX/PS3/Xbox360/iOS/Android/Wii/WiiU, most notably Disney Infinity. Cindy is one of the founders of Voxelles, a Chicago based group for women in game development.
J. Michael Monahan is the Principal at Astrolabe LLC, where he focuses his practice on trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets and provides legal advice and guidance for content providers and other technology businesses. His sub-specialty is the law of video games, including MMOs, and the intellectual property concerns and special legal and business issues that arise in that space. Michael is an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent School of Law, where he teaches an advanced seminar on Video Game Law. Prior to starting Astrolabe, he was a partner at Pattishall McAuliffe. He received his B.A. from Georgetown University and his J.D. from Louisiana State University.
Ryan combined his passion for games with his knowledge of the law by opening a firm dedicated to the industry. Deemed "The Video Game Attorney" by the countless developers he has helped through his free online legal Q&A's, Ryan understands that this new and innovative industry requires a new and innovative approach to law. From legal subscription services to never charging for communication, he strives to make the legal world a lot less intimidating for developers.
Russ Pitts is a veteran technology and video game journalist, author and video producer with over two decades experience in the entertainment and media industries. He was the head writer and producer on TechTV's The Screen Savers, former editor-in-chief of the six-time Webby Award-winning EscapistMagazine.com, founder and features editor of Vox Media's Polygon.com. His work in games journalism has garnered multiple award nominations and received wide critical acclaim. He is currently president of web-and-video production company Flying Saucer Media, and co-founder and executive director of the mental health charity TakeThis.org.
Sarah Sexton is a dedicated advocate for technology, committed to highlighting strengths and seeing more women and minorities get involved in video game development. She is a cofounder of Voxelles, a group for women developers in Chicago. She is most passionate about diversity, inclusion, and communicating clearly. Her responsibilities at Microsoft include speaking to user groups, writing code, blogging and tweeting about Microsoft services, and reaching out to the development community and students. She helps student, community, and startup developers find success on Windows. She works with them via local user groups and speaking at conferences and universities about anything ranging from Unity 3D, BizSpark, to coding advice for apps and games.
Patrick Sweeney has over 15 years’ experience in the games industry, both as in-house and external counsel to a variety of companies. He has negotiated an array of game development agreement, resulting in the commercial release of more than 250 games across all platforms. He has represented clients with respect to the game rights for more than 50 major motion pictures and television properties, as well as negotiated numerous technology licenses and other agreements inherent to the games industry. Patrick is also a founding member and co-President of the Video Game Bar Association, as well as an Adjunct Professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.
Marc Whipple was playing, writing, and obsessing about video games long before he became a gaming lawyer. As former General Counsel for Meyer/Glass Interactive and Incredible Technologies, he has been involved in the development, publication and sale of console games, arcade games, and regulated gaming devices as counsel for both publishers and developers. He specializes in keeping game developers out of trouble and enjoys nothing more than serving as an interpreter between the world of creative development and the law. You can find him at his website.
Ryan Wiemeyer is cofounder and designer at The Men Who Wear Many Hats, commonly known as ‘the Hats,’ a Chicago based two man game developer. Their first hit, Organ Trail: Director's Cut, made way too much money so the Hats decided to follow it up with Max Gentlemen, a mobile game about stacking hats that made no money.
Ryan does too many things. Ryan's resume includes: being an organizer for Bit Bash (Chicago's independent game festival), running Indie City Co-op (a game developer co-working space), being on the board of Indie City Games (a local game development group), teaching game development at DePaul University, building arcade cabinets and having a corgi.
Johnny L. Wilson served as editor-in-chief of Computer Gaming World magazine for well over a decade. Upon assuming the role of Group Publisher for Hasbro's Wizards of the Coast publications (Amazing Stories, Dragon, Dungeon, Star Wars Insider, and TopDeck), he also served on the Board of Directors of Turbine Entertainment Software (developers of Asheron's Call, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and Lord of the Rings Online). Although his Ph.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky is in Old Testament Archaeology, Hebrew, and Theology and his outside area in Roman History at the University of Kentucky, Wilson currently teaches in the Game Design Program at DePaul University's College of Computing and Digital Media. He is the author or co-author of a dozen books on computer games including the original SimCity Planning Commission Handbook and High Score: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games (with Rusel Demaria).
Dr. Talmadge Wright is an associate professor of Sociology at Loyola University Chicago. He received his doctorate in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine and has written extensively about digital game culture. Dr. Wright’s research has examined the relationships in games between consumption, gender, visual media, play and pleasure, and a critical understanding of social inequality and development. Some of Dr. Wright's publications include Social Exclusion, Power, and Video Game Play (2012) and Utopic Dreams and Apocalyptic Fantasies: Critical Approaches to Researching Video Game Play.