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Friday, August 19 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Madison Games Alliance Plenary Round Table

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Great games require a healthy ecosystem that spans not only researchers, designers and players but also universities, companies, and markets. Within this ecosystem, the health of various nodes in the network are coupled, with the strength of stakeholders in one area contingent on the success of stakeholders in others. At the state by state level, entities such as higher education programs are bound up with local game studios, with a 0.90 correlation between the two (HEVGA, 2015). Although we often cross institutional silos on the individual day-to-day level, with many of us spending half our day on campus and the other half at local studios or cooperative workspaces, it is often only rarely that we organize as groups and organizations to catalyze and improve the ecosystem overall. 

In this plenary panel session, we discuss the local game ecosystem in Madison as way to highlight grassroot efforts to organize and catalyze a healthy ecosystem across business, philanthropy, university, and markets. In this session, local leaders discuss their work through the Madison Games Alliance over the last year to create a local network of game studios, independent developers, faculty, investors, and regional economic economic development agencies with the shared mission of promoting one region (here, the Madison area) as a premier site for game development and design. Local leaders discuss their goals for the local games scene, the barriers and frictions to working across silos, and their working solutions to creating a viable collaborative across nodes. Topics include strategies fro business creation and growth, attracting quality talent, and preparing students for 21st century creative tech industry.

avatar for Constance  Steinkuehler

Constance Steinkuehler

Chair, Games+Learning+Society Conference
Constance Steinkuehler is a Professor in Digital Media at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Co-Director of the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) center at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, and Chair of their annual GLS Conference. She currently serves as President of the Higher... Read More →

avatar for Michael Gay

Michael Gay

Sr. VP of Economic Development, Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP)
Michael P. Gay, CEcD, is the Sr. VP of Economic Development for Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) and manages the 8- county economic development programming and staff while serving as the primary regional contact for prospective companies considering relocating to the Madison... Read More →
avatar for Tim Gerritsen

Tim Gerritsen

Director of Business Development, Human Head Studios
I've been an entrepreneur and game designer my entire life, starting my first business while in college designing table top games before moving on to my first break into the video games industry in 1992. My passion remains game development, be it for computer, video game console or... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Javornik

Jennifer Javornik

Executive Director, Madison Games Alliance
Jennifer Javornik is a seasoned executive who specializes in new business development, partnership management, revenue growth, and operational efficiency. She is currently the Vice President of Sales for Filament Games where she works with companies, organizations, and individuals... Read More →
avatar for Kurt Squire

Kurt Squire

Co-Director, Games+Learning+Society Center
Kurt Squire is a Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, and Co-Director of the Games+Learning+Society Center in the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Squire is the author or editor of three books, and over 75 scholarly publications on learning with... Read More →
avatar for Forrest Woolworth

Forrest Woolworth

COO, PerBlue
Forrest has been a champion of all things entrepreneurial in Madison and a leader in our startup community. A maker of video games and beer, he is COO of PerBlue, a mobile gaming startup company started from a college apartment that now employs 40 people and entertain millions around... Read More →

Friday August 19, 2016 1:30pm - 2:30pm CDT
Marquee Union South