YAYA PLAY PAX East 2014 Panel About   |   PAX East 2012   |   PAX East 2014

We held a panel like no other at PAX East 2014!
Sunday, April 13, 12:30-1:30pm, Condor Theater

Parenting Through Games and Game Design

HEY GAMER PARENTS: Can game design make us more effective parents?
How can we use games and game elements to promote growth and learning,
create good gameplay and maintain our values as Guardians of Little Humans?
This all-star panel of Game Designer Parents have ideas for you!
Come get inspired and share anecdotes of gaming with your kids.

Jason Wiser (Moderator) – Creative Director, Yaya Play LLCYayaPlay_JasonWiser

Jason worked as an artist on console games Dance Central by Harmonix Music Systems (360/Kinect, predevelopment) and Slam Bolt Scrappers by Fire Hose Games (PS3) before being inspired by his then 1-year old daughter to explore game design for little kids.

Jason got his MFA at Emerson College and his BA at Wesleyan University. He teaches at The New England Institute of Art and has taught at Pixar Studios, the Art Institute of California – San Francisco, and in Baltimore Public Schools as a member of Teach For America.

Al Reed – CEO, Demiurge StudiosAl Reed

Albert is the principal founder of Demiurge Studios and Chief Executive Officer. Albert defines the studio’s product strategy and leads business development efforts. Prior to becoming CEO, Albert served as Demiurge’s Director of Development, overseeing the game creation processs at the studio and studio development practices. Albert holds a B.S. in Technical Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Les Nelken – Lead Designer, World Tribe MediaLes nelkin

Les has been in the game industry since 1994 and has an extensive background in game design and development. Les was at Turbine for six years working on The Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, the Live Team for Asheron's Call 1 and an expansion pack for Asheron's Call 2. Les also worked on the Aliens: Colonial Marines FPS at Demiurge Studios and on casual games at Blue Fang. He was a game designer at Curt Schilling's 38 Studios and later worked for WorldTribe Media on Counter/Story Online, an MMO for 10-14 year olds. Les holds a Master's in Architecture and Design from the University of Colorado, a B.A. in Philosophy from Brandeis University and is a registered architect. He is also a member of the organizing committee for Boston Post Mortem. Les has a 21 year old son who was influenced by games from an early age.

Irena Mandel – UX DesignerIrenaMandel

Irena is a veteran UX and UI Designer that joined the games industry through Blizzard shortly after the release of World of Warcraft. She was a major contributor to vanilla WoW, the Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King before moving on to the siren call of Curt Schilling and his fledgling 38 Studios. In her time there as Lead UI Designer, she not only developed the UI for Copernicus, but also had two children who are now two and four. She subscribes to a variety of off kilter parenting approaches that has married well with her knowledge of what motivates players and users.

Chris Foster – Senior Designer, Harmonix Music SystemsChris Foster

Chris has been designing games for nearly twenty years. Before joining the design team for Fantasia: Music Evolved, he was lead designer for The Beatles: Rock Band and project director for Green Day: Rock Band. Before Harmonix hespent 9 years at Turbine, where he was a Lead Content Designer for The Lord of the Rings Online and UI Designer/Live Lead Designer for Asheron's Call. More importantly, Chris is a dad whose two young kids get very upset when he misses a jump in Super Mario 3D World.

Eric Klopfer – Director, The MIT Education ArcadeEric Klopfer

Eric is Professor and Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and The Education Arcade at MIT. Klopfer's research focuses on the development and use of computer games and simulations for building understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The games that he works on are designed to build understanding of scientific practices and concepts as well as critical knowledge, using both mobile and web-delivered game platforms. He is the co-author of the books, "Adventures in Modeling", "The More We Know, as well as author of "Augmented Learning," Klopfer is also the co-founder and President of the non-profit Learning Games Network (www.learninggamesnetwork.org).

Oren Klopfer is a fifth grade student in Massachusetts. He is an avid gamer, playing many different kinds of games across platforms. Some of his recent favorites include Minecraft, Clash of Clans, World of Warcraft, Skylanders (all versions), Super Mario 3D World and Dragonvale. He plays these games with his younger sister, his friends, and sometimes his father. He has also tried his hand at creating games, sometimes through inspiring his Dad’s ideas (even as a toddler), and lately through some design of his own, improving on ideas he has seen in other games. He has learned many things from games that he has applied elsewhere in his life.

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