Mark Barlet served as an Air Force medical technician with dreams of being an Air Force medevac champion. Unfortunately, his dreams were cut short when a service related injury permanently damaged his lower spinal cord, leaving him permanently disabled and unable to feel his leg. He was honorably discharged after earning the respect of every soldier and officer on Fort Bragg Army base.
While on base, Mark became best friends with a woman who has Multiple Sclerosis. The inseparable pair used video games to stay in touch until one day when her disease took that ability away. Mark set out to find alternative solutions that would enable her to play again. He could never have known the impact that decision would have on a global movement to bring accessibility to the digital entertainment space.
Considered one of the founding fathers of game accessibility, Mark Barlet harnessed his fiery passion for helping those in need and military-trained critical thinking skills to grow a small blog into the leading charity enabling people with disabilities to conquer the obstacles of economic and social isolation through the power of video games.
Mark has given hundreds of speeches, spreading the message of accessibility at some of the most prestigious events around the world. He’s presented at Microsoft, Yahoo, SXSW, and dozens more. As seen on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR to name a few, Mark’s inspiring message of perseverance continues to push multimillion dollar companies to make virtual worlds more accessible to people with disabilities in the real world.
Tim Cain is a video game developer best known as the producer, lead programmer and designer of the 1997 computer game Fallout. In 2009 he was chosen by IGN as one of the top 100 game creators of all time.
Tim Cain has worked in the game industry since 1982. In 1997, he completed the revolutionary Fallout. Over the years since its release, Fallout has been ranked time and time again as one of the most beloved video games ever. Fallout has spawned 4 sequels and 3 spin-off games, as one of the most successful RPG game series of all time.
After completing Fallout and the design for Fallout 2, Tim left Interplay in 1998 to form Troika Games, where he could work as a programmer, designer and project leader. Three role-playing games followed: Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura was shipped by Sierra in 2001, The Temple of Elemental Evil: A Classic
Greyhawk Adventure by Atari in 2003, and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines by Activision in 2004.
Since then he has continued to work on amazing games such as: Wildstar (Carbine Studios), Pillars of Eternity, the late 2016 release Tyranny (both Obsidian Entertainment) and is currently working on an unannounced RPG at Obsidian.
Katherine Cross is a weekly columnist for Gamasutra and a widely published gaming critic who got her start editing the feminist gaming blog The Border House. Her work has also appeared in Kotaku, Polygon, Offworld, Rock Paper Shotgun, Paste, and more. She is a Ph.D student in sociology at the CUNY Graduate Centre in New York, studying online communities and anti-social behaviour on the internet, which is why she’s become a connoisseur of single malt Scotch. She currently lives in the Bronx with her partner and three cats.
Laura Kate Dale
Laura Kate is an awesome person who certainly makes the rounds in the media and you may have heard of her! She’s the Co-Host of the very popular Podquisition podcast, UK Editor at Destructoid, Freelancer for The Guardian, Polygon, Kotaku UK, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She is also the developer of Acceptance, a game intended to teach people some of the issues that trans people face. We’re excited to have her join us from all the way out in the UK to bring us her unique brand of snark and love of videogame butts!
Dave Fennoy is one of the most sought after and versatile voices in the market today.
Although he regularly voices commercials, narrations, and TV promos, he has become a celebrity voice in world of video games. IMDB named Dave Fennoy “one of the 20 best male video game voices of all time”.
He has been nominated and won several awards for his work as the iconic character LEE EVERETT, in the highly acclaimed and awarded Telltale Games’ “THE WALKING DEAD GAME”, including a BAFTA nomination, and DICE and MACHINIMA awards.
Included in the more than 150 game titles are some the gaming worlds most iconic characters, Vol’jin in WORLD OF WARCRAFT, Gabriel Tosh in WORLD OF STARCRAFT, Lucius Fox in BATMAN ARKHAM NIGHTS, 6 Heros in DOTA2, Gabriel in the just released MINECRAFT STORY MODE, and many more.
Visit DaveFennoy.com for more information and to view game demos and videos.
David worked for BioWare as narrative designer on such games as Baldur’s Gate 2, Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, and was lead writer on the Dragon Age series: Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age 2, and (most recently) 2014’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. This year he moved onto Beamdog Studios as their Creative Director, and is currently working on an unannounced project.
Brandon McGill has made a name for himself by tackling the unconventional. From the bright and bold, to the dark and mysterious; he is drawn to creating interesting extremes. Primarily known for his body painting work, he recently directed a music video called Notes from Wonderland which features a gender-swapped Alice. This debuted online to positive reviews, and will be shown at Phoenix Comicon in June.
His next major project involves promoting Trans* awareness and visibility. This was inspired by painting a trans man at Folsom in San Francisco. He was moved when he saw how proud the gentleman was wearing the art on his bare chest. When he heard about the struggles affecting his friends, it further cemented his commitment to do more for this group. Although Brandon acknowledges progress has been made with Trans* rights, this community is still disproportionately affected by hate crimes and legislation.
Both his art and writing, have been featured in the Advocate, Echo Magazine, Java Magazine, Arizona Republic, and a number of fabulous blogs. He is closely involved in the art community, but in his downtime, can be found knee deep in a pile of video games. He lives in Arizona, alone with his paintbrushes and whimsical imagination. More of his work can be found on BrandonMcGill.com, or through Social Media.
Kitty Powers is the world’s first drag queen game developer, and star of ‘Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker’ and the upcoming ‘Kitty Powers’ Love Life’.
She is the alter ego of game dev Richard Franke, a 20 year games industry veteran who has worked on many award winning titles such as the Burnout series, BLACK, Need for Speed and Tearaway. He founded his own independent studio, Magic Notion, in 2013, releasing their first title, YouTube sensation ‘Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker’ in 2014! Magic Notion is now working on a follow up to Matchmaker, ‘Kitty Powers’ Love Life’ due to be released in Q1 2017.
Wynton “Prog” Smith has been in the world of competitive gaming since 1999. While his roots were in Unreal Tournament and Age of Empires, he fell in love with fighting games, the most. After joining the Super Smash Bros. Melee community in 2005 as a player, he eventually became an esteemed commentator and leader in the scene. Currently, he is a contributor for ESPN’s esports subsect and documents some parts of Smash Bros. history with Last Stock Legends
Karin is Lead Editor for BioWare’s three studios. She has worked at BioWare since 2006, editing Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect 3 Dragon Age II, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins and various DLCs for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises. Karin holds an M.A. in Journalism from Stanford University, where she learned that she liked editing and writing punny headlines much more than interviewing story sources, and a B.A. in Communication from the University of New Mexico. When not working, Karin sings, costumes anyone who will hold still long enough to be measured, and enjoys any chance to be outside to run, ski, or flop exhaustedly under a tree. She lives in Edmonton, AB, Canada with her husband, Patrick, their two school-age sons, who regularly hand their mother her a$$ in various platformer and DS games, and a host of rescued dogs and cats.
Patrick joined BioWare’s writing team in 2005. Since then, he’s worked on all three games in the Mass Effect trilogy, where he helped write characters including Mordin, Tali, and Samantha Traynor, (along with krogan poets, hanar Spectres, and foul-mouthed asari matriarchs). After moving to the Dragon Age team for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Patrick wrote characters including Cole, Solas, and the Iron Bull, and locations like that part of the Fade with all the spiders, and has moved into the Lead Writer role as the franchise moves forward. Patrick also writes outside the video-game medium. His publications include the Rogues of the Republic series of fantasy heist-capers (The Palace Job, The Prophecy Con, and later this year, The Paladin Caper), as well as Dragon Age: Masked Empire. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Stanford University, which often manifests in his work as inappropriate poetry or song lyrics. Patrick lives in Edmonton with his wife, Karin, his two Lego-and-video-game-obsessed sons, and a significant number of rescued animals.
Joseph Carriker has been a game writer and developer for fifteen years, working freelance for such companies as White Wolf, Wizards of the Coast, and Green Ronin during his career. He is now a staff developer with Green Ronin Publishing, shepherding the A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying line, as well as the adjunct Chronicle System. This year also sees the publication of his first novel, Sacred Band, a game about queer superheroes in a post-supers world, available from Lethe Press. He is an outspoken queer gamer, having helped organize and take part in the annual Queer as a Three-Sided Die panels at GenCon. Joseph lives in Portland, Oregon with his partners and their feline vizier, Iliad. He likes to believe he does his part in Keeping Portland Weird.
Crystal Frasier is a writer, game developer, and graphic designer with eighteen years’ experience, best known for her work on the Pathfinder line of roleplaying games and adventures. She strives to make games worlds where everyone can see themselves reflected. She is a survivor of both the Art Institute of Seattle and New College of Florida, and pulls heavy inspiration for her work from European, Central American, and African history as well as the works of L. Frank Baum and Lewis Caroll. In her free time, Crystal reads comics, plays with her dog, and obsessively rewatches old cartoons from the 80s and 90s.
Steve Kenson has been writing and designing in the tabletop RPG industry since 1995. He has written for such diverse games as Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Aberrant, Dungeons & Dragons, and White Wolf’s World of Darkness. Three of his novels for Shadowrun focused on a gay male protagonist. Steve designed the Mutants & Masterminds Superhero RPG for Green Ronin Publishing and served as its developer for several years. He has also developed two editions of Blue Rose Romantic Fantasy Roleplaying for Green Ronin, known for its inclusion of different expressions of gender, sexuality, and relationships. Steve helped start the “gaymers” emailing list with Lucien Soulban and launched the “Queer as a Three-Sided Die” seminar at GenCon, North America’s largest tabletop convention. Steve works for Green Ronin Publishing, runs his own imprint (Ad Infinitum Adventures), and manages Copper Cauldron Publishing (a neopagan and occult imprint). He lives in Salem, New Hampshire, with his partners, Adam Sartwell and Christoper Penczak, and maintains a website at www.stevekenson.com.
Donna “Danicia” Prior is the Sparkly Princess of Social Media & Community Management in the video game industry. She is also the Events Manager for Green Ronin Publishing and is the Executive Director of OrcaCon, the Inclusive Tabletop Games Convention in Everett, WA. Donna is on the Community Management Advisory Board at the Game Developers Conference.
She has spoken about building communities, diversity, harassment, and accessibility at the Game Developers Conference, PAX / PAXDev, Gen Con, Mensa Annual Gathering, NorWesCon, and the Community Manager Conference in Leipzig, Germany. Donna is a gamer and a beer geek, often combining both hobbies while teaching new people to game and appreciate beer. She’s also insists she is NOT a Hobbit.
You can follow Donna on Twitter: @_Danicia_. Find her also on http://about.me/Danicia
Whitney Beltrán, AKA “Strix” is a writer and narrative designer for analogue and video games, scripts and features, and transmedia IP. She has written for studios including Undead Labs, Onyx Path, and Crackhorse Films. She is an expert in world building and narrative design, and holds a Master’s in Mythological Studies. She has published peer reviewed academic papers on psychology and narrative play, contributed a chapter to a university textbook on role-playing games, and has conducted research through Carnegie Mellon’s Human Computer Interaction Institute on technology and live action role-playing.
Strix also heads up a minority advocacy group called Gaming as Other, meant to empower marginalized members of the gaming community. She is currently developing her own games, Bluebeard’s Bride—which is due for release summer 2016. She regularly travels both locally and internationally to conventions and academic conferences to present papers, lecture, and most importantly, play. She believes that narrative games—games that tell stories—can be transformative and powerful tools for learning and growth.
Catch her Twitch show Weekly Affirmations, an exploration of indie games on Hyper Rabbit Power Go! or find her on Twitter @The_Strix.
Aethernaut returns to GaymerX! The chiptune violinist is back and with even more jams to get you moving!
He is classically trained and video gamed, ready to share his sounds with all of you. Drum n bass, rock, electro, and more all laced with the sweet sounds of yesteryear. Be there and be square!
My Parents Favorite Music
Steffeny “Steffo” Messinger a.k.a. “My Parents Favorite Music”, is the world’s most attractive, funny, smart, kind,humble, not to mention attractive chiptune hip hop transgender musician. She creates video game and nerd culture influenced songs, paired up with nostalgia-heavy pixelated soundtracks. She’s amazeballs.
Releasing albums as map pieces to a mysterious video game island, she tours the country bringing fun wordplay and a colorful element to her show, and welcomes every listener to be a part of the MPFM adventure.