By peter katz, December 2nd, 2009

November 5-6 I covered the Independent Game Conference where game designers peddled their wares to buyers inside the halls of the Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey. In between all this networking my friend Don Le filmed (later edited) my interviews with notable professionals and panels that explored subjects as diverse as building personal relationships through video games to new ways to purchase digital goods with micropayments.

Interview with Aaron Vanderbeek, a game and interaction designer based in San Francisco, CA. He is currently enrolled in the Masters of Entertainment Technology program at Carnegie Mellon University, where his current project is iiii design ( a design collective looking to bring unique entertainment experiences to the iPhone. Other academic projects include an interactive theatre adaptation of Rashomon and a board game based on Long Distance Relationships.

Interview with Hill Ferguson. He is responsible for product strategy and marketing at Zong. A payments veteran, Hill spent the last decade developing and managing new payment services in Silicon Valley. As General Manager for Yodlee’s Personal Finance Products, Hill led the development and distribution efforts for several new and innovative payments products currently being used by top banks and web portals. At Yahoo! Hill produced and managed several consumer products, including a consumer bill payment product and a peer-to-peer payment service. In his spare time he manages LoanBack, a “friends and family” loan management service he co-founded in 2005. Hill earned a BS and an MBA, both from Vanderbilt University.

Sue Bohle speaks about her successful career in game public relations. She has been providing hands on, senior level counsel to game and other interactive entertainment companies since 1983. She has been the lead speaker on PR for the game industry at the The Game Developers Conference (GDC) five times and wrote the marketing chapter for a major textbook on getting into the video game industry. The Bohle Company has worked in the game industry since the mid 80s, serving hardware, software, tools, conference producers and online game sites and launching titles in all genres and for all platforms.

Game designer Dev Jana discusses the evolution of a Control Freak: How Human/Computer Interaction is changing how we Design and Play Games by following the development of how humans have communicated with data (from the abacus to punch cards to mice to analog sticks to touch screen and motion sensor), it becomes apparent that the data held within computing devices started as physical and tactile, the moved into virutal and abstracted, and is now “faux-physical” through new technologies such as multi-touch and motion sensors.

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peter katz is an award winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Peter has produced genre films that have screened all over the world from the AFI Fest to the Rome Film Festival. His first picture Home Sick starred Bill Moseley from The Devil's Rejects and Tom Towles from Henry Portrait Of A Serial Killer. Next Peter worked with Tobe Hooper (director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist) on Mortuary, which premiered on the Sci Fi Channel. Most recently he was a producer on Pop Skull, a psychological ghost film, that has received great reviews in Variety and numerous film web sites. Currently, Peter is developing projects across various mediums including film, comics, and the web.


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