Since announcing our line-up for the Festival, we'd like to share more about our speakers and their exciting work. Here's an update on what they'll be bringing to the Festival audience on April 21-23.
A Path Appears
With decades of experience in shining light on global and domestic challenges, affecting change, and analyzing effective solutions, Pulitzer-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn will share at the Festival their latest work and thoughts around games and new media for social impact. Following the session, they will sign copies of their most recent nonfiction book, A Path Appears. If you missed it, their book's companion TV series, which follows their reporting on human rights violations in the U.S. and other countries, is airing now on PBS and online. Tune in to third and final episode on Monday at 10 p.m. EST.
Promoting games for change
from around the world
Rami Ismail, head of business and development at game studio Vlambeer, is one of the most appreciated indie developers working today. He speaks frankly about the issues facing the games industry at large and helps create tools for other indies to use to promote their work. At the Festival, Rami will examine how to increase awareness and access to game-making in underserved international communities, and in addition to speaking, will showcase games from hard-to-access areas around the world.
From games to film and back
Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) has proven time and again that he knows how to make impact on screens big and small. At the Festival, he'll connect his in-depth investigations in film to his first and continuing love for video games. Until then, check out his latest project, the TV series Inside Man, which takes on important topics through insider investigations. Season three is now airing on CNN, and seasons one and two are available on Netflix.
How VR will change games
Oculus Rift's Chief Scientist Michael Abrash, a groundbreaking programmer, will share his vision of virtual reality as the platform for the future and the implications for games for change. Previously, he worked with John Carmack to pioneer 3D graphics for Quake and subsequently led Valve’s pioneering work on virtual reality. Today, he is building the team at Oculus that will keep pushing the technology forward and turn VR into a consumer-friendly experience.
Cultural liberation through game design
Meg Jayanth, writer of mobile game 80 Days, and Amy Fredeen, a leader on Never Alone's development as CFO at E-Line Media and EVP of Cook Inlet Tribal Council, will speak to Barry Joseph from the American Museum of Natural History about amplifying the voices and stories of indigenous and marginalized peoples through games. Hear how two of the top games of 2014 not only provided remarkably engaging experiences but also inspired empathy for and piqued game players' interest in under-represented cultures.

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