Diverse Stories, Great Games

Diverse Stories, Great Games

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Explore and discuss the inclusive development process of the video game Never Alone with its creators.

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With Never Alone, Upper One Games and E-Line Media created the first video game made in collaboration with an Indigenous community. Alan Gershenfeld and Amy Fredeen will share the inclusive development process which saw nearly 40 Alaska Native elders, storytellers, and community members contributing to this award-winning game. Moderated by Professor Pierre Tousignant of NAD-UQAC, this interactive discussion will share best practices for expanding the storytelling potential of video games.

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Panelists and Moderators

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Alan Gershenfeld

President and Co-Founder of E-Line Media

Alan is President and Co-Founder of E-Line Media, a leading publisher of games that inspire players to connect with the world and each other. Alan has worked on impact game projects with the Gates Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, NSF, USAID, DARPA, White House OSTP, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Games for Change, Google, Sesame Workshop, MIT, and ASU. E-Line is the developer of Never Alone, a game made inclusively with the Alaska Native community that has reached over 4 million players and won a BAFTA and Game of the Year at Games for Change.

Alan was previously a member of the executive team that rebuilt game publisher Activision from bankruptcy into an industry leader overseeing titles such as Civilization: Call to Power, Muppet Treasure Island, Tony Hawk Skateboarding, Spycraft, Pitfall, Shanghai, and Zork. He has spoken on games, learning, and social impact all over the world including the World Economic Forum in Davos. Alan is also a co-founder of Experimental Design, a pioneer in world-building to help design and build preferred futures. Alan has served on the Board of FilmAid International and Advisory Boards for PBS Kids Next Generation Media, iCivics, and Joan Ganz Cooney Center. He is former Chairman of Games for Change.

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Amy Fredeen

CFO and Executive Vice President for Cook Inlet Tribal Council

Amy Fredeen is of Inupiaq descent and serves as the CFO and Executive Vice President for Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), where she has grown the organization’s unrestricted cash by over 1,000 percent in a 6 year period. This strategic growth and careful stewardship of funding has allowed CITC to take a leadership role in fiscal excellence. She is a pioneer in strategies to increase investment in indigenous communities through social enterprise, innovation, and partnerships.

Through CITC’s for-profit subsidiary, Ms. Fredeen helped form a partnership with E-Line Media, an industry leader in educational games. E-Line & CITC co-created Never Alone, the first video game made with an indigenous community.

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Pierre Tousignant

Professor, École des arts numériques, de l'animation et du design

Professor Pierre Tousignant has been part of the 3D animation world for almost thirty years. After working as a landscape architect, focusing on new digital technologies and their integration, he started studying in 3D animation at École des arts numériques, de l'animation et du design (NAD), part of l'Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), in 1993.

After graduating, Pierre worked for Nickelodeon Studios as an animator and modeler. In 1995, he joined Softimage-Microsoft as an instructor and then director of the 3D education and training department. He is responsible for the certification of schools and instructors worldwide.

He joined the NAD in 2007 as Director of the Video Game program. When the bachelor's degree in digital design at UQAC was created, he participated in the writing and implementation of the program. His main areas of study are video games, 3D creation, interaction and narration. In addition to the 3D Creation and Design courses, he supervises teams in project design and final course projects.

Pierre supervises several para-academic projects, such as game jams organized jointly with Polytechnique and the NikNad project in collaboration with the NIKANITE center at UQAC.

He has been teaching at NAD since 2007.

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