Latest Event Updates
Code Liberation + WIG Boston Unity Workshop!
Interested in making digital games but don’t know how to code? Curious about one of the most popular and accessible game development platforms, Unity, but not sure where to start? Want to meet, learn from and share ideas with other women interested in making games? Join WIG Boston and Code Liberation for a FREE game development workshop on the eve of PAX East!
Code Liberation events are trans-inclusive and women-only. Women of all skill levels and walks of life are invited to attend this workshop. If you don’t have any experience in game development, don’t worry! This workshop is open to all levels of learners. Space is limited so sign up soon to secure your spot!
The event venue requires a guest list, thus all workshop participants must register by name for the event. As such, Eventbrite will only issue one ticket per registration. Thank you for understanding.
The event is made possible by the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI). Workshop participants will recieve complimentary passes to the MassDiGI “Made in MA Party” happening at the same time and in the same building as the workshop. Stop in at the party to get inspired! Massachuetts-based game development companies will be demonstrating their latest games in the exhibition area.
When: Thursday, March 5 @ 6:00-9:00
Where: Microsoft NERD Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142
Questions? Email WIG Boston at email@example.com
Please bring a laptop with a basic graphic design program (such as Photoshop or GIMP) and an installation of Unity, which is available for free here: http://unity3d.com/unity/download. Please install these programs prior to the workshop.
About Code Liberation:
The Code Liberation Foundation is an educational initiative founded by Phoenix Perry, Nina Freeman, Jane Friedhoff, Catt Small and Mei Chan. Code Liberation offers free game development and programming skills to women and girls in order to facilitate the creation of games by women and girls and change the female-to-male ratio in video game development.
About WIG Boston:
Women in Games Boston is a networking event for women in the video game industry and their allies. Monthly events are generally held on the first Monday at MeYou Health. WIG Boston’s co-organizers are Nina Huntemann and Adri Mills. The group was founded in 2011 by Courtney Stanton.
The Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) is a statewide center, designated by the Commonwealth, for academic cooperation, entrepreneurship and economic development across the Massachusetts digital and video games ecosystem. Based at Becker College, MassDiGI is a collaboration among academia, state government and industry, aimed at fostering the growth of the innovation economy in Massachusetts.
Join us Monday, February 2 for a special WIG Boston party: Starting Something New
Faculty from the Game Design program at Northeastern University’s College of Art, Media and Design is hosting our party this month. Susan Gold, Founder of the Global Game Jam, and Celia Pearce, Co-Founder of IndieCade, will talk to WIG Boston about various issues, challenges and strategies associated with starting new things. The speaker presentations will be short (10-15 minutes each) with ample time for questions from attendees. WIG Boston co-organizer, Nina Huntemann, will moderate the discussion. Full speaker bios and directions to the event below.
**NOTE: A pay-to-park parking garage is located across the street from the venue.**
STARTING SOMETHING NEW
A conversation with Susan Gold, Founder of the Global Game Jam and Celia Pearce, Co-Founder of IndieCade
Susan Gold is founder and President of the Global Game Jam, a record-breaking 48-hour game-making event, which is now hosted in over 70 countries around the world. Ms. Gold is a skilled facilitator at bridging art, science, technology, industry & academia together for large international audiences. She led the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Education SIG from 2006 to 2010, she is a member of the SIGGRAPH Education Committee from 2003 to present, and she is currently on advisory boards of 6 academic game programs. She has been the Keynote speaker at several international game conferences including ICEC 2009,IVDC 2009, DigiWorld Game Summit 2012, Game Developers Conference (GDC), GDC, China, DiGRA. She is the recipient of IGDA MVP Award 2008, 2009, the CEDEC Programming Award 2012. Ms. Gold has also held academic positions in Fine Art & Game Education programs from 1999 to present. She currently holds the position of Professor of the Practice and Associate Director of the Game Program at Northeastern University.
Celia Pearce is the Festival Chair and co-founder of IndieCade, the international independent games festival and showcase series. She has worked for over thirty years as a game designer, author, researcher, teacher, curator and artist, specializing in multiplayer gaming and virtual worlds, independent, art, and alternative game genres, as well as games and gender. She has also curated new media, virtual reality, and game exhibitions, including XYZ: Alternative Voices in Game Design, the first exhibition devoted to women’s contribution to game design. She has also started a number of other projects, including The Interactive Media Program at University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, now ranked as one of the top three game programs in the US. She is also author of two books, and co-author/editor of two others. She currently holds a position as an Associate Professor in Northeastern University’s Game Program.
(120 Forsyth Street, Boston, MA 02115)
Northeastern University Campus
Take the Orange Line T to Ruggles Station
Exit onto the Northeastern Campus
The building will be on your righthand side as you exit
Paid parking may be found on the opposite side of Ruggles Station from campus, in building #62.
Renaissance Park Garage, Northeastern University, 835 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02120
Walk through Ruggles Station and the building will be on your righthand side as you exit.
Join us Monday, January 5 for a stellar panel about the unique challenges (and joys) of parenting when you work in games. The panel features Caleb Garner, Chris Hart, Scott Macmillan, Avida Michaud and Amanda Warner, moderated by Ken Gagne. Even if you are not a parent, our speakers will discuss general work-life balance issues, and how to sort out company benefits and policies that are truly family/life friendly!
WIG Boston is hosted by MeYouHealth, located at 27-43 Wormwood Street, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02210. There is a parking lot across the street from the MeYouHealth building, and the South Station MBTA stop is a 10 minute walk away.
Caleb Garner runs Part12 Studios, a local indie studio, and is a father of two boys ages 6 and 3.
Chris Hart started programming at the age of 10, and has been a professional developer for over 15 years. Most of that time has been spent creating Web applications, a bit of consulting, and some writing work on ASP.NET a few years ago. About 6 years ago she moved into Virtual Worlds development, from contributing to the Open Simulator project to hosting virtual worlds and immersive training simulations. She developed the Jibe multiplayer toolkit for Unity3D, designed to offer customers a starting point for a virtual meeting place on the web. For the past couple of years she’s been working on data visualization and mapping projects by day, and tinkering with game projects by night. Chris lives locally with her husband and her 8-year-old son, who has been obsessed with video games since a very early age.
Scott Macmillan is a 12-year game industry veteran and currently a Producer at GSN Games in Boston. He’s previously worked on RTSes, casual and social games, and for three years ran his own indie studio. Scott also founded Boston Indies and co-founded the GameLoop unconference series. He’s married and the father of two.
Avida Michaud holds a bachelors in math from BU and went to DigiPen (Redmond, WA) for a year post-graduate. She’s been a game programmer since ’99 (Humongous Entertainment, Turbine, MadDoc, Harmonix). The majority of her time has been at Harmonix (7 years last month!), where she was programming lead for RB2, RB3, RBN (RockBand Network), project/programming lead for their internal engine and currently working on their Kickstarter-funded revival of Amplitude. During those 4 years, she had 3 kids – twin boys at the end of RB3 and another boy while she was the engine lead so her life has changed dramatically but for the better!
Amanda Warner is co founder of Giant Spacekat, an independent studio here in Boston and was lead animator on their debut title, Revolution 60. Currently she is heading up their children’s division, Giant Spacekittens , and is busy developing their first children’s title, Cupcake Crisis. Amanda is a mom to an almost 3 year old meaning that she was pregnant, then dealing with a newborn and later a toddler during Revolution 60’s development cycle, and yet some how is still sane.
Ken Gagne is the host of the Polygamer and IndieSider podcasts and YouTube channel Gamebits. He is a freelance writer for Computerworld.com and has been a member of the gaming press since 1997. Find him on Twitter at @Gamebits
Join us Monday, December 1, from 7:00-10:00 PM for an exciting round of lightning talks from our WIG Boston community!
Our host this month is MeYouHealth, located at 27-43 Wormwood Street, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02210.
The [Current] Lineup:
Emma Clarkson – Indie Do’s & Don’ts on Social Media
Chris Hart – Using Construct 2 to Make Games
Khadeja Merenkov – The Case for a Fat Protagonist
Ben Remignanti – Introduction to Dev Streaming
Anthony Russo – Including Non-Binary Gender Options in Games
Would you like to give a talk?
If you are interested in giving a 5-8 minute lightning talk, we still have space! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to pitch your idea. Please send a bio, talk title and blurb.
Join us on Monday, November 3 from 7:00-10:00 at the Bocoup offices for our November party! Khadeja A. Merenkov will present and lead us in a conversation about the visual language of art and video games. And Nina will once again fire up the oven and bake Halloween-themed treats for the event.
Thank you to the fine folks at Bocoup for offering WIG Boston space! Bocoup is located at 2 South Market Street, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 3rd Floor.
The Effect of Visual Symbolism in Art and Video Games
Visual language, being culturally- and societally-based, is tricky to work with – but we use it copiously within game design! This presentation hopes to display some ways we may unconsciously decide on the visual language we use and how it has a larger effect on games and interpreting the games we play. CAVEAT: This talk will include some sensitive images from art history and video games (some nudity and violence) with some explicit language. Please feel free to email Khadeja a email@example.com with any specific concerns about trigger warnings.
Khadeja A Merenkov’s intense love for film, visual art, literature, and games coupled with her penchant for diversity work makes her an open critic of current practices in the game development industry as well as game content. She holds a BA in Visual Art with a Concentration in Art History as well as a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations.
Join us on Monday, October 6 at MIT for a special October party Sponsored by the MIT Game Lab! Andrew Davis will lead us in a deck building game jam from 6:00-9:00 at the Stata Center, room 144. And Nina may be inspired to bake fall-themed treats for the event. Please note the earlier time and different venue!
Talk & Jam
Andrew Davis will talk about deckbuilding games including Dominion, Ascension, and Star Realms. Why are these sorts of games popular? What are the differences, good and bad, between these sorts of games and trading card games like Magic and Pokemon?
After a discussion and overview, we will break up into groups and create a deck building game on the spot. Andrew will bring the game’s basic shell; everyone will contribute card ideas, art, theme, card names, and gameplay effects for each card. And then, of course, we’ll play it. We’ll wrap up with thoughts about what we liked and what we didn’t, and then the game will be released as a free PDF.
Known as “Andrea Shubert” from 2002 until last month, Andrew Davis is in public beta. The new version features a revised gender identity, more facial hair, and less interference than prior models. He tweets @andrew2s1 and can be reached at literally.andrew.davis at google’s email service. For more information about this upgrade, please see
RSVP and Tickets here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/wig-boston-october-party-tickets-13249711243
Please join us on Monday, September 8 for our WIG Boston September Party. Game designer and interactive fiction writer Carolyn VanEseltine will be our guest speaker! The title of her talk is “Finding and Making Career Opportunities in Game Development (or: Why I Quit My Dream Job – Twice)”.
Carolyn landed her first paying game industry gig in 2002. Since then, she’s had three employers (Simutronics, Harmonix Music Systems, and Giant Spacekat) with responsibilities ranging from customer service to combat design. Her WIG-Boston presentation will examine how to find and make career opportunities in the industry, based on her personal experience, with tangents into impostor syndrome, employer ethics, and the changing nature of game development.
Please note: Our September party is on the second Monday of the month in order to avoid the Labor Day holiday.
Tickets are available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wig-boston-september-party-tickets-12724006847