Speakers


Trevor Barnes (Professor, UBC)

BarnesTrevor Barnes is Professor and Distinguished University Scholar at the Department of Geography, UBC. He has been at UBC since 1983, publishing over 150 papers and chapters, and a dozen books, authored and edited. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2011, and became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2014.


Haley Blum (PhD Student, UBC)

BlumHaley received her undergraduate degree from Colby College and a Master’s in Japanese from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is currently a second year PhD student at the University of British Columbia. Though her primary field is medieval Japanese literature, she has loved video games since being introduced to the SNES console in middle school. Areas of interest include the concept of interactivity in video gaming and how mythology is adapted and reimagined in games.


Stefania Burk (Senior Instructor, UBC)

BurkStefania Burk received her PhD in medieval Japanese literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Since arriving at UBC in 2005, Dr. Burk has designed eleven undergraduate and graduate courses, ranging from courses in her research specialty to courses on modern Japanese film and on cross-cultural mythologies. In 2013, Stefania was awarded the Killam Teaching Prize and is currently enrolled in UBC’s International Faculty SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) Leadership Program in Curriculum and Pedagogy in Higher Education.


Howard Donaldson (President, DigiBC)

DonaldsonHoward Donaldson is currently President of DigiBC, the industry association for digital media and wireless companies in BC. Howard is also currently a Partner and CFO for Vanedge Capital, the largest venture capital fund in Canada focused on digital media. Previously, Donaldson served as Vice President, Studio Operations for Disney Interactive Studios. Donaldson also co-founded Propaganda Games and later sold this BC-based studio to the Walt Disney Company. Prior to this, Donaldson served as the Chief Financial Officer of EA Canada.


Christine Duhaime (Duhaime Law)

DuhaimeChristine Duhaime is a lawyer who practices in gaming law & financial regulation with a specialized practice in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing law. She has acted for gaming companies in internationally for 12 years, advising on financings, regulation and compliance. She is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law and the CBA Committee of the Judicial Advisory Committee. She is the founder and executive director of the Digital Finance Institute, a think tank for financial inclusion, women in fintech and digital financial technology solutions.


Jon Festinger, Q.C. (Centre for Digital Media / UBC Law)

FestingerJon Festinger, Q.C. (LL.B., B.C.L. 1980 (McGill University) is a Vancouver, British Columbia based lawyer, strategic advisor and educator. Jon has taught media, entertainment, communications and corporate law topics for going on three decades. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia teaching courses in “Legal Constraints on (Digital) Creativity” (Winter 2015), “Video Game Law” (Fall 2014) and was the Course Author of Business Organizations, a Distance Learning Program for LLM students (Fall 2014). In addition, Jon is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Simon Fraser University and a faculty member of the Centre for Digital Media.


Nancy Gallini (Acting Director, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies)

GalliniNancy Gallini is Acting Director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC, and Professor in the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC. Dr. Gallini’s early research explores issues in resource economics, particularly regarding the impact of new technologies and resource cartels on the efficient extraction of exhaustible resources. Her primary research more recently has been in the general areas of industrial organization and law and economics, with focus on contracts, technology licensing and strategic alliances, the impact of intellectual property rights on innovation and technology sharing, and on optimal design of competition and innovation policies.


Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch (Co-Founder and CEO, Silicon Sisters Interactive)

BaileyBrenda Bailey Gershkovitch is the co-founder of Silicon Sisters Interactive, a female focused video-game studio building top quality games for women and girls. Brenda was previously the Managing Partner of Deep Fried Entertainment Inc., building sports games for the Wii, the DS and the PSP with publishing partners Sega and Take Two Sports. Brenda is board member of DIGIBC, and the Advisory Board of Women in Games International. A visiting lecturer at both Vancouver Film School and the Centre for Digital Media, Brenda is currently studying Law at UBC, with a focus on IP and Digital Media Law.


Naoki Kameda (VP of International Publishing and Development, Sega Networks USA)

Kameda_Sega LogoNaoki is VP of International Publishing and Development at Sega Networks, Inc., located in San Francisco. Sega Networks focuses on smartphone free to play games and Naoki is currently in charge of international business development such as game licensing and the internal publishing process. He has a long history with Sega. Previously he worked for the Dreamcast West section and its business strategy department.


Samia Khan (Associate Professor, UBC)

KhanSamia Khan charts new methods to teach and learn and explores the unique role of emergent digital technologies in doing so. Prof. Khan teaches courses on educational technologies, knowledge and the Internet, science education, and case study research. She is currently conducting research with an interdisciplinary graduate team. Professor Khan is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Technology and a Scholarship Award from the Canadian Society for the Study in Education. Her research has been published widely in Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, Computers and Education, and Educational Technology Research and Development.


Christina Laffin (Associate Professor, UBC)

LaffinChristina Laffin is an Associate Professor in Asian Studies and the Canada Research Chair in Premodern Japanese Literature and Culture. She is also a Co-director of the UBC Centre for Japanese Research (CJR). Her research focuses on Medieval travel diaries; women’s education and socialization before 1600; poetic practices and waka culture; theories of travel, gender, and autobiography; noh theatre; and comparative approaches to medieval literature.


Nina Langton (Associate Professor, UBC Okanagan)

LangtonNina Langton received her M.A. in Contemporary Japanese Literature at UBC Vancouver in 1993 and has been teaching Japanese language courses at UBC Okanagan (formerly Okanagan University College) since that time. Her research interests focus on computer assisted language learning, including the use of screencast feedback, the development of multimedia learning materials for the study of kanji, and the use of digital games in the curriculum.


Hyung-Gu Lynn (AECL/KEPCO Chair in Korean Research, UBC Institute of Asian Research)

LynnDr. Lynn is a historian who researches and publishes on Japan, South Korea and North Korea, ranging in chronological coverage from late-19th century to contemporary issues, and in subject matter from popular culture to political economy. He is the Editor for the journal Pacific Affairs, the oldest academic journal focused on interdisciplinary analysis of contemporary Asia, and the Editor for Asia Pacific Memo, a digital public outreach newsletter. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and his MA and BA from the University of British Columbia.


Jessica Main (Assistant Professor, UBC)

Jessica L. Main wrote her PhD dissertation (McGill 2012) on the topic of descent-based discrimination, human rights, and Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism in Japan, looking especially at the problem of caste-based discrimination in Pure Land Buddhism against the burakumin. Her broader research interests include modern Buddhist ethics, social action, and institutional life, particularly in the areas of sectarian social policy, chaplaincy, physical culture, and professional or role-based ethics. Since Fall of 2009, she has served as the director of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society.


Shigenori Matsui (Professor, UBC)

MatsuiShigenori Matsui is a Professor in the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC. LLB, Kyoto University 1978; LLM, Kyoto University 1980; JSD, Stanford Law School 1986; LLD, Kyoto University 2000. Associate Professor, Osaka University 1983-1994; Professor, Osaka University 1994-2005; University of British Columbia 2006-Present. Professor Matsui is also a Co-director of the UBC Centre for Japanese Research (CJR).


Siobhán McElduff (Associate Professor, UBC)

McElduffSiobhán McElduff is Associate Professor of Latin and Interim Director of the UBC Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC). Her interests include translation theory, ancient translation, and digital humanities. She is currently convener of the Digital Salon, a group of Humanities faculty who research relies on computational tools. Her publications include “Roman Theories of Translation” (Routledge, 2013) and “In Defense of the Republic” a translation of Cicero’s political speeches for Penguin Classics (2011). Current projects include digitizing the collections of the late 18th century bookstore the Temple of the Muses, once the largest and cheapest bookseller in the world.


Tomoko Nakasuji (Business Development Manager, BC Trade & Investment Office Japan)

NakasujiTomoko Nakasuji is Business Development Manager of ICT and Digital Media sectors at BC Trade and Investment Office Japan. She’s been dedicated to promoting BC’s digital media cluster and economy based out of Tokyo, facilitating BC companies to enter to the Japanese market and Japanese companies to establish an effective operation in BC, Canada. Tomoko initially worked in the areas of business development and corporate strategic planning in the information technology and film industries. She holds a BA in English Literature from Waseda University in Japan and completed her second major, Film Studies, at Columbia University in the U.S.


Atsuo Nakayama (Executive Vice President, Bandai Namco Studios Vancouver)

NakayamaStudio Head, Executive Vice President, of Bandai Namco Studios Vancouver and the author of 3 published books: The Third Wave of Japanese Waves (2015); Blockbuster Hits: Changes in Theory and Practice (2013); and Why are only Social Games Profitable? (2012)” He has 3 years gaming industry experience including DeNA as a marketer and Deloitte as a Media/Gaming consultant.


Tatsuyuki Negoro (Professor and Director, Waseda Business School)

Professor Tatsuyuki Negoro began his career working for Daido Special Steel Company. After a few years, he keenly felt the need to acquire the latest management concepts, theories and frameworks, and decided to pursue an MBA. Upon completing his studies he decided to pursue an academic career, taking up posts at Sanno College, Bunkyo University, and, most recently, Waseda Business School. In addition to his teaching and research, Professor Negoro currently serves as Director of Waseda Business School.


Kaiser Ng (Senior Director of Operations, DeNA Canada)

NgI joined DeNA in 2012 when the Vancouver studio was set up. My first role was the Head of Finance for three game studios. Over the evolution of the studios over the last three years, the Vancouver studio has grown significantly and I am currently overseeing Finance, HR, IT, and Operations. My two simple principles are: “Hire who you trust, and trust who you hire,” and “Everyone be proud of what they do and where they work.”


Can Ngo (President & CEO, Anime Revolution)

NgoCan Ngo is the President and CEO of Anime Revolution Events Inc. Aside from his role as CEO, Can continues to operate his Computer Consultation business he founded at the age of 16. Can chose to leave college to pursue his passion for technology and entrepreneurial ventures. キャン・ノー。アニメレボルーションイベンツインクの代表取締役社長。同社と並行に、16の時より運営しているコンピューターコンサルティングビジネスの代表も兼務。テクノロジーにパッションを感じ、ビジネスに集中するため大学を中退している。


Joe Nickolls (Executive Producer, Capcom Vancouver)

NickollsJoe Nickolls has spent his entire career in the entertainment business and is a 17 year veteran in video games and interactive entertainment. He is currently Executive Producer at Capcom Game Studio Vancouver working on AAA console titles. Previously he was Executive Producer at Microsoft Studios, and spent a decade at Electronic Arts (EA Sports) overseeing franchises like FIFA World Cup, Champions League, Euro, FIFA Street, Tennis, Hockey, and other titles. Joe also served as CEO and Founding Partner of YMC Global Network, importing and exporting mobile games in and out of China.


Mimi Okabe (PhD Student, University of Alberta)

OkabeMimi Okabe is currently in her second year of her PhD program in Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta. She has been awarded the SSHRC doctoral fellowship for her research project entitled “Narrating Nation: A Cross Cultural Exploration of the Child Detective in Japanese Manga and Western Children’s Detective Fiction.” Although Mimi primarily examines transcultural manga adaptations of British literary classics, she is also very interested in exploring the field Game Studies. Topics of interest and study include dōjin games, Boys’ Love games, gender and feminist theories.


Sharalyn Orbaugh (Professor, UBC)

OrbaughSharalyn Orbaugh is a Professor of Asian Studies specializing in modern Japanese literature and popular culture. Publications on Japanese popular culture include: “Kamishibai and the Art of the Interval” (2012), “Sex and the Single Cyborg: Japanese Pop Culture Experiments in Subjectivity” (2002, 2007), “Who Does the Feeling When There’s no Body There? Cyborgs and Companion Species in Oshii Mamoru’s Films” (2015), “Robôs Vs. Ciborgues: A Corporificaçao de Gênero na Cultura Pop Japonesa” (2014), “Future City Tokyo: 1909 and 2009” (2011), “Frankenstein and the Cyborg Metropolis: The Evolution of Body and City in Science Fiction Narratives” (2006), “Girls Reading Harry Potter, Girls Writing Desire: Amateur Manga and Shôjo Reading Practices” (2009).


Sakae Osumi (Director of Strategic Planning, Capcom USA)

OsumiSakae is a director of strategic planning at Capcom USA and also an avid gamer who enjoys playing games with his friends. He is currently in charge of building and managing the business plan for the near-to-midterm strategy. In the past, he has worked as animator, sound director, game designer, game director and producer on various projects, including the famous franchise Sonic the Hedgehog, across multiple platforms such as arcade, console and mobile when he was at SEGA Japan and UK.


Jérémie Pelletier-Gagnon (PhD Student, University of Alberta)

Pelletier-GagnonJérémie Pelletier-Gagnon is a PhD student enrolled in the programs of Humanities Computing and Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta. His areas of specialization are Game Studies and East Asian studies, he is primarily doing research on the culture surrounding video games in Japan. His PhD thesis project consists of an examination of Japanese game centres (arcades) through the perspective of the social affordances provided by the assemblage of game cabinets, game software and the space of game centres itself.


Patrick Pennefather (Senior Lecturer, Centre for Digital Media)

PennefatherPatrick has facilitated learning on real-world game pipelines for the past 6 years at the Master of Digital Media Program with Kabam, EA, Skybox, Ubisoft, Microsoft Big Park and Roadhouse Interactive. He has represented the MDM Program in the U.S., China and Japan. His approach to teaching/mentoring is iterative, influenced by ongoing conversations with members of the gaming community. His area of research lies more broadly in the design of situated project-based learning environments (engagement, visual thinking, project management, mentoring and self-regulation. Patrick is also teaching a course at the Sauder School of Business (d.studio). *Get 10 FREE chapters of Patrick’s new book The Disruptive Game by clicking HERE!


Geoffrey Rockwell (Professor, University of Alberta)

RockwellDr. Geoffrey Martin Rockwell is a Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Computing at the University of Alberta, Canada. He has published and presented papers in the area of philosophical dialogue, textual visualization and analysis, humanities computing, instructional technology, computer games and multimedia including a book, Defining Dialogue: From Socrates to the Internet. He is currently the Director of the Kule Institute for Advanced Studies and a co-organizer of Replaying Japan, a conference on Japanese game culture.


Shuji Watanabe (Associate Professor, Ritsumeikan University)

ShujiWatanabeShuji Watanabe is an associate professor at the College of Image Arts and Sciences, Ritsumeikan. His research focuses on narrative and the balance of difficulty in digital games. Specifically, he looks at the artistry of “difficulty balance,” and techniques for abstracting difficulty balance in the real world. His work has been recognized by the Japan Media Arts Festival Agency for Cultural Affairs (2003) and he won the grand prize at the Game Koshien (2004). His work history in the industry includes: Game Designer, Final Fantasy 7 International, SQUARE CO., LTD, 1997; Director, Magic Pengel, TAITO CO., LTD., 2002; Game Designer, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., 2003-2004; Original Draft & Main Game Designer, Internet Adventure, Sega Inc., 2009.


Ben Whaley (PhD Candidate, UBC)

WhaleyBen Whaley is a PhD Candidate studying modern Japanese literature and popular culture at The University of British Columbia. His research engages discourses of race, ethnicity, and national identity in manga and videogames. Current research projects include gamic simulations of Japanese national traumas, and the representation of Jewish identity in postwar manga. Ben’s previous publications examine racial politics in the works of Japan’s “God of Manga” Dr. Tezuka Osamu. He received his BA from Stanford and his MA from UBC Asian Studies. Ben also interned at Columbia Music Entertainment in Tokyo and worked in their department responsible for videogame soundtrack creation.


Christina Yi (Assistant Professor, UBC)

Christina Yi is Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Literature at the University of British Columbia. She received her Ph.D. in Modern Japanese Literature from Columbia University. In 2011, Christina was awarded the William F. Sibley Memorial Translation Prize for her translation of Kim Saryang’s “Tenma” (Pegasus). She is currently working on a book manuscript that investigates how linguistic nationalism and national identity intersect in the formation of modern literary canons in East Asia.


Henry Yu (Associate Professor, UBC)

YuDr. Henry Yu received his BA from UBC and PhD in History from Princeton University. “Pacific Canada”–the history of Canada as an engagement between trans-Pacific migrants, trans-Atlantic migrants, and First Nations and aboriginal peoples–has been the focus of his scholarship and university/community collaborations. He was the Project Lead for the $1.175 million “Chinese Canadian Stories” project (chinesecanadian.ubc.ca) involving over 29 community organizations across Canada, which created web resources for both researchers and the general public, numerous video resources and educational “games” for K-12 teachers, mobile museum kiosks for public libraries and community centres, and digital community archival collections.


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